A Day In The Life: The EIFF Industry Team

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This year, we're bringing you more behind the scenes stories from the creation of Edinburgh International Film Festival than ever before. Today, let's hear it from the Industry team! Here's Holly Daniel with more.

Watching films is not the only activity on offer at many film festivals. They are also a key place to do business, develop talent, develop projects, learn and network. The ‘Industry’ side of film fFestivals can vary enormously in size and offerings but essentially they aim to support the industry which in turn, supports them.

Some of the big festivals host film markets where industry professionals attend with the primary focus of either buying or selling films. Buyers, financiers, sales agents and distributors regularly attend the markets at Berlin (European Film Market or EFM), Cannes and AFM (American Film Market) to seal deals both on completed films and those in every stage of development and production.

Some festivals offer co-production events where producers and directors present their film projects to potential co-producers, financiers, sales agents and distributors to try and find that magic connection that will lead to getting their projects financed.

And many deliver innovative programmes of events, discussions, networking opportunities and access to filmmakers where conversation, debate, development and advice are widely available.

Year round, part of our Industry remit is to identify current topics and potential guest speakers that we can bring to Edinburgh to share with our Industry audiences in June and last month I was lucky enough to attend Berlinale to do just that.

The European Film Market (EFM) at Berlin International Film Festival, or Berlinale, is one of the big ones. Whilst you will find around 400 films in the festival programme there are over 1000 that will screen in the market itself.

EFM is the business centre of the festival. Over nine days, the event sees more than 15,000 industry professionals pass through its doors. Many sales companies set up exhibition stands within the EFM where they will take meetings and promote their current line up. The market screenings take place at a number of venues where your EFM pass will get you exclusive access into the film.

Meetings can take place in a variety of venues including hotels, the festival hub in Martin Gropius Bau or in any number of restaurants, cafes and bars in the vicinity of Potsdamer Platz. If you spot a free table, grab it, as there will likely be someone else having a meeting at it a moment later.

Part of my job is to meet sales companies from different countries, both to discuss potential film submissions for our upcoming EIFF but also to encourage their attendance at EIFF. Although EIFF doesn’t host a film market, the benefit of having sales companies attending is invaluable to both the filmmakers with films in the programme and also to those who are attending as Industry delegates.

Networking is a key part of the Berlinale activity. I’m always delighted to return home with my business card holder empty of my cards but full of new contacts and potential industry guests and attenders.

Amongst their numerous activities, Berlinale also includes a Co-Production market where international producer and financiers meet to try and find partners for selected projects; Industry Debates comprising of panel discussions focusing on current and future industry issues and; Berlinale Talents.

Attending film festivals is a great part of my job although it can be exhausting and I often return home with very little voice through far too much talking, although the rest of the EIFF office doesn’t seem to mind that too much!

For Industry updates and to be the first to hear details on future events and Festival announcements, follow our dedicated Twitter account, @eiffdelegates.

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