A productive first edition of the Industry Days at Luxembourg City Film Festival
by Elena Lazic
- For two days during this year’s Luxembourg City Film Festival, professionals from the film industry gathered for what were the festival’s first-ever Industry Days
Before the coronavirus put an end to proceedings, the Luxembourg City Film Festival organised the first-ever edition of its Industry Days, unfolding over two days. The biggest part of the event was the first meeting about the Europa Film Festival. This new initiative was born of the fact that, every year, the Luxembourg City Film Festival welcomes festival directors as part of its documentary jury while also, and separately, collaborating with international sales network Europa International. The idea then arose to combine the two in order to create opportunities for people on both sides to discuss how to improve the relationships between sales agents and festivals. The Luxembourg City Film Festival subsequently joined forces with the Galway Film Fleadh when it learned that the Irish gathering was working on a similar initiative. The rather formal meetings that used to take place in Luxembourg will thus be organised in Galway in July, when the Europa Film Festival will become a truly official federation of film gatherings. Fourteen festivals will be co-founding members, echoing the way Galway itself is said to have been founded by 14 tribes.
The goal of the federation is to encourage a federative approach whereby festivals with different sizes, identities and goals can collaborate and coordinate more productively. Another objective is to support smaller gatherings that, despite participating in the promotion of cinema in Europe, may not receive aid from the European community because they do not meet certain criteria. The Europa Film Festival will also work to create a charter of good practice, created by and for film festivals and sales agents.
On the more public side of the festival, one industry event was the pitching session entitled 3’52’’ Max. Taking advantage of its already well-established relationship with sales agents and other film festivals, the Luxembourg City Film Festival created this event where 15 film festivals and many sales agents listened to pitches of 12 Luxembourgish projects, of different kinds (fiction, documentary and TV shows) and at different stages of production. Each project had three minutes and 52 seconds to be pitched (Luxembourg’s country calling code is 352), which is more than is usually given to projects at bigger festivals.
Finally, another part of the Industry Days was yet another collaboration with a different festival. “Les Imaginales Goes LuxFilmFest” saw fantasy and genre writers, gathered by French fantasy literature festival Les Imaginales, present the elaborate universe of their novels to an audience of producers looking to develop IP (intellectual property) into films or TV shows.
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