Moderated by film journalist Wendy Mitchell, FROM SURVIVAL TO REVIVAL focused on the current situation in the European film world and what that means for its future.
Polish director Agnieszka Holland talked about the fate of her latest film CHARLATAN which premiered at the Berlinale and how its release has been on hold in many countries due to COVID-19. Working from home during lockdown, editing but also finding new ways, Mark Cousins, director of WOMEN MAKE FILM, said that being confined to his home, he also connected with cinephiles all over the world which felt quite unifying
Danish director Thomas Vinterberg admitted that it was an unusual experience to put out a new film (ANOTHER ROUND) in the times of confinement. But somehow, he said, people were storming into the cinemas, and the film broke all of his (national) records. He said it was important that festivals still somehow happened and to remind people of cinemas.
Kirsten Niehuus, CEO Film Funding at Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, recalled how toilet paper, pasta and flour disappeared very quickly from Germany’s supermarkets in the beginning of the pandemic. Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, she stated, got together with the other funds in Germany to unite their measures and help those productions that were halted. Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg also supported cinemas in the region for their programming.
Talking about public funding, Agnieszka Holland said she hopes that it will survive because without it "European arthouse cinema is dead." Under the current circu,stances, Mark Cousins pointed out, the case for public funding is stronger than ever before.
Thomas Vinterberg admitted that he would have never been able to make the films he made without public funding. The „real pandemic“, he said, in the industry started with the arrival of the streaming platforms.
The group then discussed a variety of issues, including streaming services and their effect on the industry, the role of television and the appeal of independent European cinema, particularly for a younger audience.