Innovation Labs


Bologna Session 2010


Young audiences, marketing strategies, neuroscience, platforms, social networks…


The annual Young Audience Seminar organized by Europa Cinemas in Bologna came to an end last Wednesday, 30th June.  Its main theme, “Making an Impression” brought together around 40 participants and speakers from all over the world to discuss to what extent cinemas find themselves at the crossroad between audiences and New Technologies


Each year is more fascinating than the last: the seminar considered how young audiences can be brought together through the use, in particular, of new technologies, within the setting of the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, which focuses on classic films. Nowadays new technologies allow cultural institutions, and specifically cinemas, to update their relationship with their audiences, as well as the way they communicate with them.  And we are just at the beginning of this revolution in practices. This is why one of the challenges of the seminar is to share the expertise that some already have in this field. 
Ian Christie, director of the session, Vice-President of Europa Cinemas, and professor in Film Studies at Birbeck University, and the two moderators, Madeleine Probst (from the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol) and Leendert De Jong (from Filmhuis den Haag), took up the challenge with gusto. Their nationalities, British and Dutch respectively, highlight the head start that independent cinemas from those two countries have had in the application of new technologies and social networks.
In addition to the speakers, the Seminar welcomed a record number of participants: there were 36 arthouse exhibition professionals, mostly European, but also from Latin America (Costa Rica, Equador), North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco) and Asia (South Korea) as part of Europa Cinemas International.
And what did they talk about? The perception of the moving image and neuroscience, for example, with Tom Troscianko from the University of Bristol.  This is certainly a hot topic for the future, since it raises questions with regards to 3D…
The relationship between a cinema’s programming, knowledge of its public, and strategic marketing was a running subject during the 5 days: how can cinemas adapt, or learn to adapt, commercial strategies and technologies which were not necessarily intended for the cultural domain?  It was in this context that the subject of new platforms was addressed, along with the role of the film critic in the digital age, with the help of blogger Jonathan Rosenbaum.
Also of note, were the discussions with Rachel Castell (Moviepilot, Germany), and Fiona Maxwell (ITV, UK).
“I am in the business of culture more than in the culture of business. Cinema can deeply engage the audience. The audience wants to have an argument.”
Mark Cosgrove, Watershed Media Centre
These topics combined help us realize to what extent the film theatre is at the crossroads between traditional practices and technology: the film theatre is neither an art institution that presents its findings to an audience, nor a commercial enterprise that responds only to customer demand. If it uses new technologies, it is to build a community around its cultural content. 
These subjects will be addressed again during the next Network Conference in Paris, 18-21 November 2010, but could also be the basis for the Young Audience seminar we plan to organize in Asia.
Finally, the participants also had the opportunity to attend the excellent festival during which it took place – Il Cinema Ritrovato, organized by the Cinemateca di Bologna -  with screenings such as the newly restored print of Visconti’s The Leopard and shorts by the Lumière brothers… in 3D!

Photo: Rachael Castell
More info, here Cineteca di Bologna




Seminars Archive

  • Sofia Lab 2017

    Building Relationships & Designing Experiences 

  • Sevilla Lab 2016

    How can cinemas remain vital spaces for their local communities? 

  • Bologna Lab 2016

     The Cinema Experience In The Age Of Digital Distractions? 

  • Sofia Innovation Lab 2016

    Creating active and diverse relationships with our communities

  • Bologna Innovation Lab 2015

    Creating the demand for a diverse cinema

  • Sofia Innovation Lab 2015

    Building Audiences from the Ground up

  • Sevilla Innovation Lab 2014

    Standing Out In The Digital Age - Place-Making, Brand-Building & Shareability

  • Bologna Seminar 2014


    New Challenges & Approaches With New Audiences

  • Sofia Innovation Lab 2014

    Starting from scratch - New approaches with new audiences in the digital era

  • Bologna Seminar 2013

    “Engaging Communities in the digital era”: Saturday, 29th June – Wednesday, 3rd July, 2013

  • Bologna Seminar 2012

    Cinemas facing the economic and digital transition.  New realities and opportunities.

  • Bologna Session 2011

    Every year, since 2005, a Young Audience Seminar has been organized by Europa Cinemas during the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival located at the Cineteca di Bologna.
    This year, it will take place from Saturday the 25th of June until Wednesday the 29th of June 2011. Conducted by the film historian Ian Christie (Vice-President of Europa Cinemas and professor in London), and run by Madeleine Probst (Watershed Media Centre, Bristol) and Simon Ward (Independent Cinema Office, London), the theme will be:
    "Competing for attention & success Educating through creativity"

  • Bologna Session 2009

    From 27 June to 1 July, Europa Cinemas organised its fifth annual seminar devoted to Young Audiences under the theme of the CHALLENGE OF GENERATIONS. The discussions took place as part of the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival organised by the Cineteca di Bologna.

  • Bologna Session 2008

    Our theme this year is twofold: to review how specialist cinemas can actively contribute to creating a sense of cinema’s history through their programme, especially for youth audiences; and to learn how digital technologies can help them do so – rather than being seen as a threat to the ‘culture of celluloid’.

  • Bologna Session 2007

    As part of the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, for the third year Europa Cinemas organised a seminar with the Cineteca di Bologna focusing on young audiences and classic films. 

  • Bologna Session 2006

    How to modernize cinema history? 

  • Bologna Session 2005

    How to promote heritage films rowards young audiences? 


Sofia: Europa Cinemas Audience Development & Innovation Lab

Europa Cinemas invites you to participate in a five day Lab as part of Sofia International Film Festival in Bulgaria: Making the Most of Your Resources to Build AudiencesWednesday 14th to Sunday 18th...

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