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Berlin International Film Festival goes digital

Colt facilitates the "digital heart" of Berlinale, ensuring a high quality viewing experience for film enthusiasts

London, UK – WEBWIRE

Colt announces today it is supporting the 65th Berlin International Film Festival– known as ‘the Berlinale’ – taking place from February 5th – 15th 2015. Colt is supporting the festival for the seventh year, maintaining a consistent high quality viewing experience for nearly 500,000 visits to the 2,500 screenings taking place in venues across Berlin, including the Zoo Palast, Friedrichstadtpalast and CinemaxX Potsdamer Platz.

Colt has helped Berlinale to address the technical challenges associated with the rollout of a digital cinema. This year will be the first time when the Berlinale distributes all films directly from its ‘digital heart’, located in a Colt data centre, to 16 film venues across Berlin. Moreover, film makers participating in the Berlinale film competition will be able to upload their entries in digital format directly to the Berlinale storage system, simplifying logistics.

The Berlinale is the biggest public festival in the world and one of the most important events in the film industry. During the 10 days of the Berlinale festival, a total of 500 terabytes of data will be transferred from the Colt data centre, where all data is stored, to the participating venues over Colt’s broadcast-quality fibre network.

“The digitisation of the film industry is almost complete and the Berlinale festival has remained ahead of the curve with Colt’s support. We have faced enormous technical and logistical challenges, in particular the acceptance and distribution of digitally produced films with ever larger amounts of data,” says festival director Dieter Kosslick. “With Colt as a partner, we are well equipped: the infrastructure and services from Colt and the broadcast expertise of its team are essential for making the film festival a success and ensuring film fans can fully enjoy their visit to the Berlinale.”

Until recently, the Berlinale film office was used as a storage centre. This function has now moved to the highly-secure Colt data centre, increasing the stability of the connections to participating venues - key to ensuring an exceptional viewing experience. The film office now operates as a ‘control centre’ from where all operations are managed remotely, including the conversion of file formats.

A high-capacity Internet connection (10-gigabit) means the festival can easily receive contributions from studios at home and overseas. International contributions are important for the Berlinale and the European Film Market taking place at the same time, and this feature makes the event even more attractive to international studios, in particular those based in the US.

“The Berlinale shows in a condensed form how digital transformation is changing the film industry. At the same time, the festival serves as an excellent example of an organisation that recognises this transformation  and is treating it as an opportunity, continually developing its offering to both filmmakers and film fans, providing them with a unique customer experience,” says Falk Weinreich, Executive Vice President at Colt.

Colt has worked closely with the Berlinale to ensure visitors get an excellent viewing experience. The planning phase started in the summer of 2014, to adapt the infrastructure to the specific requirements of this year’s festival. For the first time the infrastructure has been used in the pre-selection process of films for the festival, allowing the Berlinale team to test the systems earlier than in previous years and more effectively.

The Colt technical team is on call 24/7 all throughout the ten day festival and on-site at the main Berlinale events, such as the opening gala and awards ceremony, which is transmitted live over the network to other venues such as the ‘Friedrichstadtpalast’ and CinemaxX in Berlin.

Key stats about the 65th Berlin International Film Festival :

  • 10 days’ festival
  • 2,500 screenings
  • 500,000 visits
  • 20,000 professional visitors from 124 countries
  • 1,100 films

Technical highlights of the ‘digital heart’ supporting the Berlinale festival:

  • A newly deployed 10-gigabit Internet connection makes it possible for film studios to directly upload film data and store it on the Berlinale storage system;
  • 500 terabytes of film data are transferred over Colt’s fibre network to the venues over the course of the festival;
  • The fibre network supporting the festival has an overall length of 250 kilometers.

About Colt
Colt is the information delivery platform, delivering integrated network, data centre, voice and IT services. Customers include 17 out of the top 25 global media companies and over half of both the global financial services and telecom companies (Forbes 1000 list 2013). In addition, Colt works with over 50 exchange venues and 13 European National Central Banks (NCBs). Colt operates in 28 countries across Europe, Asia and in the U.S. with connections into over 200 cities globally and metropolitan area networks in 47 cities. Colt owns 22 carrier-neutral data centres in Europe and manages a further 7 in the Asia-Pacific region.

Colt recently completed the acquisition of KVH, an integrated managed IT infrastructure and communications services business, with headquarters in Tokyo and operations in Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore.


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