Sofia, Day 3 – Stronger together

This new chapter of the 2019 Innovation Lab was particularly powerful in terms of interactions, active attitude and solidarity ! What more can one hope for ?  It seems that everyone is quite serenely gaining hindsight on their venues and issues.

A nice shiny morning stroll led us to Lidl sponsored and recently refurbished cinema Lumière (a hall of the The National Palace of Culture) which stands out as a successful venture into sponsorship. The theatre’s team was proud to explain how looking and securing corporate investment through a concrete and precise application can clearly foster a cinema resilience: the day leading topic !



Back to the G8 headquarters, the lab participants were invited to pinpoint the pros and cons of the venue they just visited. A stimulating exercise which inescapably lead to an  invitation to use the same critical mind toward one’s own venue : “We tend to become blind” with our day-to-day environment, contends lab leader Madeleine Probst.

Then it was the kind “guardian angel” leader Frédéric Cornet‘s turn to deliver a striking presentation on the ever increasing use of crowd-funding which has somehow been existing for a very long time if we consider the examples of the Eiffel Tower or even of Cassavettes’  Shadows which benefited from the support of a large number of people to be done. Achieving a successful campaign demands “Effort, energy and methods”.

Here are a few tips :

  • having a clear and precise narration to explain your project
  • setting a goal, be transparent on all the details
  • getting your community involved
  • creating original and relevant rewards etc.

Capture d’écran 2019-03-15 à 22.11.56

Through Watershed’s example of Individual Giving Campaign, Madeleine then insisted on the necessity of, when you launch a campaign :

  • equilibrating the creation of meaning to the creation of money
  • to let your community and your target contributors know everything that you do : Artists residency, social work etc.

Ivana Gavalcova then told us the story of how she and her team at Kino Usmev, Slovakia campaigned to get support for a second screen. It was among other things with cheeky self explanatory videos…

Capture d’écran 2019-03-15 à 23.16.38


Some remarks were then shared on the choice of the ideal crowdfunding platform : you should think about the public you’re aiming at (local, international etc.), what currency will be used, what means of payment will be allowed…very practical but unavoidable considerations indeed.

The traditional Surgery Slot session enabled the group to apply their expertise to the case of KINO ARSENAL, a private cinema which is threatened by the building’s owners will to stop the activity. Virulent protest was advised, several options were envisioned : striking a deal with the city, finding another place, essential info (rent, attendance, price tickets..) to attract investors were asked, the necessity for a business plan was insisted upon, looking for the support of famous actors and directors was recommended, the fact that help could come from other countries (Wolf Kino in Germany received financial support from England for instance) was mentioned.



The day ended on perspectives of networking and establishing numerous and fruitful (sometimes unexpected) collaborations: from Watershed’s inspiring and generous work with BFI to provide tools for other venues such as websites ( with tips, news case studies, tool kits, weekly digest, film release support, to Les Grignoux’s initiative to help cinemas getting in touch with schools, to Ewa Kujawińska‘s (Kino Palacowe, Poland) tale of three cinemas joining forces on a summer film season.

Mutual interest and common success were beautifully implemented on this very special day and that’s probably the dynamics and values one should keep from these lab sessions with other return strategies which varies according to each participant, some more focused on young audience development, some on going greener, some on trying to know their audience better and including all the members of the staff.


Chilling with the cat


The Banana connection