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Industry / Market - Switzerland/Greece/Estonia/Netherlands/Czech Republic

Country Focus: Switzerland

European film festivals kick off Launchpad to support emerging film professionals

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- Locarno, Thessaloniki, Tallinn, Rotterdam and Karlovy Vary have joined forces to facilitate the integration of professionals working in areas such as sales, marketing and distribution

European film festivals kick off Launchpad to support emerging film professionals
Director John Waters giving a talk during a Locarno industry event (© Locarno Film Festival)

The Locarno Film Festival, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, IFFR and Karlovy Vary International Film Festival have announced the creation of a new joint industry initiative called Launchpad. In detail, the effort aims to “facilitate the integration of selected emerging film professionals working in international sales, marketing, traditional and online distribution, exhibition and programming, funds and commissions by giving them facilitated access to a network of film festivals in the yearly calendar.

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“Through Launchpad, the partners offer the participants the chance to discover important industry events either online or on site, be part of key industry activities and further expand their international network,” the official press release further explains.

Each festival, industry platform or market taking part in the Launchpad network will choose a maximum of ten emerging film professionals through a dedicated call for applications. All of the participants will then be granted automatic access to all partner events for 12 months following their selection.

They will receive a free industry accreditation, and those able to attend the events physically will be offered a tailor-made programme and admission to all networking events. Each partner body will also host an online introduction meeting along with a yearly global online get-together with the whole Launchpad community.

The joint statement signed by head of Locarno Pro Markus Duffner, head of Agora Angeliki Vergou, head of Industry@Tallinn Marge Liiske, head of IFFR Pro Inke Van Loocke and head of the KVIFF Film Industry Office Hugo Rosak reads as follows: “Film professionals in the first few years of their careers are tomorrow’s key industry players and at the same time one of the most fragile segments of our business. In our still very closed-off industry environment, they are those struggling the most to find their place or to get a proper introduction to the film business, fair treatment and healthy opportunities to grow as professionals. With Launchpad, we want to change that. We believe that the Launchpad network is the first step towards a more inclusive and accessible film industry. This will be possible in a more open and cohesive landscape, where festival and film-industry events are able to collaborate and join forces to achieve common goals.”

The first Launchpad alumni have already been selected through the Locarno Industry Academy initiative (you can read more about them here). Further calls will be launched by each partner event in the coming weeks.

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