EFA Diary 2006

PODSUMOWANIE ROKU [A year in retrospective]

by Pascal Edelmann


Right after the European Film Awards 2005, the EFA Secretariat continues with the preparations for Warsaw 2006. Rainer Pyls (accounting) joins the EFA Secretariat. Also, just as in the past years, the European Film Academy and United International Pictures (UIP) continue their co-operation presenting short film prizes at a network of film festivals around Europe. With Cork and Rotterdam as new partners in this initiative, the Prix UIP circle now includes 14 festivals. The winners receive an automatic nomination in the short film category of the European Film Awards. EFA’s press officer Pascal Edelmann travels to London to discuss a publication on occasion of the 20th European Film Awards in 2007 with the publishing house Faber & Faber.



The EFA Board under its newly elected Chairman Yves Marmion holds its first annual meeting on the occasion of the Berlin International Film Festival. It is decided to give the EFA Members more time to vote for the nominations and thus announce the selection earlier. EFA’s Bettina Schwarz travels to Stockholm to meet Swedish documentary filmmaker Stefan Jarl in preparation of an EFA Master Class. At the beginning of the Berlinale, and in co-operation with EFA, there is a special evening in memory of Humbert Balsan, former chairman of the EFA Board. In presence of his family, the French Culture Minister, the French ambassador and the president of ARTE, there is a screening of the films HUMBERT BALSAN – PRODUCTEUR REBELLE by Anne Andreu and UN AMI PARFAIT by Francis Girod. In the framework of the Berlinale Talent Campus, EFA presents the session COLOUR ME KIESLOWSKI with filmmakers Agnieszka Holland, Andres Veiel and Wim Wenders. Moderated by Peter Cowie, the session includes screenings of excerpts of the Polish master who died ten years ago and discussions about his contribution to European film. Also during the Berlinale, and on initiative of EFA and the German Film Academy, there is an inaugural meeting of Europe’s national film academies. Participants include EFA and the academies of Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia and UK.



In co-operation with the European Co-ordination of Film Festivals (ECFF), EFA and UIP also present SHORT MATTERS!, the short film nominees of 2005. The co-operation with ECFF is further intensified and leads to the presentation of this short film programme at the member festivals in Dresden (Germany), Lecce (Italy), Umeå (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland), Drama (Greece), Århus (Denmark), Münster (Germany), Uppsala (Sweden), Braunschweig and Wiesbaden (both Germany). At the same time the selection procedure for the Awards starts in Berlin: 50 European institutions, associations and media are confirming their co-operation. The application procedure for the EFA Master Class on documentary filmmaking begins.



EFA Director Marion Döring, Head of Finances Gisela Corsten and Junior Producer Nikola Joetze travel to Warsaw to explore possible locations and discuss details with the local partners. The SHORT MATTERS! programme is so successful that it is also presented at various non-ECFF festivals. The first one to present the 2005 nominees is Belgrade (Serbia). A second set of the films then travels to the St. Kilda Festival in Melbourne (Australia). In the end of April, meetings in Warsaw are held to prepare the TV production and transmission in Poland.



Marion Döring participates in the Input Conference (International Public Television) in Taipeh (Taiwan). She presents EFA to the Input Board and discusses possible areas of co-operation. The International Cannes Film Festival sees an informal Board meeting where both Warsaw 2006 and the 20th European Film Awards 2007 in Berlin are discussed. The Transilvania International Film Festival in Cluj (Romania) screens SHORT MATTERS!



On invitation by the Maurits Binger Institute and the Dutch Film and TV Academy, the EFA Board members come together for the European Film Awards selection meeting in Amsterdam. In mid-June the steering committee meets in Warsaw to discuss the programme for the Awards Weekend. Marion Döring participates in the Copenhagen Think Tank on European Film and Film Policy for a dialogue on strengthening European film. Maria von Hörsten, who takes care of the awarding procedures, travels to the documentary market On The Sunny Side Of The Doc in La Rochelle (France) for the first meeting of the selection committee for this year’s documentary award. .



Invited by the Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Czech Republic), a further meeting of the national film academies in Europe and EFA takes place. It is decided to found the network FAN of Europe (Film Academies Network of Europe) to meet regularly, exchange information and develop mutual activities to strengthen European cinema as well as training initiatives for young filmmakers. In Berlin and Brandenburg, Stefan Jarl teaches the EFA Master Class HOW THE CREATIVE DOCUMENTARY CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION IN CAMERA EQUIPMENT to a group of 18 documentary filmmakers from across Europe.



At the Film Festival in Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina), one of the Prix UIP partner festivals, there is a special screening of the short films already nominated for 2006. Meanwhile at the EFA Secretariat, the voting procedure for the European Film Awards 2006 is prepared: 1,700 copies have to be made of each of the 49 shortlisted films and shipped out to members across Europe. 



The voting campaign for the People’s Choice Award 2006 begins. The campaign is supported by EFA’s media partners in 23 European countries. On occasion of the Gdynia Film Festival (Poland), EFA organises a presentation of the European Film Awards 2006 to industry representatives and announces Roman Polanski as the recipient of the EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. Rita Lücke becomes Business Manager of EFA Productions gGmbH thus supporting the two Managing Directors Marion Döring and Gisela Corsten. Together with the Federal Agency for Civic Education, EFA organises the think tank “WATCHING EUROPE – European Film and how it is Perceived by the Media and Public” in Italy. In the EFA Secretariat, the shipping of about 60,000 DVDs by EFA sponsor TNT to the EFA membership is organised. Across the continent, they will now view the 49 films and vote for their favourites. The members are invited to nominate the candidates in each of the main categories. The short films nominated in 2005, in the framework of the SHORT MATTERS! programme, travel to the Panorama of European Cinema in Athens and Cyprus.



On invitation by the mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, and the newly inaugurated Cinema-Festa Internazionale di Roma, the EFA Board holds its annual nomination meeting in Rome. Together with the Polish Institute in Berlin EFA presents a retrospective of the work of Krzysztof Kie´slowski. For the sixth time, EFA, UIP and the Flanders International Film Festival present the short film nominees 2006 and their directors in Ghent (Belgium). EFA members Stefan Kitanov and Nik Powell and members of the World Soundtrack Academy Jacques Dubrulle, Marian Ponnet and Maggie Rodford establish the nominations for EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2006. Ghent’s international jury already selects the Prix UIP Ghent 2007, the first short film nominee for the European Film Awards 2007. The Documentary Jury meets in Berlin: producer/director Adela Peeva (Bulgaria), director Thomas Riedelsheimer (Germany) and producer Dorota Roszkowska (Poland) screen the nominated films and decide upon the EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY DOCUMENTARY 2006 – PRIX ARTE.



The nominated short films 2006 are screened at interfilm, the international short film festival in Berlin, and at the Film Festival Seville. EFA Chairman Yves Marmion, press officer Pascal Edelmann and Maria von Hörsten travel to Seville where the nominations for the European Film Awards 2006 are announced. The festival also screens a range of films from the selection list. The EFA Members are now voting for the winners of the European Film Awards.



For the first time, the European Film Awards, presented by the European Film Academy and EFA Productions gGmbH, travel East! In Warsaw, EFA Members and guests checking in at the EFA Welcome Counter are welcomed by Viviane Gajewski. The EFA Conference CINEMA OF TOMORROW concentrates on the situation for young filmmakers in Europe. In addition to the European Film Academy holding its annual General Assembly, the Producers Club is meeting in Warsaw and transFOCAL and the Polish Film Institute host a presentation of P.R.I.M.E – Professional Training for European Filmproducers. The Awards Ceremony on Saturday, December 2, is broadcast on the following evening in most European territories. In France and Germany, ARTE is again presenting a thematic evening focusing on the European Film Awards and the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Roman Polanski.