Bologna, Day 4 – green choices & inclusion

Day four is going to be all about green choices, sustainability and inclusion at the Bologna lab. Madeleine Probst starts the session with a presentation on Watershed’s efforts to regarding these subjects. One example is that they’ve put their plans to renovate the building in order to make more sustainable choices before starting. It’s important to look at it more carefully and think about what we can do within our footprint and find ‘the sweet spot’ of balancing growth and making green choices. A few things they implemented quicky:

  • Digital decluttering: through away old emails etc. you don’t need anymore.
  • Switch to an ethical pension fund. Find out what they’re doing with your money.
  • Review your travelling choices, is it really necessary to fly or can you give a presentation through Zoom?

Maria Silvia Gatta, policy officer at the European Commision made time to tell the exhibitors about the objectives of the Creative Europe policy on accessibility, gender balance, inclusion and environmental issues. Two top priorities in all their schemes are greening of the audio-visual industry and diversity.

Matthias Damm from Casablanca in Nuremberg gives useful tips on sustainability in the cinema. The crisis is real, as he puts it, and the choices you make might even be cost saving and your audience will love you for it. They use the carbon footprint methodology: there are calculators available to measure it. And it’s good to see what’s relevant and what not, so make a chart to prioritize. Things that are easy to do:

  • Use green energy
  • Use led lights
  • Get a ventilation system with heat recovery of the screening rooms and projectors.

Also, involve your team, they’ll have great ideas. Be open about what you can and can not do as a cinema and include greenthinking in all your decision making.

Gabriela Gusanu from Circuito Cinema in Bologna presented their strategy. A few things they’ve implemented:

  • Separate trash containers for waste
  • Communication is digital, they’ve eliminated paper
  • Visitors can buy tickets online
  • Management of lights and airconditioning
  • Promote biking to the cinema

Jelena Balabusic from Cadmus Cineplex in  Montenegro presented their project to promote a healthy lifestyle to their visitors by coming to the cinema by bike. If their visitors did this, they got a free mini combo with their filmticket. Since the cinema is situated in a shopping mall, people usually come by car. This could help to change this. They also added a parkinglot for bikes.

During the workshop the groups were asked to come up with a few examples that could be easily implemented in their cinemas. A few examples:

  • Don’t throw away anything, give your old cinema chairs away or try to sell them.
  • Come to the cinema by bike
  • Ecological food at the concessionbar
  • Recycle all banners, you can make bags out of them for instance
  • Encourage employees to use an e-car
  • Try to switch of lights off in between films
  • Print programs on a fan instead of on paper
  • If you need to collect data from your audience, use an iPad instead of paper
  • Limit the degrees of your airconditioning, otherwise it emits a lot of heat on the outside
  • Educate your audience; show films on sustainability
  • Use bottles that can be re-used and give away free water with it. You can also brand these bottles with your cinema’s logo.
  • Use led displays instead of posters.

Louise Nassiri from Panora in Sweden takes the stage on presents her cinema’s project based on the idea on how to be a cinema of the people. They’ve initiated screenings on Monday to give the stage to local independent filmmakers, cultural practioners and civil society organizations, amongst others. This way they enable that more stories to meet an audience. These screenings are free and thus open to the public. The organizing party and the cinema help each other with the marketing. They see that these events attract new audiences to their cinema, sometimes even people who’ve never been to a cinema before.

Yuliia Antypova from Zhovten Cinema in Ukraine says it’s their mission to be a cinema for everyone and that’s why they organize different types of events for different groups, such as screenings for limited mobility parents with their children. Also they organize screenings with LGBTQ themed films, people with dissabilities and screenings for seniors over 60. The idea is that cinema serves as therapy. The funding for these films comes from distributors, they also receive free snacks to give away and psychologists even volunteer to attend these screenings in order to offer help afterwards.

Indigo Burnett presented how the horizontal structure of De Uitkijk in Amsterdam works. A student run cinema with a non-hierarchical structure. It’s beautiful in that it’s diverse, a cinema run by young people with visitors who are older than them. They want to be inclusive and offer social safety for their audience, that’s why they have implemented trigger warnings for instance.

Chris de Zeeuw from Lab 1 in The Netherlands says that they have to being inclusive is a necessity, because they’re situated in a small city without a big audience and funding. That’s why they mix filmscreenings with club events in order to be a place where young people feel at home. The have an inclusive programming, the filmscreenings range from arthouse to mainstream, they organize events with social value, but also quality entertainment to serve local communities.

Michael Gubbins joins in via Zoom to present two charters that have come to life through two focusgroups, one is on sustainability and the other on gender diversity/ inclusion. These focusgroups consist of different network members. It’s important that cinemas make a stand and state their values, because they are unique in so many ways with responsibilities within their communities. He stresses that the charters came from the network members, not from Europa Cinemas. Metka Daris asks the exhibitors to give them feedback and says the  next step is to make an action plan based on these charters. How can we achieve these goals? The exhibitors are then divided in 6 groups:

Solutions regarding to sustainability:

  • Start small and start with online research, what can you as a cinema do regarding your carbon footprint?
  • Think about what is applicable for your country
  • We’re a big network, so we should all gather and lobby for funds to realize certain changes. We could use these funds to collaborate with climate professionals for instance.
  • Europa Cinemas might want to award cinemas green cinemas
  • Make trailers to raise awareness and what your visitors can do in the cinema and outside.
  • Producing energy through used coffee powder
  • Adjusting your heating and cooling systems, apply solar panels on the roof of the cinema.

Ideas regarding to gender/ inclusion:

  • Programming films by female directors continuously
  • Marginalized groups should be invited to make programs
  • Invite NGO’s to your cinema on a regular basis
  • Develop apps for the hard-hearing/ deaf
  • Toilets should be accesible for all, that means disabled people as well
  • Programming should be inclusive, so don’t divide them into groups
  • Train your staff by watching certain films they can learn more from
  • Your cinema should be a safe space, so train your staff to give visitors this feeling
  • Introduce a Europa Cinemas card for people who don’t have a lot to spend. They’ll get a discount, and the rest can be supplemented by Europa Cinemas.