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Coming soon to a computer near you

Published on 03/02/2004

3 February 2004

BERLIN – One day soon film buffs will not have to travel to Sundance or Berlin or Cannes to attend a film festival – because the fest showings will be available to them at home via cyber-space link- ups.

Taking a bold step in that direction, the 54th Berlin Film Festival opens Thursday in the German capital – and simultaneously in five other cities across Germany and globally via the internet.

When Jude Law, director Anthony Minghella, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit and other dignitaries stride up the red carpet at Marlene Dietrich Platz in Berlin for the festival’s opening film, Minghella’s “Cold Mountain”, the gala opening ceremony will be broadcast live in selected cinemas in Munich, Nuremberg, Cologne, Dettelbach and Hamburg.

Then, as the Berlin audience settles back to watch “Cold Mountain” in Berlin, audiences in the other five cities will view 35 mm prints of the film made exclusively available for the occasion by Buena Vista.

In addition, the red-carpet ceremonies will be accessible on the internet via video streaming at www.berlinale.de.

And in another cyber-first, all the major news conferences during the festival, where directors and actors discuss their films, will also be accessible on the internet – in either German or English.

To do so users need Windows Media Player (56 and 300 KB). The news conferences will also be available after the festival ends 15 February in an online archive.

“I think it is fantastic that thanks to broadcaster support and our web streams, we will be able to make the festival even more accessible to the general public and to film industries around the globe,” festival director Dieter Kosslick remarked.

The first news conference to be streamed on the internet will be for the opening night film “Cold Mountain” with Minghella and Jude Law on hand live 5 February at 3:20 p.m. (1320 GMT) at <http://www.berlinale.de/en/presse/videostreaming/videostreaming/f_mai n.html>.

Subject: German news