Following the extension of the German film20 producer pressure group's membership to the Association of Austrian Film Producers (aafp), the two bodies have prepared two conferences: in Vienna and Berlin, to focus on the economic potential of the film industry following the European Union's enlargement eastwards.
The Vienna event between September 15-16 brought key audiovisual professionals from Germany and Austria together with their opposite numbers from the candidate countries. Proceedings kicked off with a discussion on the pros and cons of emulating Germany and Austria with such "curious neighbours" as X-Filme creative pool's Stefan Arndt, Satel's Michael Wolkenstein, the Vienna Film Fund's Peter Zawrel and the German Federal Film Board's Rolf Baehr .
The conference's focus was on a taking stock of the current situation in the Central and East European countries' respective film industries and on evaluating the potential for future co-operation.
Among the speakers lined up were Karlo Funk of the Estonian Film Foundation, Dariusz Jablonski of the Polish Audiovisual Chamber of Commerce, Evgeny Michailov of Sofia's Boyana Studios, Eva Vezer of Magyar Filmunio, and Jost Merten of Malta's Mediterranean Film Studios.
The second part of the conference, to be held in Berlin between October 20 - 21 will address issues including: the state of the European production environment and location policy; the future of international exploitation markets; experience with co-productions in Europe; and the political option - -what demands does the European film industry need to make'
Among the speakers lined up are: Jacques Delmoly CEO of the Media Programme, Constantin's Bernd Eichinger, ottfilm's Christopher Ott and EOS Entertainment's Jan Mojto.