ESA contributes to development of Digital and Electronic Cinema in Europe

September 3, 2003

Paris, 28 August 2003

The Italian Presidency of the European Union has organised a Seminar of European Union Ministers of Culture, to be held in Venice from 28 to 31 August, in conjunction with the 60th Venice International Film Festival.

In the course of this seminar, discussions on Saturday 30 August will focus on the challenges arising from new technologies and the related support mechanisms for the distribution of European cinematographic works.

On this occasion ESA (in conjunction with its industrial partner Elsacom, as coordinator, together with Marinastudios and Cinecittà Holding) has been invited to demonstrate a project named E-Screen, which has been funded under its telecommunications programme.

The E-Screen project, the purpose of which is to develop an effective, economical and operational model based on the introduction of Digital and Electronic Cinema all over Europe, has led to the development of a network of digital screens in Europe, equipped with the latest technologies available and served by a satellite link. The project so far involves seven cinemas in five European countries and is likely to be extended to others.

The event on Saturday afternoon, structured as a talk show with guests from the industrial companies that are developing the system, will be filmed in High-Definition TV from ESA's ESRIN Establishment in Frascati near Rome, uplinked to a Eutelsat satellite and broadcast to Venice both at Palazzo Labia, where the European Union Ministers will be meeting, and in Sala Volpi for the general public of the Biennale.

Claudio Mastracci, ESA's Director of Application Programmes, who will be introducing this event from Venice, said "Once again ESA, thanks to its telecommunications programme, is promoting the development of new applications by helping industry and service providers to become competitive in the multimedia satellite market, which is led by the growth in demand for innovative services such as High-Definition TV and Digital and Electronic Cinema, soon to become a reality in Europe".

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Francesco Feliciani
Head of the Telecommunications Applications Section
Directorate of Applications
Tel.: + 31 71 565 4109
Fax: + 31 71 565 4093

Ms. Franca Morgia
ESA/ESRIN Communication Department
Tel. + 39 06 9418 0951

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