EFM Constantly adapts to Change to Stay Relevate

admin   February 20, 2020

The European Film Market’s development over many years depends on how quickly it adapts to what’s happening within the industry; to the trends and changes that are influencing the players of this very complex market landscape, says Matthijs Wouter Knol, EFM Director, as he speaks on new initiatives, future developments and trends in the global film, media and entertainment industry, in an interview with Pickle

European Film Market heralds the entertainment industry and gives a perspective of where the film industry is heading? How has the market shaped this year?

The European Film Market is the first market at the beginning of the
year and as such it has been acting as a barometer for the upcoming film year. Our participants come here because the EFM is one of the largest markets for audiovisual content worldwide and one of the most important trading platforms kicking-off the year.
With our many communication, information and networking events and initiatives we offer the EFM visitors the upcoming trends and developments that are going to shape the year.

2020 is the beginning of the new decade. How do you see the relevance of markets impacted in the digital age and longer term?

The European Film Market has evolved enormously since its creation in 1988. To maintain its position as a leading market and trading platform in the industry, the EFM has to adapt to what’s happening within the industry; to the trends and changes that are influencing the players of this very complex market landscape. There are technological and financial developments as well as developments regarding content and new players at the market. The EFM picked up on these trends and offers suitable platforms and initiatives such as the Berlinale Series Market & Conference dedicated to all aspects of serial content; EFM Horizon to meet the growing information demand regarding the fast technologically development; the Berlinale Africa Hub, a platform for innovative projects and ideas from the African film industry. EFM DocSalon, EFM Producers Hub, EFM Industry Debates are other initiatives that are also meeting the industry’s ongoing changes. And equally important: diversity, inclusion and sustainability have marked the EFM’s development over the last year, gaining more and more importance due to what’s happening not only in the film industry, but on a larger, social and political scale.

What are some of the new additions and trends that you see in the industry?

We have introduced a new initiative called EFM Landmark, a program aimed specifically at film commissions and producers, offering them an additional business platform. For the first time we as EFM issued a sustainability manifesto because we want to take responsibility for the environment and fight unnecessary creation of waste, be careful in the usage of energy and resources, develop strategies to reduce, reuse and recycle resources.

The manifesto includes also the creation of a healthy and sustainable working climate as well as raising awareness among team and visitors that they are part of a greener EFM. The measures are part of the initiatives already taken in previous years by the Berlinale. The DocSalon also offers new developments such as the “Archive Day”, the DocSalon Toolbox Program specifically intended for international delegations of documentary creatives from underrepresented groups, as well as the partnership with the DAE, the Documentary Association of Europe.

EFM Landmark is a new addition with coming together of film commissioners. What has been the response? It is a great initiative as EFM is always a buzz with film commissions from Europe?

We have received a very positive feedback to EFM Landmark. Especially because “EFM Landmark” will give plenty of options to present new trends, the cash rebates and tax incentives du jour, as well as changes in co-production funding opportunities and showcases of the best locations for film and drama series to producers looking for the right fit.

EFM is a convergence of a wholesome market that has solutions for needs of every aspect of filmmaking (from a business angle), including technology/AR/VR at EFM Horizon. What’s the overall theme that you see emerging this year? What are people looking for in changing times of streaming getting an upper hand?

Our format EFM Horizon picks up on the future developments and trends of the film, media and entertainment industry. The striking subject is that there is not only one striking subject: Sustainability, well-being, diversity, storytelling, artificial intelligence and immersive media – they all are in the focus of this year’s EFM Horizon edition. We will dive deeper into those forwardlooking developments of social, technological, economic and creative nature and with the EFM Industry Debates, EFM Startups, EFM VR NOW Summit and other formats we provide an outlook into the future of the film and entertainment industry. The paradigm shift to streaming platforms becoming key decision makers will be very present in seminars, conferences and events at this year’s EFM.

EFM organizes the finest coproduction market? How much is the success rate of films getting into execution mode?

The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a separate part of the industry platforms at the Berlinale and closely associated with the EFM. It has been a very successful format from the very beginning. This is mainly due to the curated nature of this event. The film makers and their projects are carefully chosen and they are provided with many pitching and networking and one-on-one opportunities where they have the unique possibilitiy to find exactly those partners they need for financing, co-producing, developing etc.

India participation has been on the rise over the last few years. This year also a small delegation will be at EFM. How do you see collaboration and scope for India to expand its activities in the market?

This year, we have 27 companies from India with 38 participants coming to the EFM. There will be five Indian films being shown in market screenings. The collaboration with the Indian film industry goes back quite some time and has intensified over the past years, with the Indian pavilion in the centre of the historic Gropius-Bau.

EFM is keen on further expanding collaboration with different parts of the Indian film industry. Considering the size, influence and impact the Indian film industry has worldwide, including for example on the African continent, I see opportunities for new projects together.

Corona Virus Hits Chinese presence at Berlinale

• A Chinese delegation of companies that was planning to attend EFM in a
Chinese umbrella stand had to cancel their visit due the current health emergency imposed by a Corona virus outbreak in the country that has made it difficult for them to obtain visa. Attendance of Chinese professionals, including buyers, is also expected to be low in comparison to the increasing number of Chinese buyers finding their ways to EFM in the previous three years.

• As many as 59 cancellations from mainland China and Hong Kong have been registered to date. From other countries, at least five people have cancelled their visit and given the Corona virus as a reason to cancel.

Featured Post


admin   January 12, 2020

Berlinale beckons you. The European Film Market (Fe 20-27, 2020) has lot of things in store. Prepare now for the grand event where you can explore, connect and do business. Over a period of eight days, around 10,000 representatives — primarily producers, buyers and sales agents, distributors and financiers – come together to network and do business deals.

Over a period of eight days at EFM, around 10,000 representatives of the international film and media industries – primarily producers, buyers and sales agents, distributors and financiers – come together to network, exchange, inform themselves and do business.

As the first major film market of the year, the EFM is in a strong position and serves as a barometer and pacesetter for the new film year: new productions and developments, future-proof business models, contacts and contracts – it all starts here.

The EFM’s varied locations range from the beautiful Gropius Bau to elegant Marriott Hotel, modern Berliner Freiheit or the historic Zoo Palast. A professional infrastructure for exhibitors, state-of-the-art cinemas, numerous market premieres and outstanding service via close customer and partner relationships distinguish the film market as a first class trading platform.

Here’s all to know about European Film Market


EFM offers top quality screening facilities for several high-end formats in comfortable state-of-the-art cinemas. Most EFM venues are conveniently located within walking distance in and around Potsdamer Platz. The EFM’s free shuttle service ensures quick connections between EFM venues and the cinemas.


To accommodate the traffi c of up to 110,000 visits during the 8 days of the Market, the EFM offers three exceptional locations, the prestigious Gropius Bau neighboring Gropius Park and the modern Marriott Hotel at Potsdamer Platz.


EFM Landmark will offer plenty of options to present new trends, the tax rebates and incentives du jour, as well as changes in co-production funding opportunities and showcases of the best locations for film and drama series to producers looking for the right fit. Additionally, an important aspect of EFM Landmark will be a matchmaking service on its two consecutive days.


Events will take place both in and around Gropius Bau, as well as in the Berlin House of Representatives, where the Berlinale Co-Production Market takes place. Like with all other business platforms at EFM, access to ‘EFM Landmark’ is with a Market Badge only.


At the centre of one of Europe’s most exciting startup hubs – Berlin – the European Film Market selects 10 leading tech entrepreneurs and connects them with the film and media industries under the banner of EFM Horizon. Once more in 2020, companies from around the globe will be represented.


As part of this innovative platform, 10 selected international Startups will participate in 3 days of meetings, networking and presentations to the international industry. The companies selected to participate in EFM Startups will be carefully curated to showcase new ideas in the intersection between media and technology be it in development, production, distribution or marketing – which are essential to the industry’s survival and future growth in a rapidly changing landscape.


The selected companies will be introduced to the industry in a formal group pitch and presentation at EFM Horizon headquarters – Berliner Freiheit on Potsdamer Platz. Pre-arranged one-on-one meetings with hand-picked top-level industry professionals, as well as in group meetings with various catalyst organisations will round out the program. On 24 and 25 February, the EFM Startup companies will be present at their stands in the prestigious Gropius Bau, headquarters of the European Film Market, for ongoing networking and individual meetings.


During the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in 2020, Chile will be “Country in Focus” at the European Film Market (EFM). EFM’s “Country in Focus” programme was launched in 2017 and aims to present in depth the film industry and filmmakers of a country and offer them a special platform.


The EFM will present Chilean filmmakers and filmmaking under different aspects. The main programme will provide many opportunities to network with Chilean producers, distributors, investors and creators, and to get to know Chilean productions. Supported by ProChile – Chile’s Exports Promotion Bureau – “Chile in Focus” will also mark the tenth anniversary of Cinema Chile, the organisation that has successfully promoted Chilean cinema worldwide.


The Berlin International Film Festival has been emphasising series in the official programme since 2015 with Berlinale Series. The programme is curated by Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director of the Berlinale. He has appointed Julia Fidel as the new head of Berlinale Series. Julia Fidel has previously worked for the sections Panorama and Generation – including as a member of the selection committee in the latter. In addition to her festival work, she has contributed to numerous film productions, and works as a film choreographer and press agent.

Blockchain, Diversity, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence – the Future in Focus at EFM

admin   February 14, 2018

The future of film business and pioneering developments in the media and entertainment worlds are the focus of “EFM Horizon”, successfully launched at last year’s European Film Market (EFM). The progressive market platform has been expanded and will take place this year over the course of five days, from February 16 – 20 at Berliner Freiheit (Berliner Freiheit 2, 10785 Berlin), across the street from the Berlin Marriott Hotel. In keynotes, talks and workshop events, “EFM Horizon” will spotlight hot new themes such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and diversity in the film industry. In addition to digital innovations and current developments in technology, “EFM Horizon” will focus on the storytelling of tomorrow and ideas for new business models and strategies. “EFM Horizon” is supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

The “EFM Industry Debates” – officially hosted by IFA, the leading global fair for consumer electronics and home appliances – will take place this year for the first time as part of “EFM Horizon”. The “EFM Industry Debates” highlight improvements and contemporary transformations in the industry. Themes will focus on “The Future of Sales Business”, in cooperation with Screen International and “The Financing and Monetization of Virtual Reality Content” in cooperation with Variety. „Why Diversity Matters“ is the title of the debate in cooperation with Knowledge Partner McKinsey & Company and The Hollywood Reporter. Dame Vivian Hunt, Head of McKinsey UK and Ireland will be presenting the Diversity Report of which she is co-author.

“EFM Horizon” will be also dedicated to a variety of aspects of virtual reality, one of the most exciting technological developments in recent years, and which raises a number of questions for the film industry regarding financing, practicality, technology and storytelling. The “VRNEXT Investors Club”, hosted in cooperation with VRNEXT, will bring together investors, producers, distribution representatives, tech experts and creatives. The “VR NOW Summit”, held in cooperation with Virtual Reality e.V. Berlin Brandenburg, will be made up of keynotes, presentations and a moderated talk on the scope of virtual reality as a technology, as a platform and as a medium. For the first time, the EFM 2018 in cooperation with INVR.Space will present official market screenings for 360° VR projects in the newly constructed “VR Cinema at Marriott”.

“EFM Startups” – the market initiative that brings the film industry into contact with original and lateral thinkers in the creative industries and technology scene – will present ten selected startups from Berlin and Europe as well as two startups from Canada, the focus country at the EFM 2018.

“Propellor FilmTech Hub”, the cooperative project by the EFM, the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), the International Documentary Festival Copenhagen (CPH:DOX), and the Berlin innovation studio Cinemathon, invites this year’s EFM visitors to a meetup – a fireside talk with an industry visionary, moderated by Alex Stolz for the podcast series FILM DISRUPTORS.

A new “EFM Horizon” partner this year is the Frankfurt Book Fair, with its innovation platform THE ARTS+, an event with five spotlight presentations and roundtable discussions on artificial intelligence (AI) and its effects on creative processes in literature, art, film and TV. Another new format this year is the event in cooperation with Téléfilm Canada as part of the “Canada in Focus” 2018 programme, which will highlight blockchain in presentations, case studies and a co-creation workshop, presenting participants from film, TV and digital media with the newest applications and technologies. In cooperation with Creative Europe MEDIA, “EFM Horizon” will also host a roundtable networking format for the first time, with the theme “Building a Bridge between Tech & (Online) Distribution”, where film distributors, VOD platforms, online aggregators, startups and tech firms come together to start a conversation about how they want to shape the future of entertainment services and experiences together.

“EFM Horizon” events are open to Market Badge holders (priority) and accredited festival visitors.