Highlighting its status as the first network of cinemas focusing on European films, Europa Cinemas started the conference with the screenings of 15 European films from Thursday 21 to Friday 22 November. In parallel, the network hosted a seminar which focused on the Portuguese cinema industry and the circulation of European films in the country, involving representatives of the Portuguese film institute.
The conference was opened by a panel which focused on the state of the Europa Cinemas network, highlighting growth and positive developments across its membership. The European Commission, through its Creative Europe MEDIA Programme, underlined the importance of the network for the EU, especially in terms of creating, strengthening and nurturing local communities and cultural diversity across the region.
The rest of the event included various panels and workshops focusing on a broad range of issues of relevance to European cinema operators.The topics that were discussed included attracting young audiences, loyalty schemes, environmental sustainability, digital marketing training and best practices, efficient use of data analytics, collaboration opportunities between streaming platforms and cinema design and architecture.The fundamental role of cinemas when it comes to audience engagement and media literacy was also discussed.
It was particularly fascinating to learn from dozens of different cinema operators and industry partners, all bringing their inspiring stories and innovative ideas to the table. Just to mention a few, we had the opportunity to discover Kino Mediteran (HR), a project which has brought back cinema-going culture in Dalmatia, Biografcentralen (SE), who presented their digital marketing online training tools, or Quai10 (BE), a cinema with a dedicated video game area. We also heard from Yorck Kinogruppe (DE), who shared insights on their successful loyalty scheme, Studio 43 (FR), who introduced us to their film education project "Les Toiles Filantes", and finally, Kino Usmev (SK), the recently reopened sole art-house cinema in the city of Kosice.
There was also the opportunity for Europa Cinemas to deliver awards to some of its members. Kinodvor (SI) received the Best Programming award, Cinéma Lux and Café des Images (FR) received the Best Young Audience Activity award, and Yanaki and Christo Dermendjiev from the Lucky Cinema Home (BG) were named Entrepreneur of the Year during an official ceremony.
Much more information can be found on the extensive posts on the Europa Cinemas blog, which can be accessed here.
[Photograph courtesy of Joana Linda.]