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.

Download the Lab programme, the report and the list of participants.


Follow us live on Wakelet and on Europa Cinemas Blog!



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: