2020 AHC Annual Conference Proposals
Each year the Art House Convergence, an association dedicated to advancing excellence and sustainability in art house cinema exhibition, hosts the largest annual gathering of art house cinema professionals.

The 2020 Annual Conference will take place January 19 – 23, 2020 in Midway, Utah at the Zermatt and Homestead Resorts. Each conference includes over 40+ educational sessions featuring conversations and presentations by leaders in cinema exhibition.

Interested in hosting a conversation? Submit your ideas for a Conference Session by August 21, 2019.

Interested in attending a conversation? You can also submit ideas for sessions you want to attend.

All applicants will be notified about the status of their session proposal by mid-September, 2019. Presenting exhibitors will be able to register at the Presenter Rate of $550, all other applicants are encouraged to register at the Early Bird Rate before the Early Bird window closes on October 11, 2019.

Each year Co-Chairs for the Art House Convergence Annual Conference consider the tremendous challenges and opportunities facing the field of exhibition. In advance of the 2020 Conference, Co-Chairs Miriam Bale (Indie Memphis) and Michael Orange (MATATU Nomadic Cinema) have identified key topics that inspire an ambitious and innovative consideration of how we can serve our communities, challenge ourselves, and reach beyond our status quo to imagine new creative and collaborative possibilities for the theatrical experience. Please consult the 2020 conference goals for inspiration in advance of submitting your proposal.


As an international alliance of cinemas and film festivals, we recognize our role as curators of the public imagination and work to sustain the art house as a thinking space and sanctuary for documentation and representation of the human experience. We acknowledge our power as exhibitors and commit to leaning beyond conventional models towards a more equitable framework in operations, programming, leadership, and representation.


There has been a recent tendency to split film appreciation and interpretation into aesthetic OR political camps. It’s important to emphasize that all art is political. Every visual, narrative, and technological choice is political. Coming together to watch and discuss films is political, and the choices of who guides those discussions and how are also political. It’s important to move beyond calls for representation and towards aesthetic analysis of every choice (even, or especially, the choices to be “anti-political” or to replicate dominant and usual forms without interrogation).


What role do our physical locations play in our institutional identities? How are our decisions, both on and off the screen, influenced and informed by the public? How may we better recognize our economic, social, and cultural impact? As place-based organizations, we have a tremendous responsibility to the people who entrust us with their stories and spaces. How may we ensure that a plurality of perspectives inform our community-based work, moving beyond transactional relationships towards equitable partnerships?


There is an urgent need to make sure our environments are sustainable: ecologically, financially, and culturally. How are we dealing with changing marketplaces and new ways of promotion and communication? What small and big daily choices are we making to create less waste and damage? Our lived, shared cultural experiences more sustainable than individual cultural consumption? If our organization wants to widen its cultural reach, how does our own workplace reflect that desired outcome? Can we change that workplace by hiring new people and forming new partnerships? If so, are those relationships and new hires sustainable?


Change requires imagination. As film professionals we are in a privileged position to be daily inspired by the art of the cinema: past, present and future. In honor of this chosen field, we commit to pursuing creative decision making.

Questions? Email Makenzie Peecook at Makenzie@arthouseconvergence.org

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AHC education programs at the annual conference are learning experiences and are non-commercial. Under no circumstances should a conference workshop or general conference session be used for direct promotion of a speaker's product, service, or other self-interest. I acknowledge and accept AHC's non-commercial policy. *
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