The next junction: Film festivals in Baden-Württemberg establish a joint network

Corresponding to the development that „due to the steady decline in cinema numbers and the increase in streaming services, film festivals are becoming ever more important and playing an ever greater role in the film landscape“, the film festivals of another federal state in Germany have now joined forces. In doing so, they are not least following the initiative of a Germany-wide working group on film festivals, which was initiated in the middle of last year.
To the press release (in German) here

It is still along way to go for festivals to reach parity

Even though the four major film festivals Sundance, Tribeca, South by Southwest (SXSW) and AFI seem to be making progress towards gender parity for directors, the Women’s Media Center (WMC) – the nonprofit women’s organization founded by activists Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem – still sees a great need for action to reach 5050×2020 / for numerous film festivals, as an analysis by Carla Hay shows.
See more here

Female directors still represent just 21% of all directors of European films produced between 2003 and 2017

At the end of last year, the 5th Diversity Report of the BVR – Bundesverband Regie had made it clear that in Germany the public broadcasters had not fulfilled their promises of equal opportunities for female directors and that the announced gender monitoring had not been carried out. A study by the European Audiovisual Observatory recently published shows how the situation for women is shaping itself at European level.
Download the Report in English here

Compliance with minimum social standards becomes the criterium for public funding of film festivals – blessing or a curse?

In its coalition agreement, the government of the German federal state of Hessen has set itself the goal of doubling its budget to support Hessian film festivals. This increase is, however, contingent upon these festivals’ commitment to abide by social standards in the remuneration of their employees. What, on the one hand, seems more than laudable in an area largely characterized by a precarious employment situation could, on the other, mean the end for a large number of film festivals that have already had to struggle following introduction of the minimum wage. In April, a panel discussion was held in Frankfurt with festival organizers and Hessian cultural politicians, whose presenter Andrea Wenzek has now summarized the major aspects in an article (along with a list of subsidies from the individual federal states). Article in German language here.

Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Filmfestivals in Deutschland gegründet/ Working group of film festivals founded in Germany

Bei einem ersten Zusammentreffen am 4. Juli in Kassel haben sich über 60 deutsche Filmfestivals (Liste sie Pressemitteilung) zusammengetan, eine Arbeitsgemeinschaft (AG) Filmfestival zu gründen. Ziel der AG ist es, sich untereinander zu vernetzen, bessere Bedingungen für Filmfestivals in Deutschland zu schaffen und gemeinsam mit den Filmschaffenden und anderen Verbänden Filmkultur zu stärken und zu fördern. Zu den Gründungsmitgliedern zählen die größten und ältesten Filmfestivals in Deutschland, Filmfestivals aus allen Regionen und Sparten.
Download der Pressemitteilung hier

At their first meeting on 4 July in Kassel, Germany, more than 60 German film festivals (list see below) joined forces to found a film festival association (AG Filmfestival). The aim of the association is to network with each other, to create better conditions for film festivals in Germany and, together with filmmakers and other associations, to strengthen and promote film culture. The founding members include the largest and oldest film festivals in Germany, film festivals from all regions and sectors.
Further information at

Aufruf an die Leiter*innen deutscher Filmfestivals

Auf Initiative von Svenja Böttger (Leiterin des Filmfest Max Ophüls Preis) und Dr. Lars Henrik Gass (Leiter der Internationalen Oberhauser Kurzfilmtage) wurde eine AG Filmfestivals ins Leben gerufen. Ziel der AG ist es, entsprechend der filmwirtschaftlichen sowie filmpolitischen Bedeutung der deutschen Filmfestivallandschaft eigene Positionen zu formulieren und diese bspw. auch bei der Novellierung des Filmfördergesetzes einzubringen. Darüber hinaus soll die Vernetzung auch einen stärkeren Austausch ermöglichen und weitere  Themen wie u.a. Festivalarbeit gerecht gestalten, Sicherung analoger Abspieltechnik an Festivalstandorten oder Umgang mit VoD-Modellen und -Strategien gemeinsam voranzutreiben.

Ein erstes Vernetzungstreffen fand am 4. Juli in Kassel statt.

Wer sich als Festivalleiter*in der Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Filmfestivals in Deutschland anschließen möchte, kann dies auch weiterhin über einen Eintrag in eine Liste tun:
Bitte hier anmelden (Link).

VdFk (Assoc. of German Film Critics) publishes a statement on the FFG (Film Funding Act)

“70 Percent of all films produced in Germany did not even generate 10,000 ticket sales when they opened in regular cinemas. At the same time, some of these films often have many times the audience when they are shown at festivals. The figures currently published are therefore often deceptive and misleading, as they only cover part of the audience“.

The statement in German you find here

Empty promises – after numerous film festivals signed the 5050×2020 pledge…

According to an analysis by the Women’s Media Center, only little has been achieved among the more renowned film festivals during the first half of this year. This includes the Sundance Filmfestival, the Berlinale, SxSW, Tribeca and Cannes.

“As part of the 5050×2020 pledge, festivals have agreed to be more transparent about their submissions processes, such as revealing the gender statistics of festival programming    committees, juries, and filmmakers who submit movies for consideration. If a festival gets a very low percentage of female directors who are submitting films, that’s probably because festival programmers aren’t trying hard enough to find qualified female directors, says Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of Women in Film, a Los Angeles–based advocacy group.”

The fact that a gender-parity program is particularly a matter of curatorial guidelines and commitment, and thus the male perspective of film festival programs owes less to the limited number of works submitted by female film makers, is shown by such film festivals as Crossing Europe in Linz and the DOK Fest in Munich, among others.