International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA) has lined up three programs in collaboration with the European Film Market, including the fifth edition of “Refugee Voices in Film,” presented with the United Nations Refugee Agency. The interactive virtual program will occur on Feb. 10 and 11 at the film market in Berlin.
IEFTA will present two other programs: “The Digital Landscape in Africa,” a panel discussion that will highlight the work of indigenous platforms for VOD in the African audio-visual space; and a “Mix & Mingle Session” with IEFTA and partner organizations. Both will take place on Feb. 11.
“Refugee Voices in Film” is part of the ongoing collaboration between the UN High Commission for Refugees’ “Telling The Real Story” program and IEFTA, in partnership with EFM. It honors the creative and humanitarian efforts of filmmakers as they document the difficult experiences of those enduring irregular migration. Using narrative, documentary and animation formats, filmmakers — many of them refugees themselves — depict asylum seekers speaking out about loss and desperation, as well as resilience and hope.
This year’s interactive program features works from “Telling the Real Story” that focus on the experience of women. In a first, it will measure the effect of these stories, courtesy of embedded QR codes in each segment that allow audiences to scan the code, engage with the films and get involved with the issues.
“The Berlinale has been positioned as a place of intercultural exchange and a platform for the critical cinematic exploration of social issues,” Dennis Ruh, director of the European Film Market, tells Variety. “It is considered the most political of all the major film festivals. The European Film Market, as an integral part of the festival and international trading platform for film and media content, takes up a corresponding position.”
Adds Ruh: “We at the EFM are proud to join forces with IEFTA and its partners, as we share the same values and vision. Giving refugees the voice and platform to tell their own stories pays respect to narrative sovereignty. The EFM is the right place to showcase and raise awareness within the film industry and beyond.”
“The Digital Landscape in Africa” will focus on the impact of the local productions from streaming platforms as well as the volumes of content licenses and how the local players are making impact on the industry.
The panel will discuss how local streaming platforms work while highlighting new start-up streaming platforms. With big players like Netflix and Amazon, entry into the market has come with a lot of industry development initiatives, as they each work to build a talent pipeline.
Participants will include Candice Fangueiro (ShowMax), Tigist Kebede (Habesha View), Wilfred Kimui (Vumi Central), Mohammed Hefzy (Film Clinic) and Gugu Zuma Ncube (producer, South Africa).
The “Mix & Mingle” session will feature reps from IEFTA and partner organizations including Arab Cinema Center, Cairo International Film Festival, Cannes Docs/Marché du Film, DAE Documentary Association of Europe, Dhaka DocLab, DOK Leipzig, Durban Film Mart, El Gouna Film Festival, European Film Market, Gemini Africa, Global Film & Media Initiative, Golden Apricot Film Festival, IFFR Pro, Jamaica Film & Television Association, International Film Initiative Bangladesh, Realness Institute and Torino Film Lab.
IEFTA is a Monaco-based non-governmental organization founded with the purpose of discovering and developing film talent from emerging regions, globally. The org connects filmmakers to industry professionals, engages in cultural diversity and fosters relationships that are mentoring, inspiring and educational.