BAM! returned from its trip to the Lago Film Fest on Sunday 23 July drunk on audience development and full of new knowledge!
Effectively speaking, we’d like more Sundays like this one. We arrived ready for the meeting for cultural workers, organised and coordinated by BAM! as part of the Festival Internazionale di Cinema Indipendente, which has been held at Revine Lago for thirteen years now. And we left with the regret that we couldn’t stay longer to enjoy the shorts, documentaries, sets, music, dance, meetings and tasting sessions that will bring this enchanting village to life until Saturday 29 July.
The Audience Development and Community Engagement meeting, held at the Parco del Livelet, enabled us to bring various cultural organisations from all over north-east Italy together in a single room, along with a large group of other interested people. Drawing inspiration from the Lago Film Fest experience, we explored the advantages and difficulties faced by cultural organisations in their relations with local communities. What’s more, thanks to the contribution from Teatro dell’Argine, we looked at the broad spectrum of little everyday practices and major temporary projects implemented by the theatre company from San Lazzaro di Savena (BO) to promote Audience Engagement.
However, as we’re always hungry for Engagement, we continued the afternoon with a role play session involving us and, above all, the cultural organisations that had been invited to the meeting.
La Chiave di Sophia, Lago Film Fest, Lahar Magazine, Officina, Piccolo Festival di Animazione, stART, TCBF, Teatro dell’Argine, Teatro del Pane and Weigh Station came together around a table and, drawing inspiration from the actual experience of two of them, they simulated some partnerships targeted at audience development, gradually breaking down the taboos that often prevent cultural workers from talking about the audience and, above all, the non-audience. By doing so, our participants discovered, rediscovered and fascinated one another, each in their turn, in a whirlwind of inspiration that caused those who already practise Audience Development to reflect, while inspiring other to start using it.
Various ideas emerged as a result of the contributions. First and foremost, why it is also necessary to develop those segments of the audience – especially the very young – who only have limited spending capacity; but also the importance of getting to know other organisations (both cultural and otherwise) that work in the same area and being proactive and receptive towards partnerships and joint actions.
The afternoon couldn’t have ended any better. We said our goodbyes over a delicious cold beer, while expressing the wish that we would soon have the chance to spend another Audience Development-based afternoon together.
Lastly, as we enjoyed some unlikely shorts and touching documentaries screened by the lake, we finally heard the croaking of the frogs that, uncoincidentally, represent Lago Film Fest.