Step by step to more diversity

The film industry is currently undergoing gradual change, and not only on an international level. Yesterday it was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , which achieved its post-#OscarsSoWhite goals of diversifying its membership, extending invitations to 819 film industry professionals, 45% of which are women, 36% from underrepresented ethnic and racial communities, and 49% international, from 68 countries.
In the German film industry, too, the issue of diversity is gaining increasing attention: „Filming more diversity and telling stories that would otherwise remain unheard: We want to see our diverse, multicultural society modern and in all its facets on the big screen“, emphasizes Helge Albers, Managing Director of the Film Board of Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, thus making it the first among the country’s state funding programs to focus explicitly on promoting diversity in the German film industry.

Top programmers debate the value and responsibility of festivals in times of Corona

In the wake of the unpredictable development of the Corona Pandemic, the Spring and Summer Film Festivals were forced to quickly decide on one of three alternatives: „cancellation, postponement, or going online„. Most of the major international festivals ruled out completely cancelling their festivals. Out of their responsibility towards the filmmakers, the films and the markets, as well as their audience, many dared experiment online and have encountered some unexpected results: Emilie Bujès (Artistic Director, Visions du Réel) – Sergio Fant (Berlinale Selection Committee and Head of Programming, Trento Film Festival) – Orwa Nyrabia (Artistic Director, IDFA) – Paolo Moretti (Artistic Director, Directors‘ Fortnight) – Miguel Valverde (Director, IndieLisboa) share their insights into their preliminary concerns, decisions and ultimate experiences in a discussion moderated by Finn Halligan (Chief Film Critic, Screen International) as part of Visions du Réel 2020.
The moderated discussion can be found here

Moving online-a major strategy for film festivals in this time of crisis

Moving film festivals online“ is a topic that has long been avoided, but now more than welcome in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is a key finding of Screen International‘s online panel discussion of Thursday, April 9th, with three film festival heads: Tine Fischer, founder and director of CPH:DOX, Tricia Tuttle, director of the BFI Festivals including LGBTIQ+ festival Flare, and Jaie Laplante, executive director and director of programming at the Miami Film Festival.
The kick-off event of the live Q&A „Talks“ series not only offered interesting and inspiring insight into innovative solutions and examples of successful film festival crisis management, but also presented an outlook on how the film festival and the cinema landscape might develop in the wake of the crisis.
Cost-free recording of the 30-minute online discussion and live Q&A is available here

We use the chance we don’t have – new forms of expression of film festivals in the crisis

As each day further film festivals announce their 2020 edition as online formats, more and more alternative, innovative programme forms are being found that reflect the process of the crisis. The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, for example, is placing a blog as an experiment for creating a forum in which many people can have their say and encourage reflection on society.
The talks in German and English can be found here

Fast forward to the film festival of the future

While some autumn film festivals seemingly completely unaffected by the crisis are announcing their early-bird offers, among the film festivals with dates in spring and summer there is perplexity, pragmatism in the sense of cancelling the 2020 edition, activism with partial offers to meet the expectations of the financiers up to a courageous, visionary attitude to use the need of the hour for a test run of film festival concepts of the future. The CPH:DOX, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival has already distinguished itself as a pioneer, and others have already announced their online edition.
A list of German Films gives an overview of the current festival season, some of which extends into the summer.

Indiefilmtalk-Podcast in German: Cooperation and exchange – Film festivals in the current crisis

Film festivals are the most important life events of the film scene. Industry internal meetings, contact exchange – films celebrate premieres and are awarded prizes for the further festival tour. What happens now with these events? Can a festival be postponed so easily? How are the festival workers* behind the festival doing? What measures have to be taken at the time of the curfew and what opportunities do they offer for future festivals?
To the Padcast in German language with festival organizer and curator Ludwig Sporrer from the AG-Filmfestival and festival director Dr. Oliver Langewitz from the „Independent Dayshere (TC: 00:19:00)
Suggestions for cooperation at different levels to find in the english report on the study Mapping of Collaboration Models among Film Festivals

DOK.fest Munich transforms to DOK.fest München@home 2020

As more and more distributors are shifting theatrical releases to VOD, film festivals are also looking for innovative ways to make their film programmes accessible online. One of the most far-reaching transformations is currently being planned by DOK Fest München with its concept DOK.fest München@home 2020

„Due to the current corona crisis and all official requirements, the 35th edition of DOK.fest München (May 6th to 17th) will not be able to take place in the usual form. Unfortunately, a postponement of the festival is also not possible. However, we are pleased to announce a very special event this year: DOK.fest München@home 2020, the first online DOK.fest München. For the first time we are coming to your home with our festival programme – films, Q&As and industry talks – throughout Germany.“
Further information here

Launch of virtual movie theaters as aid measures by US distributors for independent cinemas

As Art House Convergence announced today several distributors have rallied to support their independent cinema partners and launch virtual movie theaters. During difficult times it has been amazing to witness the strength and generosity of our field.
In partnership with Art House Convergence, Film Movement has debuted Film Movement Plus – Virtual Cinema, a virtual theatrical experience that will allow customers to purchase tickets to Corpus Christi, Zombi Child, The Wild Goose Lake, L’Innocente or Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. As with traditional theatrical screenings, grosses will be divided between distributor and exhibitor.
Kino Lorber has launched Kino Marquee, a virtual theatrical exhibition initiative. Theaters can sell tickets to the Cannes-winning title Bacurau and their patrons will be able to watch the film from home through Kino’s specially designed platform. For a list of participating theaters and booking information, read more here.
In partnership with Nitehawk Cinema, Film Bot is also working to develop Movie Night, live virtual special events featuring screenings and filmmaker Q&As. Audience members will be able to dedicate their ticket purchase to their local art house.
Further information here.