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When East Meets West launches its Hybrid Universe


- The major Italian event promises that changes are in store for this new-generation edition, but it will nevertheless keep the “same heart”

When East Meets West launches its Hybrid Universe
The opening session of this year's WEMW

The 12th edition of When East Meets West (WEMW) has just kicked off, and this year, more than 800 film professionals hailing from over 60 different countries have exclusive access to the WEMW Hybrid Universe, the space that bridges the real and virtual worlds of the market. For the second year running, the tailor-made platform has been created in partnership with WYTH, and it will offer all attendees an immersive experience, with the possibility of easily navigating together in a single “venue”, accessing all live-stream events and screenings, and interacting with all other online and on-site participants any time until 28 January.

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Apart from the presentation of the projects selected in the Co-Production Forum (see the news), a series of inspirational lectures are being organised along with panels on the 2022 focus countries, plus the Green Lottery, the Quiz Show, the Musical Plant Installation, and the live music performances of the WEMW Live Band, which are all part of this year’s edition. Along with the pitching sessions within the Co-Production Forum and MIDPOINT Shorts (see the news), there will be three showcases dedicated to works in progress: Last Stop Trieste, First Cut+ and This is It (see the news). All screenings will be available starting from today on the online platform, within the WEMW Video Library section.

Alessandro Gropplero, head of WEMW, underlined: “After the special ‘out of the box’ edition that ran in a fully digital format, we realised that we wanted, and needed, to include in our reality many elements from the WEMW online world. This is why the ‘new generation’ of WEMW is the result of a long learning process, a perfect blend of all the past editions of the market, where virtual and real are getting closer and closer thanks to our new hybrid universe.”

Regarding the “new generation” of WEMW, a special format that for the first time will connect 100 on-site attendees with over 700 online professionals, it places a strong focus on company development, new business models and different formats, more diversity, inclusion and sustainability, and curation in every single aspect of the market.

As for WYTH, this innovative digital platform was founded by Samuele Franzini and Mattia Bloise, who state, “We are happy to be part of WEMW again and to be collaborating with its organisers to create a unique virtual space, where the physical and digital worlds can coexist. We are talking today about the metaverse, and which will be the related infrastructures that will emerge in the near future. With WYTH, we are aiming to track this change and support the realities of entering the metaverse, focusing both on the types of devices and on the user’s experience and the quality of the content.”

Thanks to the close collaboration with several major content partners, WEMW has put together a series of sessions tackling different, challenging topics. EAVE will lead the session “Future Thinking of Data Analysis in the Audiovisual Industry”, where different speakers will look at audiovisual data and potential technological tools to better understand them from different perspectives, including those of streamers and the indie European industry. The audience potential of scripts will also be under the microscope. For the third year, the MIDPOINT Institute, the key partner of the Cold Open Drama Series Lab, will organise a lecture entitled “Financing Opportunities for Series”. ESoDoc, the co-organiser of the first edition of the Inspirational Lab “Impact Pyramid”, will curate the keynote speech “What Happens When Impact and Production Dance Together?”. ACE Producers will “come back to Trieste” to host the “ACE Interview with Ankica Jurić Tilić”, co-founder of production company Kinorama. Thanks to the new partnership with MEDICI - The Film Funding Journey (organised by FOCAL), WEMW will dedicate the panels “In the Spotlight: UK, Ireland and Russia Funding Landscape” and “Canada Funding Landscape” to the 2022 countries in focus. For the very first time, genre cinema will break into When East Meets West, and to this end, the Fantastic Film Forum of the Trieste Science+Fiction Festival will curate the session “Crossing Genre Cinema. New Trends in Contemporary Genre Cinema”. Last but not least, EWA Network and CIRCLE Doc Accelerator will join forces to discuss how to create a fairer, more equitable and more inclusive audiovisual industry in the closing panel, “Embracing a New Future”.

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