Space for cinema – cinema as a space: Cinema culture in NRW today

18 Apr 13:00
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Space for cinema – cinema as a space: Cinema culture in NRW today

NRW Film Culture Network theme day

What does cinema mean today? What is cinema today? Cinema is a social setting offering an aesthetic, collective experience. But what does cinema work actually involve? Keeping a balance between cinema releases and film series, event formats and weekly schedules, target group work and enhancing a cinema’s profile is the task and challenge of every cinema operation. This event will discuss the status quo of cultural cinema in NRW – from rural cinemas to urban arthouse. Particularly in the times we’re living in, promoting cultural work in the region is extremely important, and cinema lends itself particularly well to this. Historical, economic and funding policy structures need analysing in order to take a constructive look at the future of cinema.

›Promoting cinemas as cultural canvases‹ was the idea behind this theme day. It is part of the seven propositions put forward by Netzwerk Filmkultur e. V., founded in 2021. They are worth mentioning as they are indicative of the main problems facing film culture in Germany:

• Promoting film culture on a broad scale
• Promoting dialogue between film funding sources and film culture
• Seeing film education as cultural education
• Making film heritage accessible
• Creating fair working conditions
• Establishing standards: Participation and sustainability

The problem of precarious working conditions is a common thread running through the – almost exclusively independent – film culture. Art and commerce are often the polar opposites that act as guideposts in cinema. But this simplification leads to countless misunderstandings – and to real problems. The chronic underfunding of cinemas’ film culture offerings is also the result of a political failure to recognise the social power of cinema.

The current generational change in managerial roles at film festivals, film houses, film workshops and film associations is significant. The structures that were created in the 1970s and established in the 1980s are being handed over to a new generation that wants to continue them but also make them fit for the future. As a result, a fine tapestry of the most diverse networks and working groups has been woven across Germany’s film culture landscape in recent years. It was out of this context that the association Netzwerk Filmkultur e. V. was founded, which had existed as an informal network since the 1990s. Its task is to pool the film culture offerings, but also the demands of the various players and make them visible.

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In cooperation with Netzwerk Filmkultur e. V.