For the third year in a row, the Berlinale Africa Hub, an initiative of the European Film Market (EFM), is providing an international forum for communication and networking for African filmmakers and creatives, as well as for filmmakers who are active on the continent, in particular in its sub-Saharan regions. Over the course of six days, from 8 to 13 February, filmmakers, producers, distributors, buyers, investors and other experts have the opportunity to introduce themselves, share experiences and know-how and forge connections in panels, presentations, speed dating sessions and while hanging out in the VR Lounge. The Berlinale Africa Hub places a spotlight in particular on the highly individual development of the African film industry, which – sparked by technological change – has created spaces for new and often local ideas, projects and innovations that represent the foundation for the African film industry of the future. The “Berlinale Africa Hub”, made possible with the generous support of the Federal Foreign Office and organised in co-operation with DISCOP, will once again take place at the Gropius Park.
The Berlinale Africa Hub will open on Friday, 8 February, with words of welcome by Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office.
At this year’s event, the daily panel discussions will cover such topics as “Inclusive Network Building for African Women Film Professionals”, “The African Film Market of the Future”, “A New Co-Production and Distribution Framework Between Europe and Africa” as well as shed light on Ethiopia’s emerging film industry. Companies and institutions such as the Pan-African Film Consortium (Nigeria), Badel Media (Canada), Cultural Video Production (Kenya), Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (EU), Pan-African Alliance of Screenwriters and Directors (APASER), The International Emerging Film Talent Association (Monaco) and many more will be presenting their projects and ideas for the African market, followed by extensive Q&As.
In the PopUp Offices, Pan-African Film Consortium (Nigeria), AfriDocs (South Africa), Nollywood Germany (Germany), Rushlake Media (Germany) and Wesgro Film and Media Promotion (South Africa) will be available for meetings and discussions with other market participants. This year, visitors can once again check out numerous VR projects in the VR Lounge. Following the presentations and talks, in the early hours of each evening the Berlinale Africa Hub Happy Hours will also be in effect, offering opportunities to network and enter into conversation.
The Berlinale Africa Hub is an initiative of the European Film Market (EFM) realised in co-operation with the World Cinema Fund (and its new special programme WCF Africa – founded in 2016 – which promotes films from sub-Saharan Africa with the support of the Federal Foreign Office), with Berlinale Talents (and its sister programme Talents Durban, which supports talented filmmakers from Africa throughout the year) and with the Berlinale Co-Production Market.
DocSalon: The Meeting Place for Documentary Filmmakers from 8 to 12 February
For the eleventh time, DocSalon will serve as the meeting place for exchange and networking for the documentary film branch at the EFM. The changes instituted in 2018 – the new spatial design for DocSalon as well as the thematic consolidation and further development of the programme – were met with great enthusiasm by visitors.
For the programme for this year’s edition, DocSalon is once again working closely with the European Documentary Network (EDN). In the scope of five Salon Talks, DocSalon will present current topics of interest for the branch, whether in a highly concrete fashion using case studies or through wide-ranging discussion of subjects of socio-political relevance such as inclusive funding policies for documentary films. The tried-and-true event series Meet the Festivals, in which participants can introduce themselves and present their projects, and HighTea with Experts, roundtable sessions moderated by seasoned pros from the fields of financing, production and sales, will take place daily from 8 to 12 February. The eleventh edition of DocSalon is once again organised in co-operation with the documentary film festivals IDFA, CPH:DOX, DOK Leipzig, Visions du Réel, Sheffield Doc/Fest and the Canadian festival Hot Docs.
EFM Producers Hub: The Perfect Fit for Producers
The EFM Producers Hub, a platform created specifically to meet the needs of producers, will take place for the fifth time at the Gropius Bau as a part of the EFM. This year’s programme encompasses a range of discussions and presentations, in which topics of relevance to producers will be presented, such as “Development Support for European Independent Producers” by Creative Europe – MEDIA and an informational event dealing with the role of the European Film Commission Network.
In addition, this year there will be a keynote speech on the significance of producing collaboratively and inclusively with underrepresented groups, followed by a discussion on the relevant tools and benefits from the perspective of producers. Once again this year, producers will be able to receive free advice from experts regarding funding and distribution strategies. A full day of programming is devoted to the Sino-European Production Seminar, which promotes collaboration between European and Chinese producers, organised in co-operation with the Bridging the Dragon network. The EFM Producers Hub is organised in co-operation with the international producer network (ACE Producers) and the Berlinale Co-Production Market.