All posts by Jeroen Sebrechts

Tampere festival friends

Tampere still on top

The 44th Tampere Film Festival came to a close. While the short films I watched were relatively bold selections from shorts of all genres, industry professionals had good network opportunities on e.g. TAMK party and city hall meeting. New this year was Script Tampere, a screenwriting festival which ran alongside the TFF on March 6 and 7.

  • Screenings: 123
  • Sold out screenings: 22
  • International guests: 110
  • Finnish guests: 600
  • Attendance (including all the related events): 30 000

Personal highlight for me was to meet my former classmate Sahim Omar Kalifa again, whose short ‘Baghdad Messi’ received an honorable mention at the festival. Having been selected on 100 festivals so far with his short, Sahim places Tampere in his top-3 of short film festivals across the world, and festival programmers still agree. He describes the festival being very well-organized, very welcoming and with high-class selections. Together with a Hungarian composer and an Italian documentary maker, we roamed the festival parties and made ourselves known across Tampere :)

Business Brisk at Berlinale

One of Europe’s most important film festivals took place in Berlin for the 64th time. Since it has been well over ten years since my previous visit to Berlinale, this report aims just to provide a snapshot to the state of affairs.

Despite what some say, film business is doing well. New deals on big studio titles were reported daily and also the Finnish delegation seemed to be kept busy.

The Berlin event comprises of European Film Market, Berlinale Co-production Market, Berlinale Talents and the actual film festival. Commission Helsinki participated in the Film Market and here are a few observations:

Nordic cooperation seems to be strong. The funding forum was held for the fifth time at the beautiful Nordic Embassy building. The event drew a full house of producers and distibutors interested in the Scandinavian financing opportunities. – There are a plenty of them available as 18 separate national and regional funds were indentified.

The talk around film commissions continues to center around financial incentives they offer to foreign producers. The requirements for each support type are varied. One Italian commission particulary close to local tourist authorities requires that 80 % of all exterior shots must be from the area. Another will support the film as long as the script is changed to accomodate a local actor.

So, did I see any films? Yes, but not Lars von Tier’s Nymphomaniac, director’s cut, or any other of the big titles. Berlinale’s ticket system was made so complicated that after the fourth ticker counter, I simply gave up and just attended random market screenings.

Berlinale’s most fun party was thrown by the Finns when around 1000 people gathered to the gothic Heilig Kreuz Kirche. It was a way for many to kick off the festival in an upbeat mood.

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Licensing Business

23.1.2014   Helsinki

Licensing is a growing business area which will offer new revenue possibilities for content owners and producers. Agma, Luovan talouden agentit ja managerit will organise this licensing seminar in Astoria-sali in Helsinki. Look up their site for further information!  www.lisenssibisnes.fi