Berlinale: All Press Releases


Press Releases 69th Berlinale

European Film Market & Co-Production Market

Jan 18, 2019:
The Film Industry of the Future: “EFM Horizon” Examines Industry Innovations in Content, Structure and Technology

Dame Vivian Hunt on „Why Diversity Matters in the Film Industry“ at "EFM Horizon" 2018

With “EFM Horizon”, for the third year running, the European Film Market (EFM) is offering its participants a platform to engage with innovations and new developments in the world of media and entertainment which promise to impact and shape the future of the film industry. Over the course of five days, the workshops, panels, talks and keynotes at “EFM Horizon” will treat the branch’s challenges, new business models and strategies, as well as thematic, structural and technological changes, while providing a particularly close look at the topics of immersive media, diversity, storytelling, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. “EFM Horizon” takes place from February 8 to 12, 2019 at the Berliner Freiheit, located in the immediate vicinity of the Marriott Hotel. “EFM Horizon” is funded by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence (AI), but does it live up to the expectations? Under the heading “The Transforming Force of AI: Hype or High Potential?”, an event organised in collaboration with the Fraunhofer HHI will take a look at the status quo of AI in the film and entertainment branches, by bringing together creatives, developers and practitioners. In the scope of a talk, interviews and presentations, the guests will discuss future scenarios and their significance for the industry and the audience.

With their thematic focus on innovations and the future viability of the branch, the EFM “Industry Debates” are taking place under the umbrella of “EFM Horizon”. Official host for the talk series is the IFA, the world’s leading trade fair for consumer electronics and home appliances. This year’s central topics will be changes in film production and financing (in collaboration with Screen International) and virtual reality content production as marketing tool for film and TV (in collaboration with Variety). In reference to the CAA Motion Picture Cast Diversity Index, the third EFM “Industry Debate” will discuss the extreme success enjoyed by films featuring ethnically diverse casts in recent years (in collaboration with The Hollywood Reporter).

Five-year anniversary of the “EFM Startups” initiative:
Ten select startups from Germany, France, Canada, Spain, Holland, Estonia and this year’s EFM “Country in Focus” Norway will be introducing themselves in the scope of “EFM Startups”. The featured companies will present new ideas at the intersection of film, media and technology, whether in the areas of development, production, distribution or marketing of audio-visual content. For three whole days, the initiative will guide EFM participants into a dialogue with other branches and enable them to forge connections with visionaries and forward-thinkers from the fields of technology and the creative economy.

Blockchain technology has the disruptive power to alter the film industry for all involved players – for producers, creatives, investors and distributors alike. “EFM Horizon” is devoting an interactive session to the topic, featuring a keynote speech, presentation and a workshop. Under the title “Blockchain in Motion: Challenges and Opportunities in 2019”, the chances, risks and challenges of blockchain will be explored. The material covered will range from a general introduction to blockchain, to a short presentation of selected blockchain applications and the technology’s potential from entrepreneurial, financial and economic perspectives all the way to thoroughly practical roundtable workshops. The interactive session is a collaborative effort of “EFM Horizon” and the FilmChain platform (UK). The subsequent blockchain panel discussion, organised in collaboration with the Producers Guild of America International Committee, will cover curation and monetisation in the SVOD market.

Immersive media like virtual reality and 360° video change the way we tell stories and win over audiences, while complementing traditional forms of entertainment in a unique way. For these reasons, “EFM Horizon” is also devoted to the newest developments in the field of virtual reality. The third EFM “VR NOW Summit”, presented by Virtual Reality Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. (VRBB) and Booster Space, will discuss how film, television and immersive media can be linked with one another. In addition to the presentation of the interactive VR Experience for Fatih Akin’s eponymous film “The Golden Glove" from Warner Bros., which is celebrating its premiere at the Berlinale, as well as for “Pagan Peak”, the VR spin-off of the Wiedemann & Berg crime series, the EFM “VR NOW Summit” will place a particular focus on location based entertainment (LBE) this year and probe the question whether immersive media can in fact fulfil their promised potential. At the “VRNEXT Investors Club”, organised in co-operation with VRNEXT, selected producers, creatives and experienced distributors will pitch their business models in front of an audience of technology experts, investors and creatives. On top of that, the EFM 2019 is once again offering official Market Screenings for 360° VR projects and showing these inside the “VR Cinema at Marriott” in collaboration with technology partner INVR.SPACE.

In co-operation with the Norwegian Film Institute (NFI), an event entitled “Smarter Production, or: How to Economise and Still Optimise Your Film” featuring a keynote as well as three presentations of Norwegian technology companies will treat the optimisation of production processes from economic, qualitative and technological points of view.

The “Propellor FilmTech Meetup” is inviting participants to a fireside chat with Rikke Ennis, founder and CEO of REinvent Studios, moderated by Alex Stolz for the podcast series “Film Disruptors”. The two will discuss changes in the international film industry, technologies, big data, new formats and platforms, as well as diversity. The event is a co-presentation of The FilmTech Office and Selektor.

The workshop “Crossing the Bridge Between Tech and (Online) Distribution” is the continuation of last year’s successful premiere of the roundtable networking format from “EFM Horizon” and Creative Europe - MEDIA, in which carefully chosen select tech companies are brought together with representatives of VOD platforms with the aim of initiating potential co-operations.

A tailored workshop with the title “Re:Vision: A Think Tank Towards Inclusion”, jointly organised by EFM and IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project), will serve to gather visions, opinions and experiences from the invited international creatives and experts from the entertainment branch. Together they will brainstorm and develop solutions, models and ideas for achieving greater inclusion and diversity within the branch.

All “EFM Horizon” events require a Market Badge or a Press Accreditation. Guests who have pre-registered online for “EFM Horizon” events will get priority entry. Please note that some events are by invitation only.

More information regarding the formats and speakers at “EFM Horizon” as well as the form to pre-register for the event can be found here: www.efm-horizon.com.


EFM press contact:
SteinbrennerMüller Kommunikation GbR
Kathrin Steinbrenner and Kristian Müller
+49 (0)30 4737 2191


Press Office
January 18, 2019

Download Press Release, PDF (161 KB)