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26 Feb 2024

M-Vision lasers take Astra Film Festival visitors on a cinematic voyage

Astra Film Festival is a spectacular event, held at the end of each year in Sibiu (Romania), a former European capital of culture. A major event in the European film community, the festival lasts just over a week and welcomes movie fans of all ages to venues across the city – most famously the fully immersive Full Dome.

In December 2023, Digital Projection’s super bright 1-Chip DLP® M-Vision laser projectors delivered an unparalleled cinematic experience to Astra Film Festival visitors. Considered as one of the festival’s highlights, the Full Dome is a 300 sqm multimedia projection dome in the city’s main square. Every year it delivers a 360° audio-visual experience that immerses the audience in the cinematic highlights of the festival.

“As a Full Dome professional, it’s always a pleasure to discover new and exciting immersive films every year,” says Camilo De Anna, technical editing manager and head stage manager at system integrator NewMedia. “You can’t do a Full Dome without projectors, and this year we were lucky enough to partner with Digital Projection.”

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The Astra Film Festival requires films shown in the Full Dome to be screened in world-class quality and intensity. To achieve this, NewMedia used a fleet of six Digital Projection M-Vision 27000 WU projectors, chosen for their image and colour quality, reliability, and brightness. The six projectors adorned the entire perimeter of the dome, projecting onto the 360° screen with unprecedented coverage, quality, and brilliance.

One of the main reasons NewMedia decided to partner with Digital Projection was the reliability of the projectors: “I’ve worked with several projection brands over the years, and Digital Projection is the one that has never let me down,” De Anna states. “Projectors are sensitive pieces of equipment, and events don’t treat them well. Between travelling to different countries and setting them up, it’s very easy to end up with last-minute problems. However, to date, I haven’t needed to repair anything or to change the projectors in the middle of an event.”

According to De Anna, the M-Vision projectors were the “perfect match” of projection power, manoeuvrability and light weight: “I found that the M-Vision laser projectors were perfectly manageable with three or even two people, helping enormously with the set-up and dismantling of an ephemeral event like this.”

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The Full Dome hosted a diverse selection of films, spanning from documentaries to musical experiences, cartoons and movies showing the immensity of space. Behind the scenes, a ScreenBerry server was responsible for deconstructing and reconstructing the image to correspond to the dome’s appropriate mapping. From the server, multiple HDMI fibre optic cables connected with their corresponding projector and projected the image onto the internal projection liner, ensuring that the projection surface is as close to the screen as possible for impeccable quality.

“The dome itself is not that complicated a system for the projection path, but the difficulty lies in the various constraints that this format imposes, which is why we have to rely on the quality equipment,” explains De Anna. “M-Vision laser projectors gave us the peace of mind of knowing that the equipment we relied on was going to work every time we switched it on. Digital Projection has always ensured us this reliability and for me, that’s a luxury.”

De Anna was delighted with the result, highlighting that even the more experienced viewers who return to the Full Dome every year – and typically pose a challenge to impress – found themselves amazed by the end result and appreciated every extra detail that the NewMedia team brought to the event with the help of M-Vision laser projectors. “But if I had to talk about the best feedback, I would say it’s the kids,” he concludes. “Their laughter and marvelling right next to us working from the control room was a huge source of satisfaction.”


Picture credit: ©AlexDamian and ©sumleamarius.com

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