Sofia, Day 1 – the goal is to get inspired

Wednesday 22nd March 2023

Another edition of the The Sofia Lab kicked off today! 30 cinema exhibitors from 15 countries have gathered in this charming city during the Sofia Film Festival. Network members and European exhibitors have came to the G8 Cinema to discuss issues and share ideas around the topic “Moving forward – Reviewing old habits and exploring new models”.

All participants were welcomed by workshop leaders Javi Pachón (CineCiutat, Spain) and Marijana Bosniak (Kino Urania, Croatia). Marijana states that the audience and programming are constantly changing and so if we want to survive as cinemas, we all have to learn new things and share our experiences.

Javi tells the participants that there are three components as to how we are going to structure the next few days:

1 – Reflect on where we are now
2 – Explore new ideas
3 – Act on those ideas

Important advice to all the participants; although we may come from different backgrounds, which means the public support and the way things work in each country is different and where that might be true that some projects presented here won’t work in your cinema, the most important thing is to get inspired. Even if you leave the lab with just one new idea, that’s great and valuable too. The important thing is to think in terms of possibilities. In the introductory session everyone was invited to shortly introduce themselves and share an old habit they want to change and a new action they would like to explore.

Interestingly, it may be the case that we all differ, but a lot of the same habits and wishes were expressed by the attending exhibitors:

Marijana and Javi conclude the first session with to take the ‘juice’ of these next four days and focus on solutions, not so much on the old habits. Afterwards, it was time to network with bites and drinks at the bar and get to know eachother.