Save the Date: Sofia Innovation Lab 2024

From 20th to 23rd March 2024


Europa Cinemas is very pleased to renew its partnership in 2024 with the Sofia International Film Festival (Bulgaria) and to invite you to take part in the 10th edition of our Sofia Innovation Lab : Uplift your Skills and Strengths & Embrace New Challenges for your Cinema and Audiences.

Save the Date: Sofia Innovation Lab 2024

Join this lab to meet international practitioners from across the film value chain, share field experiences, renew perspectives and find possible ideas and solutions for launching new initiatives or adapting activities.

Led by Tom de Bont (Executive Director and Special Programmer, HEERENSTRAAT THEATER, Wageningen, The Netherlands) together with Ola Starmach (Event Programmer and Communication officer, KINO POD BARANAMI, Krakow, Poland), the Sofia Lab will be a great opportunity to share approaches and find practical solutions to some of the big questions facing the film sector such as:

How to identify skills and strengths of your cinema and staff? How to upskill our staff? How do we attract young audiences through social media and targeted marketing campaigns? Ticketing, membership and pricing: what new marketing strategy could we implement? With rising concerns about our environment issues, are there more sustainable solutions for our theatres? How to develop an innovative and collective project? Where to find ideas and inspiration?

Topics include: 

  • Marketing and communication: strategies for reaching out towards audiences.
  • Building partnerships with cinemas and third parties.
  • Improving skills through training and exchanges of best practice.
  • Bridging European film to local communities for social impact and audience building.
  • Curatorship and discovery: Event management and looking beyond programming.
  • Changing our mind-set and welcome change.
  • Enhancing the cinema experience: rethinking the theatre environment and services.

Bring your ideas and issues to the Lab, step back from the day to day and spend time with practitioners from a diverse range of national contexts to reflect on your practice, exchange expertise and find practical answers.

Open Slot sessions also give participants the space to share a problem, pitch innovative ideas and/or identifying potential international collaborators for new projects.

IMPORTANT: This lab is open to all European exhibitors, members of Europa Cinemas network or not. The number of participants is limited to 35 people. Applications will be considered in the order they are received. However, priority will be given to exhibitors who never attended a Europa Cinemas Lab before and to exhibitors from Central and Eastern Europe and Balkan countries.



Please fill in the online application form.

Please note that the application deadline is February 4th 2024.



1. TRAVEL: all travel costs to and from Sofia are at your charge. When booking, please try to arrive before 2.30 pm on Wednesday 20th of March and to leave on Sunday 24th morning. Please do not make any reservation until your participation is officially confirmed by Europa Cinemas.

2. ACCOMMODATION: you need to be there from Wednesday 20th to Sunday 24th March morning (4 nights). Europa Cinemas and the Sofia International Film Festival will cover the cost of 3 nights (single room incl. breakfast) for one person per exhibition company, the fourth night being at your charge.

For your information, the single room rate will be 85€ (including breakfast and taxes). We will let you know the name of the hotel and more practical details very soon. Europa Cinemas will handle the hotel reservations and will also cover the cost of some of the meals (mainly lunches).

3. ACCREDITATION: the Sofia International Film Festival will provide a festival accreditation (free of charge) which will give you access to all festival screenings.

4. LANGUAGE: the discussions will be held in English over the whole lab.


For more information on the seminar, do not hesitate to contact:

Bianca Popistas, Project Coordinator - Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

Tel. +33 1 42 71 12 42, e-mail:

Alexandre Tchernookov, Project Coordinator - Central and Eastern Europe

Tel. +33 1 42 71 83 62, e-mail: