Ventana Sur Confernce with Storytelling at its Core

admin   November 20, 2020

With the main motive being exchanging of ideas and strengthen the film community, the 12th edition of the Ventana Sur will organise as many as 50 conferences.

The conferences will address the new trends in storytelling in the face of the restructuring of the industry with the emergence of various digital platforms that promote new roles for authors and new trends in content creation.

Digital platforms are gaining momentum due to the momentum and it has a great impact on the Latin America and Europe.

Amazon Prime Video, one of the leading OTTs in the global market, has achieved an interesting positioning in Latin America based on original productions and strategic alliances. For its part, Netflix, the global giant SVOD, is working on two fronts to continue growing: complications for production and the incentive for consumption, a specific paradox that arises in a pandemic.

Co-productions have intensified, and stories based on real events, thrillers, travel shows, kids and factual stories are growing. In addition, the “Covid-proof” formats in the entertainment world are gaining relevance. How is the return to production in Covid’s time and what are the new business models and future perspectives of the audiovisual markets? The particularities of four major markets in the world: America, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

Funding around the world: we are presenting an overview of the numerous funding opportunities from research conducted by Projeto Paradiso, Brazilian Content and Cinema do Brasil together with LatAm cinema. We will look at institutional innovations in the framework provided by Covid-19 and new proposals linked to current public policies.

The section of panels, included in the category of animation, challenges us with a series of ideas and strategies related to the development of characters as crucial elements of the narrative. After all, a powerful story needs strong, multi-faceted characters who are kind to the audience. In this sense, Masha and The Bear, the Russian series that represents a success story and its own creators participate in Ventana Sur, where they tell us first-hand how the process of development and realization of the project went. The same is true of Rick and Morty, the American animated television series.

Another great axis has to do with the inclusion of women and non-binaries in an industry that is going through falling mandates and structures. It is about unmasking harassment and bullying, hearing the voices and giving prominence to Latin American collectives that, through different actions, seek to generate changes to safeguard the integrity and ensure the equality of female and male workers. That is why we are investigating the protocols to change the work culture and exchange perspectives, strategies and challenges

This has opened a new scope in the audiovisual content consumption as the digital media has become a battleground of the giants.

With all these changes it is become imminent that a discussion on these developments should be held to get a clear picture of the future.

These conferences will also create opportunities to develop the maximum potential, radicalize filmmaking from its storytelling and aesthetic proposals. This will ensure that the audience get a far more better experience.

 

 


Featured Post

Film Making Centres of India

admin   September 14, 2020

India is probably the world’s most culturally and linguistically diverse nation. Its people speak 22 different languages, besides hundreds of dialects. No wonder then that India is a land of many cinematic traditions. The 1800-odd movies that the country annually produces are made in a number of languages, each with its own distinct literature, history, theatre and music.

Indian films are produced in several centres around the country. Each of these filmmaking cities serves as the hub of cinema in one prominent language.

Mumbai, regarded as India’s movie capital, hosts the Hindi film industry that has a pan-Indian footprint. Marathi-language films are also produced in the city (besides neighbouring Pune) that is inextricably intertwined with the history of Indian cinema.

Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar and Guwahati are the other major Indian cities where films are produced.

While the distribution of these so-called ‘regional’ films is largely limited within the territories for which they are made – they do not have the nationwide reach of Bollywood blockbusters – they add immensely to the depth and range of Indian cinema.

MUMBAI, Maharashtra

The centre-point of Indian film industry, Mumbai, popularly Bollywood, is a land of cinema. From commercial grandeur to arthouse movies, there is no short of cinema in the capital city of Maharashtra

The bustling western Indian metropolis is the heart of the Indian movie industry, producing nearly 200 films a year in the Hindi language. It also, along with the nearby city of Pune, produces Marathi-language films, which, in the silent era and beyond, thrived in the hands of pioneering stalwarts like V Shantaram and Bhalji Pendharkar, among others. A large chunk of the Hindi films produced in Mumbai constitute what is usually described as Bollywood, a label used for an old cinematic tradition built on a formulaic and crowd-pleasing mix of melodrama, romance, moral conflict and music. This extravagant form of storytelling is extremely popular in the other filmmaking centres as well. However, it is by no means the only kind of cinema that emerges from Mumbai.

The city has always had two distinct streams of filmmaking – one aimed at providing glitzy and emotionally satisfying entertainment to the masses; the other designed to appeal to a niche audience with a taste for more realistic movies. There have of course been occasions when these two separate approaches have merged in the same film and resulted in timeless classics such as Mother India, Mughal-e-Azam, Deewar and Lagaan. The A-list Mumbai cinema stars, objects of adulation around the country and by the Indian Diaspora, power the mainstream Bollywood industry. Mumbai played a key role in the evolution of parallel films in the late 1960s and 1970s,thanks to the efforts of directors like Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani. Its filmmakers also drove the global spread of the Bollywood narrative idiom in the aftermath of major commercial successes in the past decade and a half. A breed of younger Mumbai filmmakers, migrants to the city from different parts of the country, have scripted a new kind of popular cinema that blends social awareness, aesthetic clarity and stylistic accessibility. Several of these films have travelled to international festivals in recent years while finding takers on the domestic distribution circuit as well.

CHENNAI

Located down south of India, Chennai is the birthplace of Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada film industries. While the last three moved to their respective neighbouring states, Tamil movies continue to be made in this city, thus making it a sought after destination of movie making in the country

Chennai (formerly Madras) is home to the hugely successful and productive Tamil movie industry, which has, over the decades, given Indian cinema a few of its biggest and most abiding stars. The Tamil movie industry has seen film production since the mid 1910s. It has constantly kept pace with the growth of the rest of Indian cinema. In fact, at several junctures in its history, it even set the pace for others to follow, especially in matters of technology and film production practices. Tamil cinema has a following not only in the state of Tamil Nadu but also in the other southern states of India, besides among the Tamil expatriate community across the world. Hindi versions of Tamil box office hits as well as bilingual productions mounted in Chennai have been successful around India ever since 1948’s Chandralekha opened the sluice-gates for nationally distributed films from this part of India.

The dominant strain of Tamil movies, like that of Hindi popular cinema, hinges on the crowd-pulling power of its male superstars, notably veterans Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. A new generation of stars have continued the tradition. But in the past as well as in recent times, the industry has seen a steady output of films from young directors working outside the conventional star system with great success. For audiences around the country, Mani Ratnam, who also makes films in Hindi, is one of the better known Chennai directors.

KOLKATA

Kolkata has given the world some of the best movies and filmmakers. Right from the black and white era, Bengali films carried the stamp of reality and social awareness, and the flag still flies high.

Bengali-language cinema, known the world over for the celebrated masterpieces of Satyajit Ray, is produced in Kolkata from studios located largely in Tollygunge in the city’s southern suburbs.

Many of the pioneers of early Indian cinema worked in this city in the silent era. In fact, Hiralal Sen is known to have made films here well before India’s officially recognized first full-fledged fiction film, D.G. Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra, was screened in Mumbai. Commercial Bengali cinema has thrived right since the silent era, barring a few troughs in the 1980s and 1990s caused by the death of its most luminous superstar Uttam Kumar and the retirement of his on-screen partner Suchitra Sen.But it is for the critically acclaimed works of three masters – Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen – that Kolkata enjoys global fame. Directors such as Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumdar built their careers around films that struck a fine balance between artistic merit and commercial potential.

More than their counterparts in any of the other film production centres of India, screenwriters and directors in Kolkata, especially those that work in the non-mainstream sphere, continue to draw inspiration primarily from literature. It is a tradition that dates back to the silent era, a period during which Bengali cinema, unlike other cinemas that were beginning to take roots in that period, produced social satires and dramas adapted from literary works rather than mythological epics.

HYDERABAD

Not just the land, but its films too are known for their spicy nature. It will be no exaggeration if we call Hyderabad the capital of commercial cinema. For, most of India’s colourful and costly movies are made here.

Hyderabad is the hub of Telugu cinema, which is one of the most prolific and commercially consistent of all the cinemas of India. Between Telengana and Andhra Pradesh, the two separate states that the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh has recently been split into, there are 2800 movie halls, the highest in any single region of India. On several occasions in the last decade, Telugu films accounted for more releases in a year than cinema in any other Indian language, including Hindi. Many big-budget Hindi and Tamil films are official remakes of Telugu hits, a sure measure of the mass appeal of movies made in Hyderabad. In terms of artistic quality and global recognition, Telugu cinema may lag behind films made in Malayalam and Tamil, but it continues to be the most robust of the southern industries.Hyderabad has some of India’s best film production studios. They have been set up by established names of the Telugu movie industry – men such as B. N. Reddy, L.V. Prasad, Akkineni Nageswara Rao and D. Rama Naidu. Until about three decades ago, large sections of the Telugu movie industry operated out of Chennai. But today, Hyderabad is where all the Telugu cinema action is focused. Filmmmaker S.S. Rajamouli and male stars such as Prabhas enjoy nationwide popularity thanks mainly to the super success of the period action drama Baahubali.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Known for producing award winning films, Thiruvananthapuram, the hub of Malayalam cinema, is lately carving a niche for itself for new-age content-rich and commercial movies. From Adoor Gopalakrishnan to Mohanlal-Mammootty to Vineeth-Nivin Pauly, the land has a rich legacy of cinema

Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Trivandrum) is the capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala. The city, along with Kochi, serves as the nerve-centre of cinema in Malayalam. Although films were made in the state in the silent era, cinema in Kerala was late to flourish and at the time of India’s Independence in 1947, only a handful of Malayalam filmshad been produced. But when the movie industry in this part of the country took off in the 1950s, it not only quickly caught up with the rest of Indian cinema, it also established itself at the forefront of the Indian parallel cinema movement. Malayalam movie superstars Mohanlal and Mammootty are known across the country and directors such as Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Shaji N. Karun and the late G. Aravindan are feted at film festivals around the world.

When Malayalam cinema began to assume the proportions of a full-fledged industry post-Independence, it was headquartered in Chennai. It was only by the late 1980s that it moved completely to its current location in Thiruvananthapuram. Like the other cinemas of India, Malayalam movies are divided between a popular genre and a socially relevant strand. Cinema from Kerala gained national and international prominence, riding on the films made by Adoor and Aravindan in the 1970s and 1980s. The tradition of making realistic and meaningful cinema continues to this day.

BENGALURU

The capital city of Karnataka is the home of Kannada film industry, popularly Sandalwood. It has produced some great talents, from actors to directors to technicians

In Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, films are made in the Kannada language. The first Kannada film was made in the talkie era, and the industry’s growth was steady until the late 1940s. The 1950s marked the advent of Dr.Rajkumar, whose popularity as a lead actor in mythological epics helped Kannada cinema achieve new heights. The 1970s and 1980s are generally regarded as the golden era of Kannada cinema, which was enriched by the work of directors like B.V.Karanth, Girish Karnad and Girish Kasaravalli. In 1970, Samskara, based on a novel by celebrated writer U.R. Ananthamurthy and directed by Pattabhi Rama Reddy, inaugurated the parallel cinema movement in Karnataka. While alternative cinema has continued to thrive in the state, commercial cinema, too, has sustained itself despite not quite enjoying the financial clout of Tamil and Telugu films.

LUCKNOW, Uttar Pradesh

Bhojpuri cinema, which also caters to third and fourth generation migrants in Surinam, Mauritius, Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji and Guyana, has its own star system and a committed audience base

The central Indian city of Lucknow is one of the bases of Bhojpuri cinema, which is produced largely in and for eastern Uttar Pradesh, western Bihar and Jharkhand. The first-ever Bhojpuri-language film, Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadaibo (Mother Ganges, I Will Offer You a Yellow Sari), was released only in the early 1960s. But the industry grew steadily as the demand from people who speak the dialect in India and elsewhere increased. Bhojpuri cinema, which also caters to third and fourth generation migrants in Surinam, Mauritius, Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji and Guyana, has its own star system and a committed audience base, but it has failed to build on the opportunities to break into the national mainstream. The last couple of decades have seen a major spurt in the production of Bhojpuri films, but these have all been run-of-the-mill potboilers designed for an audience that seems to be undemanding and easy to please. In parts of India where Bhojpuri speakers live and work, these films continue to be exceedingly popular. But since most of these films are made on tight budgets and follow rushed production timelines, they tend to be rather low on technical finesse.

BHUBANESWAR

The shift of Odia cinema from Kolkata to Bhubaneswar heralded a new era. Since then, Bhubaneswar continues to be the focus point of Odia films

In the eastern Indian state of Odisha, films are made in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

The first Odia-language film was made in 1936, but until the 1950s only a handful of more titles were produced. Back then, the Odia film industry did not have production facilities of its own. Films in the language had to depend on Kolkata, which made movie-making in Odisha difficult and unviable.

In the late 1950s, the first cooperative venture to produce, distribute and exhibit Odia films was set up by Krushna Chandra Tripathy. The organization was named Utkal Chalachitra Pratisthan, and it produced several films in the 1960s that gave Odia cinema a distinct identity.

In 1961, another production house, Pancha Sakha, was set up by amateur artiste Dhira Biswal, who produced four hugely popular films. His first production, Nua Bou, created a sensation all across the state of Odisha.

Odia cinema developed its own idiom in subsequent years thanks to the efforts of the husband-wife team of Gour Prasad Ghosh and Parbati Ghosh. The duo produced several National Award-winning films, including the epochal Kaa.

Other production houses took roots in the 1970s, including Diamond Valley Productions, set up by entrepreneur Sarat Pujari.

In 1975, the state government stepped in to promote cinema by setting up the Odisha Film Development Corporation. Five years later, the Kalinga Studio came up with the support of Chennai’s Prasad Studios. Odisha currently produces an average of 20 films a year.

ASSAM

Despite heavy influence from Bollywood, Assamese cinema, being made from Guwahati, has carved a niche for itself and its presence in National Awards every year stands testimony to the claim

Assamese films, produced in north-eastern city of Guwahati, are a constant presence in India’s National Awards. Yet the film industry in Assam remains commercially unviable.

Constantly under the shadow of Bollywood films, the state has not been able to develop a distribution and exhibition system that can prop up locally made films and make them viable.

At the turn of the millennium, a ray of hope had emerged in the form of a spurt in Bollywood-inspired Assamese melodrama that found takers among the mass audience in the state. But the trend was short-lived.

Despite the effort of the pioneers and the work of their successors in the 1950s and 1960s (Bhupen Hazarika, Nip Barua, Pudum Barua), Assamese cinema has been dragged down by the paucity of exhibition outlets.

Despite all the odds, the names of the late author and filmmaker Bhabendra Nath Saikia and the still-active Jahnu Barua shine bright. In recent years, Rima Das, working largely out of her native village near Guwahati, has made massive waves globally with her films Village Rockstars and Bulbul Can Sing.

Filmmakers from the rest of Northeast India, notably Manipur and Meghalaya, are also increasingly making their presence felt on the national and international stage. Manipur’s Aribam Syam Sarma has for decades been a leading light of cinema from this region of India and his films have been lauded at festivals, including Cannes.


Featured Post

New Model of Filmmaking in India

admin   July 21, 2020

Covid has brought lot of distress to the film industry, but if you look at it as an optimist, it has brought in a new set of opportunities for independent filmmakers By O P Srivastava

In Chinese, the word ‘Crisis’ is made of two strokes- one represents ‘Danger’ and the other represents ‘Opportunity’.

Covid has brought lot of distress to the film industry, but, if you look at it as an optimist, it has brought in a new set of opportunities also.

It has ushered in an era of OTT platform based streaming, which is not only cutting across a number of layers between the filmmakers and the ultimate audience, but also making independent filmmaking a viable business proposition in India. Till now in order to make a film In India, one was required to collect ‘a bagful’ of money and then raise another bagful to promote the film and then beg borrow or steal another one to release the film. And even after going through this long ordeal, a filmmaker could not be sure of ‘what cash flows’ were going to come back to his or her kitty. It is a well-known fact that whereas the big production houses and star-producers manage to multiply their investments in their films multi fold, the small producers, in ninety nine per cent of cases, end up losing their capital also. But, post March 2020, things started changing-thanks to Covid.

The prolonged lockdown has induced not only a change in our lifestyle but it has also dented a shift in the consumption behavior including the digital consumption.

The long struggling OTT platforms have suddenly taken off !

In the first quarter of 2020, Netflix added a staggering 15.8 million paid subscribers as the locked-down audience turned to OTT platforms in the absence of PVRs of the world. According to reports, Netflix’ global total has reached 189 million with audience binging on shows like Love and Blind and Money Heist and Indian web series like Delhi Crime, Jamtara, Made in Heaven, Mirzapur, Special OPS etc. Amazon Prime, Hot Star and ZEE5 have reportedly seen 65 per cent increase in their consumption pattern during March- June 2020 quarter.

One of the most impacted sectors due to the lockdown has been the entertainment industry. Not only the production activity has come to a grinding halt, the theatrical distribution companies like PVR have also suffered a serious blow (Share price down form Rs. 1815 on December 2, 2019 to Rs 1037 on July 17, 2020). So much so that an Amitabh Bachhan starrer like Gulabo Sitabo found it viable to release on a digital platform. To my mind, this trend is also a manifestation of a fundamental change happening in the ‘financial model of filmmaking’ in India. First of all, it indicates an increasing share of revenue from digital release of a film and a decreasing share of cash flows coming from the theatrical releases. The resultant combination of these two major cash flows increases the ‘certainty quotient’ in the total revenue stream of a film thereby enhancing the predictability and the stability of monetization in the filmmaking business. A more predictable or measurable revenue stream of a film is a good sign from an investor’s point of view. It helps the investors or a financier or a banker to look at investment in ‘filmmaking’ much more favorably. Besides, logically the stuff made for OTT platforms may not be as extravagant or as expensive as the high budget films made for the big screen. The success of the recently streamed popular films/episodic web series content like Patallok, Panchayat, Chintu Ka Birthday etc on OTT platforms largely driven by non-stars/ first timers is also an indication that for a film to be commercially successful on an OTT platform, it need not depend on the hugely expensive stars or sets thus bringing down the cost of the film and thereby increasing the Return on Investment ( ROI) on a film project. The success of Netflix Original or Amazon Original is, in a way, indicative of a new business model shaping up in the film industry. Add to this, the fact that in the post-Covid scenario, due to the enhanced pressure on timelines and productivity, ‘digitization’ in the filmmaking is bound to increase. We are looking at a ‘picture’, which may be more viable financially speaking.

Yoodlee model of filmmaking

Three years back, when Yoodlee films started making small budget films based on the stories of a new crop of writers, there were many, who would have scoffed at their misadventure in the market dominated by the big budget star-studded films. But three years down the line, the tide has taken a U-turn with the explosion of viewership on the OTT streaming platforms, where even big blockbusters are getting forced to seek a release instead of waiting for cinema halls to open. Yoodlee films, with 13 small budget successful films like Chaman Bahar, Axone, Ajji etc. has not only proven that successful films can be made without big stars, big sets, high tech VFX, big promotions and of course big budgets, they have also opened doors for a new wave of filmmaking in India. What are the basics of this new model? Here it goes.

  • Films are made with a focus on the audience in digital space only (essentially meaning that the films need not have the elements, which are required to pull the front benchers in cinema halls like the item songs etc. as an add- on in the film.)
  • Films are produced in a small budget (rumored to be between 1-2 Cr) under strictly monitored execution process. An independent auditor, who is given a pre-approved budget with day-by-day break up of the expenses, continuously audits all expenses during the entire schedule.
  • The choice of films is driven by the script and script only, having fresh perspective. All scriptwriters are reportedly paid on profit sharing basis.
  • All films are produced on a tight time schedule, within nine months- no time overrun and no cost overruns.
  • All films are shot on real locations-no artificial sets.
  • The film crews unless they are extremely senior artists, take train to locations and expect no five star hospitality or vanity vans.
  • Most of the investment is put into production.
  • All films are less than 120 minutes.
  • The direct sale to OTT platform eliminates the huge promotion and distribution cost enhancing the financial viability of the project.
  • They just produce films, own the IP of the content and are creating a pool of quality films – a perfect business model for a Venture Capitalist to step in.

Yoodlee, the way to go!!

O P Srivastava, a banker turned filmmaker, started his filmography in 2015 by producing a fiction film, ‘Missed Call’, which won 4 International Awards including selection as the opening film at IFFI 2006, Best International Film at Israel 2008 and represented India at Cinema du Monde, Cannes in 2007. His first feature documentary, Life in Metaphors, won the National Award for Best Biopic in 2015.


16 Takeaways From FICCI FRAMES

admin   July 14, 2020

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

Whether one likes it or not, India will soon have level playing field in policy and regulations for the media and digital platforms. This is very clear from signals left by policymakers in various sessions. After years of dilly-dallying, there will be light touch regulation beyond the self-regulation call by the industry.

NO GO LIST

Technological changes will outpace regulation, so it would be optimal to create a negative list (No Go list). Like how Singapore has done. Outside this list, any platform can function without other regulations.

NO & YES

Many in the industry don’t want regulation (specifically on content) in the OTT space. However, they have no issues with regard to investments, protection of investments, piracy and digital platforms.

INFRASTRUCTURE STATUS

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog are on consensus to grant infrastructure status to the broadcasting sector. For this, stakeholders should arrive at a common understanding on what infrastructure will be covered and definition of infrastructure. Once infrastructure status is granted, broadcasters and distribution platforms will be aided with affordable financing options.

COLLAPSED BY COVID

Industry leaders estimated that Media and Entertainment Sector in 2020 will shrink to $15 billion from $20 billion in 2019 because of COVID-19. Around 20% of workforce may lose jobs, impacting nearly a million people.

GROWTH INDICATOR

The film, television and online video services industry in India generated a total economic contribution of $49.8 billion and 2.6 million in 2019, says a report by Deloitte, Producers Guild of India and MPA. The report indicates a growth of 61% in these sectors.

OTT ON DEMAND

The demand for content streamed via OTT is increasing day by day in India. Today, India ranks number two in digital video consumption in the world. With 8.43 hours of consumption per person per week, the second-most populous country is way above the global average of 6.8 hours. Can you imagine Amazon Prime has reach in 4000 towns and cities in India?

MOBILE MEDIA

Sixty per cent of video streaming worldwide is on mobile devices. The game changer for the media and entertainment sector in the coming days will be 5G. Also, mobile and video gaming will be a huge market in coming years.

MADE IN INDIA

The Indian M&E industry is the biggest in the world by output, with over 5 lakh hours of television content made every year, 80,000 newspapers published daily, and more than 2,600 feature films produced each year – 98% of all these outputs are shaped and made in India.

THRUST ON TRUST

Businesses will have to develop consumer trust in brands, as “trust” will play a major role in post pandemic world. This will require businesses to build social platforms based on freedom of speech.

INTERESTING INCENTIVES

To accelerate filmmaking and fillip to the Indian media and entertainment sector, Government of India is coming up with incentives in all sectors, including TV serials, filmmaking, co-production, animation and gaming.

COEXITENCE MATTERS

It is not OTT versus cinema theatres. But OTT and theatres coexist together. Some of the biggest proponents of OTT are waiting to watch movie in big screen. And Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is their first choice.

‘CAPITAL’ LETTERS

Unlike a few countries like the UK, which has done a $ 1.5 billion to the creative sectors, India as a country might not be in a position to do so at this point of time. Indian M&E industry sought help from the government to provide access to capital. The organized verticals within the media and entertainment industry require capital today.

FEAR FACTORS

The actors and technicians still don’t feel safe to come on board for shooting. Everyone wants to make a creatively good product. So when we are working on a film, if the creativity quotient is removed and are only constantly worried about sanitization and other stuff and your whole mind is of that, then you will not creatively come out with a great product.

SOFT POWER

There’s no doubt today that Indian cinema is India’s soft power and that our films are seen in over 100 countries. Thanks to OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, it is instantly visible and experienced now.

AROUND THE WORLD

While Indian content reaches 100 countries with streaming platforms, smaller countries like South Korea, Israel, Turkey have bigger media businesses with their content travelling globally. Indian films and TV dramas do not travel globally because of the ambitions set are small. The immediate priority is to focus on India’s content to be consumed globally.


Cannes Takes Virtual Route

admin   June 22, 2020

After unveiling the Marché du Film Online, a stand-alone online market (22 to 26 June), the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes has announced the reshape of Cannes XR in a digital only event dedicated to immersive technologies and works, Cannes XR Virtual.

Sharing common priorities in the given situation and sanitary crisis due to COVID-19, the Marché du Film Festival de Cannes and its partners remain committed to offering visibility to the XR community and to fostering the connections between XR artists and potential investors, said a statement.

From 24 to 26 June, Cannes XR Virtual is the destination where professionals from the traditional film-making industry, XR artistes, independent producers, leading tech companies, location-based and online distributors will come together to imagine and shape the future of movies.

Jérôme Paillard, Executive Director of the Marché du Film said: “It is a very special edition. After having prepared for a promising edition in Cannes, where for the first time we would have expanded the VR to the Palm Beach, we had to reinvent Cannes XR and find a way to put it online. I’m very impressed to see how fast, with our spectacular team and our wonderful partners, it has been possible to build a totally new concept where we will be able to show worldwide, and with optimal quality, the VR experiences that we were expecting to show in Cannes”.

In this reimagined edition, Cannes XR Virtual will be presented in different formats on several platforms: Cannes XR Virtual will be open to VR users at the Museum of Other Realities (MOR), a virtual art gallery specialized in featuring immersive work from VR artists around the world. The entire virtual programme will remain available until July 3rd via the MOR application on Steam, Viveport, or Oculus.

Cannes XR Virtual 2D live video stream shot by a virtual cameraman from the MOR, including conferences, pitching sessions and project presentations, will be accessible on the Marché du Film Online. Cannes XR Virtual 2D live video stream will also be available on the Tribeca Film Festival and Kaleidoscope websites.

VeeR 360 Cinema, the selection of 360 cinematic experiences at Cannes XR Virtual, will be showcased on the VeeR VR Video Platform A network of partner Location Based Entertainment (LBE) in several major cities in the United States, China and France will offer access to Cannes XR Virtual to journalists and guests who do not have a VR headset.

“The MOR is a perfect place to host an ambitious and stylistically challenging event like Cannes XR” says Robin Stethem, Cofounder of the Museum of Other Realities. “Creating a virtual venue that can host numerous showcases, VR arcades, 360 cinemas and networking spaces where some of the finest global digital players can meet and interact is what we love to do. The MOR is a place to connect, share, and experience virtual reality art with others, and so we hope everyone who is interested in XR creation will join us for the virtual edition of Cannes XR.”

Cannes XR Virtual will also team up with major key players in the immersive industry to put together a solid and diverse program featuring the latest creative works and technologies within the VR ecosystem.

ESSENTIAL EVENT

For its 2020 edition, the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes’ XR program dedicated to virtual and augmented reality becomes CANNES XR VIRTUAL from June 24 to 26. This 3-day event will be entirely dedicated to players from the creative industries who use virtual and augmented reality technologies.

This unique edition will take place within the framework of the Marché du Film Online, an online market to be held from June 22 to 26. For this occasion, the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes teams up with major key players from the immersive industry. While the MOR (Museum of Other Realities) will provide its entire virtual art gallery for the whole Cannes XR Virtual program, Tribeca Film Festival will present a selection of interactive works including six world, international, European or online premieres. VeeR VR et Positron will present a selection of XR and 360° pieces with two prizes for the winner. Kaléidoscope teams up with Cannes XR to promote works in development.

Cannes XR Virtual’s objective is to allow artists and producers in the XR industry to continue to develop their projects, and present their works despite the sanitary crisis. In total more than 55 XR pieces will be presented between projects in development and world previews.

“During this very peculiar time, the Marché du Film is more than determined to highlight the XR industry and to foster links between artists and potential investors to support creation in all its richness and diversity. We are very proud to partner with these leading partners in the XR sector.” Jérôme Paillard, Executive director of the Marché du Film

The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, continues its long-time partnership with the Marché du Film and Cannes XR as it brings its acclaimed immersive programming online. A custom virtual showcase of XR projects curated by Tribeca will make its exclusive debut for a three-day exhibition. The line-up is curated from Tribeca Immersive’s 2020 programming, and includes select World Premieres which were intended to debut earlier this year, prior to the postponement of the 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival.

“We’re thrilled to be able to present selections from the 2020 Tribeca Virtual Arcade at Cannes XR. We are turning towards innovation as a solution in these uncertain times. While we continue to explore the future of physical exhibition, this is an exciting moment to share our immersive curation with an expanded global audience, and Cannes is the perfect partner to help us to accomplish this,” says Loren Hammonds, Senior Programmer, Film & Immersive.

Curated in association with Kaleidoscope, the Cannes XR Development Showcase is an opportunity for virtual and augmented reality titles in-development to be pitched, showcased and benefit from pre-arranged 1:1 meetings with our Decision Makers composed by emblematic industry leaders, co-producers, distributors and curators of the XR entertainment space.

Todd Shaiman – Head of Immersive Arts at Google, Colum Slevin – Head of Media, ARVR Experiences at Facebook, Ishita Kapur – Director, Mixed Reality Content and Partnerships at Microsoft, Jingshu Chen – Co-Founder at VeeR VR, Jake Sally – Head of Development at RYOT / Verizon, and Sarah Vick – Executive Producer at Intel Studios have already confirmed their participation as a Decision Maker at Cannes XR Virtual. The selected elements of the online programme will be live streamed to Kaleidoscope’s website alongside the official Cannes XR channels.

“This is the second year in a row that we collaborate with Cannes XR, and we are very proud that in 2020 our role within this prestigious event has grown” says René J. Pinnell, CEO and co-founder of Kaleidoscope. “When the COVID-19 crisis struck the market we knew we needed to react and help creators to stand on their feet again. We also offered to step in with our production expertise to make XR online gatherings attractive and socially relevant. I believe that events like Cannes XR are crucial hotspots on the global map of independent immersive creation, and play a major role in building a system of support for digital artists.”

VeeR, a leading VR entertainment platform available worldwide, will curate an innovative program, VeeR 360 Cinema. VeeR invites artistes worldwide to submit work to its inaugural VeeR 360 Cinema at Cannes XR Virtual – the Call for Projects is now open via Kaleidoscope. The selected 360 VR films will be showcased during Cannes XR Virtual at the Museum of Other Realities and via VeeR VR Video Platform for 5 days.

The winner will be presented with the VeeR Future Award and will be awarded with a cash bonus and a Premium Distribution Package worth value of 10,000 USD which includes global marketing campaign, online & LBE distribution and Chinese localization. The voluntarily participated LBE showcase will be held at VeeR ZeroSpace for 2 weeks in China, which is aimed to bring VR projects and teams to investors and media.

“It’s our great pleasure to collaborate with Cannes XR this year. During the time when COVID-19 has casted huge shadows on the immersive industry, VeeR managed to help a group of 360 filmmakers monetize their works. We are happy to share VeeR’s production strategy and distribution model to the 360 community”, says Jingshu Chen, Co-founder of VeeR, “Together with Cannes XR, we aim to find more ways to support immersive content creators, to push the limit of 360 content. With the development of 5G network in China, VR is growing faster than ever and there’s great demand for premium VR content in Chinese market. More investors start to show interests in cinematic VR content. Therefore, apart from the Online Showcase, we have also planned a LBE Showcase in China. In doing this, we hope to connect selected projects with potential investors and collaborators.”

Cannes XR Virtual will be accessible to industry professionals registered with the Marché du Film Online. Accreditations for the Marché du Film Online will open May 12 at an early bird rate of €95 until May 29 and €195 normal rate after that. Cannes XR Virtual will be open to users with a VR headset at the Museum of Other Realities (MOR). Cannes XR Virtual 2D live video stream will also be available on the Tribeca Film Festival and Kaleidoscope websites. The VeeR 360 Cinema program will be available as well on the VeeR VR Video Platform.


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.


Berlinale 2019 — Norway will be the EFM “Country in Focus”

admin   November 26, 2018

Norway will be the “Country in Focus” at the 2019 European Film Market (EFM) of the 69th Berlin International Film Festival. The EFM “Country in Focus” programme was established in 2017 to provide a platform for a comprehensive look at the film industry and filmmaking in a particular country.

At next year’s EFM, the spotlight will be on Norway’s filmmakers and productions. The programme will offer a host of possibilities for networking with Norwegian producers, distributors, investors, and creative talents, as well as the chance to take a closer look at Norwegian productions. “Norway in Focus” will be supported by the Norwegian Film Institute against the background of a German-Norwegian partnership. The idea is to intensify the exchange between the two countries in the culture, business, science, and technology sectors.

“Norwegian cinema has a long tradition at the Berlinale, and numerous prizes are proof of the success of Norwegian filmmaking. Following Mexico and Canada, our “Country in Focus” programme will turn its attention to a European country for the first time. We look forward to further strengthening our cooperation with Norway”, says Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.

“It is with great pleasure we can announce that Norway will be “Country in Focus” at the European Film Market of the 2019 Berlinale. I am very enthusiastic about this opportunity to present and promote both Norwegian films, and Norwegian arts and culture in general”, comments Norwegian Minister of Culture Ms. Trine Skei Grande.

Sindre Guldvog, CEO of the Norwegian Film Institute remarks: “We are honoured to be invited as the 2019 “Country in Focus”. This is an important global showcase for Norwegian creators and will enable their content to reach new audiences globally. Norwegian cinema has had a long relationship with the Berlinale and the EFM and we are very happy to strengthen our relationship through this focus. The focus also marks an important year for Norwegian arts in Germany, as Norway will be the guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2019.”

EFM Director Matthijs Wouter Knol adds that “Norway’s presence has been crucial to the development of the EFM from the beginning, with many films and, in recent years, TV series too, being shown at the market. Norway’s international outlook on the film industry, and the myriad of opportunities that the country offers the international film sector, make Norway a very exciting partner for the EFM. We look forward to putting together great content for the programme, the details of which we’ll announce in November”.

The European Film Market of the 69th Berlin International Film Festival (February 7-17, 2019) will take place from February 7 to 15, 2019.