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DISTRIBUTION / RELEASES / EXHIBITORS Slovakia / Czech Republic

Film Europe launches new VoD service and will merge two channels to create Film Europe+

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- The Be2Can and Ceskoslovensko channels will fuse and become one single brand as the company rolls out Edisonline

Film Europe launches new VoD service and will merge two channels to create Film Europe+

UPDATE (30 April 2020): Film Europe Media Company has recently launched its new VoD platform, Edisonline, the first Czech and Slovak festival video service. The company has been building a larger, hybrid distribution ecosystem, expanding its strategy in 2018 (see the news) and opening its very own venue in Prague, Edison Filmhub, last year (see the news). Film Europe Media Company is reacting to the changes in the distribution landscape; however, the company’s CEO, Ivan Hronec, says, “Edisonline is not a panic project for the period of quarantine; the VoD platform has been part of our film hub since it opened. That’s why we found an advantage in disadvantage and made use of some freed-up capacities to fine-tune it.” The Edisonline library is starting up with over 50 titles, and the catalogue is supposed to grow to 400 before 31 May 2021. Edisonline is currently also part of Film Europe Media Company’s philanthropic effort to support the coronavirus-stricken field of culture. The monthly subscription fee will be divided among producers, distributors and the platform provider, while 20% will go to cultural spaces or institutions (cinemas, film magazines, schools, theatres, galleries and festivals) that have been shuttered after the COVID-19 fallout. “The idea of this micro-sponsoring is to invite everybody into the cinematic space of solidarity for the 21st century,” concludes the company’s CEO. The VoD service is available in the territories of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, with the Benelux set to join in the near future.

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Film Europe Media Company is finalising its merger of two channels. The Be2Can HD channel (formerly known as the Festival Cinema Channel – see the news), airing mostly European arthouse productions, and Ceskoslovensko HD, rounding up Czech and Slovak cinema from the time before the countries separated, will become a single channel: Film Europe+. The two existing channels will cease to air, as the brand-new one will be launched on 4 May 2020.

The CEO of Film Europe Media Company, Ivan Hronec, confirms that the initial programming policy won’t be changed. “It will be just one quality TV channel with two programming blocks: the Be2Can block, with the best films from the Berlin, Venice and Cannes Film Festivals, always from 10 pm to 4 am; and the Czechoslovakia block, from 4 am to 10 pm, with Czech-Slovak films made before 1990. The TV channel is called Film Europe+, and it will complement our basic Film Europe channel. Film Europe Media Company will thus operate two film channels with the same brand base: Film Europe and Film Europe+.”

The Film Europe channel has a back catalogue of 350 European titles that are broadcast 24/7. Film Europe+ will gather the acquisitions procured as part of the larger ongoing Be2Can project (see the news). On the other hand, Ceskoslovensko HD rounds up Czechoslovak cinema from 1918 until 1992 and 350 classic films, along with under-the-radar titles and so-called “films from the vaults”, movies that were banned during that time.

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