You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

European Film Market Targets Tech Innovations in Horizon Programs

The tectonic shifts being felt across the film industry landscape are reverberating at this year’s European Film Market, where the impact of new technological developments, growing opportunities, new markets and the roles of diversity and inclusion are in the spotlight.
“We have been witnessing one of the biggest changes in the film industry during the last 10 to 15 years – not just in Europe, but worldwide,” says EFM director Matthijs Wouter Knol. “Technology-driven innovations and digitization have turned the film and media landscape upside down. They have led to new major players in the industry that will continue to disrupt business models, marketing strategies and audience behavior for years to come.”
Unsurprisingly, the EFM Horizon program, which examines the future of the film and media sector and its cross-pollination with the tech and startup industries, has continued to see its attendance grow since its inception two years ago.
EFM Horizon filled a gap from the beginning and has grown in importance and relevance, says Knol, adding that the innovation platform has become a significant meeting place for market participants. It’s “the perfect setting to learn what’s coming up in the rest of the year, who will be the players to watch and what trends to follow.”
The event is spotlighting a wide range of opportunities offered by immersive media, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, including new financing models, different  production structures, alternative methods of revenue distribution and forward-thinking marketing strategies, Knol says.
VR is likewise high on the agenda with a number of dedicated events as an increasing number of filmmakers embrace it to promote their works, among them Fatih Akin for his Berlinale competition screener “The Golden Glove” and Wes Anderson for “Isle of Dogs,” which unspooled here last year.
The EFM’s VR events will bring together filmmakers and game producers. “It is exciting to see how both sides exchange experiences and benefit from each other regarding storytelling, technology and interactivity,” says Knol, noting that VR suites are now being introduced in theaters, while extended reality (XR) games and escape rooms have been available in VR lounges for quite a while.
EFM Horizon is also looking at the ways in which equality, diversity and sustainability in the industry can improve in the coming years.
The market began to highlight the role of diversity and inclusion in business last year and it has now expanded its program. 

“With the rise of a broader public discussion and the awareness that these topics are not just a social issue but essential for success at the box office, these subjects have re-entered the industry with even greater force and urgency than before,” Knol explains.
The EFM is offering some 10 different events on diversity and inclusion throughout its platforms, including talks, panels and presentations at EFM Horizon, DocSalon, Producers Hub, EFM Industry Debates and the Berlinale Africa Hub.
The Africa Hub, which offers its own panels, presentations, VR lounge and high speed networking event that brings together European and African filmmakers, is likewise seeing bigger crowds. The event focuses on Sub-Saharan African industry innovators. The African market, characterized by fast digitization, huge potential audiences, different structures and disparate regional development, is difficult to understand and penetrate, but nevertheless exciting for the coming decade, Knol says.
With this year’s regional focus on Norway, the EFM will see 21 Norwegian productions and co-productions screening at the market, among them “Amundsen,” from “Kon-Tiki” helmer Espen Sandberg, Eirik Svensson’s “Harajuku” and “Psychobitch” from Martin Lund.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Benedict Andrews (L) and US actress

    Kristen Stewart on the 'Insane Gall' of Directors as 'Seberg' Arrives in San Sebastian

    SAN SEBASTIAN – On Friday, Kristen Stewart and Benedict Andrews’ political thriller “Seberg” plays at the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival, where it opens Perlak, a section dedicated to the Spanish premieres of major international films. The star and her director addressed the media prior to the screening in the festival’s first high-profile press conference, [...]

  • Les Miserables

    Ladj Ly's Cannes Prize-Winner 'Les Miserables' Is France's Oscar Submission

    Ladj Ly’s politically charged drama “Les Miserables,” which won the Jury Prize at Cannes, has been chosen by France’s Oscar committee to enter the international feature film race. In one of the most competitive years for French movies, “Les Miserables” beat out Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” the 18th-century-set romance which won [...]

  • David Kehrl neuer Head of Acquisitions

    'Resident Evil's' Constantin Names Acquisitions, International Co-Production Chief

    David Kehrl is to join Constantin Film, Germany’s leading independent movie producer and distributor, as the head of acquisitions and international co-production. He will report to Martin Moszkowicz, chairman of the executive board at Constantin Film, which produces the “Resident Evil” movies. Starting in February, Kehrl will be responsible for the acquisition of international theatrical [...]

  • The Plague Season 2 Spanish TV

    Telefonica, Atresmedia to Create Content Factory Behemoth

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — In a game-changing move for Spanish-language production Telefonica, Europe’s third biggest telco, and Atresmedia, the original co-creators of “La Casa de Papel,” are uniting to create a new joint contents production giant. Aimed at gaining more scale and uniting talent relations – writers, directors and producers – the 50/50 joint venture will [...]

  • KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has

    KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has a Name: Leonine

    The KKR-backed German media company formed through the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, and Wiedemann & Berg Film finally has a name: Leonine. The company revealed its moniker Friday, saying that “Leonine” met its criteria of being associated with its home region of Bavaria and Munich, in southern Germany, and of [...]

  • Scattered Night

    San Sebastian New Directors Jihyoung Lee and Kim Sol Talk ‘Scattered Night’

    After taking the Korean Competition Grand Prize and the best acting award (Moon Seung-a) at the Jeonju Intl. Film Festival, “Scattered Night” now heads to San Sebastian’s New Directors selection. An intimate portrayal of a family whose members are deeply isolated from one another, the film follows two parents overwhelmed by their responsibilities, their own [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content