Bologna Lab 2018

23 - 27 June 2018


From Spaces to Places: making the cinema a place for people and communities

Bologna Lab 2018

Taking place at the inspiring Il Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival, dedicated to ‘rediscovering’ lost or forgotten cinema, the Lab is led by Madeleine Probst (Vice-President of Europa Cinemas and Cinema Producer, Watershed, United Kingdom) together with Daniel Sibbers (Director of Marketing, Yorck Kinogruppe, Germany) and Hrvoje Laurenta (Manager, Kino Europa, Croatia). It is a great opportunity to share current thinking and practical solutions.

The focus of this year’s Lab is on place making for the future through more inclusive approaches to community building, experience design and audience development. We all know that the audience makes the cinema experience; but how can we ensure cinema spaces remain places that people feel connected with, whatever their age, preferences, backgrounds or access needs? And what can we do better to capitalise on our communities’ assets, inspiration, and potential in a context of ever increasing abundance of content and platforms and shrinking resources? 

The Lab provides an opportunity to:

  • Explore practical approaches to getting better insights into the people that already come and importantly, those that don’t, in order to inform how best to engage with them.
  • Learn from case studies from organisations that have found effective ways of reaching out to people and removing barriers to engagement and from targeted marketing campaigns and ticketing offers to more inclusive and community driven approaches;
  • Look at strategies that might unlock the potential of the people within your own organisation and how more inclusive organisational cultures can help build awareness and engagement with audiences. 
  • Reflect on how cinemas can play a role in reframing film heritage in ways that are more mindful of diversity and inspire people to collectively reimagine public spaces beyond the cinema walls, something that Il Cinema Ritrovato does so brilliantly. 

Headline topics include:

• Community building: from community design and crowdfunding to customer relationship management

• From spaces to places: exploring the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a cinema and support its ongoing evolution.

• Better understanding barriers to engagement from pricing, accessibility to discoverability issues

• Developing responsive and holistic communication strategies on and offline

• Making the most of your people from organisational development to fundraising

• Reframing film heritage in a way that is more mindful of diversity and inclusion

• Partnership and network building with other cinemas, the wider film sector and beyond

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

Open Slot sessions will 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 cinema exhibitors from Europe. The number of participants is limited to 35 persons. Applications will be considered in the order they are received, however, priority will be given to exhibitors who have not taken part in any previous sessions

Please find the Application Form here. It is to be completed online by Thursday 17th May 2018 at the latest. Please note that completing this application form does not automatically mean you will take part in the lab. Europa Cinemas will confirm the list of participants at the end of May.


1. Hotel room booking: Europa Cinemas and Cineteca di Bologna will book your hotel room at Zanhotel Europa (Via Cesare Boldrini 11, Bologna) and will cover room costs (single room) for one person per exhibition company, for three out of four nights. The fourth night will be covered by the participant.

If you would like to book further rooms or extra nights, you can benefit from our special rates:

Single room rate: 80€/night (breakfast included, 2€ tourist tax excluded)

Double room rate: 90€/night (breakfast included, 4€ tourist tax excluded)

There are no subscription fees to attend the Lab.

2. Travel expenses: travel expenses to Bologna are to be paid by you. When booking, please try if possible to arrive on Saturday 23rd June before 2.00pm (the seminar starts at 3.30 pm) and depart on Wednesday 27th June after 2.00 pm. However, please DO NOT PURCHASE your ticket before we have officially confirmed your participation.

3. Meals: the welcome dinner and some lunches are organized and paid by Europa Cinemas.

4. Translation: Simultaneous translation into 2 languages (English and Italian) will be provided during the five days of the seminar.

If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Fatima Djoumer, Head of International Relations: Tel. +49 30 61 40 22 00, e-mail:  

Sonia Ragone, Project Coordinator for Italy: Tel. +33 1 42 71 83 64, e-mail:

Lisa Kermabon, Executive Assistant: Tel. +33 1 42 71 87 67, e-mail: