CONTeXT Announces Full Industry Conference Programme

Key industry players and observers such as Karin Beyens, Daniela Elstner, Mike Goodridge, Muriel Joly, Kobe Van Steenberghe and Walter Iuzzolino will take part in panel discussions with ‘Make Cinema Great Again!’ and ‘I Have a Stream’ as subjects. This is part of this year’s CONNeXT’s industry conference programme on 8-9 October. Completing the programme, as previously announced, are keynotes given by Curzon CEO Philip Knatchbull, REinvent Studios CEO Rikke Ennis and NRK Executive Producer Marianne Furevold Boland. Moderator is writer and festival consultant Wendy Mitchell.

In ‘Make Cinema Great Again!’, panelists will look at how cinema can best engage audiences in these competitive times of streamers and other disruptors? How can we make films feel like must-see events that will make people leave behind their comfortable sofas and their phones to make a trip to the cinema? If audiences are abandoning cinemagoing, how can we lure them back in with exciting content and new ways of marketing? How can the film world learn about how its audiences are changing, and what it takes to inspire them?

As well as Philip Knatchbull the panel consists of Karin Beyens of Diaphana Distribution (France), Daniela Elstner (Doc & Film, and soon to start as Managing Director of Unifrance), Mike Goodridge of the Macao International Film Festival and Awards (who is also a producer and a former trade journalist), and producer Kobe Van Steenberghe (a team productions, Belgium).

In ‘I Have a Stream’, panelists analyse recent evolutions in the streaming landscape. Once touted as the saviours of the independent film market, the giant streamers Netflix and Amazon are now retreating from acquisitions to focus more on producing and commissioning original content. But for filmmakers, there are more options than these two behemoths; this panel will look at what other options independent films can use to reach worldwide audiences. There are hundreds of niche or specialised platforms to explore. And if filmmakers can reach audiences directly, how will the role of sales companies and aggregators change in the future? If your film is not on Netflix or Amazon, you can still gain visibility and find your online audience. The experts reveal their strategies for connecting great content to the right audience online, explore the future of the streaming market.

In addition to Rikke Ennis, who is also involved in the NutAlone streaming initiative, the panel consists of Marike Muselaers of Lumière Publishing, Muriel Joly of aggregator Under The Milky Way and Walter Iuzzolino of Walter Presents/Global Series Network.
CONTeXT moderator is Wendy Mitchell, a contributing editor for Screen International as well as a film festival consultant.

More information about this year’s three keynotes can be found here.

CONNeXT and CONTeXT are initiatives of Flanders Image, a division of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), in association with Screen Flanders, and in collaboration with Sabam for Culture, Creative Europe Mediadesk Vlaanderen, Screen Brussels, Lites, Flow, Omnia Travel, Pillows and Film Fest Gent. Media partners are C21 Media, Le Film Français and Screen International.