Author Archive | Open Air Cinema


September 20, 2014
Claudia G Covarrubias
Cine Bajo el Cielo, Open Air Cinema Foundation, Mexico

Open Air Cinema
Photos by Claudia G Covarrubias

I would like to share a lovely life experience I had with Open Air Cinema Foundation. I am convinced that this work is more than cinema, more than entertainment, more than culture, it is the act of sharing in the full sense of the concept. I am talking about feelings, emotions, thoughts, ideas and knowledge.  I am glad to say that thanks to the gaze of a child I can understand all those meanings.

In México we have been screening events with CineBike, a human-powered cinema. This time we visited San Cristobal de Las Casas, a small town nestled in the Highlands of Chiapas, a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains with an amazing cultural richness. There live together creoles, mestizos, indigenous and people from many latitudes. We can say it is a cosmopolitan town in the poorest, offline and underrepresented communities in Mexico. It is for these reasons that we chose this place for our first outdoor cinema events.

Open Air Cinema

There was a protest camp in the  main square of San Cristobal de las Casas, a large group of farmers were protesting the dispossession of their lands by the government. I believe Cinebike is a great tool for social protests, to inform the population, and to support free access to information. So, without hesitation we decided to introduce ourselves to the farmers.

The farmers told us of defending their land with strength and conviction.  They were happy we would perform a screening in the open air, under the stars, in the square they had been occupying for months. “We sow, harvest and work the land for our living and now they want to take it from us,” said Gumercindo, one of the young people who would not stay silent in the face of social injustice.  So, they received us in their “temporary home” and helped us to set up the “cinema.” Once it was ready we started peddling and projecting.  The people approached curious to see a bike that generates electricity and projects movies. Foreigners and Mexicans, without distinction of classes, all were welcome because there was no right of admission, all were joined together in the same space and time.

Many children approached, one of them around 6 years old watched carefully without blinking. He was a very humble child and had escaped the care of his mother who was at one of the corners of the square selling chewing gum and cigars.

His name was Diego and he had never gone to the cinema or to the school. He helped his mother sell every day at the square. He was worried his mother might yell at him if she knew he wasn’t selling candies and cigars, but he didn’t want to miss the screening.

An animated short film started, as the the first images came out Diego applauded happily.  He approached and asked me: “What is the name of the movie?”   I answered him, “The grandmother cricket.”  It is about the fight of the Bolivian people for their right to free potable water.  The film is based on a legend, an old woman cricket is exiled from her land for invoking the rain with her song.

Diego began to laugh, enjoying the animated characters—they are animals with human characteristics. For some reason I inspired confidence in him and while the film played he began to comment on what he was watching.

At some point the story becomes tragic when the grandmother cricket is captured.   A corporation decides to sell the water she magically produces from singing.   She becomes enslaved.

The tears of pain and sadness of the grandmother cricket became real and tangible.  When I turned my sight toward Diego, I saw some tears rolling down his cheeks. That image will be in my mind forever. “What happened?” I whispered to him. He answered me with his eyes watching the screen: “Why do they do that?  She gives them water and they ill-treat her? The world is unfair.”

When I listened to him, I just could embrace him and say, “We can change the things, keep on watching and you’ll see.”  I tried not to cry as much as I could but a few tears escaped.

He didn’t detach his sight of the screen until the short film ended.  The grandmother cricket had been liberated by people who had realized their mistake. The water flowed free for everybody.

Diego breathed relief, he looked at me and pointed toward the farmers “they will be happy too” he said.  A big smile covered his face. The credits were rolling when he took me by the hand and told me, “The next time you come, I will bring my mom and my little sister.”

After that he stood up quickly, took his box of candies and cigars and ran away.

Since that day I realized that film and the work of Open Air Cinema Foundation will be my motor and inspiration to believe that this world can be better.

Open Air Cinema




Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine brings Outdoor Movies to Kyiv Military Hospital

Written by Nicholas Bazanov, correspondent from Kino Postoneba Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine

Since spring 2014, military conflict at the East of Ukraine is constantly passing different stages of common understanding. First it was considered a local rebel fight against Ukrainian central government. Then it was recognized an act of pro-Russian terrorism. Now it’s becoming more obvious that Russian regular forces have invaded an independent neighboring state. This fact poses a threat to the global peace. While Putin says: “Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words” – only Ukrainian army is between civilized world and horrors of full-scale war.

Outdoor Movies
Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine outdoor movies in Military Hospital, Photos by Nicholas Bazanov, Open Air Cinema Foundation: Ukraine

Every day dozens of Ukrainian wounded soldiers end up in hospitals. Civilian volunteers bring tons of food and support and honor every defender of their homeland. We at Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine have decided to contribute our might by bringing them modern Ukrainian movies.

Outdoor Movies help Promote Awareness

As expected this initiative has received powerful backing from: Kyiv National Film and Theatre University, film producers, and celebrities. The first screening of award-winning Ukrainian film Firecrosser was coordinated by Film University students and attended by leading actors, the director, and producers.

Outdoor Movies

Famous Ukrainian film director and actor Viktor Andrienko – photo-session with wounded soldiers 

Ukrainian Celebraties visiting the Outdoor Movies

Probably the most welcomed guest for Ukrainian rehabilitating soldiers was Vasyl Virastyuk – World’s Strongest Man 2004 – one of the main actors in Ivan Strong. The outdoor movies were screened in the Hospital’s park using a 20” inflatable screen which weighs only 45 pounds. World’s Strongest Ukrainian could have lift 10 of those outdoor movie screens simultaneously! (his record is 496 pounds).

Outdoor Movies
World’s Strongest Ukrainian’s autograph signing session in front of outdoor movies

One of the most discussed questions nowadays in Ukraine is how peaceful intelligent people can influence the military conflict in general. Caring about this issue doesn’t necessarily mean taking weapons to the frontline. Do whatever you do best, with just a little bit of creativity! Our answer is spreading culture through Open Air Cinema outdoor movies and this approach has proved its efficiency.


Open Air Cinema’s Mobile Cinema Expert: Sam Garfield

mobile cinema

Recently there have been quite a few exciting developments at Open Air Cinema. We couldn’t have done any of them with out the skills of our mobile cinema experts. The R&D team has been hard at work to bring you our most recent products like our Lite System and the ultra mobile iteration of it the Cinebike. Here is a great introduction to one of the developers of our mobile cinema systems, Sam Garfield. It is due to the commitment of Sam and others like him towards the philosophy and actual practice of sustainability, community involvement, and innovation that our new products are made possible. Enjoy the short documentary on him and his Sprinter van!



Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine and Courage Vintage Reinvent Cozy Urban Evenings in Kyiv with an Outdoor Theatre System

Outdoor Theatre System

Photos by Nicholas Bazanov, Kino Prostoneba -Open Air Cinema Foundation: Ukraine

Written by Michael Malcev, correspondent from KINO POSTONEBA Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine

Nowadays capitals look pretty much the same. People are passing by with their everyday worries forgetting to enjoy the unique atmosphere of place they live. However just a few decades ago, our urban population knew how to enjoy their spare time. Going out used to be something extraordinary. It was a chance to interact with people that you never would have met before. Feeling nostalgic about those times, and inspired with the stories told by older friends Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine and Courage Vintage decided to renew good tradition and gather Kyiv citizens for friendly cultural outdoor theatre event.

The Versatility of an Outdoor Theatre System

Our first difficulties occurred when we started to choose the location. There was no doubt, that the event needed to be produced in convenient location at the city center. But rental price for such a place is hardly affordable for independent cultural initiative. Thankfully we have an Open Air Cinema outdoor theatre system that is able to operate almost everywhere!

Forming a community around an Outdoor Theatre System

Abandoned building site that supposed to be fancy business center in the heart of Ukrainian capital has rapidly become Open Air Cinema hall in couple of hours. The film for the outdoor theatre system was unanimously applauded– The Wild One with Marlon Brando – undeniable classics.

The audience started to arrive far before the beginning. Chatting, drinking tea and recalling good old days – people were distracting from their daily routine – just in a way we expected it should happen.

What we aim to do at Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine is to push boundaries and create up-to-date innovative events. But sometimes everything old is new again. And last but not least all the revenue from tickets sold was directed to help Eastern Ukrainian refugees.

Outdoor Theatre System

By Nicholas Bazanov

Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine


Battle For the Net

The team here at Open Air Cinema is infused with a enthusiastic desire to bring the cinema experience to new venues and to new audiences. Like Youtube ushered in a new era of democratized media creation, we seek to usher in a new era of democratized media distribution. This is the driving idea behind our new CineBike, which has already begun bringing the big screen to remote corners of the earth.

Obviously, we believe information can change the world for the better. That is why today we are joining Tumblr, Netflix, Etsy, Kickstarter, and many others in voicing our support for net neutrality. Cable companies are trying to keep the internet slow so they can charge websites money for access to a fast lane. This creates an internet where information is not democratized, and instead bought and sold to the major corporations who can afford to pay up.

Please join us in demanding net neutrality principles during the last few days of the FCC’s public comment period. Visit to learn more and to voice your support in defense of a free and open internet.


This Inflatable Movie Screen will Blow your Mind!

Inflatable Movie Screen

Have you dreamed of having your own awesome movie theater in your own home? Well get prepared to have your mind blown with an inflatable movie screen from Open Air Cinema! A sound system that will shake your seat? Check! A giant screen that you can inside OR outside your house or apartment? Double-check! You’re very own personal movie theater wherever you want it? You can have it all with your inflatable movie screen made by the experts at Open Air Cinema.

The Inflatable Movie Screen is for Everyone

Bring your friends over for a big screen movie in your backyard. Take gaming to the next level with a picture size that won’t be able to find on any flatscreen TV. Bring your screen into your living (if you have room) and have a very special movie night with that very special someone, or take your inflatable movie screen outside and entertain your entire block! Blow your friends minds with your very own awesome movie theater with your inflatable movie screen!


Open Air Cinema’s Elite Inflatable Screen Has Exciting New Updates

Inflatable screen

We’re excited to announce some important new structural updates to our Elite Inflatable Screen models that will make them stronger than ever. We’re always working hard on creating the best screens that money can buy, and our new features prove yet again that Open Air Cinema inflatable Elite screens are high-quality screens on the market today.

A Lighter Inflatable Screen

We’ve managed to reduce the weight of our inflatable screen by an additional 30%, making them lighter and easier to use than ever. The 30% decrease in weight makes for improved portability, while still maintaining the superior quality that has won Open Air Cinema the respect of the inflatable screen industry. The overall loss in weight can now make transportation to and from an even easier than before, so now you have all the more reason to take that Elite System screen wherever it needs to go! The bottom of our screens remain reinforced with the same great heavy material that we’ve used for years, continuing to ensure a long life for the points of your screen that get the most wear.

The New Elite Inflatable Screen

Our new change in screen material coupled with our meticulous attention to detail in the production of things like reinforced handles and labels on key points make it easier than ever to set-up and maintain our inflatable Elite screens, as well as providing the highest quality viewing experience during a screening. Whether your screen is in storage, in transit, or being used outdoors, all aspects of your inflatable screen have been considered during design and fabrication to ensure the finest quality large-scale inflatable screen that money can buy.


Ukrainian street artists use ultra mobile projectors to help keep Ukraine unified.

Written by Michael Malcev, correspondent from KINO POSTONEBA Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine

Portable Projection System

Photos by Nicholas Bazanov, Kino Prostoneba -Open Air Cinema Foundation: Ukraine

In February 2014 the media was filled with viral pictures and video of the Ukrainian capital on fire. Thousands of Ukrainians came out to the central square in a struggle for a democratic future for their country. In less then in half a year this place has returned to its peaceful day-to-day atmosphere, but for many Ukrainians it still remains a symbol of determining the Revolution of Dignity.

It was obvious to me that Kyiv should serve to express the common national idea, become new instrument to breakthrough the new challenges by means of art.

Artistic uses for the Portable Projection System

As we have looked through the news feed of the local social initiatives stream we’ve noticed announcements by the young street artists. They were looking for a huge publishing printer that could produce banner-size pictures. The idea for the project called “ART Mobilization” was to decorate the underground walkway with patriotic artwork. Sketches were attached and we loved it at first glance. That’s why we immediately contacted the artists and told them that they need no paper paint mask – we could use a portable projection system instead! The sketches are projected on the wall and the only thing the artist then needed to do is to draw the details. Just like in a coloring book for children. Who knows how much Amazonian Forests we saved with this decision!

The event was held on the day of Ukrainian Independence which gave the portable projection system initiative extra significance. Sketches were uploaded directly to the projector. No sockets were needed: the low energy consumption LED-Projector was powered by high capacity portable batteries. The bicycle powered generator was ready on hand in case the crew needed more energy.

The result of our common work produced a series of works by Andriy Yermolenko – United Colors of Ukraine. It is dedicated to the one of the most important modern Ukrainian issues – unity of the country regions. An abstract painting by Margarita Kiselova depicts the chaos of war that reminds the calm and relaxed citizens of Kyiv about the military conflict at the East of Ukrainian border.

Future Portable Projection System collaborations

Our personal sense of accomplishment in “ART Mobilzation” is that we helped to create something which will remain for decades using a non-traditional approach. We are excited about our ability equipped with a portable projection system. We are looking forward to participate in another project: “Dragon Capital Ukraine”, which aims to beautify the boring suburbs high-rise walls with contemporary art. To be continued…

Portable Projection System

Photos by Nicholas Bazanov, Kino Prostoneba -Open Air Cinema Foundation: Ukraine

By Michael Maltsev
Open Air Cinema Foundation Ukraine