The future of Festivals after Covid-19

Just watched the one hour online discussion initiated by DocuDays ua, here is the link:

with these people taking part: Ondřej Kamenický – director of International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival One World; Melanie Iredale – deputy Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest; Victoria Leshchenko – programme director of Docudays UA; Iryna Tsilyk – filmmaker, writer; Tine Fischer – a founder and festival director of CPH:DOX. Martin Horyna – programmer of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival; Orwa Nyrabia – moderator, artistic director of IDFA…

It was good, with Nyrabia as the always gentle and competent moderator, see and listen for yourself, many important topics came up like ”do we need big screen shows at festivals, the theatrical aspect, are some films ”obligatory” for the big screen and could many just as well ”stay” online, because of the films in question and for people who are not travelling, festivals – after the online situation due to covid-19 – become hybrid, online/live, how do we advocate for the theatrical…some panelists did and I will join with a quote, according to the discussion quite conservative:

But in the end, after this is all over, people will want to go back to the flesh and blood experience, to see the films on the big screen, that sense of occasion that is the vital curatorial tool for focusing minds on a new film. And people will want to talk about films: talk about them over coffee, over lunch, in the street outside in the cinema. That is the festival experience. Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

And some more quotes picked from before the Docu/Class in Kiev:

“CPH:DOX has been transformed forever. There is no doubt that we will exist both physically and digitally next year. The transformation process has shown that it is possible to go digital, and that this has enormous value, and so the role of festivals will change.” Tine Fischer, CPH: DOX

“At the same time, a great deal of our content at CPH:DOX is obviously hugely relevant online, because it is not intended to be contemplative art but to make contributions to debates. From a democratic aspect, the digital is ripe with potential. Everybody can access it, and it serves as a forum for the future because it archives and amplifies the potential for debate. Tine Fischer, CPH: DOX

Quote from Orwa Nyrabia (Artistic Director): 

The exceptional surge of interest in watching documentary film online that we’ve experienced in the past few weeks said a lot about audiences’ interest. This will never replace the social experience of going to the cinema, of being together, when that becomes possible again, but it will offer films a better chance at a second life after their initial cycle in the market. The interests of the filmmakers and those of the audience are more aligned now than ever, and this will not be limited to this time of crisis. Orwa Nyrabia, IDFA

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3863