For almost a year and a half, thanks to online services, we have been trying with some success to bring the world, friends, work, education and, of course, entertainment, art and culture into our homes, at least virtually, while one wave of viruses after another sweeps over us and makes most social and shared activities seem inadvisable. Hopefully, this will soon be over, but "onlineization" will remain with us in many areas - especially since it was already a trend before Corona.
It's no surprise that (as recently discussed) online movie services have profited greatly from the cinema closures (or the lack of leisure activities in general). As a result, movie theaters are increasingly losing out in the competition for movie exploitation -- a drumbeat, for example, was Warner Bros' decision to have all major movie releases this year launch in parallel online and in theaters.
But it also works the other way around. As far as we know, the traditional Abaton cinema in Hamburg was the first German cinema to open its own streaming channel, where selected, albeit not entirely brand-new, arthouse films can be rented for the home cinema. In terms of timing, this seems almost as fitting as the opening of Berlin's new airport during the absolute lull in air travel in 2020 - after all, cinemas will soon be allowed to start projecting again - but it's still a pretty funny and certainly not a bad move.
Abaton streaming offer
Especially since the technology behind it does not have to be managed by Abaton itself, but comes from technology partner PANTAFLIX. It provides content and the platform technology, and also takes care of support, ticketing and maintenance (Platform as a service / PaaS). Its offering includes a TV show, series and film catalog with more than 12,000 titles, in which, incidentally, independent filmmakers and their works can also be included can be included. The operators of the Abaton merely put together a changing, curated selection at their place and can hopefully earn a euro or two on the side.
Pantaflix extensive film catalog
During the Corona period, many film festivals also switched to online operation by necessity and relied on the Pantaflix platform, most recently DOK.fest Munich, for example. A development that we have actually always missed: Access to interesting festival programs in (ideally) all over the world. It's no substitute for a real, intoxicating festival experience with 5 films a day and accompanying conversations with film crews, but you don't manage that many of them in a year. And many films simply deserve to find more viewers - streaming "as a service" could make that possible.