VP Ruth Welter explains how Colts technology powers Berlinale

VP Ruth Welter explains how Colt's technology powers Berlinale

 September 22, 2023

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Working for Colt Technology Services means working on exciting, mission-critical projects that bring joy and benefits to so many people worldwide. So how rewarding would that be! 

One such example is the Berlin International Film Festival, also known as the Berlinale, where Colt enables extraordinary connections through its industry-leading services that support digitalisation of the festival.

The Berlinale is one of the largest public film festivals in the world, where social issues are explored through cinema. Bringing together the big stars of international cinema to Berlin and discovering new talents, Berlinale accompanies filmmakers of all disciplines on their paths into the spotlight and supports careers, projects, dreams and visions. And, thanks to digital infrastructure leader Colt Technology Services, the Berlinale is also a platform where culture and technology intersect.

As the Berlinale's Official Digital Cinema Partner for many years, Colt supports the festival through technology.

Along with other official partners, Colt plays a key part in distributing and showing films at the various Berlinale venues. As a network and communication service provider, Colt has been a digital cinema partner for the Berlinale for over a decade and plays a vital role because high-quality digital services and the right network infrastructure are integral elements of today’s film business. The majority of the productions shown at the Berlinale are distributed and displayed digitally. This requires technology capable of handling the one petabyte of film data processed each year during the festival – and Colt’s high-performance fibre optic network delivers year after year.

Many women at Colt are actively involved with this work, and enjoy their roles immensely as the company provides a cloud-based model for its central film management application, in order to streamline the complex administration of the many festival contributions and their screenings.

“We have a special partnership with the Berlinale, one of the world’s finest film festivals and a true digital pioneer. We’re very proud to have played a strong supporting role in bringing digital cinema to life at the festival over the past fifteen years," says Colt Technology Services CEO, Keri Gilder.

Colt helps bring digital cinema to life

While Berlinale celebrates masterpieces of the cinematic art, the festival also showcases innovations, including those in network services.

Colt connects the Berlinale to the digital universe, wherever, whenever and however they want.

So how exactly does Colt's digital infrastructure support the festival?

Meet Colt's Vice President of Global Strategic Alliances, Ruth Welter, as she explains more about how the festival is using technology to create a better experience, in discussion with Colt's Brand Marketing Manager, Hannah Davies.

 "What we are seeing now today, the film content is provided via digital files and that's where we are working together with BerlinaleBerlinale has always a very strong focus to give the film studios attending the film festival the best experience, including digital transformation. So what we are doing with them is we are providing the infrastructure for the film studios to upload their content here to our service at Berlinale, in our data center here in Berlin. And with that, to transmit to the 20 cinema venues across the city. And that's really exciting because all the film content is now digital and transmitted in the digital way," explains Ruth.

Supporting Berlin International Film Festival through technology

Over the years, Colt Technology Services has provided network services with high bandwidths of up to 10 Gbit/s and Internet access to enable the transmission and distribution of film data from Colt’s network node in Berlin to the 20 venues with 47 screens in the highest quality. By connecting to Colt’s on-demand portal, Berlinale can also increase or decrease the bandwidth of individual connections itself in near real-time. In addition to the technological advancement of digital cinema, Colt Technology Services is also driving innovations in its own fibre network at the Berlinale, such as quantum-based encryption.

For example, Berlinale uses Colt's international fiber optic network and on-demand service in the delivery of film contributions from Asia, via a hub in Singapore. This enables film producers from the APAC region to transfer their work to Berlin faster and more securely.

These developments have really shaped the Berlinale’s move towards digital cinema. The opportunity also enables Colt to test its latest technologies, independent of festival operations, and optimize them for customers and the wider telecoms industry.

Hannah Davies discusses with Colt's Regional Sales Director, Stephen Wanke, how the films used to be delivered to the Berlinale in times gone by - including hand delivery, delivery via car, compact disc, and possibly even by bike.

Extraordinary connections

Hannah also hears from the Berlinale Head of Sponsorship, Kathrin Schafroth, about the extraordinary connections Colt provides through its on-demand services for the festival.

Exploring social issues through cinema

The Berlinale is a place of intercultural exchange and a platform for the critical cinematic exploration of social issues. Bringing together the big stars of international cinema to Berlin and discovering new talents, Berlinale accompanies filmmakers of all disciplines on their paths into the spotlight and supports careers, projects, dreams and visions.

Every year, around 200 films of all genres, lengths and formats are shown in the various sections and special presentations of the Berlinale. Across the spectrum from feature films to documentary forms and artistic experiments, the audience is invited to encounter highly contrasting milieus, ways of life and attitudes, to put their own judgments and prejudices to the test and to reinvigorate their experience of seeing and perceiving in the realm between classic narrative forms and extraordinary aesthetics.

The program also thrives on an intense dialogue with its audiences. A rich array of spoken-word events, audience discussions and expert panels facilitate an active participation in the festival.

Drive technological innovation at Colt

Colt Technology Services is a place to build a thriving career, working alongside high profile customers and within a network of offices across the globe.

Working for Colt provides a chance to make a considerable impact on an international scale.

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