Methodology, Skills and Professional Benefits Participants Participants' Comments MEDICI Coordinator and Head of Studies «The 12 Labours of Hercules» Report of the Reports – Workshops 1 to 4

Reports Previous Workshops

Seventh Workshop – 27 to 29 September 2017 – Finstadjordet, Norway

Module 7 – Engaging with Future

Introduction

This workshop provides an opportunity for MEDICI participants to look forward to how bigger strategic issues in the changing screen industries might affect their work in practical terms in the next ten years.

The issues in the workshop are selected based on the research for an EFADS vision paper about the future of public funds to be presented in Tallinn in late November 2017.

Or, in other words,

Every fund should ask itself the following two questions:

Case study: Looking Ahead is Looking at the World

Presentation: Johanna Koljonen - consultant for the EFAD’s working group
Please also see Johanna Koljonen’s presentation (PDF)

CHALLENGE 1: New distribution strategies

CHALLENGE 2: Getting Europeans to see European content.

CHALLENGE 3: Drowning the Market with Films

In 2016, 1163 films were released in Europe, which was 300 more films than in the US. This happens because there are a lot of funders in Europe, there are tax incentives, it has become cheaper to make films, etc. This high number of films produced brings a bunch of side effects, both positive and negative. Namely:

But,

CHALLENGE 4: Redefining relationship with filmmakers

CHALLENGE 5: Funds are too conservative

But,

CHALLENGE 6: Redefining relationship with audience

CHALLENGE 7: What is a film?

CHALLENGE 8: Value chain paradigm shift

The old value chain consisted in the following three steps: 

But,

Today, when everything is becoming digital, the value chain paradigm is also changing and it contains the following steps: 

CHALLENGE 9: Film culture for this century 

CHALLENGE 10: Securing the fund’s financing and independence

Opportunities

Funds should learn from Television and producers of video games

Filmmaking and TV making is not in crisis. There is more money and more quality in TV drama than ever. It is true that traditional broadcasting as a business model is challenged and expected to disappear very soon, but that is only a technological change - a business model change. It is not a content change. There is also increase of estimated numbers of scripted original TV series shown by online services, broadcasters, paid cable or basic cable. They all find their way. So why is that not the problem, but producing too many films is?

Television faced the same problem when the number of TV channels dramatically increased. But today they have multiple accesses to the market and they connect every produced content with some kind of audience.

The film funds also have to come up with new business models that would help them connect the right film with the right audience. Today we have 15 TV series of extremely high quality and 15 years ago we would have only one on that level. But there are still audiences for all produced series.

In the past we would watch what was served up to us. Now we make choices ourselves and each piece of content finds its own way.  For example, a Turkish TV series that attracted a global audience, or German TV content which started travelling after years of bad reputation. The same is true of Icelandic content. Even though it comes from a nation of only 300,000 people, millions of people watch their content – subtitled or dubbed. This all goes to prove that European content is not in crisis. 

The same experience is true with digital games. They are global and the game market is worth over 100 billion dollars. They were in crisis, but recovered by including gamers in game creating through participatory business models. They solved piracy problems and built great relationship with their audiences. 

Outcome of group discussions

CHALLENGE 1: New distribution strategies

How would you change what you fund and/or measure to better reflect the “platform neutral” media landscape in which the audience exists? 

We should:

CHALLENGE 2: Getting Europeans to see European content

How can a fund’s actions and choices increase the content’s relevance? 

Funds should:

Some examples:

In Canada, some films do not require a traditional distributor, so filmmakers themselves can take the role of distributor. They can, for example, do the festival distribution and then sell it to Netflix or to the US market. They are also allowed to propose new business models. There are also examples of day-and-date releases where films are released theatrically and on VoD on the same day. This attracts more different audiences. 

In Norway, the Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) does not have any audience numbers other than cinema theatres. They conduct surveys asking people how often they see Norwegian films on a platform, but the market share of Norwegian films on platforms is lower than in the cinemas. The NFI also contacts sales agents to ask about the performance of individual titles on VoD platforms and how they value a project when pre-buying it. 

CHALLENGE 3: Film literacy/Audience development

What alliances would funds need to build to truly promote film and film culture? 

There is an example of a film education framework event, financed by, among others, the BFI and Creative Europe, where twenty countries shared their experiences regarding film education.

Funds should:

Some examples:

Croatia has a national programme (2017-2021) for building audience. 

In Hungary, there is a national online competition in collaboration with schools for children between 14 and 18 years-old.

Festivals can also be more involved in film education since they already give a theme to their programme and have a lot of audience. 

Conclusions 

The Role of Public Film Funds in the Future

Schedules Previous Workshops Partners Contact