Digital Cinema at Berlinale 2016:
High-performance Storage Solutions
The ongoing conversion of cinema to digital presents many technical and logistical challenges for the organizers of film festivals such as the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). The festival’s official program and the European Film Market include around 2,500 screenings of around 1,100 films shown over a 10-day period; 25 theaters with 64 screens must have access to all these films.
Around 65 % of the material is available in Digital Cinema Package (DCP) format; the rest comes as files, tapes, discs (30 %) or 35 mm films (5 %). Since DCP was the digital film standard agreed on, all film material needed to be available in this format. This, in turn, resulted in higher data volumes in 2016 compared with the previous year and created an enormous storage requirement. The increased file sizes, due to the high resolution of the material, also added to the need for large storage capacities.
This raised several questions: Where could the huge amount of data be stored – preferably in a single, central location with access to 64 cinema servers? The material also needed to be transferred very quickly. With more than 506,000 cinema visits during the festival, it was absolutely essential to have the film data available when needed. This was why the storage solutions had to meet highest failsafety standards.