Sofia, Day 4 – Passionate and…emotional

Surprise guest Ted Chiaradia (Artplex, Filmhuis O42) puts it best when he explains that, from his experience, it is clear that the only way to stay on course in a career is to rely on your passion, respect this inner feeling and let it drive you.


Not to worry too much about passion with this 2019 Lab Group as the ultimate sessions on staff management and the care given to specific audiences was filled with commitment and sensitivity.

The newly renamed lab “facilitators” set the example by entrusting some of the challenges and good practices they experienced with their own staff. Spending time together other than in the cinema, making sure to share trust in what is the goal of your theatre were some of the wise words which launched the day.

Then, we heard Josep Calle Buendia on his inspiring cooperative Zumzeig in Barcelona whose horizontal structure is getting great results in reaching out to diverse communities. Cooperativism is financially well supported by the municipalities and this is probably why there are other successful cases in the country. It is a good way to break the elitist cultural image of arthouse cinema with a Friendship factor for the team which is essential. One can only be impressed by the amount of care Josep and his team put into fashioning volunteer involvement, an outreach.

Mario Fortin from Montréal knows how to get an audience’s support and attention as he handed out Maple syrup sweets before presenting his scholarship programme for student employees in his historical Cinéma Beaubien, the staff of which created a union a while ago. Making your staff happy by, among other things, limiting the turn-over and rewarding the students who finished their university studies is the impressive solution, Mario and his collaborators set in motion.


Sometimes, something as practical as relocating your cash desk may transform the life of your venue, and create a valuable mutual trust with your audience. Thats what happened in Joana Gajdo’s cinema Rejs in Poland !

After having debated on some of the ways (doing activities together, taking distance with your job) to defuse tensions and crisis in a team, when there is a disconnection between staff and management for example, the afternoon was devoted to strategies to include sensitive audience, like deaf people, people with autism or simply inhabitants of a small town with a complicated past. Madeleine Probst presented her staff’s training at sign language and all the efforts which were made to make deaf people feel welcome and included. Check their video “An Introduction to Deaf Awareness” : here

Anita Pocsova from Kino Lumière, Slovakia provided tips to create an autist friendly atmosphere in your theatre :

    • Keeping some light in the room
    • Lowering the volume,
    • Setting bean bags so the young autists can move and lie down,
    • Paying attention to the film duration, which must be short,
    • Favouring concrete and not abstract stories.

A website with full of resources here !

Finally, Christine Müh proudly introduced her excellent initiative “Die Mischung macht’s!” which she implemented at Kommunales Kino Pforzheim. By associating two members of her community, a filmmaker and a “protagonist”, to share the individual vision  of Pforzheim inhabitants, she and her team created an open forum where people can understand one another better. An inspiring project if there is one!

Capture d’écran 2019-03-17 à 09.15.02


Focus on Poland !


Stay in touch everyone, there for instance !