The last two years will clearly be remembered as one of the most challenging periods in the history of the film sector, including in Europe. veryone’s focus is now on how best to adapt to the “new normal” and how to sustain a holistic recovery for the entire value chain, to the benefit of European audiences and industry alike. What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the film sector in Europe? Where are we today? How do we ‘build back better’? How do we continue to celebrate Europe’s film culture? How do we inspire audiences to watch a variety of films, including independent and arthouse, at the cinema? Join us to hear from professionals of the sector, representing creation, production, sales agents, distribution and cinema exhibition!
Introduction and moderation by Wendy Mitchell, journalist and film festival consultant;
Set the scene by Mira Staleva, Managing Director of Sofia IFF and co-production market Sofia Meetings
Panel 1 – How to re-establish a creatively and economically sustainable film sector in Europe?
Let’s go back to pre-COVID times – the film sector in Europe was thriving and offering a wide range of films and experiences to audiences both in Europe and abroad. 2019 was a record year for cinema-going across Europe with 1.36 billion admissions, and with audiences choosing to watch everything from blockbusters to independent and arthouse films from all over the World in their cinemas. A wide range of feature films were developed, produced/co-produced, marketed and distributed across all offline and online channels in Europe and beyond with local and/or international audiences in mind, gaining great exposure at various film festivals. We were then hit by a pandemic that brought the whole World to a stop, with particularly devastating consequences for the film industry. We are now faced with both new and recurrent challenges. How can we ensure a sustained recovery? How do we maintain and support the cultural, social and economic relevance of the film sector in Europe? How do we get audiences to be once again curious and leave the comfort of their houses and to enjoy a diversity of films in a cinema? This session explores these questions and more from a diversity of perspectives.
Panel 2 - For the many, not the few – diversity, a key for success
Europe is about diverse cultures, languages, stories and companies. This reality is an asset that should be celebrated and promoted as it allows the film sector in Europe to offer a range of stories to audiences in Europe and across the globe. How do we preserve and promote the diversity which is the DNA of European films and at the heart of the seventh art? How do we keep creating interest for audiences, to go and watch films telling diverse stories? How do we cultivate the audience’s curiosity? The session explores these questions and more.