The European Film Market (EFM) got off to a great start. For four days now in the Martin-Gropius-Bau with the Gropius Park and at the Marriott Hotel, the European Film Market (Feb 11–19, 2016) has been bustling with activity. The international platform for trading in film rights and audio-visual content within the scope of the largest public film festival in the world can report a rising number of visitors and exhibitors: over 8,500 accredited professionals from more than 100 countries, including 1,500 buyers are expected on nine market days by 543 exhibitors from 73 countries. 1,090 market screenings, of which 532 are market premieres, are being offered to visitors.
“This is a fantastic interim balance,” says EFM Director Matthijs Wouter Knol. “We are delighted on two levels with how well the Market has kicked off: firstly, with the large number of visitors and exhibitors; and secondly, and even more importantly, with all the positive feedback from our participants who are satisfied with how the EFM is going. Business is good. In addition, the strong response to our initiatives so far proves that in expanding our services we are moving in the right direction.”
A highlight was the presentation of a Berlinale Camera at the EFM in the cinema at the Martin-Gropius-Bau on Friday afternoon: producer Ben Barenholtz, one of the leading figures in the American indie film scene, received his award, with Joel & Ethan Coen and Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick in attendance. The ceremony was the start of a new tradition: from now on this prestigious award will be presented to an outstanding producer at the EFM every year. Ben Barenholtz stressed in his acceptance speech that even though awards have never been his goal, it is moving and marvellous to be paid tribute by individuals who mean so much to him.
On Saturday, Prof. Monika Grütters – Germany’s Minister of State and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media – visited the film market. For an hour she toured the fair and spoke with different exhibitors, including German Films, ARRI and Israel; her tour concluded with the new EFM pop-up offices in the Martin-Gropius-Bau, where successful startups are presenting their latest technologies. After her tour, Monika Grütters emphasized: “Again in 2016, the EFM is one of the most important platforms worldwide for trading film rights and film contents. The programme of the future is decided here. I’m particularly impressed with how the EFM, with its very diverse initiatives, reflects current and future developments in the film industry and so actively contributes to furthering it. “Drama Series Days”, “EFM Startups” and “EFM Asia” specifically feature topics that are presently impacting the international film market. Also for young startups, the EFM offers great opportunities for targeted networking with the international film industry.”
On Tuesday, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller is expected to visit the European Film Market.
In the fully-occupied mirrored tent across from the Martin-Gropius-Bau, the EFM Industry Debates opened yesterday. At these events, international experts discuss topics currently relevant to the industry (Sat through Mon, Feb. 13–15).
The two “Drama Series Days” - organized by the EFM, Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents – begin tomorrow (Feb 15 and 16, 2016). In the form of panel discussions, pitching sessions, market screenings and networking events, the debates provide a forum for high-quality serial formats and their makers. Also the two-day initiative “EFM Startups”, where ten European startups share their new audio-visual business ideas, begins on Monday.
On Wednesday, 80 European producers will meet for the first Sino-European production seminar, organized by the EFM and “Bridging the Dragon”. At this event experts will exchange insights on the Chinese market.
An enormous response has also been garnered by daily events, such as the initiatives and series “Meet the Docs”, “American Independents in Berlin” and LOLA at Berlinale.
February 14, 2016