EFA Diary 2008


The Year in Retrospective

After the celebrations for the 20th European Film Awards in Berlin, the EFA Secretariat immediately continues working on the preparations for this year’s European Film Awards in Copenhagen. United International Pictures (UIP) and the European Film Academy continue their co-operation presenting short film prizes at a network of film festivals around Europe. At each of the participating festivals, a European short film is presented with the Prix UIP, including 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, followed by the International Film Festival Rotterdam (the Netherlands). Three further candidates were already selected in Ghent (Belgium), Cork (Ireland), and Valladolid (Spain) in October and November 2007. In the end of January, EFA Director Marion Döring attends the Hungarian Film Week in Budapest to meet with potential partners and sponsors. In Paris, EFA’S Bettina Schwarz meets with French editor Hervé Schneid to prepare the upcoming EFA Master Class.

The EFA Board holds its first annual meeting in Gothenburg (Sweden). It is decided to put a special focus on the training of young filmmakers. EFA also announces that the Danish crown prince and princess will be among the guests at the European Film Awards in Copenhagen. As part of the Berlinale Talent Campus EFA participates in an event titled SHORT FILMS EXPAND CINEMA, where the EFA short film initiative is presented. During the session FROGS IN YOUR POCKET with Dušan Makavejev, co-author Peter Cowie presents the book PROJECTIONS 15, which EFA published in co-operation with Faber&Faber. In a special short film awards ceremony, EFA and UIP award the Prix UIP Berlin. In Copenhagen various appointments take place for the preparation of the TV production of the European Film Awards 2008 and in Berlin the application procedure for the upcoming EFA Master Class begins.

After 14 years with the European Film Academy, EFA’s Head of Finances, Gisela Corsten, retires. The Tampere Film Festival (Finland) is festival number six to award a short film with a Prix UIP 2008. In co-operation with the festival, EFA and UIP also present SHORT MATTERS! - a programme of the short film nominees of 2007. This initiative is constantly intensified and leads to the presentation of the films at the festivals in Lecce (Italy), Cluj (Romania), Jerusalem (Israel), and Drama (Greece). At the same time EFA‘s Maria von Hörsten begins working on the selection for the Awards: 50 European institutions, associations and media are confirming their cooperation.

Event Manager Nikola Joetze attends MipTV in Cannes to present the European Film Awards as a TV product and negotiate licensing the ceremony with various broadcasters. The SHORT MATTERS! programme is by now so successful that once again a second set of film prints is produced and the short films are also presented at the festivals in Sofia (Bulgaria), Belgrade (Serbia) and Brussels (Belgium) from where they go to Cracow (Poland), Setúbal (Portugal), Malta, Helsinki (Finland), Malmö (Sweden), Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Uppsala (Sweden), Braunschweig (Germany), Århus (Denmark), and Wiesbaden (Germany). The Steering Committee for the 21st European Film Awards convenes for a first planning session in Copenhagen.

The International Cannes Film Festival sees an in formal Board meeting to discuss the state of preparations for the 21st European Film Awards 2008 in Copenhagen as well as potential future host cities. EFA publishes EUROPE ON THE MOVE - Migration in Movies, a 56-page documentation of the EFA Conference 2007, as well as a new profile folder presenting the European Film Academy and its various activities.

In Berlin, 16 film editors come together for the EFA Master Class AT THE CUTTING EDGE - The Creative Use of Digital Technology for Editing with Hervé Schneid. The Krakow Film Festival (Poland), the Norwegian Short Film Festival in Grimstad, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival present two more Prix UIPs. EFA Board Members and invited experts Gunnar Bergdahl, Stefan Kitanov, and Derek Malcolm come together in Berlin for the European Film Awards selection meeting. In Copenhagen, a series of meetings takes place for the organisation of the Film Awards Weekend.

The selection procedure for this year’s documentary award begins. Invited by the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, the network FAN of Europe (Film Academies Network of Europe) holds another meeting in the Czech Republic. In Portugal EFA and UIP present the Prix UIP Vila do Conde. Marion Döring is invited as member of the jury to participate in the International Film Festival Jerusalem. Afterwards EFA, in co-operation with the New Israeli Foundation for Cinema & TV, presents another SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY bringing together EFA Members Hans-Robert Eisenhauer, David Fisher, Kirsten Niehuus, and Nino Kirtadzé, and a group of young documentary filmmakers for a weekend of discussion and exchange.

The EFA Secretariat has a baby! At the Film Festival in Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina) another Prix UIP winner is presented. There is also a special screening of the short films already nominated for 2008. Meanwhile at the EFA Secretariat, the voting procedure for the European Film Awards 2008 is prepared: DVDs of the 44 shortlisted films are being produced to be shipped out to members across Europe.

The voting campaign for the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD 2008 begins, supported by EFA’s media partners in 20 European countries. The final Prix UIP winners for 2008 are presented at the festivals in Venice (Italyand Drama (Greece). In the EFA Secretariat the shipping of about 60,000 DVDs through EFA sponsor TNT Express to the EFA membership is organised. Across the continent, the members will now view the 44 films and vote for the nominations in each of the main categories.

A production meeting in Copenhagen brings together all entities involved in this year’s European Film Awards. Nikola Joetze attends MIPCOM in Cannes to present the awards ceremony as a broadcasting product. And Stefanie Röders (co-ordination Prix UIP) travels to Ghent (Belgium) where EFA, UIP and the Flanders International Film Festival - for the eighth time - present the nominated short films and their directors. On invitation by the festival, the EFA Board holds its annual nomination meeting in Ghent. EFA Members Stefan Kitanov and Nik Powell, and members of the World Soundtrack Academy Jacques Dubrulle and Marian Ponnet convene to establish the nominations for EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2008. Ghent’s international jury already selects the Prix UIP Ghent 2009, the first short film nominee for the European Film Awards 2009. The documentary jury meets in Berlin: Karoline Leth (Denmark, SF Film Production), Kirsi Tykkyläinen (Finland, Moscow Film Festival), and Alan Hayling (UK, Renegade Pictures Ltd) screen the nominated films and decide upon the EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY DOCUMENTARY 2008 - PRIX ARTE. The short films nominated in 2007, in the framework of the SHORT MATTERS! programme, travel to the Panorama of European Cinema in Athens and Cyprus - the next festivals to screen the programme are Alcine (Spain), Scanorama (Lithuania), and Bratislava (Slovakia). In Cork and Valladolid, two more short film nominees for 2009 are presented.

The nominated short films 2008 are screened at interfilm, the international short film festival in Berlin, at the festival in Seville (Spain), and in Tallinn (Estonia). EFA Board Members Ulrich Felsberg, Cedomir Kolar, Antonio Pérez, and Antonio Saura, EFA Director Marion Döring and press officer Pascal Edelmann attend the Seville European Film Festival where the nominations for the European Film Awards 2008 are announced. The festival also screens films from the selection. Executive Producer Jürgen Biesinger, Nikola Joetze and Marion Döring move to Copenhagen for the preparations of this year’s European Film Awards. The EFA Members are voting for the winners of the European Film Awards.

For the first time, the European Film Awards go to a Nordic country! EFA Members and guests checking in at the EFA Welcome Counters in Copenhagen are welcomed by Claudia Daseking, Klaudia Matschoß and Rainer Pyls. And on occasion of the Awards Ceremony a film week features screenings of the nominated films in different cinemas in Copenhagen. The EFA Conference WHAT MAKES EUROPE LAUGH - Local Comedies for an Inter national Market focuses on European comedies. The Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 6 December, is broadcast in over 40 countries. In France and Germany, ARTE is again presenting a thematic evening focusing on the European Film Awards.