Looking Back At 17th CICAE Training Programme

    Looking Back At 17th CICAE Training Programme credit: Manuele Sangalli

    VENICE: The 17th edition of the international training course "Art Cinema = Action + Management" organised by CICAE took place last month, from 31 August to 6 September, on the island of San Servolo in Venice.

    credit: Manuele SangalliWithin the context of the covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed by many countries, the training took place in a hybrid format, in situ for 21 European participants and online for 4 trainees from within and outside of the continent, 17 trainers and speakers joining the programme physically in Venice and 15 participating in the framework of live sessions and digital training materials. Sessions combining the online and offline medium and the reduction of physically attendending participants allowed for a safe event, openingup the possibility to include a greater number of speakers covering a multitude of topics and perspectives from different parts of the world.

    Digital has been the keyword of this edition, partly because all sessions have been broadcast live as participants and trainers who couldn’t travel had no other means of participation, but also due to a higher number of topics related to the digital environment: from the use of data for marketing strategies and audience development, to practical apps and software and the establishment of platforms shared by cinemas. The basic structure of the training got divided day by day in such a way that it would cover the essential tasks and activities arthouse exhibitors have to master: defining their space and identity, outlining business plans and budgets, online marketing, programming and audience development, green practices and accessibility and a dip into film politics through a panel within the framework of the Venice Production Bridge.

    credit: Manuele SangalliThe collaboration with the Venice Production Bridge has been consolidated, with the participation of CICAE in the Industry programme of the Venice International Film Festival. On the afternoon of Saturday 5 September, the ACAM course moved to the Venice Lido, at the VPB's Spazio Incontri, for a public conference on "Challenges and opportunities for the arthouse film sector following the covid-19 pandemic".

    The roundtable was attended by some of the main representatives of the film industry and national and European institutions, to discuss the situation in which the sector is facing in this period and the possible measures to be taken to protect arthouse cinemas and the industry as a whole. The speakers were: Sabine Verheyen, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education, Dr. Christian Bräuer, president of the CICAE, the AG Kino Gilde and member of the FFA executive board, Domenico Dinoia, president of the Italian Federation of Arthouse Cinemas, Mathieu Fournet, director of international and European affairs of the French National Film Centre CNC, Vanja Kaludjercic, director of the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Marynia Gierat, director of Polish cinema Kino Pod Baranami in Krakow and Tinne Bral, co-director of the Belgium based film distributor Imagine Distributions.

    Thanks to a collaboration with Javier Pachón, director of CineCiutat and consultant for institutions and bodies in the film industry, a set of online training materials enriched the presentations and covered a few issues that couldn’t be discussed or presented during the week: case studies of exhibitors and most successful film professionals, blueprint documents and hands-on guides on topics such as green cinema, finding the rights for a film, audience research, as well as research materials and studies from the film industry and exhibition sector that could serve as useful further reading.  

    The week has been crowned for all involved by the pitching session presenting 5 projects of arthouse cinemas to be (re)launched in Estonia, Finland, Germany and Greece to the jury consisting of the 3 workshop leaders of the training:  Petra Rockenfeller, director of the Lichtburg Filmpalast cinema in Oberhausen, Raymond Walravens, director of the Rialto Cinema in Amsterdam and Mira Staleva, deputy director of the Sofia International Film Festival.

    credit: Manuele SangalliOverall, according to the participants’ and guests’ feedback, the sensation was of a very safe and worthwhile training programme, thanks also to the measures taken by the hosting venue, San Servolo, and by the Venice film festival. The fact that the course took place physically and the networking offered by the location was a highly appreciated added value, especially in a year marked by limited possibilities for direct professional exchanges.

    We would like to thank everyone who supported the organizing team of the 17th Art Cinema = Action + Management to make this special edition of the training happen: the MEDIA sub-programme of Creative Europe, the FFA (the German film fund), the CNC (the French national film fund), the MIBACT Direzione Generale del Cinema e Audiovisivo (the Italian national film fund), San Servolo Servizi Metropolitani, MUBI, for funding and supporting financially the programme; the French, German and Italian associations of arthouse cinemas - AFCAE, AG Kino Gilde and FICE; all the speakers, trainers and contributors who offered their time and knowledge to the training programme; the Venice Production Bridge, Ristorando, Rio Terà dei Pensieri, Next Wave, EAVE, Biografcentralen, MEDIA Salles, as well as our media partners, Cineuropa and Film New Europe for their coverage.

    The 18th Art Cinema = Action + Management will take place from August 30th to September 5th 2021. Application will open in February 2021.