Welcome to the latest issue of GERMAN FILMS QUARTERLY!
In the last quarter, German Films has also been busy adapting its core activities to the current situation with COVID-19. Like all our international festival partners, we needed to switch our film promotion activities to virtual or hybrid events within a very short time.
Many processes have been speeded up – it has meant less travelling to festivals for all of us, and a majority of conferences and pitchings went online; sometimes, this even happened to entire film festivals. Personally, I expect that we will continue to work and promote German films and talents under these conditions until the end of 2021.
Most festival events will no doubt be hybrid in the near future, and films will be shown in cinemas under the most hygienic conditions possible, in front of fewer guests, with a chessboard seating pattern for the necessary distance. Filmmakers will not always be able to attend. The majority of the industry’s events will also take place online. This means for German Films that we must follow a “double-track policy” as well, in order to support the physical as well as the online events.
While some major festivals still needed to complete a learning curve or two in the online field this summer, smaller events such as CPH Dox, Dokfest Munich, or the Sarajevo Film Festival were able to convert to online very well despite the short run-up period. And Cluj, Venice and San Sebastian have shown that it is possible to hold a very good physical festival even with strict hygiene rules, simultaneously providing for those guests online who are unable to attend. Many festivals are sure to orient themselves on this model in the coming months. In this context, I would like to highlight the decision made by the Locarno team. Ultimately, they decided not to hold an event and instead to financially support some projects by talented filmmakers who are being affected by Corona. This was also a great decision!
We hope that cinemas around the world will not have to close again, and that most of the upcoming festivals can take place at least in hybrid form. We do not know how the cinema market as a whole will develop after Corona. This much is certain: In addition to the production of new films under Corona conditions, their cinema release and promotion – both locally and worldwide – has become a greater challenge than ever before.
Despite all this – please stay optimistic and healthy!
Yours, Simone Baumann