Online film transfers a ‘source’ of relief

Published on Friday, December 1, 2017

Published in "The Times of India"

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tasked with the mission to source films from across the globe, the organizers of the 22nd edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) are exploring faster, hassle-free options to screen movies. By introducing digital interfaces like Qube Wire in the festival, the organizers are creating a platform for filmmakers and distributors to transfer their large video files online.

With the introduction of the new technology, officials are relieved of the usual headache associated with the logistics, transportation and handling of film prints. "A major percentage of films come in digital cinema package (DCP) format. The internet speed has also increased drastically which enables a filmmaker or a producer to upload the film from anywhere in the world on Qube Wire cloud and it can be downloaded," said Ketan Mehta, head of digital cinema support, Qube Cinema.

The medium offers multiple advantages. The most important is that it's a time saver. While physical transfer of hard disks usually takes seven to 10 days, a DCP of 200 GB gets downloaded in 5-6 hours using high-speed internet. "It also ensures that the file is not tampered with or physically damaged. Besides it does away with chances of piracy or any other practices of file corruption. Data integrity check happens at every stage—during uploading of file, transfer of data and final download—leaving zero chances for corruption," added Mehta.

S Gopeekrishnan, manager of technical department, who has been handling film prints and bearing all hassles associated with it said: "Once we receive files online, we don't have to take much tension about customs troubles or any other issues related to logistics. The filmmakers are also happy with the fact that the files would hardly get damaged."

IFFK which coincides with various other films festivals reaps added advantages out of the new system. Earlier the agents had to rush DCPs from one fest to another. In online digital tranfer, the producer can upload and assign the film to one fest by sharing a key delivery message (KDM).

Around ten films have been received at IFFK, this year, using the online technology. Though the system is now being used as a backup platform, the organizers said that the film festival will completely switch to the online mode of film transfer in the coming years.