Partner portrait: Cinerent – “We already felt strongly about sustainability before it became an obligation”

Cinerent was founded in 1978 as a rental company for film equipment. Since 1989, Cinerent has thrilled visitors of the present-day Allianz Cinema with the world’s largest mobile, open air cinema screen capable of being erected hydraulically. For more than 25 years, the Allianz Cinema has drawn over ten thousand film lovers each summer to open air cinemas with scenic backgrounds such as Zürihorn Park and Münsterplatz in Basel. The event is also hailed as a pioneer in issues of environmental and climate protection. Daniel Frischknecht Knörr, COO Switzerland of Cinerent Ltd., explains why.


From July 19 - August 19, 2018 and August 2 - 26, 2018 Allianz Cinema will take place in Zurich and Basel.

Mr. Frischknecht Knörr, not everyone may have heard the name <link - external-link "Opens external link in current window">Cinerent</link>. What is your compa-ny known for and where throughout the world are you active?

Our company has been known in Switzerland for 30 years for organising and implementing the largest open-air cinema events in Switzerland at various locations – for over 15 years under the name OrangeCinema and for the last two years under the name <link - external-link "Opens external link in current window">Allianz Cinema in Zurich and Basel</link>. It’s fine that we don’t take centre stage as Cinerent, because our concept calls for the focus to be on the title sponsor and other supporters and partners. Internationally, our company is known for renting the largest mobile projection screens in the world. We have a total of four such screens and rent them to various film festivals and open-air cinema events all over the world.

A few examples of places where our infrastructure has already been used are Rio de Janeiro, Okinawa, Düsseldorf, Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi, Pusan and Dubai. In Sydney, Australia we organise events ourselves, like in Switzerland. The event we hold there is called <link - external-link "Opens external link in current window">St. George OpenAir Cinema</link> and is one of the highlights of the city’s summer event calendar.

You describe your event, the Allianz Open Air Cinema, as a “Pioneer in sustainability”. What measures justify that description?

The description is justified by the fact that we already felt strongly about sustainability even before it became an obligation that had to be met to even be able to obtain a permit for an event of this size. We are the first event in Switzerland to introduce a depot system. The whole event has been powered by green electricity for many years. Food and beverages are served exclusively in reusable dishes and glasses, and we offset our CO₂ emissions via myclimate. In 2009 we were named the “WWF Champion for the Environment” as a result of a nationwide study that evaluated large-scale events in Switzerland.

To what extent did your sustainability concept help encourage the various title sponsors to work with you?

The sponsors don’t really tell us that directly. But sustainability is very important to many of our sponsors, and they also get involved in this area with projects of their own. I can well imagine that our sustainability concept is factored into the evaluation, or at least it certainly isn’t a showstopper.

How would you assess the event landscape in Switzerland compared to other countries? Are events organised in Switzerland more sustainable per se than elsewhere?

It’s hard to judge. Australia is the only other place where we organise events. But it’s certainly clear that the issue of sustainability is extremely important in Switzerland, and organisers have meanwhile (and increasingly) become motivated to deal actively with the issue, partly due to various guidelines from agencies, for example, depot systems, recommendations for tableware, the submission of a detailed waste management concept, etc.

Which film is your insider tip for this year’s season?

One of my favourites is definitely the documentary film <link - external-link "Opens external link in current window">"WEIT. The story of a journey around the world."</link>. The film follows a couple as they travel once around the world in three years – without an aeroplane. It’s a wonderful and life-affirming film that presents our planet in all its diversity and beauty. The two protagonists, Gwen and Patrick, will be there in person at the screening and are sure to give our audience a few insights into their adventure. The film is playing on 5 August in Basel and on 6 August in Zurich.

Allianz Cinema will take place from 18 July to 19 August 2018 in Zurich and from 2 to 26 August 2018 in Basel. Both events are climate-neutral with myclimate. Together with Cinerent, mycli-mate is raffling off three pairs of tickets to the film <link - external-link "Opens external link in current window">"WEIT. The story of a journey around the world."</link>. Just send a short email with the subject “Cinerent myclimate Tickets” to <link - mail "Opens window for sending email">info(a)</link>.

Stay informed!