The Balkan Film Market kicks off
by Vassilis Economou
- The first edition of the BFM includes a series of discussion panels, meetings, and development and pitching sessions covering the whole Balkan region
The first edition of the Balkan Film Market (BFM), which has been organised by the Albanian National Center of Cinematography (ANCC) to celebrate its 20th anniversary, has unveiled its official schedule, which includes discussion panels, pitching and training sessions, and a special focus on Italy. The BFM, which aims to bring Albania to the fore of the film industry, kicks off today in Tirana and will unspool until 7 October.
In detail, the market will start with a day dedicated to Creative Europe, where the MEDIA Desks and film centres of the Balkan countries, also including Italy, will have a chance to discuss the challenges in the region and explore the impact that the MEDIA programme has had on the Balkan sector.
The subsequent days are mainly focused on regional co-production possibilities, with an ongoing series of master classes, also including a section investigating the influence that film incentives have had on local economies. Furthermore, other key topics will be explored, such as the tools for sales and distribution in the territory, film promotion in the Adriatic-Ionian region, the educational opportunities in film development, and the role of women in the Balkan film industry.
Basking in the limelight at the BFM, Italy will present the possibilities for partnership with the Balkan countries through some of its regional film funds and commissions, and the new legislations and their effect on the field of co-production. In addition, Giffoni Experience, organised by the well-known children’s film festival in Southern Italy, will also be introduced.
In keeping with the training sessions of the first edition of the BFM, Albascript Plus, the new version of the workshop that started last year and was dedicated only to Albanian writers/producers, is now expanding to the whole region. Eleven feature and six short-film projects from seven countries have been invited for further script development, and the training will last for the entire duration of the market.
Additionally, the first edition of Pitch Balkan will run from 4-7 October. The directors and accompanying producers of three Albanian and ten Balkan partially financed projects will be prepared through a training session, with a view to pitching them to an audience of film professionals. The presentation is scheduled for 5 October, and afterwards, the participants will have the opportunity to book specialised, one-to-one meetings with industry delegates.
Finally, the ANCC will offer some important exposure to the international projects that have applied for its minority co-production funding by inviting all eight projects to the BFM in order to give them a chance to network and forge ties with other professionals. During Pitch Balkan, at a separate session, the ANCC will also announce its decision on the projects that will be granted minority co-production funding.
The first edition of the BFM is being organised under the auspices of the Albanian Ministry of Culture and the patronage of Eurimages, and it is organised by the ANCC and MiBACT in collaboration with the local MEDIA Desk, and in special partnership with the CNC, SEE Cinema Network and all the film centres of the region.
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