On the 7th & 8th October almost 100 ECFA members and other industry professionals came together at the Schlingel Festival (Chemnitz, Germany), attending the ECFA Seminar as a part of the Schlingel Industry Forum.
During the seminar the role of festivals and other key players in promoting and distributing children’s films was discussed in panels and working groups. In a closing session, recommendations from all working groups were put together and translated into a list of 10 suggestions, that you can find below.
The full report of the seminar, with a follow-up to the Weimar Declaration, thought provoking quotes and more suggestions for industry professionals can be found here.
ECFA expresses its gratitude to the entire Schlingel team for making this seminar happen, and wants to thank all participants for their active input.
10 SCHLINGEL Festival Focus Points 2019
Distilled from the discussions in the workshop groups, here are 10 pieces of advice for festivals that came up regularly in all presentations:
- Festivals should facilitate exchange among professionals, in seminars and forums, but also by cooperating on a practical level (sharing dubbing costs, dialogue lists, translations, etc.).
- Festivals should share their workshop experiences in a ‘workshop market’ in the form of an online database or (ultimately) in a seminar dedicated to hands-on practical workshop experiences.
- A plea was made for festivals to position themselves more strongly through branding. We should use more powerful words and be vocal. “We can’t raise the importance given to our work, if we don’t tell the world how important it is.” Branding will affect every step in the exploitation chain, from film production to lobbying. Be proud and be loud!
- Festivals should support the industry, both in marketing and distribution. The festival’s own distribution can focus on a local, not on a national audience. One way to support the industry is by clearly defining how/by whom awards in cash should be spent. Clear industry strategies, fair deals and an open communication should mark the contacts between all stakeholders.
“Forget about children, focus on teachers!” Festivals can integrate teachers in the world of film, acknowledge them and link them with colleagues on a national and/or international level.
- Festivals can facilitate meetings between filmmakers and their target audience. Make better use of the creative potential gathered at festivals, not only with professionals experts but also with the children (or festival programmers), through which film makers can get a better understanding of their audience and their particular needs and preferences.
- Lobby on a national scale. Be loud about what you do, and about what you need!
- Festivals can take up a socio-political role by acting as mediators on a local level, connecting with various social groups.
- Serve the unserved audience. “If you can’t bring the audience to the festival, bring the festival to the audience. And bring it to where they already are.” What if children don’t have access to a big screen? Some say festivals could take the shape of ‘purely digital events’, but not everybody agrees on that.
Festivals could become a platform for data collection, as the need for adequate data and statistics in our industry is strong. Make your festival an Information Celebration.