DAY 3 : Committed for diversity & inclusion

Friday 16th November 2018

VIDEO OF THE DAY

 

The lab carries on and participants are getting more and more engaged and supportive toward each other. This is a beautiful thing to witness.

The main topic of the day beside the unleashing of the participants’ humour and photographic skills on social networks was undoubtedly the engagement of exhibitors to diversify their audience through moral, ethical and cultural convictions.

Nina Milošič  of Mestni Kino Ptuj in Slovenia was impressive and touching in her mastering of tactics to cleverly engage Young audience. She explained that the attention to details was the key to succeed with children. Some basic installations, sceneries exploited with creativity and care could trigger imagination and impress the young guests. One must keep in mind parameters such as the short attention span of children and the fact that it is less valuable to try and pitch everything than to guide and let the little ones play. Before screenings, in Mestni Kino Ptuj, there is always the same ritual of getting aware of one’s sensory organs and to move in the theatre hall before being still for an hour. The collaboration of the parents if of course…required.

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Families with children, taking care of little details – Nina Milošič (Mestni Kino Ptuj, Slovenia)

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Retrocinema, old films for young audiences – Dieter Betz (Arsenal Kinobetriebe, Germany)

In Arsenal Kinobetriebe in Germany, Dieter Betz and his team imagined ways to get the young audience, older than the one Nina work with, engaged in the programming of “Retrocinema. Young people can choose between three classics and modern rendition of the film posters are designed. Of course, to fashion these kinds of initiatives and go even further in this direction, lab leader Javier Pachon would later share his experience developing platforms (Youfeelm, ScreeLY, Veobeo) voting system, finding digital partners, to know your audience very well and therefore get filmgoers involved.

Then Art House Convergence’s Alison Kozberg raised one of the core issue of the day which was the acknowledgement of the unavoidable political, social and educational weight of cinema and therefore of the responsibility of exhibitors to be conscious of the power and impact their programmes may have. In an era of fake news and alternative facts and coming from the Conservative Deep South in the US, Alison elaborated on the way images can be powerful tools for inclusion. Through a cycle of carefully curated documentaries and the collaboration of experts and association, the Nickelodeon theatre in Columbia, South Carolina addresses social issues.

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The highly highly anticipated picturesque coffee break was preceded by the sweet presentation of Olle Agebro on his grandmother’s weakness for knitting and how it unexpectedly illustrates “niche audience can be reached : by involving it in the design process, by having a high quality distinct 1 sentence concept by enabling people to always come home with something.

One of the eminently practical categories of the innovation labs is the Workshop entitled “A problem shared is a problem halved” and Milagros Merino from Cinema Palma in Italy was the first one to benefit from some tips of the lab members to offset the lack of space in her venue and organize community-building events : use the space of trendy nearby locations and form partnerships. As to Christos Ringas of Athinea in Greece, he caught a lot of participants’ attention by laying out the challenges of part time cinemas in his country.

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The afternoon sessions were introduced by Olle Agebro who rightly reminded the exhibitors that while reaching out to new audiences, be they children, niches, activists etc. is indeed very relevant, building loyalty is also an essential and challenging goal.

The great speakers Simon Blaas from the Netherlands and Wiktoria Pelzer of Stadtkino in Austria (cf. Video of the Day) brought some food for thoughts for our think tank with their “Filmchoice” and Wiederstandskino. The first initiative entices ‘’ordinary” non experts inhabitants of the city to introduce screenings at the cinema. The benefits are that you reach large networks of people since the “host of the night” generally invites his/her friends and communities to hear them. Wiederstandskino is Stadtkino’s way to position itself with a strong commitment face to the right-wing government.  “Cinemas are places to meet people (it is different than watching on computers). We have the possiblity to reach a lot of people so one should use it” contends Wiktoria. The audience is thus clearly aware of its theater’s strong sociological and political potential and should feel concern and connect even more with this cultural site !

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Post of the day winner, Antoni Vilalta Seco of Il Cinema del Carbone then got on stage and provided some great tips to maintain a great loyalty scheme :

  • Learn the taste of your audience but don’t stick to it
  • Balance comfort zone screenings with things which push them a little
  • Always have a dialogue element.

The final part of the day really put the whole group in an active position as small teams were formed to reflect upon 3 main topics : loyalty cards, how to take real advantage of one’s equipment and how to create genuine inclusion within your theater. It is important to recognize that the attendees were particularly committed and prolific even though Javier Pachon heard some whispered “Careful. He’s coming” when he went from group to group in the convent courtyard…

 David Garcia of Cines Verdi got some good recommendations to improve on the use of his loyalty cards. The reliance on a modern and user friendly digital platform, “Friends” screening for the owner of the loyalty scheme and different partnerships seemed to be good directions to look at. We also heard brilliant suggestions concerning inclusion, through reaching out to embassies to support project where targeted audience like refugees wouldn’t have to pay the entries, the idea that the cinema staff in itself must embody and be aware of diversity and the concept that to Promote Europe one needs to also screen what is done elsewhere, Africa for instance.

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The day resolutely ended on a political note with a politically conscious and committed group.

TOOLBOX OF THE DAY

  • To take fake selfie, bring another member of your cinema
  • Know your audience (through digital or human means) to be able to satisfy it or lead it toward new things
  • Be aware of your socio political responsibility as broadcasters of images

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Charlotte Wensierski

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