Asset management firm Aviron Capital, a private company run by a consortium of financiers with funding primarily provided by BlackRock, has acquired a substantial stake in Kino Industries.
Kino is the developer of CtrlMovie, an interactive cinematic experience that allows audiences to control the direction of a movie’s narration through a smartphone app. No financial details of the investment were disclosed.
The CtrlMovie app allows viewers to vote on what characters will do at pivotal moments in the storytelling, giving a single film different plots, endings, and lengths depending on the audience’s choices. While interactivity has been tried before, supporters of CtrlMovie claim that its seamless functionality doesn’t interrupt onscreen action. The developers promise “a deeply engaging and very community-based movie watching experience unlike anything that has happened before.”
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Kino Industries has designed a suite of proprietary software to facilitate the writing, production and editing of CtrlMovie content, as well as the in-room material to enable its theatrical display. The CtrlMovie tariff can also be distributed and viewed on other platforms on mobiles, home entertainment channels and game consoles.
Aviron will manage the capital structure of Kino Industries, including assessing the merits of other potential strategic partners such as content creators, global distributors and digital marketing companies. Aviron will also fund the deployment and installation of CtrlMovie compatible equipment in movie theaters to prepare the market for the launch and continued exhibition of films using CtrlMovie technology.
Through its distribution company, Aviron Pictures, whose chairman is former Lakeshore and Paramount Classics chief David Dinerstein, the company has previously been active in the mainstream movie game. The company has said it will evaluate CtrlMovie’s releases for theatrical distribution.
âWhat struck us about CtrlMovie – beyond the innovation and elegant flow of the experience – is that it has the potential to introduce younger audiences to the cinematic experience and to bring it back to the movies, âsaid Rowing Capital chairman William Sadleir. âRather than avoiding the use of mobile devices in theaters, their phones can be invaluable tools for actively enjoying a community event, in real life, together. The benefits of technology in influencing the box office are significant. “
Kino co-CEO Chady Eli Mattar points out that Kino’s team members see themselves as filmmakers. âOur goal is to preserve the collective experience on the big screen while promoting the art of cinema by transporting audiences to a new realm of cinema and providing filmmakers, distributors and exhibitors with the tools, support and technology to support them. take him there. ” he said. âWe are delighted to welcome Aviron Capital both as a strategic investor and as a valuable partner with whom we can make a real difference. “
Kino Industries was formed when Zurich-based technology developer CtrlMovie teamed up with Los Angeles-based production company Silvatar Media. The technology was launched by Kino at the AT&T Developer Program Shape conference in 2017.