"European Cinema Exhibition: A New Approach"
Budapest, Hungary
22-26 September 2004


Welcome message by Elisabetta Brunella,
Secretary General of MEDIA Salles

In welcoming you to the course and wishing you all the best in your work, I also have the pleasure of reading you the message that Costas Daskalakis, Head of the European Union's MEDIA Programme, who is unable to be here himself, wishes to convey to all the participants:

"A warm welcome to all the participants at the course "European Cinema Exhibition: A New Approach" promoted by MEDIA Salles and based on the original formula which foresees a continuity in content and in terms of the international perspective, but which moves each year to a different European country, in order to encourage participation by the professional players in the area concerned. I am particularly happy that the 2004 edition of the course is being hosted by Hungary, in other words by one of the countries that joined the European Union on 1st May. Meetings between professional operators from different countries with the aim of comparing experiences and exchanging best practice are certainly one means of rendering the process of EU enlargement more concrete and more visible. This is all the more important in a sector like cinema exhibition, where cultural content and business aspects exist side by side. As I mentioned at the opening of one of the previous courses organised by MEDIA Salles - the course devoted to digital screening, held in Kuurne, Belgium - I trust that the acquisition of greater competence both in the field of the new technologies and in that of theatre management and marketing will prove useful to European exhibitors for contributing to the dissemination and knowledge of Europe's cinema".

Costas Daskalakis's words are a reminder that this is the first course ever for movie theatres within the framework of the MEDIA Programme.

Before this course, first experimented in 2001, both at a European and at a national level the same failing was to be seen: there was no offer of specific training for exhibitors.

Theatre management and programming has always been a job that was learnt on the shop floor.
But this is not sufficient, in an age and in a situation where so many offers of entertainment are springing up in competition with cinemas and where drastic changes of an economic, financial and technological nature are taking place.

This is how, from considerations arising within the Danish exhibitors' association, inspired by professional meetings at Cinema Expo and developed on a "fertile terrain" like the European Film College, a project for a course with a European perspective took shape at MEDIA Salles, the organisation whose members are the national and international associations of European exhibitors both in the industrial and in the art-house sectors.

The project met with the approval of the MEDIA Programme and of the Italian Government and, thanks to their resources, here we are at our fourth edition.

As you have just heard, this is a "team project". I should like to mention some of the members of this team, some of whom are not present here:

  • Mette Schramm, President of the Danish exhibitors' association,
  • Jens Rykaer, Director of the European Film College and President of MEDIA Salles up until last May

and others who are present and whom I invite to join me:

  • Jonna Jensen, of the Danish exhibitors' association,

and the MEDIA Salles' organisation team:

  • Tina Bianchi, responsible for this initiative,
  • Paola Ferrario, editor of the statistics and the market analysis,
  • Laura Bonfante, with special responsibility for collecting and colleting all the documentation necessary for the preparation of the "Course Report", both by taking notes and by collecting material from the speakers,
  • Sara Cipolla, the stagiaire providing organisational support for events,

and also Enikö Kiss, Head of the Hungarian MEDIA Desk aided by Eszter Bartha.

And finally, after all these ladies, Mads Egmont Christensen, the course moderator, with whom I leave you.

All the best for the work ahead!