Film Professionals Discuss Future of Documentary Financing at 'Media & Society' Meeting in Amsterdam
Film industry stakeholders from all branches gathered on Sunday in Amsterdam for the first public presentation of the 'Media & Society' initiative, a joint project aiming to create a blueprint for a sustainable future of the documentary sector. The session was hosted by EDN and took place within the framework of this year's 30th edition of IDFA.
With a large number of documentary professionals attending the two-part event on Sunday, EDN director Paul Pauwels kicked off the sessions with a general introduction to the 'Media & Society' initiative, followed by a presentation of a planned survey among film professionals by Eline Livémont from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The survey is a key part of the initiative's roadmap which will culminate in the publication of a policy document (or ‘White Book’) that will propose recommendations for the future. The white book, drafted in collaboration with the sector's key stakeholders, will be presented at IDFA 2018 in Amsterdam.
The event provided opportunities for documentary professionals to exchange ideas and voice their opinions on key challenges for the sector and how these should be reflected in the upcoming survey. The data retrieved via the survey aims to provide a clear picture of today's documentary production environment and, in particular, how documentaries are financed incl. detailed information about the involved value chains, revenues, investments, funding sources and more. Other aspects, such as regulatory gaps and the exploitation thereof through a number of internationally operating online platforms have been addressed in an inpiring discussion that unfolded during the event. Contributors from the audience included Cay Wesnigk (AG DOK, Online Film AG), Vincent Lucassen (WILDArt Film), Patrick Hurley (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Andrea Prenghyová (dok.incubator), representatives from Creative Europe and many others.
The documentary sector has experienced fundamental changes and disruption over the past decades. The post-Internet media environment with its new platforms and players has increasingly undermined traditional models of business and financing. In order to take stock and strengthen the role of documentary filmmaking in the European media domain, EDN has launched the Media & Society initiative. This will involve the sector’s key stakeholders in order to create and publish a policy document (or ‘White Book’) that will propose recommendations for the future. The final document will be presented at IDFA 2018 in Amsterdam. The official presentation document of the initiative can be downloaded here (PDF).
PARTNERS OF THE MEDIA & SOCIETY INITIATIVE
The following organizations are official partners of the initiative: IDFA, European Film Market, European Film Academy, Cineuropa, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Marché du Film/Festival de Cannes, Sunny Side of the Doc, Bournemouth University, Oxford Brookes University, University of Glasgow, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Aberystwyth University, Universitiy of Utrecht and the University of Gent.