A new report mapping out the predicted impact of new digital technology for the film industry has concluded that the UK lags behind the US and other European countries in its adoption of digital film technology, and that the creation of a digital cinema infrastructure should now be a priority.
The report, written by Screen Digest, was commissioned by the DCMS and the Film Council to heighten awareness of digital technology amongst the film industry, to provoke discussion and debate and to prompt action by the industry. The aims of the project were to identify opportunities for film producers, distributors and exhibitors, arising from the increasing use of digital technologies; to explore how digital technology and the convergence of distribution and communication channels might change the industry in the years ahead; and to draw some conclusions for the industry and Government as to the actions now needed.

Amongst a range of recommendations, the report states that the Government and the Film Council should prioritise efforts to accelerate the conversion of existing cinemas and the provision of new digital screens. It advocates consultation with the financial community to develop suitable models for e-cinema investment and suggests tax incentives related to this. Emphasis is given to the importance of creating an infrastructure for film centres in areas not currently served by cinemas. In the light of the report?s findings, the Film Council is currently developing a digital film strategy, and will consult on a working policy document in 2003. ?Screen Digest Report on the Implications of Digital Technology for the Film Industry? is at http://www.culture.gov.uk/pdf/screen_digest_report.pdf