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Are streaming services killing Cinema?

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Facade of the venue where the 74th Cannes Film Festival is taking place in 2021
The 74th Cannes Film Festival takes place from July 6 – 17th, at the French Riviera. | Photo: Marcio Delgado

On its second week, the Cannes Film Festival is a reminder that large in-person events can be hosted in the new normal that is a post-pandemic world. Despite COVID-19 still looming in several countries, its organisers decided to go ahead with the festival by introducing restrictions. Mandatory face masks during all film sessions and putting in place a dedicated Covid test centre providing free tests for all attendees. Remarkably these compulsory tests have returned an average of only three positive cases per day since the festival got underway on July 6th.

The biggest film festival in the world, currently on its 74th edition, is a reminder that there is life beyond our TVs and digital devices in a time when traditional Cinema and streaming services are fighting, daily, for their audiences’ attention.

After 15 months of Netflix, Amazon TV or Apple filling the gap of closed cinemas, can streaming services and cinemas now coexist in 2021 and beyond?

For American filmmaker Spike Lee, who is the President of the Cannes Festival jury this year, things should move back to normal post-pandemic. In the same way people have been making a choice between TV and the big screens since moving pictures were introduced, people will be left with the same dilemma post-Covid.

“Cinema and screening platforms can coexist. At one time, there was a thinking that TV was going to kill cinema. This stuff is not new.” – Lee reminded everyone at a press conference held during the Cannes Film Festival.

For screenwriter Terence O’Toole, cinema as we once knew it no longer exists. And that process might have started way before the first case of coronavirus was spotted in China at the end of 2019.

“I think cinema will survive. But it will now be more of an art house experience – like our current fascination with vinyl records and film cameras. We will continue to need cultural touchpoints that we can look back at as we move forward. Just very recently, Quentin Tarantino purchased the historic Vista Theatre on Sunset Boulevard in Los Feliz and hopefully, historic movie places like this will survive and thrive as so many talented individuals still love and support the medium. Hopefully, the community experience of watching a film in a dark theatre will never vanish.” – believes O’Toole.

The reason people are staying away from screenings may have as much to do with their pockets as it has with a fear of catching a virus.

“For people in their 30s and older, there is a nostalgia of going to the movies. But that nostalgia now ends with ticket prices and the cost of a drink and popcorn. One movie ticket now costs more than a monthly subscription to a streaming service, and a drink and a popcorn for one costs more than the ticket. Taking a date or the family to the movies could cost more than a streaming service for six-months.” – Says Andrew Selepak, Director of a Master’s program in Social Media at University of Florida.

Convenience also plays a big part in the decision process, as Selepak explains: “With streaming platforms, if we don’t like a movie we have just started watching we can easily exit out and find a new one. It doesn’t cost anything more than our monthly subscription. We can even watch a trailer for the film before we start watching it and decide we don’t want to see it and save time. I believe that, for younger people, movies don’t have the same romanticization that they do for people in their 30s and older. This is partly because of the excess of sequels, prequels, and remakes. Besides, we now have big TVs at home – and if we need to pause a movie to get food, use the bathroom, or look up the name of that actor we can’t remember, we can do it without feeling guilty about disturbing others.” – advocates Andrew, whose academic specialisation is in popular culture and media.

Cannes Film Festival has been fighting the corner of films being released as they used to be: in the cinemas. In 2017, the event allowed two Netflix films, Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories, enter their competition for the first time ever. However, the festival then declared that, starting in 2018, all competition films must receive a theatrical release in France. As premiering a film in the cinemas, instead of exclusively for their paying subscribers, didn’t make much sense for an online service, Netflix decided not to return to Cannes.

The show went on for both parties, though. Netflix added more than 36 million new subscribers in 2020 to pass 200 million subscribers worldwide. On the other side, Cannes film festival received over 2500 films willing to compete for a coveted Palm D’or. Only 24 of those submitted movies, less than 1%, made it to the official competition selection.

As long as people continue to pay for streaming services, it is likely that film studios will continue to release media on streaming platforms in order to reach as many viewers as possible.

As lockdown restrictions for entertainment venues comes to an end, it will be interesting to see if people will leave their houses and make a come-back to the cinemas – or if streaming will become our preferred way to watch films, moving forward.

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BT lands £70m IT services deal with South West Police

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Police woman standing next to a police car
Ten-year contract with Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police will see BT manage IT services for the two forces.

BT today announced it has secured a ten-year, £70m IT services deal with Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police. Together, the two police forces handle more than a million emergency and non-emergency calls and respond to more than 118,000 incidents of recorded crime each year. The new long-term agreement will strengthen the forces’ technology estates by creating a future-fit infrastructure to support more joined-up policing, with the potential to extend the contract to neighbouring forces in the South West region.

The managed service contract will underpin a range of the police’s information, technology, and communication demands, including field mobile, airwave vehicle and handheld connectivity for emergency services – alongside security and customer service desk applications.

It will see BT work with both police forces to support public contact and staff collaboration platforms, delivering efficiencies for 101 and 999 services, whilst improving intelligence gathering and data sharing for staff. Frontline officers will benefit from improved connectivity for devices such as mobile phones, body-worn cameras and vehicle radio systems, delivering benefits for local policing by giving officers access to critical real-time information.

BT will also assist the forces in staying compliant with security frameworks, supporting measures to strengthen their security protocols against external threats. Together, these services will support Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police with their digital policing strategy and strengthen crime prevention efforts, whilst also delivering expected financial efficiencies.

More than 5,100 police officers and 3,500 police staff work within the two forces, and they employ more than 550 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and special constables. As part of the contract, BT has agreed to progress social value initiatives for both forces, implementing measures to improving transparency on the environmental impact of police activities in the South West.

“Efficient and resilient technology infrastructure is crucial to support the police in tackling both current and emerging threats – so we’re proud to have the back of South West police forces by delivering exactly that. This new managed service from BT will help future-proof connectivity in all areas of policing, from those on the frontline to behind-the-scenes support staff, helping them to protect the public and keep pace with the changing nature of crime,” says Ashish Gupta, Managing Director, Corporate and Public Sector at BT.

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12 steps to create inclusive presentations for any audience

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Encourage questions from the whole crowd. This fosters engagement from players who are not as confident or remote.

A varied work environment requires presentations that everyone can enjoy and learn from. And In today’s diverse and interconnected world, providing inclusive presentations is more important than ever, as they can ensure that all audience members, regardless of their backgrounds, abilities, or learning styles, can engage with and understand the content.

Besides aligning several levels of expertise and increase audience engagement, as everyone feels respected and able to participate fully, inclusive presentations also enhance productivity, as audience engagement, as everyone feels respected and able to participate fully in any setting.

Here experts at a presentation design agency share essential tips on how to build engaging presentations for all audiences, regardless of background, abilities, or learning styles. These inclusive habits can help you improve your communication skills and create a respectful, inclusive atmosphere.

Understand your audience

To provide an inclusive presentation, first understand your audience. This requires investigating your target audience’s age, culture, career, and any limitations. Understanding these elements enables you to personalize your presentation to meet their individual needs and experiences.

Customizing Content to Meet Different Needs

Tailor your content to your target audience’s demographics. Use inclusive language and avoid technical jargon unless everyone knows it. Consider your target audience’s cultural and educational backgrounds to avoid alienating them via content or delivery.

Knowing your audience enables you to provide a more informed and engaging presentation. This first step establishes the presence of your presenting style.

Making content accessible

Making your information accessible goes beyond words. Speak plainly and simply to individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill levels. Summarize complicated concepts and provide handouts or visual aids to supplement the spoken information. Make your papers screen reader accessible and provide various formats for visually challenged audience members.

Planning your content around these features can make your presentation more inclusive and maximize the event’s advantages for everyone.

Making Slides Accessible

The visual style of presentation slides determines their accessibility and efficacy. Learn how to make presentations that everyone can comprehend.

Visually Accessible Slide Design Tips

To help visually challenged folks, use high contrast text and backdrop colors. Black text on white, or vice versa, is simple to see.

Simple Designs: Avoid layouts that are distracting or confusing. Use white space around text and pictures in a tidy way.

Use big letters for easier reading from a distance. Headings should have a larger font size than body text, which should be 24 points.

Selecting fonts and colors

Color schemes: When choosing slide colors, keep color blindness in mind. Avoid hazardous color pairings like green and red.

Choose readable fonts. Sans-serif types like Arial and Helvetica are ideal for screen readability.

These features allow you to design presentations that are attractive and accessible to everyone in your audience, even those who have visual impairments.

Inclusive Language and Delivery

Using inclusive language and careful delivery makes everyone in the audience feel valued and involved. How to do this in presentations.

Language Matters in Inclusivity

Avoid jargon: Use clear, straightforward language that all audience members may comprehend. Avoid utilizing technical or industry-specific jargon unless it is explicitly explained or clarified in the presentation.

Use Gender-Neutral Language: To neutralize gender-specific phrases, use “they” instead of “he/she” and “team” instead of “guys”.

Cultural awareness: Cultural variations might affect how your message is perceived. Avoid using idioms and words that may lose significance between cultures.

Clear and Respectful Communication Methods

Clear, Moderate Speech: Maintain a moderate speaking tempo so that everyone can grasp the information, particularly those who process auditory information slowly.

Pause to emphasise: After making crucial statements, pause momentarily to ensure that your audience understands them. This increases understanding and accentuates the point.

Restate To help you remember crucial points, repeat them throughout the lecture.

Inclusive language and thoughtful delivery improve the accessibility of your presentation and make attendees feel appreciated.

Using various learning styles

Recognizing and engaging audiences’ learning styles improves presentation inclusiveness and effectiveness. How to Support Multiple Learning Styles:

Engaging Everyone with Your Delivery

Use a range of teaching strategies in your presentation to suit various learning styles. Use imagery, narrative, and interaction.

Polls, question periods, and small group discussions make presentations more appealing to interested students.

Notes and takeaways: Provide attendees with specific handouts for use during and after the presentation. This allows all students to study and review at their own speed.

Accepting these many learning styles can help your presentation be more inclusive, memorable, and powerful for everyone.

Tips for Inclusive Q&A

Facilitating an inclusive Q&A session engages audience members while making them feel heard and appreciated. Here are some tips for making your Q&A sessions more inclusive

Set Clear Guidelines: At the start of the Q&A session, establish clear expectations for question handling. To encourage involvement, ask polite, concise questions.

Ask questions utilizing an audience microphone if one is provided. This elevates their voice and ensures that the whole audience hears the query.

Always repeat the audience’s questions before responding. If some people did not hear the question, this will help them to comprehend it.

Encourage all attendees to participate.

Encourage questions from the whole crowd. This fosters engagement from players who are not as confident or remote.

Provide other questioning methods: Throughout the session, attendees may submit written or digital inquiries. Shy people or those who dread public speaking may benefit from this.

These ideas will improve the effectiveness and inclusivity of your Q&A sessions by enabling everyone to participate.

Use assistive technology

Assistive technology may help make presentations more accessible, enabling everyone to participate. Integrate these technologies effectively.

Feedback Collection and Use

Continuous progress demands feedback, especially for inclusive presentations. Discover how to gather and use feedback to make future presentations more interesting and accessible.

In today’s globalised society, presentations must reach and engage a wide range of audiences. This article’s eight phases, which range from audience knowledge and content production to assistive technology usage and feedback, provide a thorough approach to inclusive presentations. Presenters may utilize these techniques to make their message more accessible, resulting in a welcoming and polite environment. In order to accomplish ongoing progress and flexibility, input must be solicited and absorbed. Take the following measures to enhance your presenting abilities and promote inclusion in your professional community.

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Fred Olsen Cruise Lines awarded for beekeeping tour

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Fred Olsen Cruise Lines awarded for beekeeping tour
Georgina May, PR Executive, Tabi Winney, Destination Experience Assistant, Martin Lister, Head of Itinerary Product Development | Photo: Michael Newington Gray

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines have been awarded ‘Consumer Favourite for Excursions’ at the inaugural Sailawaze Excellence Awards 2024.

The cruise line received the award last night at a gala ceremony held in central London, attended and hosted by Patrick Grant, presenter of hit BBC show, The Great British Sewing Bee.

More than 150 entries were submitted across the award’s eight categories, which were then shortlisted by a panel of cruise line industry experts. The final shortlist was then voted for by consumers.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ rural beekeeping tour in Lithuania was highlighted by the award. This tour allows guests the opportunity to learn more about village life and the cultural significance of bees by visiting a family-run apiary to see how honey is produced, with the chance to sample various honeys and locally produced mead.

“We were incredibly proud to have received this award. It’s testament to all the work that our Destination Experience teams, both ashore and on board our fleet, put in to making each one of our guests’ excursions an incredible and unforgettable experience,” said Martin Lister, Head of Itinerary Product Development at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. “We believe it’s all about the people and we believe that giving our guests the opportunity to connect with credible local people, who aren’t just providing information on a subject, but are passionate about sharing their personal stories and insights into their real lives, is the best way of engaging our guests and the communities that we visit”.

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