Action needed after Creative Europe MEDIA suddenly cuts funding for the only international training for arthouse cinemas
• Press Release
Since 2004 the International Arthouse Cinema Association CICAE has established an international training course for young cinema professionals from Europe and many other countries to strengthen and build their skills, develop new ideas and create new business models for the cinema of the future in an ever-changing media world.
For the period 2023-2025 the MEDIA programme of the European Union has withdrawn its support for this important initiative. Without the main funder the training course will not be able to be continued. And this at a time when cinema urgently needs new impulses for the future after 3 years of pandemic and rising energy costs.
The business model of cinemas is evolving, as is the behaviour of its audience. Events, programme diversity and new marketing strategies are becoming just as important as investments in digital and ecological modernisation.
All of this is embodied in the Arthouse Cinema Training, which has trained and further educated almost 1,000 cinema operators and film professionals over the years so that they can successfully establish the cinema as a permanent place of encounter in the neighbourhood in a rapidly changing society.
Professionalisation, innovation and networking are the keys to the necessary change in our industry. Through the Arthouse Cinema Training created a network of allumnies to foster the ideas of the European Union and the Media Network in their everyday work, such as Increasing the interest and knowledge of audiences in European films and audiovisual work, promoting the competitiveness, scalability, cooperation, innovation and sustainability in the European audiovisual sector.
The training program remains the only international training that is specifically, explicitly and individually tailored to the needs of the independent exhibition industry. Unlike other market participants such as creatives and producers, there are neither targeted national training programs nor many opportunities for international meetings for the arthouse exhibition industry.
With the discontinuation of EU funding there is a serious risk of loosing a painstakingly built network and support structures developed over many years, that strengthened the role of art house cinemas and which contributed to the dissemination and visibility of the diversity of European filmmaking.
In her State of the Union address in September, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, declared 2023 to be the "European Year of Competences". These are exactly the competencies we need for European cinema, because the shortage of skilled workers is also affecting cinemas.
We need a new generation of courageous cinema operators who also trust in the power of cinema and stand up for film and art diversity and thus also for democratic values in Europe.
We need the Arthouse Cinema Training to continue having exhibitors doing the essential work of showcasing and creating visibility for a rich, beautiful and daring European cinema.
The International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas (CICAE) is a non-profit organisation aiming at promoting cultural diversity in cinemas and festivals. It was founded in 1955 by the national arthouse cinema associations of Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Today it counts more than 2100 members and 4000 screens across 46 countries, representing 12 national and regional associations, 61 individual cinemas, 14 festivals and 6 special members.