Re-connecting and re-building cinema communities through collaboration
The Europa Cinemas network, with 1,217 cinemas in 739 cities and towns in 42 countries, continues to underpin the life of European films and play a key role in engaging people in the diversity of film culture among an increasingly homogenous market driven by global players. Over the past 17 years, Europa Cinemas has facilitated the sharing of knowhow among cinema practitioners through the Audience Development and Innovation Lab here in Bologna, as well as offshoots in Sofia, Sevilla, Cluj, Sarajevo, Leipzig, Thessaloniki, Mantua, and elsewhere. Over the years, the labs have brought together more than 2,000 participants to grapple with the vital question of how to develop audiences for a broader range of films.
After a very challenging two-year period for the sector, in which the Online Labs allowed European exhibitors to stay connected amid cinema closures and uncertain times, Europa Cinemas has teamed up once again with Cineteca di Bologna to organise the 16th edition of the Bologna Audience Development & Innovation Lab, during Il Cinema Ritrovato festival.
This edition will be led by Metka Daris (director of Kinodvor, Ljubljana, Slovenia) together with Matthias Damm (director of Casablanca, Nuremberg, Germany). Open to all European exhibitors, the Bologna Lab, titled Re-connecting and re-building cinema communities through collaboration, will focus on future-oriented strategies for programming, audience development and collaboration, as well as how to deal with the evolving cinema landscape and new audience habits.
The sessions will give participants the opportunity to share approaches to bringing audiences back to the cinemas, and finding new ways to engage them, as well as how to make cinemas attractive in a post-Covid era. The Lab will cover such topics as: how to regain the audience’s trust, collaborative projects to attract new audiences, digital marketing, green and inclusive initiatives. Practice-based insights, small group discussions, and panels will help European practitioners find creative solutions to specific challenges as well as providing plenty of opportunities to share and pitch ideas with the wider group. Exhibitors can bring their issues to the Lab, step back from the day-to-day and spend time with peers to reflect on their own approaches, share expertise and find practical solutions through new input.