This month sees key audiovisual industry networking events taking place in the UK with MEDIA support. Today for example, European and international film professionals have been meeting and sharing ideas at Sheffield Doc/Fest’s MeetMarket, a must-attend event for the documentary filmmaking communities. The event has a unique format, with decision-makers viewing online information about the selected projects in advance, including one-minute pitch teasers. They then select which projects they would like to discuss in one-to-one meetings at MeetMarket – so the meetings are focused, tailored and have the right mix of projects/funders/broadcasters.
On 25 June Good Pitch Europe will take place in London, and for the first time it has received MEDIA funding. A BRITDOC Foundation initiative, Good Pitch Europe brings filmmakers together with NGOs, foundations, philanthropists, brands and media around leading social issues – to forge coalitions and campaigns that are good for all these partners, good for the films and good for society. This year eight projects will be pitched at the event.
Without MEDIA, the calendar of networking events for European film professionals would be very empty indeed. Each year over €4 million is allocated by MEDIA to support opportunities for European professionals to work together in environments where content owners, producers and filmmakers can meet with international buyers, funders and financiers. Other UK events that have successfully been awarded MEDIA grants are: Film London’s Production Finance Market and Power to the Pixel’s Pixel Market. Flagship events across Europe include the Amsterdam FORUM for Co-financing of Documentaries and Cartoon Forum. MEDIA also supports online networking and information initiatives such as Cineuropa and OLFFI, the online film financing platform.
As well as supporting the networking of professionals and projects in the development/pitching stage, let’s not forget that part of MEDIA’s budget is also spent on the distribution and circulation of films across Europe. This month we can celebrate that MEDIA-funded films have again triumphed at Cannes, with the 2012 Palme d’Or and Jury Prize being awarded to films that were developed and distributed with grants from MEDIA. Michael Haneke won his second Palme d’Or for Amour, and Ken Loach won the Jury Prize for The Angels’ Share.