The head of the European film market Dennis Ru talks about the virtual edition of 2022 – Deadline

The team behind the European Film Market (EFM), the industry wing of the Berlin Film Festival, has been busy preparing to return to a personal event in 2022 after they were forced to post last year’s edition online due to Covid.

EFM chief Dennis Roo admits that the need to go online again has always been part of backup planning, Put said he was “very confident” that they would be able to return in person, until the rapid proliferation of Omicron made them difficult. decision earlier this month.

While the film festival continues with a physical version, albeit under strict restrictions such as 50% of cinemas and the lack of parties, the EFM with its grandstands and numerous meetings and cocktails is currently simply impossible.

It’s a push for the Movement, which has now seen its first two editions at the helm go virtual, but he remains optimistic about this year’s online offerings and says delegates and exhibitors really wanted it. Below we talk about the plans for 2022 and what the participants expect.

DEADLINE: How is it going? I guess you and your team were preparing with the possibility that you would have to relocate the market to the internet?

DENIS RU: Yes, but we were very confident [of hosting a physical edition]. We have seen great interest in personal EFM. By the end of 2021, we had a lot of physical room bookings. Then came this version of Omicron.

I still believe the market and sales will return physically. The sales business is a business with people, I’m sure I’ll be back in 2023. Right now we are focusing on our online offering. We also see that some guests of the industry will go to Berlin, especially for films at the festival.

DEADLINE: Almost everyone I talk to says they’d better be in Berlin for the EFM if it were possible, so I’m sure it will come back as a physical event.

SOUL: Thanks for the trust! I think we saw it already in late summer and at autumn festivals. Venice had the same number of industry visitors as before the pandemic. People really want to get together.

DEADLINE: Has there been a significant change in virtual EFM this year compared to last year?

SOUL: No big changes, but I would say some improvements. Our main offerings are virtual stands that have been technically improved, and our online market displays that will be more convenient for rights holders.

European film market

One of the big changes is that we will be offering catch-up VOD after it hits the market. We will have not only a schedule of sessions with allotted time intervals, but also two more weeks of catch-up screenings of a number of films, including market and festival ones. It really makes sense, because now about 670 films have been submitted for market screenings, and even more will be added. We expect 1,200 sessions. This is a great offer for a limited time.

DEADLINE: No internet equivalent for the press, right?

SOUL: There are no online press screenings, the press screening program will take place in Berlin. There will also be physical industry shows that we just added. EFM was put into operation [by the festival] organize these industry shows to be more accessible.

DEADLINE: What part of the program will be covered by the physical press / industry screenings over these six days?

MOVEMENT: Basically the whole program.

DEADLINE: What is the distribution of season tickets on the Internet compared to last year?

SOUL: This is still ongoing, you can purchase online accreditation just before the event. Last year, many online badges were purchased directly in front of the market or even during it. At the moment, it looks like there will be about as many delegates. Last year we had about 12,000 daily internet market visitors. I also think that compared to 2021 we will have more companies in the market.

DEADLINE: Tell us about this year’s conference program.

SOUL: We changed the format. This year we will have an opening and closing session, and in between we will have a series of three-part think tanks that will focus on future topics, producers and dissemination. At the final meeting, we will share the key findings of the think tanks and the talks of the week. In the Series market we will again have a partnership event with Series Mania, which will be the first part of the two-part conference and the second part will take place in Lily in March. We also host events with the Locarno Film Festival and IDFA.

DEADLINE: How is Berlin as a whole now, with regard to Kovid?

SOUL: The other day I went shopping and the streets were filled, I put on a mask on the street, which is not necessary. Only nightclubs are closed, you can go to bars at night, there are restaurants. You really need to have a booster to go to them, or two shots of the vaccine plus daily tests.

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