The EFM turns 30 and continues to expand
by Vassilis Economou
- Berlinale’s film industry meeting point and one of the world’s leading markets is already fully booked for its 2018 edition
Over the span of the past 30 years, the European Film Market (EFM) has succeeded in becoming one of the most established and acclaimed markets of the international film industry. Starting as a meeting point in 1988, the EFM is now rightfully considered one of the pillars of Berlinale’s excellent reputation. The importance of the event is reconfirmed every year by the presence of film professionals. According to the organisers, more than 9,000 exhibitors are due to attend EFM’s 30th edition, which will run during the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, from February 15 to 23, resulting in the historical Martin-Gropius-Bau and the Marriott Hotel exhibition centres becoming fully booked.
Beki Probst, president and founder of the EFM, commented on the anniversary: “We never imagined that the EFM would become one of the most important film markets worldwide, reflecting the movements and pioneering spirit of the film industry in an incomparably diverse way. In all modesty: The EFM is a success story and has consistently been one for 30 years.”
On top of its well-known events, the EFM will be introducing some new initiatives for its attendees. Starting with the expansion of the EFM Producers Hub initiative, which, in collaboration with the international producers’ network ACE Producers and the Berlinale Co-Production Market, will offer consultations on financing and distribution to producers. Documentaries will be under the spotlight with the new DocSalon, due to expand the former “Meet the Docs," and also due to include discussion and networking events focused on the future of documentary filmmaking in cooperation with some of the most important festivals, such as IDFA, CPH:DOX, DOK Leipzig, Visions du Réel, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Hot Docs. Both programmes will take place from 16 to 21 February. The Sino-European Production Seminar organised along with the Bridging the Dragon network will once again take place on 21 February and aims to establish closer collaborations between European and Chinese producers.
The EFM is not limited to cinema and will be focusing attention on all serial content formats with its Drama Series Days (19 to 21 February), which provides an innovative platform for high-quality future projects. The platform is due to coincide for the first time with its festival counterpart programme, Berlinale Series. Furthermore, the Berlinale Africa Hub will be expanded spatially while the EFM Horizon platform, which is dedicated to the future of the industry presenting innovative business models and progressive storytelling techniques, will be introducing the EFM Industry Debates in cooperation with the IFA.
Matthijs Wouter Knol, EFM director, underlined: “The industry is still in the midst of change. The digital transformation is not yet complete and new possibilities for film that are worth a closer look are constantly opening up. With its platforms and different formats, the EFM provides participants with the tools to meet the contemporary challenges of the business.”
Finally, the Country in Focus on the 30th anniversary of the EFM will be Canada, and all aspects that diversify the Canadian film industry will presented to the international audience.
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