How big is the European Film Market?

The European Film Market is currently in full swing in chilly Berlin.  I have been contacted by a reader who asked how big the European Film Market (EFM) is, and how it compares with its American and French counterparts (i.e. the American Film Market and Cannes Marché du film).  

There are three major film markets in the year: EFM (held in February), Cannes (May) and the AFM (November).  Throughout the year there are other smaller and more specialised festivals but the EFM, Cannes and AFM are regarded as the ‘Big Three’.

Today, I’m focusing on the European Film Market, rather than the Berlin Film Festival.  Although the two events are heavily connected, they fundamentally serve different purposes.  Film festivals are primarily a way for …

Read full article

What kinds of films do well at the BAFTA awards?

Next Sunday sees the glitz and glamour of the 70th annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) film awards, so I thought it was timely to look at the kind of films that have previously succeeded at the awards, and how BAFTA compares to other awards and major film festivals.  

I looked at all films nominated for one of the three main categories – best film, best British film and best foreign language film over the past twenty years.

What kinds of films compete for BAFTA awards?

I have previously reported on British filmmakers’ penchant for making dramas, with around a fifth of all British films made between 2001-13 having drama as one of their principal genres.  Therefore perhaps it’s not a surprise …

Read full article

When and how the film business went digital

Last week, I looked at six trends for how the film business is changing.  It got a great response and I was heartened to see such interesting, lively debate about it.  One of the topics raised by a few people was the move from analog to digital processes.  I didn’t include the move to digital as a trend because it’s not one single thing, with each corner of the industry transitioning at a different pace.

So this week I thought I would take you through a quick tour of when and how various aspects of the film industry moved to digital technology.  For some aspects, I have lots of data, while others are a little scant.  If you have knowledge or data on anything …

Read full article

The cost, income and films of the Toronto International Film Festival

I am currently at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), experiencing Canadian hospitality, international films and British jetlag.  

TIFF is a lot larger than I suspect most people realise.  The annual festival is huge, attracting over 5,000 industry professionals and selling 530,000 tickets in 2015, but this is just one aspect of TIFF.  Throughout the rest of the year, they run screenings, talks, exhibitions, training, industry and charitable events.  

In order to get a better idea of the scale of TIFF, I combed through Annual Reports, audited accounts and other public documents to look at TIFF’s costs and income.  To give you a sense of scale, at the end of 2015 they had $9.1 million in cash in the bank and …

Read full article

Tips for attending the Toronto International Film Festival

The film industry is good at generating wisdom but not so good at disseminating it.  A case in point is all of the tips and tricks learnt by attendees of a festival or market.  The first time someone attends they spend the first half of their trip totally lost, but after a few days they start to get the hang of it, thanks in part to the things they learn from their fellow attendees.  Everyone new feels like they have got the hang of it exactly at the moment it finishes. We then all return to our four corners of the globe, only for the same cycle to play out the next year.

And so I have taken on the task of collecting some of …

Read full article

How do British films fare at the Cannes Film Festival?

Cannes is currently in full swing, following the same annual pattern with sales agents selling, buyers buying and filmmaking drinking.  

Two of this year’s hottest festival films are British films, American Honey from Andrea Arnold and I, Daniel Blake from Cannes veteran Ken Loach, both of which are up for the highest award in Cannes, the Palme d’Or.

One in five wins and one in ten nominations

Since the first Cannes Film Festival in 1939, 159 British films have been nominated for a Palme d’Or.  In fact, out of the 69 festivals to date, only 14 haven’t featured at least one British film ‘in competition’.  

While under 10% of Cannes-nominated films have been British, over 18% of wins have gone to British films (16 films at the time …

Read full article

Cannes film festival mysteries explained (via Nicolas Cage)

Cannes is full of curiosities and so, in an effort to prepare you for the Croisette, here are the answers to Cannes’ most curious questions, explained using the medium of Nicolas Cage.  

Sorry, bad choice of words, I’m not suggesting that Nicolas Cage is a psychic medium (even if he did play one in his 2007 classic ‘Next‘) I mean to say that Nicolas Cage will be my inspiration (as Meg Ryan was to him in City of Angels). 

His next film will be playing at the Cannes Film Festival 2016 within the Director’s Fortnight programme. In the past, Nicolas Cage has starred in four films that were shortlisted in Cannes, two of which won major awards – Birdy won the Jury Grand Prix in 1985 and Wild At Heart won Palme …

Read full article

Ultimate tips for attending the Cannes Film Festival 2016

The Cannes Film Festival and market are the highlights of the film calendar each year, with an epic number of events, screenings, parties and meetings crammed into a little French town over the course of eleven days.  To give Cannes first timers a few pointers, over the past few months I have been contacting a large number of Cannes Film Festival veterans.  

In the end, 575 film professionals gave their advice, with a combined experience of 4,478 trips to the Cannes film festival.  In addition, I ran a few research projects to look at what the data and statistics can tell us about how to do Cannes right.  

I’m grateful to everyone to took the time to share their thoughts, advice and tips.

Tip #1: Be there over the …
Read full article

Full costs and income of a major film festival – Raindance Film Festival

Last week’s article on the seismic shift in film festivals seemed to go down well, in part because it shone a light on the hurdles film festivals face when trying to put on their events.  Therefore, to further demystify film festivals, I present below the full costs and income of the Raindance Film Festival.

I’m very grateful to Elliot Grove for entertaining my crazy request and then for giving me unrestricted access to the festival’s books and accounts.  It’s been fascinating to learn how the festival functions, and I hope you find it as interesting as I have.

The Raindance Film Festival in a nutshell

The Raindance organization was founded by Elliot Grove in 1993 to support and train the UK independent film sector, with the festival …

Read full article

The seismic shift in the world of film festivals

Today’s article can be seen as a morality tale for modern times…  it contains everything you would want from a classic yarn – heroes, villains, heroes who become villains, abuse of power and a David and Goliath struggle, all in pursuit of spreading art to the people of the world.  

Today’s piece is a bit longer than my average article but I promise it’s worth it.  

So, if everyone is sitting comfortably, I shall begin…

‘Film festival’ means different things to different people.  Film audiences see it as a chance to view new and exciting work from all over the world, way before it will be on general release and sometimes there are chances to see films that won’t ever be released.  For filmmakers, festivals are a way of showing …

Read full article