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Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsInternational industry platforms European Work in Progress and International Distribution Summit back in Cologne

International industry platforms European Work in Progress and International Distribution Summit back in Cologne

  • European Work in Progress: established market platform from 16-18 October at Cinenova
  • International Distribution Summit: Conference for strategies and concepts of innovative distribution on 18 and 19 October at Cologne’s Filmpalast
  • Filmstiftung-backed industry events with top-class guests including Flag Pictures, Tandem Films, Elastica Films, Gruvi, Film Roj, Ozzak, and many more.

Next week will see the international film industry coming together in Cologne for the two successful platforms European Work in Progress (EWIP) and the International Distribution Summit (IDS) where the focus is on innovative projects and distribution channels. Both industry events were initiated by AG Verleih with support from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and will be held in the run-up to Film Festival Cologne.

6th European Work in Progress Cologne – Monday, 16th to Wednesday, 18th October, Cinenova in Cologne

Now well established in the film industry landscape, the EWIP market platform sees European distributors, sales agents, producers, TV broadcasters, streaming services, international festivals and financiers gathering in Cologne to hear the pitches of a select number of films with European involvement. Unlike other co-production markets, EWIP is about projects that are already in production, so their potential for success is much easier to assess.

32 European feature films, documentaries and animated films were selected for pitching from around 180 submitted projects. This year’s focus is on the Benelux and Africa with three titles each selected to be in the running for the awards. The line-up includes five Filmstiftung-backed projects, including "Brothers” (Match Factory) by Türker Süer and "Transamazonia" (Pandora Film) by Pia Marais. An international jury, which this year includes Michael Stütz, head of the Panorama section at the Berlinale, ZDF commissioning editor Holger Stern, Lorna Lee Torres (Magnolia Pictures), Reta Guetg (Zurich Film Festival) and Chinese film producer Haixia Yu, will decide on the prizes for the best pitches worth around 60,000 euros. EWIP is organised as a collaborative venture between AG Verleih and the Association of Independent Film Distributors in Germany and has been supported ever since the first edition by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. Additional support comes from the Creative Europe Desks Germany – MEDIA and Creative Europe Desk NRW – MEDIA and KölnBusiness.

2nd International Distribution Summit – Wednesday, 18th and Thursday, 19th October, Filmpalast in Cologne

Building on the success and structures of EWIP, AG Verleih then developed the IDS platform which brings international distributors and high-profile players together from all over the world. After a successful first edition last year, the conference is again offering a programme of keynotes, master classes and panels to exchange ideas and concepts and provide inspiration for innovative distribution strategies and new business models.

Outstanding international distributors, sales companies and platforms are set to present their success stories and discuss case studies. The line-up of speakers includes Sylvain Mante, Cédric Merouani and Mélanie Canviet from the French cinema ticket platform Ozzak as well as the Polish producer Lukasz Siódmok from Film Roj, who will talk about dubbing a film using AI. Mathieu Robinet from France’s Tandem Films will explain how to connect with young audiences in particular through innovative film marketing strategies. Other campaigns will be presented by Enrique Costa of the Spanish production and distribution company Elastica Films and Andrea Romero of I Wonder from Italy. Hiroko Oda from Flag Pictures, Oris Aigbokhaevbolo (via New Nollywood), Neil Wirasinha (Gruvi), Lorna Bösel (Tik Tok) and Stefan Farnschläder (Cineamo) will also be speaking during the Summit.

The most innovative distribution strategy will be recognised by the International Distribution Award on the evening of the first day of the conference. The laudation will be held by Sabine Chemaly (Ginger Films). The first award In 2022 went to Elissa Federoff from the US distributor Neon. The IDS is supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, FFA and MMC Studios, with AG Verleih, European Work in Progress Cologne, Creative Europe Desk NRW and Film Festival Cologne as partners.

Warm-Up Panels

A partner event organised by EWIP and IDS on 17 October will see Yanis Gaye (Gorée Cinéma, Senegal), Aaron Kassaye (History Film Company, Ethiopia), Victoria Ogar (FilmOne Studios, Nigeria), Sarika Hemi Lakhani (One Fine Day Films, Germany) and Sébastien Onomo (Special Touch Studios, France) discussing "African-European synergies: How can co-productions and distribution shape new communal audiences?". This panel will be followed by case studies illustrating best practices in distribution and marketing strategies for the European arthouse cinema with the examples of “Close” and “Holy Spider”.