Seville – the centre of film circulation
by David González
- The industry section of the European Film Festival is training its spotlight on the ever-crucial matter of the exhibition of arthouse films
The 14th Seville European Film Festival has built up its industry section around an ever- crucial element in the arthouse film chain – namely, how to circulate movies in order to enable them to be exhibited. This link in the chain, which connects a movie with the audience, has become one of the most complex phases in the challenging current situation, in which digital advances have given rise to a huge glut of movies.
“We needed to create a forum to explain the problems we are encountering,” stated the director of the festival, José Luis Cienfuegos. “There is an untruth going around that is decimating the public’s interest in arthouse film. People are saying that the best films are being made for television, and we all know that is not the case, which is why we need to speak out about it,” he continued.
Flanked by Vanessa Bernad, managing director of Extenda (the Andalusian Agency for Foreign Promotion), Peter Andermatt, director of the Spanish MEDIA Desk, José Manuel Gómez, the coordinator of Acción Cultural Española, and Victoria Fernández Andrino, the director of the Andalusian MEDIA Desk, Cienfuegos opened the section, which bore the title “Make Them Circulate!” and took place on 6 and 7 November. “We have to find solutions to a lot of problems: cultural centres encounter obstacles when programming films from international distributors; festivals are not plumbing the depths of distributors’ catalogues; and there’s a huge restriction when it comes to programming classics, as the prices can sometimes be astronomical,” added Cienfuegos.
By examining the cases of the Norwegian Federation of Film Societies, which contributes to the programming of 110 members in Norway, CineCiutat, which steers its programme towards the needs of its audience (particularly through thematic niches), and Youfeelm, which provides the audience itself with the means to decide which programme most interests them, the spotlight was shone on the various different strategies that can help bypass the problem.
New platforms and formats have also been playing an important role: digital platforms (particularly Filmin and FestivalScope), as well as art museums and film archives (including that of Bozar, the Cinemathèque Suisse and the CGAI [Galician Centre of Visual Arts], among others), have been expressing their points of view; in effect, they are some of the most powerful allies in aiding the circulation of films that fail to find a spot in the more traditional mainstream distribution system.
Furthermore, synergies between the catalogues of sales agents and film festivals have come to the fore, given that it is only through these synergies that the majority of movies reach the audience at all. The fact that this can only happen on isolated occasions gave rise to a question: could this possibly be established as a continuous and regularised situation?
Still within the industry section, the festival will also host the 15th Animation and Video Game Meeting (9 November) and the Women in Focus conference (10-11 November).
(Translated from Spanish)
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