Bologna, Day 1 – reflect, create, adapt & connect

This afternoon was the kick off of another Bologna Innovation Lab. 41 cinema exhibitors from 19 countries were welcomed by the freshly appointed CEO of Europa Cinemas; Fatima Djoumer, Elisa Giovannelli (Cineteca di Bologna) and the lab leaders Bob van der Meer (Filmhallen Amsterdam) and Madeleine Probst (Watershed Bristol).

Fatima, who has been working at Europa Cinemas for over 28 years, says the first ever Innovation Lab was hosted in Bologna. She goes on to say that this lab is meant to exchange ideas between participants, but also to reflect on what we do on a daily basis and adapt to the always changing situation. The numbers of cinemagoers is different in different countries, but it’s looking hopeful, because what can be seen is that the numbers are rising every year.

Hopefully the lab will be an inspiration for everyone who is a part of it. And she urges everyone to who has an idea, or meets someone else here and gets inspired to work together, to take a look at the different projects funded by Europa Cinemas, such as Collaborate to Innovate and Next/Change projects. Next year there will be more funding available and there will be bootcamps launced, so you can get any kind of training you would need.

Gian Luca Farinelli (Cineteca di Bologna) welcomes this years participants with optimistic words. He sees cinemas as the essence of Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, because people love seeing films in the cinema. He doesn’t doubt the future, cinemas will thrive and still exist years from now. Although it is the task of the cinemas to find ways to keep the dialogue going between them and the public and thus find ways to surprise their audience. He goes on to state that in the 37 years of this festival, the audience hasn’t been this young ever. The average age of visitors is 20 years old.

Bob van der Meer and Madeleine Probst also welcome the participants and urge everyone to feel comfortable to share and be active. While it might be difficult, the ask the exhibitors to switch off from the office and be present during the lab. There is a lot of knowledge gathered in the Cineteca, so trying to connect can lead to beautifu things.

After an introduction of the team, participants are asked to quickly introduce themselves and presents one thing they are very proud of and one of their biggest challenges. Everything from events, to marketing , programming, volunteersystems and the physichal space has been presented. We are very interested and are looking forward to see what the next few days will bring.