Berlinale counts on Colt
Festival increasingly uses network connections.
For the eighth year in a row, Colt is the digital cinema partner of Berlinale, Berlin’s International Cinema Festival, providing network services for broadcast-grade data transmission as well as internet access. Storing all the digital film copies for the festival and the European film market, Colt’s data centre is the digital heart of Berlinale. The film data is directly distributed from the data centre to all 16 main venues with a total of 51 studios via Colt’s own fibre-optic network. This year for the first time, the Prussian Parliament for the European Film Market was connected to the network.
There are 2,500 screenings at the Berlinale Festival. “The Berlinale is a prime example of what a recent study calls ‘moments that matter’ for IT departments. These are the vital, life-or-death phases for a company. That means the IT infrastructure has to work perfectly and the IT service provider has to conclusively prove its capability. To achieve this, you need a relationship of trust between the customer and the service provider. We’re proud we’ve developed that kind of relationship with Berlinale“, says Stephan Wanke, Vice President Sales Europe of Colt.
“We know we can rely on Colt. These days, IT infrastructure is just as important for us as for every other organisation. Even though we only use the infrastructure for a short time, it’s essential it works seamlessly over the ten festival days. That shows just how important a reliable partnership is. Only if everything runs smoothly can film fans fully enjoy Berlinale. That’s our priority as the world’s biggest public film festival”, says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.
Today, the Berlinale team increasingly uses Colt LANLinks in advance of the actual event, for instance to pre-select contributions. That also means they can test the infrastructure earlier and more efficiently ahead of the ten festival days, when it really matters that around 2,500 screenings of some 1,100 films go without a hitch. Over the duration of the festival, more than one petabyte of data is transmitted via the Colt network.
The 10 Gigabit internet connection to the data centre set up last year proved it was up to the job of handling films by data transfer in various file formats. That is why it is being used again this year. In the pre-selection period, this connection comes with a bandwidth of 1 gigabit. Then, in the weeks directly before the festival, it is expanded to 10 gigabit.
The Berlinale Film Office continues to act as a control centre for the infrastructure. From there, all data centre operations are controlled remotely, including such items as format conversions. This control operates via the existing fibre-optic links between the Film Office and the data centre.
To ensure the smooth technical running of the Film Festival, Colt works closely with the Berlinale team. This starts the summer before in the planning stage. Every year, the infrastructure is adapted to meet specific requirements. The cooperation continues until after the Festival in February. Technicians from Colt are on call 24/7 during the ten days of the Festival. They are on site at the main Berlinale events such as the opening gala and the award ceremony, which are transmitted live over the network to other venues such as the Friedrichstadt Palast and the Cinemaxx in Berlin.
Colt supplies network, voice and data centre services for thousands of companies worldwide. These services allow customers to focus on their core business instead of on infrastructure. Customers include 18 of the top 25 banks and financial services companies as well as 19 of the top 25 companies in the media and telecommunications industry. (Forbes 2000 List 2014). Moreover, Colt works with more than 50 stock exchanges and 13 national central banks in Europe.
Colt operates in Europe, Asia and North America with connections in more than 200 cities worldwide. The company has recently completed its acquisition of KVH, a provider of integrated data centre and communications services headquartered in Tokyo and with branches in Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore. Today, KVH operates under the Colt brand.
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