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Festivals / Awards - Poland/Portugal/Greece/Romania/Spain/Iceland/Lithuania

Industry Report: Film Festival Trends

Seven European film festivals found Smart7, an initiative to promote innovation

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The project is also an attempt to find tools for the betterment of the festival experience

Seven European film festivals found Smart7, an initiative to promote innovation

Seven film festivals are founding Smart7, an initiative intended to promote innovation in European cinema and to improve the festival-attending experience. The seven participating festivals are the New Horizons IFF (Poland), IndieLisboa (Portugal), the Thessaloniki IFF (Greece), the Transilvania IFF (Romania), FILMADRID (Spain), the Reykjavik IFF (Iceland) and Vilnius IFF Kino Pavasaris (Lithuania).

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In a press release, the founders announced that Smart7 is meant to connect festivals with similar visions and goals in order to define and identify the common trends for the betterment of the industry and the festival culture, and also to cater to the needs of the organisational teams of those festivals. The initiative is expected “to accelerate the professionalisation of the industry and to improve the distribution of European films by raising and educating a new generation of cinemagoers”, it is stated in the communiqué.

Among the Smart7 values are “diversity, inclusion and an unflinching dedication to sustainability. […] The initiative is the result of a natural collaboration between the seven founding festivals, which have worked together in the past and have a similar vision regarding the future of the industry. Smart7 is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme,” it is stated in the press release. Four workshops on programming and audience development, financing, promotion, and sustainability and green practices will be organised over the next two years.

Smart7 will also establish an itinerant film competition consisting of seven innovative features helmed by emerging directors. Each festival will choose a movie, and the final seven-film selection will be shown at each of the seven founding festivals, where seven juries consisting of university students will choose a winning title to receive a €5,000 award.

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