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UNIC at the Europa Cinemas Network Conference

UNIC was happy to attend the 22nd Europa Cinemas Network Conference that took place in Paris at the Novotel Paris Centre Tour Eiffel, from 1-4 December 2022. The four days gave a unique insight into the particular challenges faced by the network’s cinemas throughout Europe. The conference highlighted how cinema operators continue to innovate and cater to their audiences on the road to recovery, but one theme that echoed throughout the four days was the need for national and European support to keep this unique form of European culture alive for future generations!

The four-day conference started with opening speeches by the President of Europa Cinemas, Nico Simon and the General Director of Europa Cinemas, Claude-Eric Poiroux. These were followed by an intervention from Lucia Recalde, Deputy Director and Head of Unit, Audiovisual Industry and Media Support Programmes, DG Connect, who stressed the role of European cinemas as “cultural emblems” embodying the European spirit, something that UNIC wholeheartedly agrees with.

Olivier Henrard, Deputy General Manager of the CNC came to the stage outlining key issues facing Europe’s cinemas in the coming year such as energy costs and ensuring that young audience continue to come to the cinema. .

The first panel of the conference was entitled "Beyond Recovery – Pathways Ahead" Moderated by Michael Gubbins, it featured Simone Giardini, General Director, ANEC and UNIC member who shared his insights on the recovery process in Italy. He was joined by Katarzyna Orysiak-Marrison, Head of Marketing for Gutek Films in Poland, Christine Beauchemin-Flot, Director, Cinéma Le Select Iin France, and Jannik Rakusa, Exhibitor and programme manager for two cinemas in Austria, who all shared learning from the territories they cover.

This debate was followed by "Beyond Recovery – Community cinema panel."  The panel brought interesting best practices from around Europe, with speakers from France, Slovenia, Romania and Austria.

The second and third days of the conference were dedicated to industry workshops on a broad range of topics of relevance to European cinema operators.  Among the topics discussed were the learnings from Collaborate to Innovate awardees, audience engagement initiatives, sustainability and diversity, and how to further differentiate cinema-going from other out-of-home activities. We also learned more about some Europa Cinemas networks members, who throughout the conference briefly presented their cinema or one of their key initiatives, truly demonstrating the diversity and creativity that defines European cinemas.

Detailed reports of all the sessions are available on the Europa Cinemas network here.

Looking forward to the next edition!

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