30 seconds with... Madeleine Probst


Madeleine Probst


Cinema Producer, Watershed & Film Hub South West & West Midlands and Vice-President of Europa Cinemas

Three words to describe your feelings about cinema

Essential, transformative, inspiring

What inspires you daily

The smell of fresh coffee

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the cinema culture right now?

The lack of capital investment in existing and new spaces and the lack of risk-taking in programming films that go beyond the mainstream.

And, the biggest opportunity?

The social and communal elements are the DNA of cinema. Being active in the "before and after" the film moment is the biggest opportunity right now.

What was the last film you saw

Daphne (2017), Peter Mackie Burns

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

I think that for filmmakers, there is always a primacy of the cinema screening. It's an event where you can get an immediate visceral response from people and the reason why festivals have become increasingly significant and the cinema remains essential.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?

Why not given where we find ourselves? Representation is key as are inclusive organisational cultures that constantly and collectively work at this...

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?

I go to the cinema to be taken on a journey not to make my own story. There's definitely room for more active experiences but I see more potential in cross art site-specific immersive experiences than choosing your own narratives...

VR in film: enhances the experience and for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling?

It's not an either or... I see it as part of a continuum in the story of moving image, a very young artform that will keep on evolving in 2D and beyond. There is something distinctive about the point of view, the levels of empathy VR can make you feel, the more dreamlike narratives and the importance of sound that could inflect storytelling.

Director / Talent Q&As: insufferably boring or a great way to engage and develop audiences?

It completely depends on who's onstage, talent and host, and whether audiences are invited in. I also think more informal opportunities to engage in conversations and spaces can be really great.

What are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?

Visiting Hull for the first time and finding out more about what's been happening as part of city of culture & getting inspiration from other practitioners

What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?

The power of culture in this mad world we find ourselves in.

Where can people find you TWITTER?


Hull 2017TWU Team