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European Commission Releases Report on Film Festival Collaborations


The European Commission has recently released a report entitled 'Mapping of Collaboration Models among Film Festivals'. The publication takes a closer look at different collaboration models of film festivals in the context of their functions and objectives while placing a special focus on European festivals.

The report presents the results of a study conducted from April to November 2018 by researcher Tanja C. Krainhöfer from the Film Festival Studies initiative. The paper features a qualitative analysis based on individual interviews with representatives of 21 European Film Festivals and includes findings and discussions with experts from the film festival industry.

Topics addressed in the report cover logistical, structural and content-related models of collaboration, in particular those related to acquisition, programming, management, marketing, innovation and knowledge sharing. The report offers detailed insights and suggestions on how film festivals operate and how their work could be improved based on the conducted interviews and expert findings.

One of the report's primary aims was to highlight the main accomplishments that collaborations among specific film festivals have brought about as well as some of the main obstacles they are facing as a result of different collaboration processes. The report further provides a number of specific examples to illustrate both the accomplishments and obstacles.

The findings include:

  • Cooperation (formal or informal) is a cornerstone of almost all forms of film festival activity.
  • Most structures of formal collaboration with different geographical range are film festival associations. In the long run, these associations tend to fail, mainly because of the differing missions and objectives of their members, as well as the presence of competition among film festivals. Whereas informal collaborations tend to thrive especially because they are developed bilaterally by the collaborating festivals and not superimposed by a third body.
  • As film festivals have extremely limited resources (funding, personnel, time, etc.), only collaborations that are targeting specific problems prove to be successful.
  • Programmatic collaboration and exchange among film festivals only prove to be successful with curating special programs, retrospectives and the like, as permanent programmatic collaboration would harm the profile and market power of individual festivals
  • There is a lack of in-depth knowledge about European film festivals in general, which hinders the distribution and circulation of European film works within the festival circuit.

Recommendations offered by the report include:

  • Establishing an online directory of EU films and supporting the mobility of festival programmers for improving access to European cinematographic works by European film festivals as a whole.
  • Providing a platform for collaboration, secondary exploitation or commissioning focus programmes etc. in order to provide access to high-quality programming concepts for all European film festivals.
  • The widespread availability and distribution of European cinematic works by festivals, as well as programmes presenting selected European film works (e.g. a compilation of competition winning European films)
  • Acquiring information on the European film festival landscape and matchmaking measures for MEDIA-funded film festivals (e.g. presentation of all film festivals supported by the MEDIA programme via a comprehensive online information service, organising match-making events for film festivals at film festivals)
  • Establishing a service organisation for exchange, networking, innovation and knowledge transfer of European Film Festivals in their entirety (e.g. permanent information and networking center for best practices exchange, setting up a database for placement of festival specialists).

You can read the entire report at the following link:

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