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European Film Market & Co-Production Market

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Jan 31, 2024

EFM Industry Sessions 2024: A Growth Mindset Towards (Human & Machine) Learning, Skills and Equity Put Centre Stage

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The EFM Industry Sessions, the European Film Market’s industry programme, will again broach a wide range of topics and formats in 2024, and aim to discuss key developments in the film and media landscape that are expected to shape the coming year. From February 16 to 20, 2024, more than 100 international guests will be welcomed to the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation close to the Gropius Bau. Hailing from various perspectives – including those from beyond the film world – these speakers will offer stimulating new ideations, raise questions, share their learning curves and fresh approaches, and ultimately invite the industry to unpack these highly topical subjects in these challenging times.

“The topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will comprise a special focus at this year’s EFM Industry Sessions. AI will undoubtedly start to gain more and more influence in the various areas of the film value chain – from script development to practical issues of production and post-production, distribution and marketing. It is no wonder that everyone is talking about this subject, and some are following the developments with concern, as many questions remain unanswered: and these questions deserve to be addressed and clarified. We want to shed more light on all these developments and take a more balanced and informative view at the current and predicted roles of AI,” says EFM Director Dennis Ruh.

What impact do the rapid developments in AI have on film creation, and what will this mean for the role of human intelligence in the film ecosystem in the future? What skills do we need to develop in order to exploit the potential of collaboration between humans and machines? Where are the limits and the weak spots? The EFM Industry Sessions will explore how AI is changing the way we conceptualise films through worldbuilding, the experiences producers have had in their first encounters with AI, and how AI tools can be used in practice. Nuanced views of the technology will also be envisaged from a social justice perspective.

In addition to AI, the focus on sustainability as a field of learning will continue – ranging from tasks in green filmmaking, to demands for greater accessibility, to fair remuneration through increased transparency, and to contemporary leadership – sustainability in several of its facets will be addressed in various formats on and off stage. The conference will also explore new business strategies, independent animation as an exciting territory of work, a 360° view of current filmmaking from financing to cinema exhibition, the growing interest in archival work, and the primary objective of reaching wider audiences through improved accessibility at film events.

The programme on stage will be supplemented by think tanks, roundtable formats and workshops. In addition to the daily podcast format “EFM Morning Briefs” with latest updates on the festival and market as well as some highlights and tips for the EFM day, there will also be new and longer episodes of “Industry Insights – The EFM Podcast”, which has now been running for three years, accompanying the industry continually with future-relevant insights – produced in cooperation with Goethe-Institut and co-funded by Creative Europe MEDIA.

In its tenth edition of EFM Startups, the EFM – as a pioneer in this field – looks back at a network that has grown to include 100 international entrepreneurs showcasing an array of innovative tools and services for the film and media industry. Many have won awards and honours worldwide. As part of EFM Startups 2024 – also funded by Creative Europe MEDIA – ten hand-picked startups from seven countries (Croatia, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom) will present a diverse range of tools for producers in the fields of pre-production / development, production, marketing and distribution. Six of the ten startups are (co-)founded by women.

The well-frequented format series “Consult the Experts” with over 30 invited guests and “Meet the Festivals” with 33 participating festivals from the fields of animation, documentary film, fiction and series will also be continued under the umbrella of the EFM Industry Sessions, offering market participants an opportunity to exchange ideas and connect with international experts in organised meetings. In addition, there will be programmes aimed specifically at documentary filmmakers. These formats will again take place in the Documentation Centre’s Café Connect and include one-on-ones, walk-in consultations, roundtables, and a meeting point for getting together and networking throughout the market. This event will conclude on Tuesday, February 20, when once again the exciting world of archives will be showcased: 19 international archives will present their work at the Archive Market. These archives will be available for meetings, and three talks will provide nuanced insights into archival working methods.

To help market visitors find a balance during the busy market days, the “Room of Stillness” in the Documentation Centre offers a mobile phone- and work-free environment – including four guided meditations on Monday, February 19. In this way, the EFM is continuing the theme of mental health introduced in 2020.

The three-year “Equity & Inclusion Pathways Seminar”, initiated in 2023 and also co-funded by Creative Europe MEDIA, will continue this year. The invitation-only seminar brings together European decision-makers, advocacy groups and stakeholders in an exclusive setting, to facilitate the dismantling of structural racism and other forms of discrimination, and to improve equity, inclusion and accessibility through awareness building, knowledge sharing and practical case studies by applying an intersectional lens in relation to policymaking, strategy, measures and actions.

All the conference formats of the EFM Industry Sessions are accessible with a market badge and will be available afterwards via VoD. Key findings from the EFM Industry Sessions will be published in summary after the event. The full programme can be found online in the EFM Event Schedule.

EFM Industry Sessions 2024
At the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation – Event Hall

Partner Event:
Winston Baker: Entertainment Finance Forum Berlin
Friday, Feb 16, 11.00 am – 1.00 pm

Working with AI: the Human Factor
Friday, Feb 16, 3.15 pm – 4.15 pm

Leading Change: Producers at the Wheel
Friday, Feb 16, 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm

Friend or Foe: AI and Equity
Saturday, Feb 17, 10.00 am – 11.00 am

Dream Factory Onwards! Building Worlds and Opportunities With AI
Saturday, Feb 17, 11.30 am – 12.30 pm

AI Journeys: How Producers Will Make the Most of It
Saturday, Feb 17, 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm

European Business Strategies for International Success
Saturday, Feb 17, 3.15 pm – 4.15 pm

Anatomy of a Film: A Deep Dive across the Value Chain
Saturday, Feb 17, 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm

Follow the Money: Transparency towards Fair Remuneration
Sunday, Feb 18, 10.00 am – 11.00 am

Unlocking Audiences and Authentic Representations Accessibly
Sunday, Feb 18, 11.30 am - 12.45 pm

AI for Audience Design in Documentary
Sunday, Feb 18, 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm

EFM Startups: Insights and Tools Shaping the Industry’s Future
Sunday, Feb 18, 3.00 pm – 4.00 pm

Zones of Interest: Distribution Trends for Online Releases
Sunday, Feb 18, 4.45 pm – 6.00 pm

Partner Event:
Navigating New Developments in Euro-Asian Film Collaboration
Monday, Feb 19, 10.00 am – 11.00 am

Partner Event:
Adaptability in Times of Biggest Challenges: Ukraine’s Way Onwards
Monday, Feb 19, 11.30 am – 12.30 pm

CresCine Industry Outlook: Audiences, Markets, Skills & Greening
Monday, Feb 19, 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm

Successive Learnings: Entering the Territory of Indie Animation
Monday, Feb 19, 3.15 pm – 4.15 pm

Resilience in Distribution and Documentary Filmmaking Today
Monday, Feb 19, 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm

Immersive Media & New Markets: Funding & Distribution Pipelines
Tuesday, Feb 20, 3.15 pm – 4.15 pm

“Remediating Memories” – Archival Filmmaking Workshop Talk
Tuesday, Feb 20, 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm

And in addition:

Pause & Centre @Room of Stillness
At the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation
Four guided meditations
Monday, Feb 19, 12.00 noon, 2.00 pm, 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm

Archive Market – Talks
At the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation – Café Connect

Producers Challenges in Archival Workflows
Tuesday, Feb 20, 2.00 pm – 2.45 pm

International Work Strategies of Archive Producers
Tuesday, Feb 20, 2.45 pm – 3.30 pm

Press Office
January 31, 2024