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Are streaming services killing Cinema?



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.


The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project announces 50 nominees



Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project
Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project

Earlier this year, on International Women’s Day 2023, Häagen-Dazs launched ‘The Rose Project’, a global initiative with a $100,000 (USD) bursary grant inviting nominations to recognise unsung trailblazing women in honour of the brand’s female co-founder Rose Mattus. Yesterday, 23 November, on what would have been Rose Mattus’ birthday, Häagen-Dazs announced the top 50 #WomenWhoDontHoldBack nominees being shortlisted for their achievements and its five globally accomplished Häagen-Dazs Rose Project judges.

Over 2,500 applications were received for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project putting forward pioneering efforts and societal contributions made by women across the globe. From these, 50 talented and inspirational women have been shortlisted and will be put forward to win one of five monetary grants of $20,000 (USD), which will be announced on International Women’s Day 2024, to continue their exceptional work, unleash their potential or give to a cause they are passionate about. The top 50 shortlist includes women from 17 countries hailing from across Europe, Asia, Africa & Middle East, Australia and the Americas.

The all-female judging panel from across the world has been handpicked for the final selection stage of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project includes. UK-based author, broadcaster and philanthropist Katie Piper, fashion entrepreneur and advocate for women’s fertility issues, Velda Tan from Singapore and Spanish entrepreneur and creative director Inés Arroyo, are amongst the judges.

“International Women’s Day 2023 marked the launch of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project to honour the legacy of our co-founder, Rose Mattus, and create a fund platform to provide opportunities to women across all fields around the world who are truly deserving of support and recognition. We were thrilled to receive thousands of nominations across countries and our #WomenWhoDontHoldBack Top 50 shortlist is a compelling and diverse mosaic of trailblazing female narratives that moved us and serve as an inspiration to women everywhere”, says Aurélie Lory, Häagen-Dazs spokesperson.

To find out more about the story of each entrepreneur shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project, visit:

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47% of women feel their workplace is not combatting inequality



Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal
Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 | Photo: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit

The proportion of women who feel that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality has nearly doubled in a year, a new survey has revealed.

Web Summit, the world’s largest technology event taking place in Lisbon this week, has released its third annual State of Gender Equity in Tech report, which is based on a survey distributed among its women in tech community.

76.1 percent of respondents feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position; fewer respondents (41.8 %) feel the need to choose between family and career when compared to 2022 (50.4 %); and there is at least one woman in a senior management position in 80.4 percent of respondents’ companies, a similar proportion to last year (81.3%).

The survey found that 70.5 percent of respondents feel pressure to prove their worth compared to male counterparts, while 77.2 percent feel they need to work harder to prove themselves because of their gender.

Over three quarters of respondents (76.1 %) feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position. And almost half of respondents think that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality, increasing from 26 percent in 2022 to 47
percent in 2023.

“While it is encouraging to see progress in some areas, such as those feeling the need to choose between their family and career, there are also some deeply concerning trends within this report. Seeing an increase in those who report having experienced sexism in the workplace in the last year is disheartening in 2023. We hope that this kind of research can breed some positives, and that it will push workplaces – and women within these workplaces – to broach these topics and make progress in these areas,” said Carolyn Quinlan, VP of community at Web Summit.

Last year, 42 percent of attendees at Web Summit were women and 33 percent of speakers were women. In 2023 these numbers have slightly improved with 43 percent of attendees and 38 percent of speakers on stage being women this year.

The women in tech programme at this year’s Web Summit is at capacity, and the women in tech programme at Web Summit Rio 2023 reached capacity in record time.

The WebSummit 2023 is running from November 13th to 16th in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Krispy Kreme to give away free donuts on World Kindness Day



A box of Krispy Kreme donuts opened and with donuts inside
The company, founded in 1937, is giving away 60,000 free doughnuts around the world today | Photo: Clément Proust

American multinational doughnut company and coffeehouse chain, Krispy Kreme, is celebrating “World Kindness Day” today by distributing free donuts in the US and the UK.

The chain is giving away a box of a dozen glazed donuts for free with no purchase necessary. But only the first 500 guests that visit each participating Krispy Kreme US stores on “World Kindness Day”, Monday November 13th, will be able to get a free box of donuts.

Krispy Kreme often gives away free or discounted donuts to generate buzz on special occasions. The company, founded in 1937, traditionally gives out free donuts to customers on National Donut Day, celebrated on the first Friday of June of each year. And in July, a dozen of glazed donuts were sold for 86 cents to celebrate its 86th birthday.

Thousands of free donuts are also expected to be given away today across Krispy Kreme stores in the United Kingdom, with customers being encouraged to ask for the World Kindness Day offer. No purchase necessary.

The company, which operates in over 30 countries around the world, said it wants the brand associated with World Kindness Day to make “meaningful connections” with customers.

“World Kindness Day is an opportunity to make a positive difference by being generous,” Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme’s global chief brand officer, said in a release. “Simple gestures of caring and thanks, including sharing a sweet treat, is a great way to do that.”

Krispy Kreme said that it’s considering expanding a limited partnership it has with McDonald’s to sell more of its donuts at the latter’s location.

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