Many film festivals are threatened in their existence, some have to give up –
Three years have passed since the „Filmfestivalreport Österreich“, which outlined the Austrian festival landscape as a success story with a high risk of poverty. And even though a lot has happened on a formal level since then, the central problems remain: no planning security, insufficient subsidies and highly precarious working conditions characterise large parts of the scene throughout Austria. Marie-Christine Hartig, spokeswoman of the FÖFF (Forum of Austrian Film Festivals) since 2018, describes the situation as „dramatic, especially in Vienna“.
Press release in German: here…

IDFA in the fast lane of the 5050×2020 movement

After the launch at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival the IDFA also signed charter 5050×2020 in September and took this as an opportunity to present its far-reaching goal „transforming an industry built on inequality:

“At IDFA, we believe that meeting quotas in the film program is not enough. As the world’s largest documentary film festival, IDFA is in a position to do more. We seek to create long term change, which requires examining and transforming an industry built on inequality. In addition to the IDFA film program, it is through the IDFA Bertha Fund, IDFAcademy, IDFA Forum, Docs for Sale, Doc School, and all the other IDFA activities that we seek a solid policy of inclusion. With these efforts, IDFA hopes to enable and empower a new generation that is more inclusive, and provide more opportunities to build a new and different reality.

We strongly believe that equality begins with gender, but doesn’t end there. To act inclusively is to ensure a fair representation of filmmakers from the global south, from marginalized communities, and from all under-represented communities and regions in the four corners of the world. All these groups should have the opportunity to make good films, take ownership of their narrative, and share their work with the world, equally.

Finally, we would like to extend our appreciation to the 5050×2020 movement, for fighting on behalf of under-represented filmmakers, and challenging IDFA and our colleagues around the world to be accountable for our actions.”

Focus: Film Festival #3

The autumn issue and thus number 3 of trade magazine Fokus: Festival highlights the mission and gradual change of the International Hof Film Festival, one of the most traditional German film festivals under its new management. Kent Jones, the director of the New York Film Festival, offers a rare change of perspective with Diane, his directing debut, taking the side of director for the first time. The fact that film festivals often showcase artistic movements not just limited to film demonstrates the International Film Festival Braunschweig with its focus on music in the film of as well as the ongoing developments which can be seen also in the forthcoming issue of the 60th Nordic Film Days and the 61-year-old DOK Leipzig.

Download the third issue for free: here

Charter 5050×2020 signed by Cannes, Annecy, Locarno, Sarajavo and in parts by Venice

Initiated in France after the Film Festival Cannes, Annecy, Locarno and Sarajavo, the 75th Venice International Film Festival has now decided to join the Charter 5050×2020 for Equality and Diversity at least in a modified form.

From next year onwards, statistics on submitted films and the composition of the selection committees could also be published in Venice. In view of the fact that, as in 2017, only one female director is represented in the competition, this reticence is all the more regrettable.

Charter 5050×2020 includes the following obligations:
– The collection of statistics on gender relations, with special reference to the number of films submitted, in order to support SWAN with reliable data.
– Transparency through the disclosure of the nominated members of the selection committees and festival curators with the aim of dispelling the suspicion of a lack of diversity and gender equality. At the same time, the festivals will be able to comply with their artistic and strategic decisions.
– The Festival is committed to implementing a plan for equality in its decision-making bodies as quickly and steadily as possible.
– This will enable SWAN to prepare an annual report which will allow an assessment of the progress made.

28th Sept. Panel discussion: Formal/informal networks between film festivals

Formal/informal networks between film festivals – strategies in disruptive media markets
Friday, 28th September 2018, 2:00 – 3:30pm
at the annual Meeting of the Society for Media Studies
University of Siegen

With the advent of digitization into the media industry, a development has begun marked by“(t)urmoil and transformation, forcing industry leaders to reconsider established maxims about how screen media are created, circulated, and consumed“ (Crutin et al., 2014). A „rise of industry niches dedicated to art cinema“ (de Valck, 2014), accompanied by a boom on the worldwide film festival market (Krainhöfer, 2018), is clearly evident. This global film festival circuit, ranging from international A-film festivals to regional special-interest festivals, is surprisingly innovative and flexible in responding to the challenges of disruptive change. While festivals have long since expanded their radius of action beyond their original function of presenting (new) film works (Iordanova, 2015), in recent years formal and informal networks between film festivals increasingly appear to be the means of choice for actively shaping current changes. Networks serve to secure resources and form the basis for promoting the diversity of cinematic forms of expression, innovative distribution channels, new audience development measures, and much more.

In a panel, festival representatives will discuss what these connections mean for the diversity of the festival landscape, the quest for USPs and the preservation of the festival’s own identity, and whether they also provide solutions for the film industry?

Christina Essenberger (CEO Internationales Frauenfilmfestival Dortmund | Collogne),
Heleen Gerritsen (Festival director goEast – Festival des mittel- und osteuropäischen Films, Wiesbaden),
Andrea Kuhn (Festival director Internationale Filmfestival der Menschenrechte, Nuremberg)
Chair: Tanja C. Krainhöfer (, Munich),

further information:

25th Sept. Panel discussion: Film Festivals as Places of Cultural Education

DI, 25th Sept. 6:00 p.m. Foyer of the German Film Museum.

Cinema for young audiences between film art, digital self-awareness and an eye for the „other“, or: why media education needs stories. Representatives of the film and festival industry will discuss current positions on film festivals as places of cultural and aesthetic education.

Nicola Jones (Deutsches Kinder Medien Festival Goldener Spatz),
Thomas Schneider-Trumpp (Scopas Medien | Trickfilmland),
Reinhold T. Schöffel (Bundesverband Jugend und Film),
Marie Wolters (film agency LUCAS and FILMmobil).
Chair: Dr. Sabrina Wagner.

Following the discussion, FilmInFrankfurt and the Wirtschaftsförderung Frankfurt, together with the regulars‘ table of filmmakers, cordially invite you to a get-together with representatives of the regional film industry and international festival guests.

European Union requires streaming services to offer at least 30% local productions

According to the industry magazine Variety, Roberto Viola, head of the European Commission’s communications networks, content and technologies department, announced at the Venice Film Festival that a law would be passed in December obliging streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon & Co to invest heavily in the European production landscape. This could be done either by producing, commissioning and thus funding, acquiring television series and films in Europe, or alternatively – as is already the case in Germany – by paying into national film funds.

Focus: Film Festival #2

The second issue of the new trade magazine Fokus: Festival features an overview of the artistic position of the Locarno Festival and thus of Carlo Chatrian, the future artistic director of the Berlinale, and also provides comprehensive insight into the strategic development of the Swiss A-Festival over the past 20 years. Torsten Neumann offers an extensive look behind the scenes on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Oldenburg Film Festival, while Eva Sangiogri describes her vision for the future of the Viennale, as new artistic director. The 5 Faves by Mirsad Purivatra, which focus on the Sarajevo Film Festival with its long-standing partnerships and thus excellently illustrates the strategic perspective of the European Commission on film festivals, are also concerned with developments. Finally, the scientific contribution Film Festivals the new player in the market deals with the continuous transformation of numerous film festivals into highly diversified media companies.

Download the second issue for free: here

Filmfestivals und Programmkinos – Partner oder Konkurrenten?

Panel auf dem Filmfest München
Termin: Montag, 2. Juli, 13-15 Uhr
Ort: Gasteig, Carl-Amery-Saal

Er ist mittlerweile fast schon ein eigenes Genre – der Festivalfilm. Jenseits der gängigen Auswertungsplattformen Kino, TV, DVD und VOD findet er Publikum und Publicity (fast) nur noch auf Filmfestivals. Doch was macht deren besondere Attraktivität aus? Wie definieren sich Filmfestivals ?
Und wie positionieren sich Programmkinos im Vergleich dazu? Ziehen beide am selben Strang? Oder graben sie sich gegenseitig das Wasser ab? Eine spannende Diskussion mit Festival- und Kinomacher_innen.

Andrea Wink (exground filmfest, Wiesbaden/Verbund hessischer Filmfestivals),
Alfred Holighaus (Präsident SPIO),
Christian Pfeil (Kinobetreiber in München, Stegen & Gera),
Wolfgang Steiniger (Festival „Der neue Heimatfilm“, Freistadt/Kinobetreiber in Linz und Freistadt)
Moderation: Dunja Bialas (Filmjournalistin/Festivalleiterin UNDERDOX)