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European cinema experts descend upon Athens

Date posted: 27.11.2013

The Europa Cinema Network held its 18th annual conference in Athens, 21-24 November. The conference brought together cinema operators, sellers, producers and institution members from across Europe to discuss the future of European cinema.

Over the course of the conference, topics including the future of theatres, digital cinema and how to develop audiences were held. Additionally, 16 European films held special preview screenings.

Representing Film London's mini-network of London Europa cinemas was Film London's Senior Film Culture Manager Anna Kime.

"I was delighted to represent our mini-network in Athens," said Kime. "It was an excellent opportunity to connect with exhibitors, meet European colleagues and hear the latest from Creative Europe. There were some really inspiring presentations on building the brand awareness of cinemas and toolkits for engaging young people that I'm keen to pass on to the exhibitors we work with."

Lessons of the Europa Cinemas Network Conference

Among the extensive roster of experts at the conference, a strong showing of UK industry professionals spoke, all of them encouraging new avenues through which to grow and renew audiences:


  • Peter Buckingham, Consultant, SampoMedia, who advised on the direct distribution of Microwave's Borrowed Time,  argued that exhibitors need to learn to work with young people - not just for or at them -  if they are serious about renewing audiences
  • Michael Pierce, Co-Founder, Cinema Nation - who has been supported on several ventures through Film London - explored where viewing habits originate, lauding experimental new ways of reaching audiences such as the Film London supported Dalston Square People's Cinema
  • Clare Binns, Programming & Acquisitions Director, Picturehouse Cinemas spoke on what cinemas can do to retain an important place in cities and encouraged growth into the digital realm
  • Jon Barrenechea, Project Development Manager, Picturehouse Cinemas presented the burgeoning BFI Film Audience Network and described existing audience development initiatives including Film London's annual film education programme Cultivate

For more information, the Twitter hashtag #ec13ef chronicles details and news from participants.

Europa Cinema Network

Founded in 1992, Europa Cinema Network works to promote and preserve European cinema.  Supporting over 1000 cinemas across 68 countries in Europe, Europa Cinema stands as an influential body to the circulation of non-national films throughout the continent.

Alongside the financial support that Europa Cinema provides, access to the network and an invitation to the annual Europa Cinema Network Conference are provided to member organisations.

Film London's Mini-Network

In order to meet the necessary requirements to meet Europa Cinema's funding and support, smaller cinemas in London have banded together to create a mini-network through which to offer European films and younger audience based initiatives.

By working together under Film London, the cinemas The Lexi, Shortwave and Riverside Studios are able to gain access to the Europa Cinema Network, an invaluable resource for these venues. With the support of Film London and Europa Cinemas, these smaller exhibitors are able to continue to offer diverse and unique programming in London.

Film Hub London

While Europa Cinema encompasses multiple countries, Film London's Film Hub London works to ensure cinema opportunities are available to as many Londoners as possible, supporting exhibitors to reach London's diverse audiences. Film Hub London provides funding and financial assistance, training, networking opportunities and audience research to its members.

London exhibitors of all sizes are encouraged to attend the Hub's upcoming Exhibitors' Breakfast on 11 December at Riverside Studios or sign up to the Exhibitors' Newsletter to learn more about the initiative.

Film Hub London is part of BFI's Film Audience Network, a nationwide network of film exhibitors bringing cinema culture to communities across the UK.  

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