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KARLOVY VARY — A multilingual radio station streaming film festival news and reviews over the Internet, android mobile apps and via podcasts is set to revolutionize the international accessibility of industry events.
FRED Film Radio — the name is an acronym for film, radio, entertainment and dialog — was launched at the Venice Film Festival last September in Italian and English and has been adding languages and venues ever since.
The brainchild of Federico Spoletti, who runs London’s Sub-ti Ltd, the station now has 15 channels with languages that include German, French, Spanish, Romanian, Polish, Slovenian and Arabic.
Mandarin, Korean and Japanese were recently added for a niche festival of Far East films in Spoletti’s hometown of Udine, Italy.
The station, which runs recorded programs during festivals and a loop of repeats between events, has been featured at festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, London, Turin, Rome, New York’s Tribeca and Sundance.
Spoletti, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter during a visit to Karlovy Vary — where the fest has yet to be added to FRED’s list of venues, said he was able to launch the service by drawing on the talents of Sub-ti’s database of 600 translators.
“In Cannes this year we had 20,000 unique connections every day with most for the English service, but also many from Argentina and Italy,” he said.
Launched with the backing of his subtitling company, which among other clients has a contract to subtitle films for the European Parliament’s Lux Film Days, FRED has attracted advertising from banks and insurance companies keen to reach a festival audience.
As the service expands, Spoletti is looking for trade sponsorship and media partnerships.
He is also able to extract content produced during festivals and repackage it to sell to mainstream radio stations that don’t have reporters at the events themselves.
Spoletti, who trained as a chartered accountant but always maintained an interest in producing radio shows as a hobby, fell into the world of film and subtitling after visiting the Turin Film Festival, where the idea of setting up a subtitling company was born.
In Venice last year FRED was launched in a media partnership with Venice Days and the festival’s critics week, where Spoletti was involved in the European Parliament’s 28X Cinema, a project involving young film critics from the 27 EU countries, plus Croatia, which formally joined on Monday.
Testimonials for FRED include those from international festival directors.
Alberto Barbera, artistic director of Venice, says: “I have known the competent staff of FRED Film Radio for over a year now and am a great supporter of this new multilingual digital platform, which offers film festivals a fantastic international opportunity to promote themselves and their films all over the world.”
Korean actor and honorary director of the Busan IFF, Kim Dong-ho, says: “Thanks to its new channels, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean, FRED contributes to cultural exchange and understanding between communities.”
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