Moving with the times: D-cinema and DCP festivals

Kirsten Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The digitization of film is significantly changing how films are produced, circulated and watched. Over the last five years, the area of public film exhibition in particular has undergone dramatic shifts, with the number of digital screens operating in Australia mushrooming from less than 2 per cent of the country's total screens in 2006, to approximately 35 per cent in 2011. While the digitization of the exhibition process has been heralded as a democratizing force that will enable unrivalled access to a broad range of independent and marginal films, this scenario has yet to eventuate. The expense of installing digital cinema equipment, along with the related hurdles created by Virtual Print Free agreements and the introduction of the Digital Cinema Initiatives' standards for digital cinema operation, have worked to limit rather than expand opportunities for non-commercial film exhibition. This article offers some critical reflections on the positions and assumptions surrounding the widespread implementation of D-cinema. Interrogating first the impact that D-cinema has had on the ability of cinema operators to screen a wide variety of non-mainstream and independent films, this article then opens up debate on the role film festivals play in providing access to these types of films as well as the impact that D-cinema technologies will have on the festivals themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-289
Number of pages11
JournalStudies in Australasian Cinema
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • D-cinema
  • DCI specification
  • Digital cinema
  • Film festivals
  • Independent film
  • Virtual print fee

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