General Assembly of CICAE in Cannes: Board and members of the International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas discuss future of art house exhibition
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, CICAE members and the Board of Directors reconvened again in person at the annual General Assembly. The gathering of the CICAE in Cannes was used to deliberate on how to further develop strategies to strengthen the visibility of film diversity in times of major market shifts, societal changes and the climate crisis, and how cinema can regain its role as a central cultural institution in urban areas. The war in Ukraine is also present in Cannes. The CICAE renewed its solidarity with Ukraine, proclaiming that it is the task of art house cinemas, as partners of artistic diversity, freedom and all filmmakers, to participate in a vibrant democratic society.
Looking beyond the national horizon, it is clear that the entire film market is still heavily marked by the pandemic. The success of the reopening after the second lockdown shows that the audience is coming back to the cinemas, longing for good quality films. However, although a recovery is taking place, European and national politics must be vigilant and continue to support cinemas in the late phase of the pandemic, says Christian Bräuer, president of CICAE and the German arthouse cinema association AG Kino – Gilde deutscher Filmkunsttheater:
“After these difficult pandemic years that have hit the cinema industry particularly hard, cinemas have proven to be resilient and adaptable. But the situation remains fragile and requires policymakers at all levels to support cinemas with targeted funding, in order to provide them the possibility of a real recovery,” he says.
The tenor of the plenary discussions was that in addition to funding, regulation is key to protecting cinemas. Respecting the principle of territoriality and a pragmatic media chronology are necessary for the entire film ecosystem, but also allow audiences to benefit from the curation and visibility of a diverse and valuable film production.
“The importance of cinemas is more evident than ever in these times. In their neighborhoods they contribute to cultural diversity and become places of encounter and discourse while also providing the basis for orientation as a curatorial voice against the deep expanses of the Internet, with its seemingly infinite but also overwhelming choice,” says Bräuer.
François Aymé, President of the AFCAE, also recalled the great importance of cinemas at the CICAE’s general assembly. A new study, commissioned from IFOP, entitled “Films and series on streaming platforms” by the French association of arthouse cinemas demonstrates the importance of cinemas as cultural venues: “The results of our survey show that arthouse films are very rarely seen on platforms and confirm that cinematographic works need the cinema to exist. Platform audiences focus mainly on series, cinemas focus on audiences and diversity.”
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In the photo: CICAE Board of Directors (from left to right): Detlef Roßmann (Casablanca-Kino, Oldenburg), Tanja Helm (Leokino & Cinematograph, Innsbruck), Hannele Marjavaara (Kino Tapiola, Espoo), Domenico Dinoia (FICE, Italy), Javier Pachón (PROMIO, Spain), Mario Fortin (AQCAE, Canada), Tobias Faust (SSV/ASCA, Switzerland), Christian Bräuer (AG Kino – Gilde, Germany), François Aymé (AFCAE, France), David Obadia (AFCAE), Michele Crocchiola (FICE) and Boglárka Nagy (CICAE)
Photo credit: Isabelle Negre