[Company interview] Cinegg

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#Cinegg_Various independent film sharing services

 

The town hall has become a movie theater?!

Cinegg plays a variety of movies in a spare theater.

 

Should I watch a movie? Most people think of “movies” when the term “cultural life” is mentioned. This is due to it being relatively inexpensive and easily accessible. However, once you enter the movie theater, there isn’t a wide variety of choices.

In a multiplex, at best, there are only about six films being shown. Even if it’s a movie that won a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, it isn’t easy to watch them.

 

At the few art theaters in Seoul, they only play once or twice a day. If this further doesn’t work out, one has to resort to illegal downloads. The case is worse when it comes to independent films.

There are a lot of cases where they’ve already produced the movie, but aren’t able to find a proper theater. Cinegg CEO Jo also believed that there is a necessity for a channel to promote independent films.

 

“I was wondering how I could let people know about independent films. I wanted to find a way to produce, distribute, and screen films on a continuous basis without support; I eventually found ‘sharing’.

By sharing the space around us, I envisioned using these as a movie theater.”

 

 

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[Photo courtesy: Cinegg]

 

An idle space becomes a theater.

 

Cinegg conducts a community screening project called “Jaturi (space) Theater”. It is a project that utilizes spaces that we use in our daily lives, such as cafes, conference rooms, workshops, etc. and then ultimately turns them into a village theater.

Not only is it possible to introduce a variety of films, but it also becomes a place for people to communicate with each other. After the movie ends, the theater owner and the village audience grab refreshments and get acquainted in a space that’s filled with personality.

 

“Instead of just screening a film and ending it there, I wanted to create a place for various communities that connect spaces and people.

Over the past 3 years, I was able to meet honest audiences in a fun space where discussions arose from a variety of topics, including the environment and human rights. Instead of coke and popcorn, we would share tea and cakes.

Though we don’t have a wide cushion and a great sound system, we have a good movie and warm people.”

 

 

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[Photo courtesy: Cinegg]

 

Movies you haven’t seen or heard of – they’re at Cinegg!

 

Various spaces are used for the Jaturi Theater. Social studio in Seongbuk-gu ‘Gonggam’ (Sympathy), ‘Banjak Banjak Sajinbang’ (Sparkle Sparkle Photography Studio) in Eunpyeong-gu, and ‘Book Maul’ (Book Village) in Gangbuk-gu, etc. have all been used as a regular screening space.

In September, they also organized a Human Rights Film Festival for Disabled Persons at Eunpyeong and Wagul Wagul movies at the Seoul Innovation Park. For their Seoullo Go Project, they opened a cool film festival that screened a movie outdoors.

 

 

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[Photo courtesy: Cinegg]

 

 

The films being screened are mostly diversity films, independent documentaries, and environmental films. It is hard to consider these themes as popular films.

In 2016, they screened The Ghosts in Our Machine, Hurry Up! Slowly, Hwang Tae-gwon’s Life is Peace, and so on.

 

“I don’t think that the movies we’re distributing and screening were made for money. I think the public is more likely to enjoy movies where they can laugh easily.

However, I feel that we need an alternate way of living. I believe that there’s more meaning in the films that we distribute as they practice these alternative ways of living.”

 

We work with good companies.

 

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[Photo courtesy: Cinegg]

 

 

Besides Jaturi Theater, Cinegg is also operating other projects including Seonggong Itssu and Chakan Itssu. These produces promotional videos about a local area’s sharing economy or social economy.

 

In 2016, they participated in the Seongbuk-gu Social Economy Expo <Gachi Seum> together with organizations such as Gachi Seum, Art Busking, etc.

Most of the companies that Cinegg works with are sharing companies or good companies. The network between them is also something CEO Jo regards as important.

 

“Nowadays, from the concept of ownership, “sharing economy”, which is a new form of consumption, is emerging as a buzzword. Among the companies that we work with, there are many companies akin to this. If you want to jump into a sharing economy business, I would advise you to set up a thorough business plan for sustainability, profit, market, etc. when you’re in the preparation stage. In the case of Jaturi Theater, difficulty arose during the creation of  a profitable structure.”

 

Competition? Solidarity comes first!

 

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[Photo courtesy: Cinegg]

 

On its official Facebook page, Cinegg introduces itself with the phrase “Solidarity over competition”. It’s a catchphrase that revolts against the era where competition is regarded as the only value.

The cultural contents that we consume, including movies, dominate our consciousness whether we are aware of it or not. In that respect, it’s a pity that multiplexes do not offer a variety of movie options.

 

This gap is being filled by sharing companies like Cinegg. If you own a space that can be used as a theater, or if you want to see a more diverse range of films, try it with Cinegg.

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