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Marrakech Hosts Events for Europe’s Top Distributors and Sales Agents

Europa Distribution and Europa International both head to the Red City

This year’s Marrakech international film festival will host two high-profile events — a two-day workshop with distributors’ network Europa Distribution, on Dec. 10-11, and the annual meeting of Europa International, the organization that reps European sales agents, on Dec. 11-12.

One of Marrakech’s key goals over recent years has been to foster stronger ties with industry professionals, thus creating synergies between the fest’s overall focus on world cinema and new market opportunities.

Twenty members of Europa Distribution will attend a workshop on “Effective Communication in Professional Interactions and in the Negotiation Process,” to discuss how to optimize acquisition strategies in today’s increasingly complex market. The event results from a new partnership with the Marrakech International Film Festival. Independent distributors from various countries, including Moroccan distributors, will attend.

The workshop’s agenda targets the specific challenges faced by European independent distributors, including how to efficiently communicate projects and how to strike profitable deals in a highly competitive market.

Aiming to reinforce the negotiation and communication skills involved in the daily work of distributors, the sessions will be coordinated by Helene Gallez and Joseph Drese — two experts on transactional analysis, interpersonal communication and negotiation.

The event also aims to increase the ties between producers and directors attending the Marrakech fest and the visiting distributors, who will participate in the festival’s other activities.

The other main industry meet at Marrakech is Europa International’s 3rd annual conference, dedicated to “New Dimension for International Distribution,” which will be attended by 20 European sales agents/members.

The conference is integrated within The Match Factory’s project, Distribution 2.0.

On Thursday, Dec. 11, Europa International will hold its general assembly, to discuss future projects, in particular “Set The Trend!” that is supported by MEDIA Program for 2015 and 2016.

On Friday, Ted Hope (Fandor, Hope for Film) will moderate panels on “New platforms: Opportunities for Sales,” “Sales and Exhibition,” “Digital vs. Traditional Sales: Selling Films Tomorrow,” and “Festivals: Tools and Strategy.”

The discussions will focus on new aspects of digital distribution and using digital opportunities to reinforce the relationship between distributors, sales agents and exhibitors and thereby increase the distribution of European and independent cinema.

Other issues to be discussed include new anti-piracy measures and how to simplify the relationship between sales agents and festivals to ensure better circulation of films.

Two to three distributors attending the Europa Distribution workshop will also attend the Europa International annual meeting to talk about new digital platforms.

The conference will close with an official dinner for sales agents and guests sponsored by Europa International’s official partners Ymagis (digital cinema) and CoPeerRight Agency (fighting online piracy).

Sales agents attending Europa International’s annual conference, include Nelleke Driessen, MD of Fortissimo Films, Emilie Georges, CEO of Memento Films Intl, Jenny Walendy, head of sales for The Match Factory, Frederic Corvez, head of Urban Distribution Intl., Loic Magneron, CEO of Wide Management, Carole Baraton, head of sales of Wild Bunch, and Susan Wendt, head of sales of TrustNordisk and president of Europa International.

Jerome Paillard, CEO of Cannes Film Market, and Fatima Djoumer, head of international relations of Europa Cinemas, will also attend.

The main conclusions from both events will be disclosed at the end of the respective sessions.

Participants to both events will also have several opportunities to mingle, including an official cocktail at the fest.

The 14th edition of the Marrakech international film festival runs Dec. 5-13.

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