Broadway remains closed
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the theatres on New York’s Broadway will not be reopening this year. The safety of artists and audiences is a top priority, says The Broadway League. A reopening is currently expected early next year, but the association did not name a concrete date. The first tickets for 2021 will probably go on sale in the “coming weeks”. The financial losses are serious: usually, ticket sales on Broadway usually generate more than 30 million dollars per week.
Locarno Film Festival nominates films for competition
Although the Locarno Film Festival will not be held on site this year, festival director Lili Hinstin has announced 20 titles for the competition “The Films After Tomorrow”. With this initiative, the Swiss A-Festival wants to support projects that have stalled due to the pandemic. Winners will be announced on 15 August. The best international and the best Swiss project will each receive a Pardo 2020 worth CHF 70,000. The Campari Award worth CHF 50,000 and the Swatch Award worth CHF 30,000 will be given to an international project, while SRG SSR will support a Swiss project with television advertising time worth CHF 100,000. A total of 545 films from 101 countries were submitted. (Source: Blickpunkt:Film)
Facebook under pressure
Facebook is coming under increasing pressure because of its controversial handling of racist, inflammatory and manipulative content. Following consumer goods giant Unilever and car manufacturer Honda, Coca-Cola has now also announced that for the time being it will no longer place advertisements in the USA with the online network and its subsidiary Instagram. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg responded by saying that his company would take stronger action against hate messages and delete false reports before the US presidential elections in November. In addition, Facebook content that actually violates social networking guidelines, but is news relevant, for example because of a prominent sender, will be tagged and commented in the future. In addition, the standards for advertising will be raised in order to block derogatory and hateful messages about ethnicity, religion or sexual preference. (Source: APA)
Most gamers play on their smartphones
About 34 million people in Germany play computer games, with smartphones being the most popular gaming platform in Germany in 2019. This is the result of new data presented by the game association based on data from GfK. Last year, a total of 19.5 million Germans used their smartphone to play games. The second most frequently used platform for gaming was the PC with 16.3 million German users. After years of growth, there is now a downward trend for consoles. The number of users fell from 16.7 million in 2018 to 15.9 million last year. The reason for the decline is probably an impending generation change, something that tends to reflect in changes in the sales and usage data.
TIFF to be smaller this year
The Toronto International Film Festival will take place from September 10 to 19 as a physical event. However, considerably fewer films will be screened: Last year there were more than 300 films, this year there will only be 50. The exact nature of this year’s TIFF is still uncertain. A lot is still up in the air, because the events also dependent on the course of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic and on municipal restrictions. The team of festival director Cameron Bailey has announced an event that will be “customized for this point in time”. Currently, the organizers have a mix of cinema screenings, digital screenings, drive-in events, a virtual red carpet, press conferences and industry talks in mind.
Google reports a breakthrough in light field technology. Researchers have found a way to record and play back videos with variable viewing angles in good quality, supported by AI technology. In volumetric videos, viewers can physically move their head, viewing a scene from different angles. With especially large light field cameras it might even be possible to walk one or more steps in any direction. 3D videos theoretically combine the best of two worlds: Video recordings of the real world with the spatial freedom of movement in digital environments. Read more on Mixed.Mixed.Mixed.
On the occasion of its 15th anniversary, the Zentrum Paul Klee (ZPK) in Bern is presenting a new digital offer called “Digitorial”. Via images, sound and text, users will gain insights into five of Paul Klee’s most important journeys, including his famous trip to Tunisia with fellow artists Louis Moilliet and August Macke. The service is available free of charge. It will be become accessible before the opening of the “Mapping Klee” exhibition, scheduled for 5 September at the Zentrum Paul Klee.
World premiere at the Rhine Falls
You have never seen the Rhine Falls like this before. Europe’s largest waterfall becomes a natural spectacle in the truest sense of the word. An international crew of artists led by Swiss cultural mediator Beat Toniolo has created an immersive art project, „Rhyality“, based on two million photos, moving images, sound and poetry. In a specially built immersive art hall, audiences can immerse themselves in the exciting water world of the Swiss natural wonder along the four seasons. The 360-degree multivision show, unique in this form in Europe, will celebrate its world premiere on 31 July 2020.
Japan: Concert hall opens for hobby musicians
Since public performances and piano recitals are not possible for the time being due to the corona pandemic, a Japanese concert hall is making its large auditorium, including the stage and two grand pianos, available to private users. For a fee of 3,000 yen (approx. 25 euros) for 50 minutes, amateur musicians and small groups of up to five musicians can rent the Asuka Concert Hall in Hyogo Prefecture for up to three hours. Spectators are not allowed to enter the 788-seat hall. String and percussion instruments may be brought in, the Japanese daily newspaper “Mainichi Shimbun” reported. After the announcement of the unusual rental offer, there was a rush of bookings, the newspaper reported. The initiative runs every week from Friday to Sunday until mid-July.
The German Federal Government is supporting the rebounding of cultural life in Germany with a comprehensive rescue programme aimed at the future. Through the NEUSTART KULTURNEUSTART KULTURNEUSTART KULTUR programme, 150 million euros are now available strictly for music, i.e. live music venues, festivals, event organisers and producers. A good part of this money is to benefit club culture, which was hit hard by coronavirus, promised Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters (CDU). In addition, the clubs may apply for “pandemic-related investments” and benefit from interim aid from the Federal Ministry of Economics.
E-Sports solidarity pact established
Stronger together. With this thought in mind, more than a dozen German teams, organisations and companies active in e-sports have founded the German E-Sports Solidarity Pact, DESP, on 22 June. One of the reasons for this was the corona crisis. Even though e-sports as a digital medium is less affected, the pandemic can put small and medium-sized companies under particular pressure. “We will do everything we can to support those who need help,” says Thorsten Kowalski, first Chairman of DESP, which is a registered association. In addition to classic donations, partnerships are sought with projects and events that voluntarily cede part of their income. For example, the gaming and e-sports festival DIGI1 will transfer 20 percent of its turnover to the DESP as subsidies. In addition, a number of well-known sponsors have signed on, including McDonald’s, Chip.de and Nintendo. (Source: Gamesmarkt)
Medienboard promotes safety
Due to coronavirus, film shoots can currently only take place in compliance with safety and hygiene measures, making productions a lot more expensive. As the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg reports, these additional costs are now eligible for funding in the current third funding session of the year. In total, funding of around 6.4 million euros was approved for 27 projects. (Source: Blickpunkt:Film)
SWR2 gives attention
SWR2 and eight other ARD cultural radio stations have launched a joint campaign to support writers during corona times. A total of 40 writers have been given the opportunity to write an exclusive short story for the ARD Radio Festival. On board are, among others, well-known names such as Doris Dörrie, Jackie Thomae or Felicitas Hoppe, whose story “Fieber 17” will kick off the series on July 20. The stories are travel stories that will be read at the ARD Radiofestival 2020 (July 18 to September 12, 2020). This way the ARD Kulturradios want to support the literary scene and writers in this difficult professional phase and give them more attention. The stories will be broadcast on weeknights at 23:04 o’clock and will also be available as podcasts in the ARD Audiothek for twelve months..