“The goal is to enable and empower young talents to shape the future of film exhibition”
Industry Report: European Film Schools
Lysann Windisch • Head of programme, NEXT WAVE
by Kaleem Aftab
The Berlin-based, nine-month professional training programme focused on the cinephilia of the future is accepting applications until 31 May 2021
NEXT WAVE, the Berlin-based, nine-month professional training programme focused on the cinephilia of the future and the development of international film markets, is accepting applications until 31 May 2021 for next year’s programme, which runs from October until June. The focus areas are past and current patterns and release strategies; the impact of streaming and the role of intermediaries; digital forms of marketing and data-driven strategies; curatorship across all media, audience development and the building of cinephile communities; and market norms, business structures and methods used in the start-up world. The programme fee is €4,000, which includes costs for travel, accommodation, and accreditations for study trips to the La Fémis French National Film School, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), the European Film Market at the Berlinale, and the Cannes Marché du Film.
The advisory board of NEXT WAVE includes Bobby Allen, senior vice-president of content at MUBI; Vanja Kaludjercic, IFFR festival director; Matthijs Wouter Knol, European Film Academy director; Johanna Koljonen, author of the Göteborg Film Festival’s annual Nostradamus Report; Maddy Probst, managing producer at Watershed in Bristol, UK; Sten-Kristian Saluveer, an Estonian/Japanese-based audiovisual curator, audiovisual producer, and content and technology entrepreneur who programs the Innovation track – NEXT – at the Marché du Film; and Erwin M Schmidt, co-founder of Berlin-based Cinemathon. Cineuropa spoke to Lysann Windisch, head of programme at NEXT WAVE.
Cineuropa: What is NEXT WAVE?
Lysann Windisch: NEXT WAVE is a nine-month training programme for young professionals with work experience in one of the fields we cover: sales, distribution, curatorship, film marketing and audience development. On average, our participants should have around three to five years of documented working experience.
What is the goal of the programme?
The goal is to enable and empower young talents to shape the future of film exhibition, think about new ways to reach audiences, and distribute and release films. They are encouraged to rethink traditional business models and come up with their own businesses ideas. The programme wants to encourage the participants to create new marketing and communication methods and develop original audience engagement strategies. Participants will gain business knowledge, practical expertise, strategic skills and international networks. A powerful component of NEXT WAVE is bringing together established industries and tech/start-up firms to spark innovation. We are just finishing up our second year with participants presenting at Cannes in July.
Your deadline for applications is coming up on 31 May. What type of person do you hope to attract?
We are looking for people who have entrepreneurial minds and who really want to – together with us – rethink the future of film distribution and exhibition. People willing to gain an in-depth knowledge of the industry, build a professional network and develop their own strategies for future film markets. An excellent standard of spoken and written English is essential, as all classes are in English. The recommended age is 25-35 years. NEXT WAVE will take on up to 15 European participants, and in exceptional cases, up to three applicants from non-European countries will be accepted.
What can one expect if they attend NEXT WAVE?
There are different pillars to our programme. One pillar is that they will have regular teaching sessions and practical workshops with well-known tutors within the different areas that we cover. Another is that they will develop an individual project over nine months. They will also receive support from mentors, and then there are also group assignments. It has a very practical end to it, with commissioned projects from industry partners where participants can apply the skills they have learned on NEXT WAVE in a real-world situation.
Is this a programme that will happen on Zoom?
I think everyone is tired of Zoom. In the beginning, it was a physical programme happening in Berlin, and it’s still a requirement that participants come to Berlin for the nine months from October to June. But for now, with the pandemic, we have had to shift many sessions online, and so with regard to the future, we will have a hybrid version because for now, it doesn’t look like all of the tutors can come to Berlin to mentor just for one day. It will be online sessions and physical on-site meetings, which is very important for us because we try to work with the group as much as possible, use the creative energy that exists and build a team where people learn from each other.
On 18 and 19 June, you have an online summit called “How to Target the Eye”. What’s that?
It’s an international film conference on film design, primarily focusing on visual communication, exploring the design elements of film posters and trailers, or anything that communicates a film to an audience. This summit was created by the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB) and the NEXT WAVE programme participants, curating the programme and organising the whole event. We have some amazing speakers and a case study by Vasilis Marmatakis, who designed the poster for The Lobster [+see also:
Q&A: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile]. We have a competition running for a DFFB graduation film, which is a call for designers. The head of our jury is Adrian Curry, who is the columnist of the Movie Poster of the Week. It’s become increasingly important when talking about releasing films to think about the visual context, and especially the digital opportunities.
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