This three year old conference took place
in the mountains of Croatia July 23-28, 2013 in the tiny town of Motovun in the
days before the very spirited film and music Motovun Fest gets underway in this
ancient cliff village.
The purpose of the gathering was to share experiences
in workshops discussing the managing, founding, funding, marketing, growing of
festivals with a wide variety of mandates (features, docs, shorts, animation)
and European environments. Topics of focus included internal management issues such as sponsorship, grants, social
media, crowd funding etc.
Organized by London’s Independent Cinema
Office who works year round to support film festivals and independent cinemas
in the U.K. and internationally.
22 participants attended from 13 countries in
Europe representing a wide range of film festivals – both in size, years in
operation and mandate.
Leaders and speakers at the event included
ICO staffers Kate Taylor, Becky Clarke and Sarah Bourne.
Igor Mirković, Festival Director, Motovun
Film Festival spoke and his festival is a partner in producing the event.
I spoke on the role of festivals in relation
to the film industry.
Also speaking were Mikael Fellenius, CEO, Göteborg
International Film Festival, Wilhelm Faber, Programme Coordination Berlinale Special,
Berlin International Film Festival , Heili Joe, Industry Events Manager, Black
Nights Film Festival, Allison Gardner, Co-director, Glasgow Film Festival, Muffin
Hix, Film Programmer and Event Producer, Lost Picture Show, James Mullighan,
Creative Director, Cork Film Festival and this ICO meeting’s Course Leader. Needless to say these sessions were lively,
well informed and I was impressed by the level of engagement and audience
Festival attendees came from Bradford Animation
Film Festival, DocPoint Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, Riga International
Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival
Czech Republic, Norkoping Film Festival Flimmer Sweden, London Turkish Film
Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Brussels Film Festival, Cologne
International Women’s Film Festival, Bath Film Festival, CinEast Film Festival
All told it was a great experience, especially
meeting and exchanging ideas with festival professionals from all over Europe.
You can read more about ICO’s work on their
website at www.independentcinemaoffice.org.uk
Here is what they have to say about their work –
The Independent Cinema Office (ICO) is the national
support organization for independent exhibitors of all kinds including cinemas,
film festivals and film societies.
act as programming advisors, distributors, consultants, development agents, and
providers of training and other services. We have spent almost a decade
developing successful models in this sector, building capacity to bring a wider
range of films to a wider range of audiences.
the last 9 years 87% of the exhibition sector has engaged with at least one of
the ICO’s services. We have delivered partnership projects with some of
the biggest arts centres in Europe, for example the London Children’s Film
Festival at the Barbican, as well as some of the smallest festivals and film
societies in the UK.
our wide ranging connections with the exhibition sector, we also have excellent
working relationships with all UK distributors (including a sub-licensing
archive deal with Studio Canal), a range of international sales agents and a number
of independent producers. We have worked in partnership with organizations such as the FDA, First Light, BAFTA, Europa Cinemas, the Guardian
Culture network, Cineworld, Frieze, and the Tate. We have extensive
regular contacts in both the film and art press and all our distribution
projects have received extensive national press coverage. Our training
programmes include speakers from organizations as diverse as the Royal Opera
House, Radio 4’s Front Row, the Berlinale and Warner Brothers. Our relationships
have thrived through our reputation for delivering high quality, successful
ICO is a unique organization in specialized cinema – our business model is
based on an integrated approach whereby our work with distributors allows us to
secure previews for screening days; our consultancy work enables us to gain insight into different
business models which we can then share in our one to one surgeries; our training programmes draw on our relationship with the
commercial industry and our distribution projects benefit from our relationship with
cinemas, film festivals and film societies.
distribution projects have achieved growth of 300% over 8 years for specialized
film in the UK, success achieved through experimentation and experience –
understanding what tools are required at the beginning of projects to make them