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When East Meets West launches its Digital World


- Part industry event and part variety show, this year’s digital edition of the co-production market promises a playful and immersive experience

When East Meets West launches its Digital World

In just a few days’ time, starting on 25 January, the 11th edition of When East Meets West (WEMW) will welcome more than 650 professionals from 58 different countries, who will have access to the new “Out of the Box” version of the leading co-production market.

Everything will unfold in the so-called WEMW Digital World, where all the pieces of the programme are laid out as a jigsaw puzzle (find out more here). This is the first time that this customised platform, created in collaboration with WYTH, has been used for a film-industry event, and the goal is to offer an immersive and playful experience to all participants. Just like the landmark location of the market, the Savoia Hotel in Trieste, the platform will become a single-venue destination offering access to all live-streamed events and screenings, and even more importantly, it will offer participants the chance to interact and video-chat instantly with everyone.

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Part industry event and part variety show, this edition will include a wide range of activities, from the traditional real-time presentations of selected projects and works in progress, inspirational lectures and case studies to the brand-new lottery draws, cooking shows, dance classes and live music performances.

Alessandro Gropplero, head of WEMW, explained: “After many months with no chance to see and hug each other, we wanted to create a unique edition capable of offering high-quality business opportunities for all registered attendees and a programme of alternative, cosy, friendly activities at the same time. We wanted to recreate the typical, warm atmosphere of our market, and therefore, we moulded a programme that lies in between industry event and variety show, where business meets fun.”

The programme includes the pitching sessions of the Co-Production Forum (see the news) and MIDPOINT Shorts (see the news), along with three showcases dedicated to works in progress – Last Stop Trieste, This is IT (see the news) and First Cut+ (see the news). Furthermore, all of the screenings will be available from 25-29 January in the WEMW Video Library, reserved exclusively for the over 120 festival representatives and sales agents participating this year.

In addition, some of WEMW’s partners are hosting their own sessions, such as “From Destruction to Reinvention”, a series of case studies highlighting inspirational and innovative success stories from the previous year, across the value chain, in collaboration with EAVE. Also, during its Cold Open TV series lab, MIDPOINT is organising the lecture “How to Find the Right Partners in This Fast-paced, Ever-changing TV Market?”, while ACE Producers, in partnership with the Les Arcs Industry Village, is hosting an interview with Sébastien Beffa, executive partner of French sales agent Playtime. Finally, the EWA Network will organise the closing session, entitled “Do Not Just Think, Work Out of the Box”, a conversation with Tine Klint about the present and future of her company, LevelK.

As for the Backstage part of WEMW, which truly is out of the box, registered producers will be able to cook meals, have drinks, enjoy some good music, or take yoga and fitness classes together with festival, market and sales representatives. The essence of this section is to create a friendly, non-business-orientated, relaxed environment, reminding participants of the very essence of WEMW and how it normally unfolds in the non-digital world.

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