News / The Network


The Network - 03/12/2014


Europa Cinemas Awards 2014 - Best Young Audience Activities


The winner of the 2014 Best Young Audience Activities Award is the Cinema Lumière in Bruges, Belgium, a member of Europa Cinemas since 1999, in recognition of the wide-ranging activities the cinema has developed for young audiences. In 2013, almost 16,000 children and teenagers attended screenings of European films (nearly 25% of the cinema’s European admissions), demonstrating that the venue’s efforts are paying off.

“Over the last few years, we have indeed put extra effort into our Young Audience activities. After all, this is our audience of the future and our goal is to introduce the concept of going to the cinema to them, reducing the existing barriers, through their parents and through schools or other organisations.” (Elsie Roose, manager)

The cinema’s plan to encourage young people back to the big screen is broken down into a number of initiatives targeting all age groups. The programming is extremely diverse and resolutely European, with 52 non-national European films from 12 different countries featuring amongst the 61 European films that were screened in young audience initiatives in 2013.

For the very young, the cinema offers regular screenings as part of its Monsters in Lumière programme, which was established in December 2012 and presents children’s films several times a week in the afternoon. Simple but effective measures have been introduced to increase the loyalty of the youngest cinemagoers, such as a card to which stickers are attached for each screening attended, entitling them to see a fifth film for free.


Cinema Lumière is leading the way in particular in the areas of film education and school screenings, through its Lessen in het Donker initiative, which was launched 20 years ago, as a result of a partnership between the cinema and the Bruges Cultural Centre. The underlying idea, which is similar to the philosophy of the Walloon initiative Écran large sur tableau noir (coordinated by another network member, Les Grignoux in Liege), was to bring children into cinemas during school hours to show them high-quality films selected by Cinema Lumière. This programme has now been expanded to a regional level with 65 partner cinemas and is managed by an independent team dedicated entirely to this project. It is proving a success throughout Flanders.

The venue offers young people the chance to get involved in the programming of their cinema by taking part in Platform evenings. This film club for secondary school pupils and students, created in partnership with the Flemish cinema education programme MOOOV, allows young film enthusiasts to get together on a Friday evening once a month and engage in discussions relating to special guests and young artists.

 The cinema also finds a place in its schedule for more occasional events, such as the Jeugdfilmfestival, European young people’s film festival, hosted by the Cinema Lumière since 1999. Amongst the other original events on offer for young film enthusiasts, Cinema Lumière is organising A dark night @ Cinema Lumière for the second time in November, in collaboration with the city of Bruges and local secondary schools. This event, which is free for students, is open to everyone and offers a choice of several films, which are shown one after the other from 8.30 p.m. (Samba and White God, for example). It also incorporates music and various performances. On this occasion, the cinema is putting itself in the hands of its young audiences.