The Mexican producer Arturo González Alonso reported that Plataforma Cine
, a streaming service that offers independent cinema for rental with prices ranging from 25 to 45 Mexican pesos (US$1 to 2 approximately) per film. The platform, which in addition to Mexican cinema has international films, is available in Latin America, although there are films that cannot be watched in some countries.
“The idea is to pay the right to watch the film as if you went to the movies and bought your ticket" said González Alonso, after explaining that the rented movie can be watched as many times as you want in a period of 48 hours after it is viewed the first time. The platform has 5 thousand users and has a catalog of approximately 60 films, which they hope to continue increasing.
The idea of creating the platform came up at the end of 2019. González Alonso explained that, before the pandemic, he conducted with his company Art Kingdom a study that revealed that, although the box office had dropped in commercial movie theaters, independent movie theaters had experienced an increase. “This indicated that there was a quest for alternative stories and a different type of cinema" he explained. However, after, the pandemic came, and that changed in many ways the reality of commercial and non-commercial movie theaters.
The platform came out at the end of 2020, and even though it did so when many other stronger ones came out as well (Disney+ for example), they have been able to position themselves and remain in vigor. “That was when we made the agreement with the Cineteca Nacional
which, not being able to exhibit, had had to close theaters and lay off personnel. This way, it was adapted and had a virtual movie theater with the Cineteca's
movie billboard" furthered González Alonso.
The producer also mentioned that six friends had gotten together to create the platform: two distributors, three movie producers, and a public relations expert. “Leopoldo Jiménez, from Nueva Era Films, brought us the Tour of French Cinema; Alfonso López, from Alphaville Cinema, added great titles, many awarded in Cannes or with an Academy award; the producers and directors Jesús Magaña and Inti Cordera are also part of the team. Cordera additionally organizes several documentary festivals, and Jaime Rosales, from RH Media” he said. Arturo González Alonso, founder, is also the Marketing Director of Plataforma Cine.
They also offer their services as a channel to distribute live or pre-recorded events on cine or its industry, which is an option for cinema festivals. This was the case of a Cinema Festival in Merida and the one that will take place together with Árbol Rojo, a cinema show that is celebrating its 5th anniversary and that is held in southeast Mexico, in Chetumal and Quintana Roo. This year, they are planning to include some titles of that festival on the platform.
Another business line that has come up is with companies that need their employees or members to watch a film. It is cased of the agreement Plataforma Cine made with a coaching company comprised of psychiatrists and psychologists which uses cinema to encourage reflections. “We are very flexible, and that is a huge advantage” commented González Alonso.