In a move designed to revamp the Euro-wide Felix Awards — which have languished in recent years — as well as to energize its sponsoring organization, the European Film Academy, international public relations agency Dennis Davidson Associates has been signed to rep the academy and to produce and market the awards show beginning with this December’s event.
“The aim is to build the Felix Awards into an important event on the film calendar,” Film Academy chairman Nik Powell told Variety. “We chose DDA because they are one of the few truly international PR agencies.”
DDA head Dennis Davidson said, “There is a tremendous amount of goodwill toward European cinema on both sides of the Atlantic, but we feel the academy is perceived as both too elitist and irrelevant by the industry at large, as well as by the media. The changes already adopted, and a continuing evolution, will combat those perceptions, but there is a massive task ahead as we seek to create a meaningful public awareness.”
Membership rules relaxed
Those changes recently instituted include opening academy membership beyond the previous limit of 100 members. DDA is expected to add new awards categories as well as sign up major corporate sponsors for the event.
The European Film Academy was founded in 1989 as the European Cinema Society by its first president, Ingmar Bergman, along with 40 Euro filmmakers. The name-change occurred in 1991 during Wim Wenders’ tenure as Academy prexy.
Meeting with AMPAS
Powell, who also is head of Scala Prods., is in Los Angeles to attend the AFM and is expected to meet with reps from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences “to see what areas we would be acting on together.”
He also is talking with the American Film Marketing Assn. about co-sponsoring an event at the Venice Film Festival.