In the exciting build-up to the industry focused Market programme of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival (CTIFMF), a host of interventions such as the Works in Progress (WIP) programme have already been announced.
Another key component of this year’s CTIFMF Market will be the Audience Development programme – entitled ENGAGE, with the specific aim of improving the capacity within the film industry to identify and develop markets for African films.
The CTIFMF realises that one of the most challenging and pressing issues for local films is to earn the trust of local audiences that translates into box office success, as Elias Ribeiro explains, “CTIFMF in its commitment to harness and develop wider audiences will host a number free public screenings as part of the Festival programme in 2018. We hope to engage the local community and learn from these experiments. These, as well as the box office will inform the audience engagement strategy exercise that we will have to go through with the two winners of the cash prize.”
In order to address this challenge and ensure tangible outcomes, the CTIFMF will convene a group of marketing and industry experts with an understanding of these challenges. A three-day outcome-based workshop, under the guidance of Valeria Richter, will equip these professionals with the most current and powerful tools designed to assist film teams in identifying their target market and core focus.
Richter mainly works as creative producer, scriptwriter and script consultant. She works in her own company, Nordic Factory Copenhagen, and has co-produced a host of features including Granny’s Dancing on the Table – Sweden 2015, Cora – Brazil 2018, The Feminist – Sweden 2018, and shorts, Nordic Factory at Directors’ Fortnight – DK/Finland 2014. She has won over 50 awards and was project manager for the Nordic Film & TV Fund led development initiative, Nordic Genre Boost (2015-17), and has worked for TorinoFilmLab (TFL) and the Baltic Event (BE) co-production market since 2008.
She developed the Audience Design approach and workshop programme for TFL and has developed several concepts and formats for training for them and other clients. Additionally, both South Africa’s The Wound and Senegal’s Felicite, both of which received Oscar entries for their regions, went through Richter’s audience development program.
Richter is currently writing and show-running a TV series in collaboration with the Finnish production company Bufo. She holds an MA in Film and Media Science, is a graduate producer from the Danish Super16 Film Collective, and since 2009 she has been a member of the European Film Academy.
Richter has this to say about her participation in the CTIFMF, “As with any form of marketing, there is never a guarantee that it leads to a film’s success in the market, the early audience engagement focus does however guarantee a strong platform to develop the marketing approach on, and it has a significant impact on the quality of the choices you make for your film as it meets the market, short term and long term.”
At the end of the workshop, each participant will be assigned a project from the WIP and will be expected to deliver an Audience Design Strategy with a cash prize awarded to the most prolific two of the lot, to craft an Audience Design Strategy in collaboration with the Festival Board for CTIFMF 2019.
Aimed at publicists, marketing and sales professionals, distributors and others within the field, applications are open until 17 August. More details on the programme, outcomes and prize can be found on the CTIFMF website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The overall programme of the CTIFMF will also be made of four days of industry panels and workshops that will include experts from South Africa, the rest of Africa, and from across the globe. There will be a variety of relevant topics covered, all aimed at inclusive and constructive dialogues that foster the development of a cohesive and continually developing film industry. These topics include mentorship, financing, AR/VR, blockchain and crypto currency and animation.