San Sebastian: European Film Forum Addresses Recovery, Streamer-Driven Sea Change

At a crunch time for Europe’s film and TV industries, as it faces COVID-19 crisis and streamer-propelled sea change, the San Sebastian’s Festival European Film Forum will take both bulls by the horns at its Sept. 22 conference, Beyond COVID-19: Revitalizing the European Audiovisual Industry,

Two panel discussions will be preceded by an in-depth analysis on The Impact of COVID-19 on the European A/V Sector, presented by Gilles Fontaine, head of the department for market information at the European Audiovisual Observatory.

Speakers at a first panel, entitled Incentives And Measures For Recovery, take in Lucía Recalde, head of unit, audiovisual industry and Media support programs, European Commission; Luis Chaby, President of EFAD the European Film Agency Directors Assn. and president of the Board of Directors of Portugal’s ICAA agency; Peter Dinges, CEO of the German Federal Film Board (FFA); and Iole Maria Giannattasio, a research unit coordinator, at Italy’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

First panel speakers will present the different measures taken during the most critical phase of the pandemic; especially, those to encourage the creation and renewal of the fabric of the European audiovisual industry. They’ll also talk, crucially for some countries which lack initiatives, about further incentives and measures for recovery.

Discussions take place after the European Commission launched in May the Next Generation EU, a recovery plan. This will also be discussed to see how Europe’s film and TV industry can best benefit from it.

A second panel, Towards A Transformation of The European Industry, will focus on change already driving through the sector. Speakers take in private-sector figures who are partners or top executives at top companies in Spain’s film-TV production sector, production and world sales and Spanish pay TV/SVOD, respectively Álvaro Longoria, producer and co-founder of Madrid-based Morena Films; François Yon, a partner and head of sales and business development at Paris-based Playtime Group; and Álex Martínez Roig, content manager at the Telefonica-backed Movistar Plus in Spain.

All the second panel speakers are studiously polite, but they are unlikely to mince on’t mince their words.

The European Film Forum’s totally online delivery this year, and availability for the general public, may well enhance its impact.

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