In a statement released April 8 2020, Dutch distribution outfit Picl announced that its number of participating cinema partners has grown from 23 to 31, “with a few more currently on the waiting list”.
The initiative now covers almost 90% of Dutch independent cinemas, it claims, and sold ten times more tickets in March than in the previous month, rising from approximately 2500 tickets to 25,000 tickets, according to Picl. The spike in sales follows the closure of Dutch cinemas March 15 due to coronavirus.
The company has been organising day and date releases since its launch in 2017, releasing films simultaneously in arthouse cinemas and on its platform. Tickets cost 8,50 EUR for 48-hour access to the film.
Picl co-founder Noortje van de Sande comments: “Thanks to the support from all parties involved we have been able to make brand new films available for a larger audience throughout the country, while supporting the distributors and cinemas. With cinemas now closed due to the coronavirus crisis and festivals being cancelled, the number of non-released arthouse titles rapidly grows and we are working around the clock to meet the rising demand in our services.”
The Movies that Matter Festival in The Hague, an initiative by Amnesty International, was set for its 11th edition from March 20 – 28 but, after the ban, used Picl to present an online version of the festival.
Margje de Koning, artistic director Movies that Matter commented: “We have already worked with Picl for a few years, showing monthly selected films as an extension to our offline programme. It was with a heavy heart that we had to cancel the physical festival, but thanks to Picl and our cinema partner Filmhuis Den Haag, it was an easy step to move the festival online.”
Other Dutch festivals with which Picl was linked prior to the pandemic include IDFA, IFFR and the Netherlands Film Festival. Van de Sande confirms that she is in discussions with them to “prolong and/or expand these activities.”
The Picl documentary slate currently includes Movies that Matter winners Stop Filming Us (Joris Postema) and Ximei (Andy Cohen/Gaylen Ross) as well as audience favourites Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska), For Sama (Waad al-Kateab/Edward Watts), My Rembrandt (Oeke Hoogendijk), Drama Girl (Vincent Boy Kars) and Mad About Truffles (Jascha de Wilde, Ben Hendriks).