The 2019 European Film Market focuses on “Diversity and Inclusion”
by Vassilis Economou
- The EFM’s DocSalon, Producers Hub and Berlinale Africa Hub are aiming to cover various topics that will satisfy a wide array of film professionals
The Berlinale’s European Film Market (7-15 February) is aiming to once again offer a wide array of focuses for film professionals at its upcoming edition. The DocSalon, Producers Hub and Berlinale Africa Hub sections are ready and waiting to welcome industry movers and shakers, and this edition features a special focus on “Diversity and Inclusion”.
Starting with the EFM DocSalon, the meeting place for documentary filmmakers will see its 11th edition unspool from 8-13 February. Continuing with the changes that were introduced in 2018, the DocSalon will retain its new spatial design, and further develop the programme and its themes, which are divided into three tailored event formats. In “Meet the Festivals”, participants can present their projects to programmers and market representatives of leading documentary festivals during pre-scheduled, one-on-one meetings. The “High Tea with Experts” round-table sessions will offer a clearer insight into the fields of financing, production and sales. Finally, five “Salon Talks” organised in partnership with the European Documentary Network (EDN) will explore a wide array of socio-political topics, such as inclusive funding policies, using a number of different formats, from presentations to discussions and from case studies to one-on-one interviews.
The EFM Producers Hub is about to reach its fifth edition. The platform, which focuses firmly on the needs of producers, will include a varied range of discussions and presentations. Some of the topics set to be addressed include “Development Support for European Independent Producers” by Creative Europe – MEDIA and an informational event dealing with the role of the European Film Commission Network. Furthermore, this year’s keynote speech will emphasise the importance of producing collaboratively and the significance of including underrepresented groups. As at previous editions, one whole day will be dedicated to the Sino-European Production Seminar, which promotes collaboration between European and Chinese producers, in partnership with the Bridging the Dragon network.
Finally, for the third year running, the EFM is continuing its successful Berlinale Africa Hub initiative. The African film market, focusing particularly on the sub-Saharan regions, will run from 8-13 February and is inviting key players from the African film industry to introduce themselves and their works to a wider audience, while also offering plenty of chances to discuss, network and showcase their technological prowess.
In the daily panel discussions this year, some of the key topics that will be addressed are “Interconnectivity, Self-Empowerment and Inclusive Network Building of African Women Film Professionals”, “The African Film Market of the Future”, “Bufis: Re-Inventing African Cinema and Challenging Migration Narratives”, and “A New Co-Production and Distribution Framework Between Europe and Africa”.
Ethiopia’s emerging film industry will be under the spotlight, and some of the companies and institutions that will be present at the Berlinale Africa Hub are the Pan-African Film Consortium (Nigeria), AfriDocs (South Africa), Nollywood Germany (Germany), Rushlake Media (Germany), Wesgro Film and Media Promotion (South Africa), Badel Media (Canada), Cultural Video Production (Kenya), the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (EU), the Pan-African Alliance of Screenwriters and Directors (APASER), and the International Emerging Film Talent Association (Monaco). Also, this year, visitors will have a chance to experience numerous VR projects made by African talents.
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