Terrorism to be part of discussions

LONDON — Toppers of the world’s leading film festivals will meet Dec. 1 for a landmark conference to discuss the future role of festivals. While the Berlin confab had been set up prior to the events of Sept. 11, the impact of the terrorist attacks will now be prominent on the agenda.

The lineup of fest execs slated to attend includes Thierry Fremaux of the Cannes Intl. Film Festival, Venice’s Alberto Barbera, Toronto’s Piers Handling and the Berlin fest’s new topper Dieter Kosslick. Irene Bignardi from Locarno, Dong-Ho Kim from Pusan, Geoff Gilmore from Sundance, Mikel Olaciregui of San Sebastian and Eva Zaoralova from Karlovy Vary complete the lineup.

“What function film festivals have has been debated over and over again during the years,” Kosslick told Daily Variety. “If they are important, what relevance (do) they have for the film industry and for film auds and for culture and the future? Since Sept. 11, the world (has) change(d). It’s also a question for festivals to address which type of films will be made and shown.”

Conference, titled Film Festivals in the Spotlight, will also assess the recent turnover in festival heads.

Meeting will take place during the European Film Awards weekend (Nov. 30-Dec. 2).

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