EFA Diary 2003


by Marion Döring


January ‘03

In the third year of their co-operation, the European Film Academy and United International Pictures (UIP) are presenting short film prizes at a network of twelve festivals around Europe. The winners receive an automatic nomination in the short film category of the European Film Awards. The Premiers Plans Festival in Angers/France is the first festival in the new year (two further candidates were already selected in Ghent/Belgium and Valladolid/Spain in October and November 2002). EFA Chairman Nik Powell acts as president of the European Film Parliament hosted by the Rotterdam Film Festival..


February ‘03

The EFA Board holds its first regular annual Board meeting in Berlin on the occasion of the Berlin International Film Festival. For the fourth time, and again during the Berlinale, the European PitchPoint - a co-operation with Script House (Berlin), Maurits Binger Institut (Amsterdam) and Focal (Lausanne) - invites 12 writers to pitch their stories to an audience of international producers. EFA members Stephan Hutter, Cedomir Kolar, Nik Powell, Renate Roginas and Els Vandevorst form the jury. EFA and UIP present the Prix UIP Berlin. The first Berlinale Talent Campus is organised by the Berlin International Film Festival where EFA ist co-hosting two highly appreciated events: ENCOUNTER WITH TRAVELLERS – a conversation on motivation and self-motivation with Dennis Hopper and Wim Wenders which is attended by 1,000 guests, and BANKRUPTCY AND RESSURRECTION – A LESSON IN DAMAGE CONTROL with Nik Powell, Cedomir Kolar and Rainer Kölmel, who have all experienced both success and failure in their producer careers.


March 03

The Tampere Film Festival in Finland is festival number five to award a short film with the Prix UIP. EFA Director Marion Döring and European Film Awards producer Sarah Henderson from DDA Productions London travel to Barcelona to continue the negotiations for the presentation of the 2004 European Film Awards in the Catalan capital. At the same time the selection procedure for the 2003 edition starts in Berlin: 50 European institutions, associations and media are confirming their co-operation. In London the Creative Committee for the European Film Awards meets to develop a new format for the ceremony. The group is chaired by EFA President Wim Wenders.


April ‘03

At Filmfest Dresden/Germany EFA and UIP present the short film nominees of 2002 – Dresden marks only the beginning of a newly established co-operation with the European Co-ordination of Film Festivals. Prix UIP short films as well as films nominated in the EFA discovery category are further presented at festivals in Rome/Italy, Festroia/Portugal, Ludwigsburg/Germany, Berlin/Germany, Umeå/Sweden, Athens/Greece and Bristol/UK.


May ‘03

Informal Board meeting at the International Cannes Film Festival. EFA members Nik Powell, Dieter Kosslick, Agnieszka Holland, and Krzysztof Zanussi are speaking at a conference organised by the Greek Ministry of Culture on the occasion of the Hellenic Presidency of the European Union. The Cracow Film Festival in Poland presents the Prix UIP Cracow. Pascal Edelmann takes over as head of press and PR at EFA.


June ‘03

Presentation of the Prix UIP Grimstad in Norway. Sofie Louise Thoerner Andersen joins the EFA Secretariat as accountant, taking care at the same time of the administration of the EFA members.


July ‘03

In Portugal, EFA and UIP present the Prix UIP Vila do Conde. In Karlovy Vary, upon invitation of the festival, the EFA Board members come together for the European Film Awards selection. This is already the fourth Board meeting in Karlovy Vary. Continuation of the financial meetings with the authorities in Barcelona.


August ‘03

Presentation of the Prix UIP Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina and of the Prix UIP Edinburgh in the UK. At the EFA Secretariat, Maria von Hörsten organises the voting procedures for the European Film Awards 2003: 1,600 copies have to be made of each of the 40 shortlisted films and shipped out to members across Europe.


September ‘03

At the Venice International Film Festival, EFA and UIP present the 11th Prix UIP. Together with the German Federal Agency for Civic Education, the European Film Academy hosts an international think tank in Como, Italy, to discuss the future and identity of Europe. Bettina Schwarz, who is taking care of the EFA/UIP initiative, travels to Greece to welcome the International Short Film Festival in Drama as the twelfth festival to present a Prix UIP. The short film nominees for the 2003 European Film Awards are now complete. At the same time, Viviane Gajewski, EFA’s assistant, helps with the shipping of about 60,000 video tapes which are carried by EFA sponsor TNT to the EFA membership around the continent to vote for their favourites. The members are invited to nominate three candidates in each of the six categories. Jameson Irish Whiskey, sponsors of the People’s Choice Awards, open their website for the pan-European audience to vote for best director, best actor and best actress. The People’s Choice Awards are supported throughout Europe by campaigns of EFA’s media sponsors.


October ‘03

Nomination meeting of the EFA Board in Berlin. Nik Powell and Marion Döring attend the closing ceremony of Cinedays in Rome, organised by the European Commission. For the third time, EFA, UIP and the Flanders International Film Festival present the short film nominees and their directors in Ghent. Under the presidency of Jeanne Moreau, Ghent’s international jury already selects the Prix UIP Ghent 2004, the first short film nominee for the 2004 European Film Awards. Nik Powell, Humbert Balsan, Stephan Hutter and Marion Döring travel to Brussels to meet with the Media Programme’s Gregory Paulger and Jacques Delmoly. The Documentary Jury meets in Berlin: directors Alfredo Knuchel (Switzerland), Ben Lewis (UK), and Michael Muschner (Germany) decide upon the European Film Academy Documentary 2003 – Prix Arte. At a press conference in Barcelona, the 2004 European Film Awards in the Catalan Capital are officially announced.


November ‘03

In Spain, the Prix UIP Valladolid, the second short film nominee for 2004, is presented. The EFA members are voting for the winners of the European Film Awards. In a presentation at the European Film Agencies’ meeting in Taormina/Sicily, Nik Powell and Gisela Corsten who is taking care of finances and administration explain the work and structure of the European Film Academy.

In Berlin, meetings take place with the German and Berlin authorities to secure the Academy’s future financing.



December ‘03

The European Film Awards weekend under the auspices of the European Film Academy on Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6, is marked by a strong presence of film students from all over Europe. Forty film students are travelling to Berlin where they are hosted by Berlin based film students at their homes. Together with 30 film school directors, they attend the EFA Conference LET’S TALK ABOUT CONTENT! – HOW TO TRAIN FUTURE FILMMAKERS IN ARTISTIC, CULTURAL AND SOCIAL SKILLS. The European Producers Club, Eurimages and the European Film Academy are inviting to a co-production conference. In addition to the European Film Academy holding its annual General Assembly, GEECT (the European co-ordination of film schools) and the Producers Club are meeting in Berlin with their members. The European Film Awards Ceremony on the evening of Saturday, December 6 , is organised with a different artistic approach. The culture channel Arte is broadcasting the ceremony the following night in France and Germany within the framework of a Thematic Evening, international TV stations in most European territories transmit a one-hour broadcast of the event.