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Highlights - 26/01/2012
European Film Promotion celebrates its 15 years
Since 1997, European Film Promotion (EFP) has made the promotion of European actors, directors and producers worldwide. EFP is present in most festivals and film markets as Berlin, Cannes, Toronto, Pusan and the AFM. On the occasion of this anniversary, we speak to Renate Rose, Chief Executive Officer, who, from the outset, emphasizes the place of dialogue which constitutes this group of 33 European agencies of cinema and film promotion, each bringing its experience to the most recent members. The organization welcomed in 2011 the Georgian National Film Center among its members and keeps spreading its international activities beyond European Union. Renate Rose also mentions the support of MEDIA: “I would be remiss if I did not single out the MEDIA Programme for standing behind this concept from the start. And our EFP members ; it is only thanks to their dedication, passion, guidance and financial support that the organisation has existed these 15 years, and hopefully will for 15 more”.
EFP has developed initiatives to promote European artists (actors and directors) during European festivals. Could you present us your 2 initiatives “Shooting Stars” and “Directors to Watch”?
The aim of these pan-European initiatives is to bring up-and-coming talent directly into the promotional process, attracting press and industry attention, and thereby, to help to build up a star system in Europe, which is so essential for the world-wide promotion and marketing of European cinema.
The SHOOTING STARS event at the Berlin International Film Festival has several additional objectives: to generate new contacts for the actors, provide information to the international press about up-and-coming talent, to encourage a greater network between casting agents, producers, directors, actors and their agents. Between 1998 and 2011, EFP has introduced 233 up-and-coming young European actors to the international world via activities such as the official Press Conference at the Berlinale, the Award Ceremony on the Main Stage of the Berlinale Palast, meetings with international casting directors and photo shootings for different magazines.
EFP members work cooperatively on this project, nominating their actors, and then allowing a final selection of 10 to be made by an independent professional jury of 5 important industry figures including a director, producer, casting director, journalist and one former SHOOTING STAR.
In 2001, in recognition of the growing importance of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, EFP established collaboration with the festival and Variety Magazine and co-presented “Variety’s Ten European Directors to Watch”. The initiative presents an official festival sidebar of ten European films by up-and-coming directors, selected by Variety critics in conjunction with the Festival and EFP members. Since its inception, EFP has supported the presence of 110 young European directors with extensive PR activities engaging the press and industry.
More info : SHOOTING STARS
Could you tell us more about “Producers on the move” in relation to promotion of European films outside of the EU?
EFP launched the initiative PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE at the Cannes International Film Festival and Market, leading the way over the years in highlighting the wealth of young producing talent in Europe. Between 2000 and 2011, the initiative has focused the attention of the international press and industry in Cannes on a total of 243 up-and-coming European producers and in this way worked in support of cross-border cooperation on their projects.
The list of the resulting contacts of the participating producers from the years 2008-2010 shows that 33 producers out of the 68 are or have been working together on concrete co-productions.
Please note that this project focuses on European producers. EFP has established another event in 2010, the “Producers Lab Toronto” where selected Producers on the Move meet selected Canadian producers at the Toronto International Film Festival. Results from the first year (2010) show that 14 project titles were named, involving 16 participating producers (from a total of 24 participants).
More info: Producers Lab Toronto
Could you describe the mechanism of “Film Sales Support” ?
Film Sales Support is in its ninth year, with the help of the MEDIA Programme. It all started rather small, with the idea to make European films more visible in countries outside of Europe, in particular in those with emerging or promising markets. FSS was therefore going to target South America and Asia, not forgetting the huge North American market. The festivals of Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow and Busan were the first ones at which FSS was available. We have chosen a mixture of "bigger" and "smaller" festivals for FSS to cover all promotional platforms and all kinds of business making, from the bustling Toronto International Film Festival to the expanding Guadalajara International Film Festival.
In 2012, we offer FSS at the international film festivals in Sundance, Shanghai and Sao Paulo, as well as the FILMART in Hong Kong, the Asian Film Market in Busan and the American Film Market.
Thanks to MEDIA, EFP can continuously support the promotion and marketing campaigns for Europe's finest films undertaken by the most important European sales agents. More than 100 different sales companies have benefited from FSS over these years. The Match Factory, TrustNordisk, Hanway, Protagonist, Films Distribution and Beta Cinema are really just some of the ones that spring to mind. FSS works as an incentive to invest into the promotion of films that still face difficulties in non-European countries, where the extra boost is indeed deeply needed. 45% of all costs for promotion and PR activities of films participating at the selected film festivals and international markets are covered by FSS.
We have, indeed, helped with 906 campaigns for more than 860 films and of theses, to date, more than 380 were sold. All of them face the same challenges, more or less : they have to compete for the attention of buyers from all over the world. Although markets such as China remain difficult to penetrate it is important for European films to be backed in the best possible way to make a difference. And, it is vital that we are there to help the professionals from Europe to attend festivals and markets outside of Europe and to meet the local industry which does not necessarily always travel to Europe. We often have to come to them, a gesture which pays off.
Flora Anavi, Priscilla Gessati
Pictures from top:
- Renate Rose © Asmus Henkel
- SHOOTING STARS 2011 © Eric Vernazobres