30 years ago, the European Film Market (EFM) celebrated its premiere as an international trade market for films at the 38th Berlin International Film Festival. Today, the EFM is one of the most important film markets worldwide. It has become considerably more than just an industry get-together and distribution point: Starting with the digital transformation, the EFM began strategically opening up to new market participants, business fields, products and distribution paths. In recent years the EFM has increasingly positioned itself as a place for innovation and change in the film trade – without losing sight of its core business as a marketplace offering high-quality content. Its numerous platforms provide the film industry with trendsetting impulses that effectively strengthen its position as one of the most important international transfer points for moving pictures. The exhibition spaces for the upcoming EFM of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival at Martin-Gropius-Bau and the Marriott Hotel are already fully booked. More than 9,000 exhibitors, license traders, producers, buyers and investors are expected to attend the event over the course of nine market days from February 15 – 23, 2018.
EFM director Matthijs Wouter Knol: “The industry is still in the midst of change. The digital transformation is not yet complete and new possibilities for film that are worth a closer look are constantly opening up. With its platforms and different formats, the EFM provides participants with the tools to meet the contemporary challenges of the business.”
President and founder of the EFM Beki Probst comments on the anniversary: “When the EFM began in 1988, it was clear that the Berlinale wanted to create a meeting point for the industry and that our planned format of a European Film Market would work. We never imagined that the EFM would become one of the most important film markets worldwide, reflecting the movements and pioneering spirit of the film industry in an incomparably diverse way. In all modesty: The EFM is a success story and has consistently been one for 30 years.”
Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick congratulates Beki Probst on 30 years of successful work: “Without Beki Probst and her contacts worldwide, her charm and cosmopolitan gift for combining business and culture, the EFM would never have become such a successful platform and the strong backbone of the festival.”
In its anniversary year, Canada will be the “Country in Focus” at the EFM. Canada’s successful film industry will present itself comprehensively and highlight special aspects of Canadian filmmaking.
New in 2018 is the expansion of the “EFM Producers Hub” initiative that will be presented for the first time in cooperation with the international producers’ network ACE Producers and the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Another expansion in 2018 is the increased presence of the documentary film industry at the EFM: The new “DocSalon” with discussion and networking formats is geared more strongly toward the future of documentary film. “EFM Producers Hub” and the “DocSalon” will take place at Martin-Gropius-Bau. (See press release from November 13, 2017)
The “Drama Series Days” (www.dramaseriesdays.com), presented by the European Film Market, the Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents will provide a platform for high-quality serial formats from February 19 – 21. For the first time in 2018, the EFM “Drama Series Days” and the audience screenings of the successful festival programme “Berlinale Series” will take place at the same venue and during the same time window.
In addition, the EFM will continue newly created and long-established platforms: The “Berlinale Africa Hub”, which was able to celebrate its successful premiere at Gropius Park thanks to the support by the German Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, will expand spatially. The progressive programme format “EFM Horizon” will present a collection of diverse events that put current and ground-breaking developments in the media and entertainment world into focus. “EFM Horizon” aims to function as a seismograph for future-compatible business models and as a provider of impulses for digital innovations and the storytelling of the future. The “EFM Industry Debates” presented in cooperation with the IFA will take place as part of “EFM Horizon” for the first time in 2018.