Developing Your Film Festival 2019. Credit Anna Pomichowska

Source: Anna Pomichowska

The ICO’s Developing Your Film Festival programme

41 international film festivals from 24 countries are meeting in Wroclaw, Poland to lay the groundwork for the International Film Festival Network, a membership-based structure to assist the financial stability and long-term strategy of film events.

Representatives of the 41 festivals will meet on July 19 and 20 for The Future of Film Festivals Forum, on the eve of the New Horizons International Film Festival.

Scroll down for the full list of participating festivals

The forum will be delivered by the UK’s Independent Cinema Office (ICO), with funding from the British Council.

The international events taking part in the forum include Edinburgh International Film Festival, the film and documentary festivals in Thessaloniki, and the international film festivals in Helsinki, Vilnius and Leeds.

Many specialised festivals are involved, including LGBTQIA+-focused events Queer East, Queer Lisboa and Queer Porto, and Queer Wave in Cyprus. There are also participating events from outside Europe, including Canada’s Atlantic International Film Festival, and Portland Film Festival in the US.

The aims of the forum are to share best practice and problem-solve shared challenges, in order to create a structure for the network. In turn, the network aims to assist its members in building financial stability, defining long-term strategy, collaborating with comparable festivals across the world, and finding space to develop equitable, inclusive working conditions.

The network will formalise and expand on ICO support to a network of 237 international events; pre-existing schemes include the Developing Your Film Festival training programme, and the Sponsorship Success for Film Festival training which debuted in January this year.

“The conversations we have at the event will be key touchstones as we develop our International Film Festival Network, providing a long-term context for peer-to-peer support and collaboration, as well as solidifying the shared values of the group in relation to topics such as better employment practices for festivals,” said Catharine Des Forges, ICO director.

“We all know that our industry has drastically changed, we have to share our experiences, learn from each other, motivate ourselves. I am proud that Wroclaw will be the heart of this engaging event,” said Marcin Pienkowski, artistic director of New Horizons International Film Festival.

“This project is all about tackling the major challenges that film festivals are facing today,” added Ewa Ayton, the British Council’s head of arts, Poland, “At the British Council, our mission is to connect people and create opportunities for a sustainable and better world and The Future of Film Festivals Forum aligns with this goal and sets a shining example of how we can achieve it.”

Future of Film Festivals Forum participants

  • ALCINE - Alcalá de Henares - Comunidad de Madrid Film Festival
  • Animafest Zagreb
  • Another Way
  • Athens International Children’s Film Festival
  • Atlantic International Film Festival
  • Belgrade Auteur film festival
  • Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival
  • BIAFF Batumi international Art-house Film Festival
  • BLON Animation & Games Festival | UPE Media
  • Borderlines Film Festival
  • Cambridge Film Trust
  • CinEast asbl
  • Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival
  • FIFIB (Bordeaux) and PIFF (Poitiers)
  • Filmfest Trondheim AS - Kosmorama
  • Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival
  • HER Docs
  • Helsinki International Film Festival - Love and Anarchy
  • IFF Febiofest Bratislava
  • Imagine Fantastic Film Festival
  • Inconvenient Films
  • International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino!
  • JEF festival
  • KAVI / Loud Silents
  • Kosmorama Trondheim International Film Festival
  • Leeds International Film Festival
  • Manchester Animation Festival & HOME
  • Northern Film Festival
  • Ostend Filmfestival
  • Otok Institute
  • Queer East
  • Portland Film Festival
  • Queer Lisboa & Queer Porto IFFs
  • Queer Wave: the Cyprus LGBTQIA+ Film Festival
  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival / Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival
  • Vilnius International Film Festival