The Filmkunstmesse Leipzig gets under way today
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The German event is a platform for the discussion of industry issues and the presentation of upcoming arthouse releases
More than 70 arthouse films will be presented at the 16th edition of the Filmkunstmesse Leipzig, which kicks off today with the German book adaptation Center of My World by Jakob M Erwa. As Europe’s biggest arthouse event for exhibitors, the gathering brings about 1,000 industry representatives to Leipzig. Among the new films that distributors are set to present are festival highlights from Cannes and Venice, such as Café Society by Woody Allen, Nocturnal Animals [+see also:
film profile] by Tom Ford, Marie Curie, The Courage of Knowledge [+see also:
interview: Marie Noëlle
film profile] by Marie Noëlle, Die Blumen von gestern by Chris Kraus (The Poll Diaries [+see also:
interview: Chris Kraus
film profile]), French drama This Summer Feeling [+see also:
interview: Mikhaël Hers
film profile] by Mikhaël Hers and Paula [+see also:
film profile] by German writer-director Christian Schwochow (November Child [+see also:
The role of the cinema for cultural identity in Europe will be discussed by AG Kino-Gilde chairman Christian Bräuer, FFA president Peter Dinges, German distributor Marc Gabizon, HFF president Bettina Reitz and MEP Sabine Verheyen. The European Commission’s digital agenda and the new German film law will also be discussion points during the five-day event. While arthouse exhibitors want to hang on to their theatrical window, German documentary producers are demanding to shorten the holdback period. “Germany is the world leader in documentaries that are playing an important part in our cinemas,” declares Bräuer.
Another topic of interest is that the cinemas are soon to face the next wave of digitisation, which still needs to be financed. According to the AG Kino-Gilde chairman, film funding in Europe is overly focused on production. Therefore, he is pleading for an increase in theatrical support in Germany.
Furthermore, the association of arthouse exhibitors is launching a batch of new initiatives that will attract new target groups to attend the cinema. One initiative that has already proven successful is the educational project “Kids Film”, for children from underprivileged families. A new programme entitled “Cinema Connects” will give refugees the possibility to learn a new language and discover other cultures. “Cinema is unique, along with its cultural and social space,” concludes Bräuer. “There are many opportunities to generate more attention with the programme and marketing.”