The European Film Market bolsters its well-established leading position

The European Film Market (EFM) has once again proven its well-established leading position in the film industry, as it is one of the indubitable meeting points for professionals and one of the highlights of the Berlinale. As in previous years, the importance of the event has been reconfirmed for the EFM’s 31st edition, which will run during the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, from 7-15 February 2019. According to the organisers, all of the exhibition spaces at Berlin’s Gropius Bau and Marriott Hotel are already fully booked, and more than 9,000 exhibitors, licence traders, producers, buyers and investors are expected to be present at the market during its nine-day run.

EFM director Matthijs Wouter Knol stated: “The market aims to provide its participants with essential tools to deal with the constantly evolving challenges in the film industry. As an international trading venue for moving pictures taking place at the start of the year, the EFM is simultaneously an indicator of the mood in the industry and a trendsetter for the film year to come.”

Some of the successful initiatives that have previously been introduced at the EFM will continue and be expanded at next year’s edition. Once again, there will be a special focus on high-quality upcoming TV projects, through enhanced collaboration with the Berlinale Series programme, which will run in parallel; in addition, the EFM’s Drama Series Days event will be hosted once again at the Zoo Palast. Taking place from 11-13 February, the EFM’s platform dedicated to TV series, with the participation of the Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents, will not only be limited to conferences and future project development, but will also include a selection of market screenings, which will be specially curated.

Placing particular emphasis on the future, EFM Horizon, which will run from 8-12 February at Berliner Freiheit, next to the Marriott Hotel, will try to lift the lid on the challenges that new media and the entertainment industries have to face. Some of the myriad topics that will be covered are related to start-ups, enabling participants to discuss issues with experts in the field, while “VR at EFM” will explore forthcoming events related to virtual reality. Furthermore, the Industry Debates set to be hosted by the IFA will bridge the gap between filmmakers and other tech professionals.

Last year, the EFM introduced its expanded Producers Hub in its newest guise, co-organised with the ACE Producers international producers’ network and the Berlinale Co-Production Market. This year, it will once again aim to offer producers consultations on financing and distribution. Also, the DocSalon, the EFM’s dedicated section for documentaries, will press on with its expansion through multiple discussions and networking formats. Once again supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Berlinale Africa Hub will offer African filmmakers some exposure and will run from 8-13 February, featuring various presentations related to the continent’s growing industry.

Finally, the Country in Focus at the EFM will be Norway. Norwegian filmmakers and their movies will be invited along to take part, while every aspect of cinema from the Scandinavian country, along with local producers, distributors, investors and creatives, will be introduced to the market’s professional audience.

(cit. from Vassilis Economou – Cineuropa)