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“The idea is to celebrate the work of cinema exhibitors”

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Christian Bräuer, François Aymé and Detlef Rossmann • Organisers, European Art Cinema Day

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- We chatted to Christian Bräuer, François Aymé and Detlef Rossmann, the organisers of the European Art Cinema Day, which was launched successfully by the CICAE in 2016

Christian Bräuer, François Aymé and Detlef Rossmann  • Organisers, European Art Cinema Day
(l-r) Christian Bräuer, François Aymé and Detlef Rossmann (© CICAE)

The European Art Cinema Day was launched successfully in 2016 by the CICAE (International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas), in partnership with Europa Cinemas. Over 400 cinemas in 28 countries took part in the initiative. The second edition will take place on 15 October this year. Hundreds of theatres around the world will showcase the commitment of arthouse cinemas in supporting European cultural diversity. Special programmes, exhibitions and debates will be organised to celebrate film and its varied audience. 

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The European Art Cinema Day aims to increase the importance and visibility of arthouse cinemas, highlighting the work they do for film diversity, acknowledging their value as meeting points in local communities, and honouring their everyday commitment to championing demanding and original programming for all audiences. The event also seeks to promote innovative approaches that can attract new audiences from all age groups. Together with cinemas, CICAE will implement new programming and creative marketing ideas.

The initiative is organised thanks to the support of Europa Cinemas, Creative Europe MEDIA, the French and German Culture Ministries, the CNC, the FFA and the Medienboard. The LUX Prize, the European Film AcademyUnifranceTitrafilmFrance Télévisions and Télérama are partners for this year's edition.

As was the case for its first edition, the 2017 European Art Cinema Day will boast prominent patrons and artistic ambassadors. The French and German Culture Ministers have renewed their support, and Françoise Nyssen and Monika Grütters will act as patrons for the day. Palme d’Or winners Ruben Östlund (The Square [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile
]
, 2017) and Laurent Cantet (The Class [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Carole Scotta
interview: Laurent Cantet
film profile
]
, 2008) are artistic ambassadors. Previews and premieres of their new films are planned for the day, along with other exclusive and creative initiatives.

Cineuropa caught up with the organisers of the 2017 European Art Cinema Day, Detlef RossmannFrançois Aymé and Christian Bräuer, to find out more about the event.

Cineuropa: This year, CICAE is celebrating the European Art Cinema Day. What is the purpose of this initiative?
Detlef Rossmann, François Aymé and Christian Bräuer: The European Art Cinema Day celebrates the cultural diversity of European films and the importance of arthouse cinemas for their exhibition. The idea is to highlight the role of arthouse cinemas as local cultural centres in their communities and to celebrate the work of cinema exhibitors, who introduce quality films to their audience all year long.

Why have you chosen to hold the day in October?
We looked for a moment in the year when there were no major film festivals. Autumn also marks the return of audiences to the cinemas after the summer holidays.

What are the main challenges for arthouse cinemas today?
The main challenges facing art cinemas all over the world are statutory windows and the media chronology, which could put them in direct competition with very powerful platforms. With initiatives such as the European Art Cinema Day, we aim to reaffirm the particular characteristics and value of the cinema experience, individually as well as socially. This uniqueness of the cinemas – and especially of arthouse cinemas – is worth protecting.

Which other activities does CICAE organise in support of arthouse cinemas?
One of the CICAE’s most important projects is the Art Cinema = Action + Management training course in Venice, intended for staff members of arthouse cinemas. The 14th edition took place from 28 August-4 September and gathered together 50 participants from 25 countries, as well as 30 instructors and about 20 other film professionals. This unique international seminar, co-funded by the Creative Europe - MEDIA programme, takes place every year and has already trained over 700 cinema professionals since its creation. The CICAE provides professional training for the job of cinema exhibitor.

The CICAE also gives out its Art Cinema Award to a film chosen from 12 film festivals worldwide (including the Berlinale and the Cannes Directors' Fortnight). Three members of the CICAE from different countries are selected and sent to festivals, where they choose their favourite film, bringing experience from their own national and local context to the discussion. This award is like a personal recommendation from cinema exhibitors. The CICAE is also working on Green Screens, an initiative to help cinema exhibitors become more environmentally friendly by collecting information and best practices. Building on these projects, the CICAE develops its network all year long, bringing arthouse cinemas around the world closer together.

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