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DISTRIBUTION / RELEASES / EXHIBITORS Belgium / Netherlands

Virtual cinema platform Picl launches in Belgium

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- The Dutch platform is a flexible digital distribution model for newly released films, organised in close collaboration with distributors and cinemas, and launches in Belgium on 27 October

Virtual cinema platform Picl launches in Belgium
The Father by Florian Zeller

Dutch virtual cinema pioneer Picl, one of the first hybrid distribution platforms in Europe, will launch in Belgium on Wednesday 27 October. Founded in 2017 by Anke van Diejen and Noortje van de Sande, Picl introduces a flexible digital distribution model for newly released films in close collaboration with distributors and cinemas. In contrast with other VoD platforms, each part of the chain gains revenue from online ticket sales. Belgian audiences can access the platform through picl.be, which will include titles such as Florian Zeller’s The Father [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Florian Zeller
film profile
]
, Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(distributed by Cinéart), First Cow by Kelly Reichardt (The Searchers), Minari (September Film), Quo Vadis, Aida? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jasmila Žbanić
film profile
]
(Cinéart) and The Macaluso Sisters [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Cherry Pickers) upon its launch.

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For the launch in Belgium, the Cinema Zed (Leuven), Sphinx (Gent), Roxy (Koersel) and Buda (Kortrijk) are among the cinemas that have already committed to joining Picl, offering films from distributors such as Cinéart, Dalton, September Film, O'Brother and Paradiso Filmed Entertainment.

“This past year has been extremely challenging for cinemas and the industry in general, but it has also resulted in distributors trying out new ideas and experimenting with hybrid film releases in the Netherlands. Our move to Belgium is our first step into international expansion, and we hope that more European countries will follow in the near future,” says van Diejen.

van de Sande continues: “As film lovers, we – like the independent cinemas that work with us – believe in the power of the cinema experience. Nothing beats an evening of communal dreaming in the dark. Picl is an alternative for people who, for any reason, cannot get to the cinema. Research has shown that Picl users are supplementary to, and do not replace, regular cinema visits. What’s more, Picl is actually generating additional turnover for these independent cinemas.”

In the Netherlands, Picl is currently working with 40 Dutch independent arthouse cinemas, covering 90% of all indie cinemas in the country. The platform presents releases of brand-new arthouse films together with cinemas and distributors, and offers special programmes with partners such as Pepr, the platform for black filmmakers, and the Dutch Film Academy, offering films from new talents. When a ticket is bought, Picl secures revenue for the partners involved. It currently releases a curated selection of about 250 films each year.

Picl is supported by Creative Europe and the Netherlands Film Fund.

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