Locarno Film Festival takes positive stock
The Swiss Locarno Film Festival is pleased with the success of its first hybrid edition. The online programme registered a total of 320,000 visitors from 5 to 15 August 2020, the festival management states. The cinemas, open for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown, welcomed almost 6,000 visitors. For the first time, the main festival prizes went to films that are as of yet uncompleted. The winners are Lucrecia Martel for “Chocobar” and Marí Alessandrini for “Zahorí”. Festival President Marco Solari said that the festival sent a signal of solidarity to the film industry. Thanks to the online programme, the digitalisation of the festival was expedited.
Facebook deletes fake news
Since April, Facebook has deleted more than seven million posts containing false information about coronavirus that might endanger people’s health. About 98 million posts containing dubious information deemed to be not quite as dangerous were tagged with warnings, the social network giant announced in mid-August. The company also announced progress in its fight against hate messages on its sites. Despite reduced staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, the rate of such content discovered on Facebook’s pages by the company itself rose from 89 to 95 percent in the second quarter, the company said. For the Group’s Instagram platform, the same rate rose from 45 to 84 percent.
E-Books are getting more popular
The lockdown and social distancing rules in the wake of the Corona pandemic have caused the German e-book market to grow, reports the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association) in cooperation with GfK. According to the report, e-book sales on the general book market in the first half of 2020 rose by 17.8 percent compared to the same period in 2019, with sales climbing by 15.3 percent from 16.3 to 18.8 million copies sold. Thus, e-books accounted for 7.5 percent of total sales on the general-interest book market in the first six months of 2020 (first half of 2019: 6.0 percent).
New York museums reopen
New York museums are allowed to reopen from 24 August, provided they meet certain regulations. The Governor of the State of New York, Andrew Cuomo, said that visitors will have to wear masks and follow outlined pathways. The museums may admit only a quarter of their usual number of visitors. Tickets need to be allocated to different time slots. The Corona crisis has hit the city’s cultural industry hard. New York museums have been closed since March. The Broadway theaters and the Metropolitan Opera, among others, have cancelled all events until the end of the year. The New York Metropolitan Museum had already announced in mid-July that it would reopen from August 29.
Berghain becomes a museum
The Boros Foundation is showing the art exhibition “Studio Berlin” at the famous Berlin Nightclub Berghain. From September 9th, the exhibition will focus on works created during the Covid-19 pandemic: photographs, sculptures, sounds, but also paintings, videos and installations. The works are to highlight current trends and changes in our present time. The “Studio Berlin” website lists around 80 participating artists who work or live in Berlin. The most famous are Olafur Eliasson, Tacita Dean and Wolfgang Tillmans.
60 films at the Neisse Festival
From 24 to 27 September, the Neiße Film Festival is presenting a special 17th edition. Due to the Corona pandemic, the festival date had to be postponed from May to September. There were also changes in the planned program, with fewer film series and mainly venues in Germany. Nevertheless, over the course of four days the festival audience can still expect around 60 feature, documentary and short films, as well as a small supporting programme including exhibitions, talks and concerts.
Your next telly will be see-through
Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi has announced that it will soon launch the “world’s first” transparent television, but at first, the MI TV LUX Transparent Edition will not be available in Germany. The transparent OLED TV will be offered exclusively in China. When switched off, the MI TV LUX Transparent Edition is said to look like “mere glass”, Xiaomi describes the TV in the company blog post, while images during operation look as if they were “floating freely in the air”.
Amazon starts aid fund
Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios have started a relief fund for film and TV producers in Europe affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The money is not only intended to support producers of Amazon Originals. Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios are making a total of six million dollars available to European film and TV producers. The funds will be transferred to existing relief funds in the respective countries. Says Philip Pratt, Head of German Originals, Amazon Studios: “At Amazon Prime Video, we have committed ourselves to providing funds to support not only Amazon Originals, but all types of German productions affected by the virus – including cinema and television”.
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg supports games and VR projects
The Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg is awarding one million euros in its current round of funding for new media. With almost 830,000 euros, a large portion of the total sum will help finance six productions of games and VR projects. A further 47,5000 euros will be awarded to “student narrative content with an innovative and experimental stance” as part of the Digi.tale pilot program. “We are delighted that we have once again a particularly large number of newcomers in the current round of funding – including the winners of the Young Talent Award from the German Computer Game Prize (DCP),” says Helge Jürgens, Managing Director of New Media Funding at Medienboard. “The audiovisual creative industries are an important economic factor for our region and we support creative minds in developing new forms of entertainment and storytelling. Innovative audiovisual content is the foundation for the media industry of the future”.
German Federal Government supports digital platforms
The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media is supporting the programme “„dive in. Programme for Digital Interaction” of the Federal Cultural Foundation. The programme is aimed at cultural institutions of all artistic fields as well as memorial sites, libraries, socio-cultural centres, archives with archival material in artistic disciplines and festivals. Funding is provided for digital formats such as apps, games, virtual reality and augmented reality applications, motion capture, interactive websites, platforms, citizen science projects or artificial intelligence that test new forms of knowledge transfer and artistic exploration, playful appropriation or participation with users. All projects must be completed by 31 December 2021. Grants of up to 200,000 euros can be applied for, with a minimum funding amount of 50,000 euros. The projects must provide financing of 10% of the total costs, secured by own and/or third-party funds. Funding applications can be submitted until 30 September 2020 exclusively via the online application form.
Ford donates for worldwide Covid-19 relief efforts
The Ford Motor Company Fund has donated a total of 1,133,447 US dollars for worldwide Covid-19 relief efforts, exceeding the original target of 1 million. The COVID-19 Donation Match Program was launched in April 2020 to provide Ford employees, family and friends with an opportunity to help fight the pandemic. The program raised $633,000 in donations, to which the Ford Fund and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford personally added $500,000. The money went to 47 nonprofit organizations and communities in the United States and 20 other countries. Almost one third of the funds – around 29 percent – went to hunger relief. 24 percent went to aid projects to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing. The education sector received 19 percent of the donations. The rest was divided between projects promoting health, education, art and culture.