Participants have hailed the 1st training seminar for cinema distribution and exhibition professionals from the MEDA countries a success.
The event, organized by the Generation Big Screen project, took place in Venice on 28 August to 7 September, in parallel to the famous Mostra del Cinema Film Festival.
“The 12 days seminar in Venice were lovely, hectic, full of information, remarkably organized, a lifetime memory for me,” said a Turkish participant. “Through this seminar I was inspired and energized”.
The profiles of the 15 participants from Israel, Turkey, the Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Morocco ranged from top executives of well-known cinema consortia from Egypt, Jordan and Syria to entrepreneurs in the process of opening art-house cinemas in Tangiers, Jerusalem or Istanbul and independent film distributors focusing on quality cinema.
Another participant from Israel said: “The combination of the interesting and skilful trainers and tutors together with the trainees from Europe and the Mediterranean representing all sectors of the cinema industry has really widened my knowledge and empowered me with skills that will surely help me in the future activities of our distribution company”. He added: “It was amazing to find out that the same problems we are having here in the local market, the same failures and successes with the art-house titles and the difficulties of a rapidly changing market are shared almost identically by our colleagues from Turkey, Poland, France and all over the continent. The added value for me personally, as an Israeli, was to meet, perhaps for the first time in my life, representatives from our neighbouring countries with whom, in the day to day life, I have no possibility to associate.”
The training included formal lectures on economics or digital technology and a wide variety of hands-on case studies presented by professionals from all over Europe – including examples such as the Sarajevo Film Festival and how to re-build a cinema market from scratch.
During the seminar, the trainees had also the opportunity to visit the most modern multiplex in Italy (14-screener Cinecity in Padova), where they received a detailed briefing on digital technology. They attended some 10-15 movies at the Mostra del Cinema and met Irene Bignardi, Claudia Landsberger and Mariette Rissenbeek, heads of the Film Promotion Board of Italy, Holland and Germany.
During the course, the 15 MEDA-region trainees remained in contact with some 80 fellow exhibitors from 20 different European countries who took part in a parallel MEDIA training and were accommodated on the same campus of the Island of San Servolo.
The next step for Generation Big Screen, an EU-funded project part of the Euromed Audiovisual II programme, is a French-speaking seminar to take place in Tunis during the Carthago Cinema Days next November, with 30 new trainees coming mostly from Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.