Kristina Trapp • EAVE CEO
by Gonzalo Suárez López
21/01/2011 - Kristina Trapp has been CEO of the Luxembourg-based European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE) since January 2010. She joined EAVE in 2003 as Programme Manager, when EAVE was still based in Brussels. Cineuropa talked to her within the framework of (The article continues below - Commercial information)
In a changing industry, it is also crucial for us to cover other relevant fields for the film business and to keep pace with the latest trends, such as social marketing and new forms of distribution, production, marketing and funding. All of our tutors play an active role in the industry and understand the “EAVE spirit”, i.e. they are ready to be generous with their knowledge and contacts and create a protected atmosphere of trust and confidence for our producers. At EAVE, experts don't lecture like at school – it is all professionals sharing know-how and best practices, talking about their failures and doubts, and opening up as much as possible to participants and vice versa, to learn as much as possible from each other.
Has the crisis had any impact on general attendance at the workshop?
We were expecting a massive negative effect of the crisis. Our biggest drop was expected for the 2011 European Producers Workshop, our longest running and most cost-intensive for participants. Funnily enough, we had more applications for 2011 than ever. We also expected a big drop from big countries such as Sweden, Germany and France, but this was not the case – in France we have had more than in previous years. Some figures shifted slightly, but there was no drop. This is partly because we enjoy very good word of mouth and a good reputation. Moreover, applicants tend to be younger though not less experienced. People are forced to work very hard and quickly and try to professionalise even more nowadays.
At the 3rd European Producers Workshop, held in Belgrade, we also had more “decision makers” (invited film financiers, sales agents, TV commissioning editors, distributors) attending than ever before. However, in times of shrinking public funds it is a bit more difficult to find European producers for our international programs with Latin America, Asia and Middle East, since they’re more specialised, there's generally less profit involved and producers do it mainly because they’re interested in and very passionate about the film industry of a particular area.
What are some recently successful films to have come out of EAVE?
One thing that we realised is that most of the successful films coming out of EAVE are not produced by one EAVE producer but co-produced by several producers within the EAVE network. This networking effect – which is one of the main reasons why professionals come to us – is reflected in the fact that over 50% of participants co-produced together after having met through EAVE.
The many films wearing the EAVE label include multiple award-winning Serbian/German/Swedish title White White World [trailer] (see news) and Dutch/Irish co-production Nothing Personal [trailer, film focus]; The Four Times [trailer, film focus] [Europa Cinemas Label]; Cannes entries Adrienn Pal [trailer, film focus], Tender Son [trailer, film focus] and My Joy [trailer]; Illegal [trailer, film focus] [Belgium’s candidate for Oscar consideration]; and Easy Money [trailer] [the top 2010 box office hit in Sweden and a main case study at one of the EAVE Workshops].
Upcoming films include Black Butterflies, produced by EAVE expert Frans van Gestel and developed within EAVE a few years ago, and Bogdan Mustata's Wolf [Eurimages Co-Production Development Award (see news) and TorinoFilmLab Production Award (see news)].
What challenges lie ahead for EAVE in promoting European production?
We all need to embrace an industry in complete revolution. The situation for producers is going to change even more and they will have to wear even more “hats” in the future. For the time being, nobody really knows where the money is going to come from in the future. How to create a sustainable company is thus becoming even more challenging. Entrepreneurship is becoming more and more important for producers. Soft money is shrinking and producers will have to learn how to attract and deal with private investors.
It is crucial that producers today know their market and are able to assess the market potential of their films and that they know how to create an audience. They should be open to new ideas, be innovative, and they need to be on top of the new ways of financing, distributing and marketing films. Producers just can't ignore those challenges, they have to face and embrace them in order to survive.
I strongly believe that being more entrepreneurial and having solid business plans and sustainable companies will help create a sustainable European industry that will survive and have a real chance to compete internationally.