How do we get more people to watch documentaries on the big screen, especially given that regular theatrical releases of docs mostly fail to reach the right audiences? Moving Docs proves that 'event cinema' is the answer – but how can I participate when I'm stuck at home?
Event cinema appears to be the one thing that works: never just offer a simple film screening; always combine it with discussions, music, food and drink; better yet, hold these events in unusual places. Moving Docs partners have been good at that: In Cyprus, Lemesos International Documentary Festival held an outdoor screening on a beach, while Doc Lounge in Sweden has gone as far as screening a film in a swimming pool, their audience floating in the water. Slowly, as Fritz Kohle recently reported for Moving Docs from the IBC, the world of traditional cinema is waking up to the concept of event cinema, too.
But what about those of us who are stuck at home: as parents, due to illness, or in remote places? Do we have to miss out on the rise of event cinema? And what could Moving Docs do in order to make us feel part of it, easily, remotely, virtually?
It was in early 2016 – when we had to decide on the Moving Docs strategy for 2017 – that we all agreed we should look into virtual screening rooms that would enable us to bring event cinema to everyone – with a special focus on enabling online audiences to participate rather than just watch a one-directional live stream. And with a bigger question lurking in the long term: if such online events could be monetised through ticket sales for online participation.