Regional Forum to tackle exhibition and co-production
by Vladan Petkovic
- Sarajevo's Regional Forum will focus on two sectors particularly affected by the challenges of the changing digital landscape and the notion of territoriality
The Sarajevo Film Festival's annual industry conference, Regional Forum, which brings together key film professionals from the region and the rest of Europe, is now in its seventh year. It will present two major events: the previously announced Council of Europe conference on gender equality on 14 August (read the news), and the European Film Forum – an initiative of the European Commission – on 20-21 August.
At the European Film Forum, experts from the region and elsewhere in Europe will be taking a closer look at the recent exciting developments in the Southeast European cinema sector, and at the opportunities for co-production across borders in a borderless digital film world.
"This year's topics are of major relevance for Southeast Europe – developing the cinema experience and cooperating across borders are both crucial for a healthy exhibition sector and a dynamic film production in the region. But the same goes for the European level," says Jovan Marjanović, Sarajevo's head of industry. "So we're very happy to host the European Film Forum, as we believe looking at these shared challenges from a local, regional and pan-European angle simultaneously will give valuable new insights, and will help find the creative new ideas that will lead the way forward."
The first panel on 20 August, entitled "Cinema Exhibition Sector: Opportunities and Challenges in Southeast Europe", will tackle the current exhibition situation. Southeast Europe is increasingly multiplexing, has a growing arthouse community, is experimenting with event cinema and has experienced several occupy-cinema movements.
Panellists including Christof Papousek (Cineplexx), Claudia Droc (Europa Cinemas), Hrvoje Laurenta, (Kino Europa Zagreb), Mina Đukić (Kino Zvezda Beograd), Giovanni Dolci (IMAX) and Jan Runge (CEO, UNIC) will discuss whether the area can catch up with the more developed parts of the continent, whether the audience has an appetite for more, where it stands in the value chain of European films, and where it could be positioned in the future.
The panel will be introduced by the European Commission's Dag Asbjornsen and moderated by independent expert Tina Hajon.
On 21 August, the second panel under the title "Public Funding for Co-productions: Cooperating Better Across the Borders in the Borderless Digital World" will be introduced and moderated by Marjanović. It will focus on the ever-changing landscape of European film co-production, which is opening up to territories across the world willing to co-produce in the European way, while the very notion of territoriality on which the system is based is coming under pressure from global industry players and legislators alike.
Marten Rabarts (Eye Institute Netherlands), Robert Balinski (Polish Film Institute), Tamara Tatishvili (Georgian National Film Center), Andre Lange (independent expert) and Hrvoje Hribar (Croatian Audiovisual Center) will try to answer the question: which legal or financial instruments can public and private bodies that support national film industries use to work together better under the circumstances?