Berlin/Potsdam – The Berlinale Keynotes got off to a successful start. Over 300 distinguished international industry representatives, invited by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the Berlin International Film Festival, came together to watch the new event format at the Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. The first edition focussed on the future of the film industry in the digital age, in terms of technology, content and economy. Minister of State for Culture Bernd Neumann, Medienboard Managing Director Petra Müller and Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick opened the event.
“The overwhelmingly positive response has shown us that Berlin becomes the epicentre of the film world in February and that the Keynotes provide the necessary platform for debate on pressing issues about the future of the film and media industries. This is a good foundation for the 2008 Berlinale Keynotes,” stated Petra Müller.
“The Berlinale Keynotes add a new dimension to the festival. They focus on forward-looking issues and therefore open up the festival to representatives from industries outside the traditional film business. I am delighted that we have managed to integrate such a lively and progressive forum into the 2007 Berlinale. I hope that the fruitful discussions it has generated will stay with the participants well after the festival is over,” explained Dieter Kosslick.
Warren N. Lieberfarb, the "father of the DVD", who ushered in the medium's breakthrough as President of Warner Home Video, spoke about the strategies movie studios are pursuing in today's digital world. Stefan Lechère, Strategic Partnership Development Manager, Google (France), and Jamie Kantrowitz, Senior VP Marketing and Content at MySpace.com, whose Web sites boast over 140 million users worldwide, presented innovative content of today’s most successful websites and the emergence of communities and user-generated content. Georg Backer, Online and Infrastructure Manager Lionhead Studios (UK), and Guillaume de Fondaumière, COO/CFO of Quantic Dream, producer of the interactive computer games Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain, illustrated how cinema and the virtual realities of computer games are converging.
To conclude the event Mitch Kanner, CEO 2 Degrees Ventures, USA, chaired a round table discussion including Geoff Sutton, General Manager MSN Europe, UK, David P. Kelly (The European Co-Production Office), Denzyl Feigelson (Artists without a Label) and Warren N. Lieberfarb on film sector perspectives in a world where the basic conditions are in a state of continual flux.
The Keynotes were moderated by Gundolf S. Freyermuth, PhD, professor for comparative media studies at the ifs Internationale Filmschule in Cologne.
The Berlinale Keynotes are a concerted initiative of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the Berlin International Film Festival. In cooperation with Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg (Medienwoche) and media.net berlinbrandenburg.
February 14, 2007