Dear Visitors

This website predominantly reflects current research results pertaining to the German film festival landscape. Growing international interest has prompted us to also offer the contents successively in English. We appreciate your understanding, should you encounter any content that is still only in German.
Many thanks for your interest, The Team

Attack from Hollywood – if you don’t move, you get moved

With the recently published study „Attack from Hollywood„, Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hennig-Thurau from the University of Münster, confirms what many had long feared: Streamers are gradually taking over the audiovisual market! The fact that the Corona pandemic is proving an accelerant for conventional television is now being seen not only among the younger target groups, but also among the over-50s, who are becoming increasingly more enthusiastic about digital media consumption. The fact that the media libraries of public TV providers such as arte & Co are also recording significant growth rates is somewhat optimistic, yet Thurau also sees that the cinema industry has long been caught up in this trend and urgently advises more customer and innovation orientation in addition to quality, as well as a stronger distribution of digital cinema windows.
The report on the study in German only can be found here.

On Cinemascapes and Streaming Worlds – cinema industry, film critics and film festivals in discussion – Feb. 9, 2021, 7 p.m.

With the Corona pandemic, streaming platforms have gained millions of new subscribers. Cinemas were forced to close, film festivals to go digital. While cinema allows collective experience of films, streaming offers private enjoyment. How can cinema and streaming programs complement one another? And how can cinema be saved for the future in the face of social distancing rules and underfunding?

Since 2018, Jeanine Meerapfel has offered  debates on film policy issues in her Academy Talks series in the run-up to the Berlinale. This year, despite its postponement, the usual date will remain – at least for the conversation. For the lack of collective aesthetic experiences and opportunities for public discourse is undermining democratic discussion to an unforeseeable extent. 

Andreas Kilb in conversation with Christine Berg, Meret Ruggle, Christoph Terhechte, Anna Winger and Jeanine Meerapfel.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 7 p.m., in English.
The recorded talk you find here

NECSUS special issue: Film festivals in times of COVID-19

With its autumn 2020 issue, the open access journal NECSUS addresses numerous issues surrounding the challenges of film festivals in the wake of the covid pandemic.
Articles include Film festivals and the first wave of COVID-19: Challenges, opportunities, and reflections on festivals? relations to crises by Marijke de Valck and Antoine Damiens and many more from the film festival researcher community.
Find access to the magazine here

Film festivals in Germany plead for a structural change in cinema culture

On the basis of its growing importance for the dissemination of film culture and the preservation of cinema culture, AG Filmfestival, like other cultural sectors, demands to be concretely included in discussions on exit strategies for the time after Corona. The aim is to agree on short-term intervention to support the film festival landscape and thus also to safeguard the employment crisis, but also to develop a long-term cultural policy agenda together with politicians.
The press release of the AG Filmfestival in German is available here

Time for re-thinking what film festivals do

It is time to “to think about the business itself; to re-think the core of what we do, why we do it and what is the actual meaning of what we do? What is it that really matters? That is the massive win of this year, making us re-think the basics.”, Orwa Nyrabia (head of the IDFA) emphasised in an interview with Geoffrey Macnab in the Screendaily. And he is not alone with this position. Yesterday’s Zoom ScreenDaily Talk: Black Nights, Berlin, „Rotterdam heads to talk winter festival plans“ with Tiina Lokk, director of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival; Mariette Rissenbeek, executive director of the Berlin International Film Festival; Vanja Kaludjercic, director of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR); and Marge Liiske, director of Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event demonstrated a unity in this attitude. Vanja Kaludjercic, in particular, spoke out in favour of using this time to develop formats together with filmmakers and other industry representatives in order to shape this phase of upheaval together. The recorded talk you can finde here.

The EU’s new film festival network support is far from a trendsetting function

“Film festivals taking place this fall face similar challenges to their spring counterparts: the balancing act between presence and online screening is still required. But what matters is that they are still taking place. Their teams are working full steam to present the audience with an exciting selection of films.
MEDIA now supports 34 festivals from 19 countries with over 1.6 million euros.” (Creative Europe Desk Hamburg).
For the first time, the new funding line for the initiation and support of film festival networks was also considered in the call for tenders. A new incentive that could not only create Europe-wide synergies, but above all, set new trends. This time existing networks were supported. It remains to be seen how the new incentives will develop and their invigorating effect.
The results in detail can be found here

Film festivals: friend or foe? A discussion of AG DOK at the 63rd Int. Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film

Some regard them as the last bastion of cinema culture, others as one of the few gateways to the audience, and still others as the outgrowth of an eventization trend. Film festivals: friend or foe was thus recently the topic of a working group consisting of filmmakers, producers, distributors and film festival organizers at the Dok Leipzig. The diverse results were presented publicly in a panel discussion with Susanne Binninger (AG DOK) Daniel Sponsel (DOK.fest München) and Florina Vilgertshofer (AG DOK). For a recording of the event in the German language click here

New Film Conception turns the spot on the film festival landscape

Beyond its own federal state, the 3rd Film Conception Baden-Wurttemberg 2020, an update to the Film Conception 2008, was awaited with great interest. A milestone in many respects for the film festivals attending, as for the first time, not only were they considered as part of the film industry, but the MVK and MFG networking event provided the impetus to found a community of interests and henceforth intensify positive exchange. The results of the Film Concept Baden-Württemberg 2020 combined with a readjustment of the objectives can be downloaded as an e-paper in German

Finally an upward trend for women in the film industry

The biggest advance and most gratifying surprise among the results of the new study by Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University: The percentage of women working as directors and writers on independently and domestically produced films reached historic heights in 2019-2020. Women comprised 38% of directors – up from 33% in 2018-19 – and 29% in 2017-18. And also accounted for 35% of writers – up from 32% in 2018-19 and 26% in 2017-18.
Likewise, in 2020, the 50×50 Movement is gradually showing effects: Although in 2019-2020, high-profile festivals in the U.S. selected and/or screened twice as many narrative features directed by men as by women, they selected and/or screened an almost equal number of documentaries directed by women as by men.
Regardless of the fact that the selection of the 22 film festivals studied (see below) represents only a fraction of the approximately 3,000 film festivals estimated by the Film Festival Alliance, the result nevertheless represents a trend. All the more, as some are among the world’s major festivals and, thus, as so-called re-enactment festivals, ensure a corresponding distribution of women’s film works.
A brief version of the study report can be found here

AFI Fest; Ashland Independent Film Festival; Atlanta Film Festival; Austin Film Festival; Chicago International Film Festival; Cinequest Film Festival; Cleveland International Film Festival; Florida Film Festival; Hamptons International Film Festival; Nantucket Film Festival; New Directors/New Films; New York Film Festival; Palm Springs International Film Festival; Rhode Island International Film Festival; St. Louis International Film Festival; San Francisco International Film Festival; Santa Barbara International Film Festival; Slamdance Film Festival; Sundance Film Festival; SXSW Film Festival; Telluride Film Festival; Tribeca Film Festival.