International Cinema Day 2012

Antoniya PETKOVA 
Assistant Editor

  On 28 December 2012, the history of motion pictures celebrated twenty-seven years from the first ever commercial film screening. In 1985, French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiére gathered a cinema audience for the first time and charged an admission fee for the screening of a brief film.

 ‘La Sortie de l’Usine Lumiére á Lyon’, which ran for 46 seconds, showed workers leaving the Lumiére factory, and was screened alongside nine other brief pictures of similar length.

Twenty-seven years later, there are more than 150,000 cinema screens in major countries around the world. Some major films from the recent decade gross over 400 mln dollars on their opening weekends and make up of about 25 percent of total revenue, alongside video and DVD with approximately 40 percent.

There are sixty-five bln dollars a year spent around the world for filming in motion and to this day, the cinematic experience makes for one of the most popular forms of entertainment. It is the great power of cinema to create the illusion that films are a part of everyone’s experience and it has quickly become a method for judgment – society members have learned to qualify other members of society based on the films they like, the cinemas they go to and whether or not they are involved in the cinematic world at all.

From discussions about the latest Bond or Batman film and arguments about the scientific accuracy of science fiction in recent years, to the liking or disliking of the increased usage of CGI, special effects and 3D technology, the business of motion pictures is everybody’s business. Each year, there are more cinema tickets purchased than there are people in the world, and it all started with a modest 65-people film gathering in the ‘Grand Café’ in Paris.

One of the most interesting questions to ponder in the years to come will be – did the Lumiére brothers expect their first film screening to one day become one of the largest money-making industries in the world?


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