If the new Festival direction is bringing along important changes, what certainly does not change is the fact that the European Film Market (EFM) continues to be an integral part of the Berlinale, as the director Matthijs Wouter Knol explains:
“The restructuring of the festival programme curated by Carlo Chatrian is expected to also have an effect on the market.
The new Encounters section, for example, gives the selected films that maybe don’t have a sales agent, the chance to take advantage of the market, to look for partners, find distribution companies and make business here.
Also, it is a great opportunity to have Mariette Rissenbeek as the executive director of the Festival: we have known her since she was an exhibitor in EFM when she was still in charge of German Films. She knows the market very well from the inside and it’s a pleasure to work with her. We really felt her support in the past months.”
There are many new initiatives at this year’s edition of EFM.
The new EFM Landmark shines a light on the work of film commissions, which is more and more important and interesting for producers:
“We have a 2 day programme, taking place on February 24 and 25 in the Gropius Bau: there will be presentations as well as showcases on case histories and new trends will also be discussed. Producers are keen to be present and all the spaces are booked.
We worked closely with the European Film Commission Network (EUFCN) who will present the European Location Award kick off of EFM Landmark. It will be held right after a panel on producers and film commissions to be held in the EFM Producers Hub in the Gropius Bau on Sunday afternoon.”
Matthijs Wouter Knol is also proud to announce the first EFM SUSTAINABILITY MANIFESTO: “We will declare that within the next four years the EFM wants to be a green and sustainable market, not only with environmental guidelines, but also exploring the concept of well-being in the industry (how people can work in this sector in a way that it doesn’t ‘overload’ them) with a session in the EFM Horizons programme.
Panels on sustainability and diversity will also be part of EFM Landmark, the EFM Producers Hub as well as the EFM DocSalon.”
The Italian film industry confirms its strong presence inside the Gropius Bau on the ground floor right after the entrance in the bookstore: “We did some little re-arrangements with the sales companies and in general we discussed, working closely with Roberto Stabile and Giancarlo Di Gregorio, how to make the Italian Pavillon one of the most remarkable ones.”
Chile will be the Country in Focus, “with a focus on documentary films and a strong presence inside the Berlinale Series market programme.”
The growing attention to documentaries is another strong link between festival and market: on Febraury 22nd the DocSalon will host the launch of DAE, the new European Documentary Association, which aims to support the network for the next generation of filmmakers and non-fiction communities across the continent.
Another new initiative held inside the DocSalon will be Archive Day, on Febrary 25th, “we invited international archivers and archive researchers to facilitate their connection with producers, as we believe it’s an interesting market to explore,” concludes Matthijs Wouter Knol.