Film festivals have developed into an ecosystem in their own right over the last two decades. Accordingly, there is an increasing need to discuss and negotiate developments and innovations as well as external challenges and practical issues. In the following, results and positions developed at film festivals are presented that are relevant for the film festival sector as a whole.

DOK Leipzig Industry Podcast with six new episodes
As in the past three seasons, the podcast is dedicated to current issues in the documentary industry, taking a special look at topics such as power structures, equality, and the perspectives and stories of marginalized filmmakers. Launching June 20, 2023 with filmmakers Sameer Farooq and Marley McDonald and host and moderator Aisha Jamal:

Journal by Lichter Filmfest: Gregor Maria Schubert, Johanna Süß und Kenneth Hujer (ed.), May 2023

Creating Community in Hybrid Festivals
Report by IDFA DocLab, Jan. 2023

Industry Insights – The EFM Podcast at the EFM/ International Film Festival Berlin
This Podcast is about and for the entertainment industry. The podcast features long episodes as a year-round series, with further interesting contributions during the EFM 2023 next to those of previous editions:

Panel: Reconstruction Discussion about ways to create the spark to reignite the passion of audiences by the members of the distributors network at the Film Festival SAN SEBASTIÁN, (Oct 2022)
After cinemas were affected by 6-month closures in the past two years, which also affected distributors, they now have to find effective answers to completely different challenges: The loss of the everyday practice of cinema, the migration of moviegoers to streamers, a lack of presentation spaces for European films, and much more.

Eugene Hernandez in an interview with Eric Kohn: The film industry and the festivals are striving for diversity, but there is still a long way to go (Sept 2022)
The director of the New York Film Festival and soon-to-be director of Sundance, sees film festivals today as having a clear obligation to offer diverse programming. As a subordinated link behind the production, festivals are thus often confronted with challenges comparable to those of the rest of the industry. This makes it all the more incumbent on festivals to address this task, create spaces and initiate conversations. In: IndieWire’s Screen Talk podcast. 400th episode:

Why Film Festivals Are Important For Your Filmmaking Career
Watch BFI Film Academy hosted the event in collaboration with Film Hub South East, Sept 1st, 2022

Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis co-initiates new German Talent Forum, a think tank for the promotion of young filmmakers (Sept. 2022)Talent platform: With the aim of rethinking the promotion of talent in German film, television and streaming and developing solutions for a more sustainable and multi-layered talent promotion, 65 talented individuals and institution representatives met in September 2022 for the 1st Forum Talentfilm. This was upon the invitation of the initiators, Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, and in cooperation with Produzentenverband e.V. The Talent Forum aims to develop new forms and ways of cooperation. Further information in German:

7th FILMKUNSTFEST MV, industry conference focuses on the topic of collaboration between gainful employment and voluntary work (Sept. 2022)
A hot topic today for cinema and film festivals alike. Even before the pandemic, it was difficult to find employees and to train them in a structured way. Today, after closures and reduced working hours, the sector is affected by a wave of migration of trained personnel to other industries. Other major challenges are the poor image of the cinema sector as an employer, the low earnings opportunities and working hours. A discussion among industry representatives yields many a solution.
Recording in German:

Galway Film Fair: Memorandum of Understanding between sales agents and festivals (July 2022)
Against the background of the intensive interaction between the film festival sector and the world sales companies, the Network Europa Film Festivals and the World Sales Association Europa International have, for the first time, developed a guide of good practices, which describes the responsibilities as well as the services of both parties in more detail and which will also serve as a manual for daily work in the future. The guide is available for download here

SINEMA TRANSTOPIA, discussion on cinema as a transnational space, collective experience of a community-like audience (June 2022)Community, commons, commoning were at the center of the discussion at the Symposium of Cinema of Commoning. They share the same Latin origin, communis, which means both „public“ and „shared by all or several.“ By „commoning“ we mean a form of social public sphere that is not organized by the state and is not profit-oriented.
Central results can be found here and will also be accompanied in the further discussion

Conference CINEMA VISION 2030: Concepts for tomorrow’s cinema and film culture (June 2022)
The three German cinema associations AG Kino – Gilde, HDF Kino and the Bundesverband kommunale Filmarbeit (BkF) invited participants to Berlin for the first innovation and future conference for cinemas in Germany. The aim was to discuss new concepts of a cinema of the future with more than 20 cinema experts from 10 countries. Regardless of nations, cities or rural areas, the concepts that are successful are those that focus on audience engagement, eventization (film festivals) and diverse programs for diverse audiences.
This is impressively shown by the presentation Universum of Cinema kino Dvork (TC:00:48:00)

LICHTER Filmfest/ Congress Future of German Film II, Panel: The Other Cinema: On the Future of a Cultural Venue (May 2022)
Even though today we are surrounded everywhere by the leading medium of the moving image, and film represents both a carrier of knowledge and a practice of life, its original habitat, the cinema, is increasingly losing relevance, even if its quality as a place of gathering and discourse should be more important today than ever. How this place can succeed in reinventing itself is the question at the center of this panel. (recording in German)

On the occasion of Cannes Film festival sales agencies and film festivals discuss the key points of collaboration (May 2022)
Against the background of the growing cooperation between sales agencies and film festivals, the central aspects of both interests in this growing field were discussed under the title Strengthening Our Industry Core. The most important positions of the respective representatives can be heard here (in English):

Göteborg Film Festival, release of the 9th Nostradamus Report Imagining a Sustainable Industry (May 2022)Even though this Nostradamus Report for the first time leaves the reader with more questions than answers, it once again provides far-reaching insights into the current challenges facing the media industry. In six chapters, it describes the major confrontations of film and television, exposes possible impacts of the global economy, wars or other external catastrophes in the worst-case scenarios, and describes what efforts are needed to avert or mitigate these impacts. The report (in English) is available here:

Berlinale/EFM, Think Tank 2022: Collaborative Ideas for Shaping Change (Feb. 2022)
The European Film Market (EFM), the business platform of the Berlin International Film Festival, held three invitation-only think tanks during its digital edition in February 2022. Industry experts, stakeholders and professionals were invited from around the globe to reflect on and brainstorm about three highly topical areas of reflection for the international film ecosystem today: Shaping the Future of the Film Ecosystem; Shaping Distribution: EcoStability, Blockchain & Hybrid Audiences; Shaping Production: Equity, IP and Creating Alliances. The report (in English) can be found here:

On the occasion of the Berlinale, panel of the Academy of Arts: German film abroad – a laughingstock, a fringe phenomenon, a dream for the future? (Feb 2022)
German film is significantly underrepresented abroad, both on the market and at film festivals. Whether the lack of recognition is due to the low quality of the films, the subject matter and themes, the lack of marketing, or to the diverging expectations of international audiences is a topic of constant debate. Jeanine Meerapfel (filmmaker and President of the Academy of Arts) talked about solution strategies with Simone Baumann (Managing Director of German Films), Martin Blaney (Correspondent for Germany and Eastern Europe, Screen International), Matthijs Wouter Knol (Managing Director of the European Film Academy) and Julien Razafindranaly (Head of Sales at Films Boutique). Moderation: Andreas Kilb (film critic and feature correspondent in Berlin).

Recording (in English)

The San Sebastián Festival, roundtable about Film festivals and urban transformations (Nov. 2021)This meeting, focusing on the spatial dimension of film festivals and its relationship with the cities they are held in, brings together the perspectives of the director of special projects at the Venice Festival, Arianna Laurenzi; the executive director of the Berlin Festival, Mariette Rissenbeek; the artistic director of the Viennale, Eva Sangiorgi; and the artistic director of the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Paolo Moretti, moderated by Pablo La Parra Pérez, the coordinator of the EQZE Research department and head of the Zinemaldia 70: all possible stories project.
Further information here:

LICHTER Film Festival publishes The Other Cinema. Texts on the Future of Cinema (Oct. 2021)
In preparation for the 2nd Congress FUTURE GERMAN FILM / FORUM EUROPA, a 60-page publication dedicated to the future of cinema, curated by our editor Kenneth Hujer, aims to give space to the reinterpretation of cinema and thereby help to advance it. It deliberately gathers its texts and conversations under a title that already goes back several decades, more precisely: to the 1968 year of social protests. Because the future is not only tomorrow but was also, already, yesterday. Or to put it in the words of Edgar Reitz: „One often finds solutions and impulses for renewal in the past, in the form of attempts and projects that were ahead of their time.“
Further information here:

Locarno Film Festival, publication of the first sustainability report (Aug, 2021)
This first sustainability report is the Festival’s way of presenting the results achieved so far and its main efforts in the domain of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. We hope that it will also foster a transparent and proactive conversation on these important issues and help to promote and disseminate best practices in both the cultural events sector and in all our daily lives.
Locarno Film Festival: Sustainability Report 2019-2020, Locarno

LICHTER Filmfest International, panel: Storytelling Beyond Stereotypes (May 2021)
The study Diversity in Film confirmed what was widely suspected, German film currently does not portray social realities either in front of or behind the camera. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTIAQ+ community are not only underrepresented in German film but are also often portrayed in inaccurate stereotyping. At a panel around the topic of stereotypes in film and series, filmmakers from the fields of screenwriting, casting, directing, producing and acting will discuss how narratives can succeed beyond stereotypes and contribute to a more diverse film landscape.
A recording (in German) can be found here:

Göteborg Film Festival, release of the 8th Nostradamus Report: Transforming Storytelling Together (Feb 2021)Spoiled by years of continuous progress, the confrontation caused by the pandemic is proving all the more vehement. The acceleration of structural change is evident in many areas—not only in the collapse of the exploitation windows. A fundamental change in the media landscape is on the horizon, which can only be turned into something positive through joint efforts.

Berlinale/ EFM Berlinale, Think Tank: Reflecting, Rethinking and Resetting – The Industry in Flux (Feb.2021)
During the pandemic, the digitization processes of the industry have been driven on an unprecedented scale. These developments are accompanied by new roles and responsibilities of festivals and markets, and by the expansion of access and inclusion in an industry still controlled by a few. In highly concentrated working sessions, these developments were discussed in order to develop viable forms.

The report (in English) can be found here:

Film Fest Max Ophüls Preis: UNLOCK the Industry, a think tank to sharpen the future of the European audiovisual sector (Jan. 2021)
Over the course of two days, a total of 22 young talents and experts from the European film industry met for the first time for a workshop to jointly shape the future of the industry. The aim was to confront the effects of the pandemic, to discuss them together and to identify points of action.