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The Independent Cinema Office’s festival training goes international for the first time


- MEDIA-funded training expands to offer high-level development opportunities to international festivals for the first time in its five-year history

The Independent Cinema Office’s festival training goes international for the first time
Developing Your Film Festival

This week sees the official launch of the fifth annual Developing Your Film Festival, the Independent Cinema Office’s signature training course. Having offered training in business advice, audience development, communications strategy and expanding partnership to over 100 European festivals, this year marks the first time that the course will be available to festivals from around the world. This Creative Europe – MEDIA programme-funded course is taught from 21-26 July in the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage site of Motovun in Croatia during their annual film festival. 

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The training, funded by Creative Europe – MEDIA programme of the European Union and the British Council, and in partnership with the Motovun Film Festival and the Vilnius International Film Festival, has previously offered training sessions from speakers from the Tribeca Film Festival, the Berlinale and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. The scheme has received a 100% approval rating during the five years it has run, with over 100 festivals saying it has made a positive impact on their festival. It is aimed at film-festival professionals running established gatherings. The training fee covers accommodation and entry to the film festival, and scholarships and travel bursaries are available.

Hatice Özdemirciler, head of training for the ICO, said, "Everyone who runs festivals of this calibre has a vast amount of knowledge, but no one is omniscient, and we’ve found that the chance to be around peers means festivals can share best practice for success as well as see more clearly where they can learn from others. Festivals always say it’s easy to see the bigger picture in Motovun. It’s a stunning place and has a strong grassroots festival. It’s a bit like a spa for festival professionals, but the results are a lot longer-lasting than a pedicure!" 

Briony Hanson, director of film at the British Council, said, "As the UK’s cultural relations organisation, we are delighted to be supporting the ICO’s Developing Your Film Festival programme for a third year. It chimes perfectly with our ambition to build and strengthen relationships between the UK and other countries through the exchange of film culture and expertise – and with our work in supporting film festivals internationally to access the best of UK film in their programmes."

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