BRIDGE of ARTS BECAME THE FIRST RUSSIAN FILM FESTIVAL TO JOIN EUROPEAN CHILDREN'S FILM ASSOCIATION ( ECFA)

26 August 2017

On August 25 business forum events of III International Motivational Film and Sport Festival BRIDGE of ARTS came to an end.  For two days forum participants were discussing vital issues such as cinema economics, new markets, local film industry development, non-commercial projects promotion, scriptwriting techniques and new ideas inception. Signing of cooperation agreement of BRIDGE of ARTS and European Children's Film Association became the spotlight of the event.

Rostov film forum proved its international status by signing a cooperation agreement with ECFA – the association comprising more than 100 film festivals from 36 countries of the world including world-famous and prestigious ones. Among them are London, Milan and Cannes film festivals. At the round-table «Production Support System. Children’s and Family Films Distribution Techniques. Global and National Experience» BRIDGE of ARTS director Irina Kozlyakova and Marketa Pasmova, ECFA representative in Eastern Europe, art director of International Festival for Children and Youth in Zhin (Czech Republic), signed the agreement. The basic direction of cooperation is seen in promoting Don award-winning films to further participation in world’s film festivals. 

Michael Harbauer, general producer of International Film Festival Schlingel (Germany) believes that «ECFA helps in uniting European festivals and creates platform for communication and foreign film selection». Now Rostov BRIDGE of ARTS is the association's member alongside with renowned Milan, London and Cannes festival.  

«Agreement with ECFA will allow us to productively cooperate with our European colleagues, take part in the biggest world film festivals, offer our forms and kinds of art, promote Russian directors. We will rely on the association's experience and we will try to contribute to family and children's film industry development in Russia», - Irina Kozlyakova added.  

Marchello Zeppi, president of Montecatini International Short Film Festival (Italy) shared his experience of short film distribution in Italy stressing that festival promotion proves to be the most effective. He told about on-line platform creation to support distribution of Montecatini Film Festival winners. He added that the festival has rich experience of cooperation with film clubs.

At strategy session «Faster Than Trend. Alternative Platforms for Film Content Distribution in Russia. Global and National Market New media»  experts discussed competition of traditional and on-line  theaters. According to the data provided by Ekaterina Bordacheva, program director of Russian film market, business forum curator,  on-line theaters market is steadily growing and equals 5 billion roubles at the present moment. On-line content consumers’ number is also going up reaching 40 million people. Though Dmitry Mozhaev, head of AKM distribution company is convinced that: «Theaters are not competing with on-line services because they have different target audience. Ladies usually go to theaters taking their family members along because it is family-uniting pastime activity for them. So film distribution companies rely on females’ genre choice. Male audience prefers on-line films so men set the tone for such content. Horror films enjoying great popularity among theater goers are absolutely unwanted by on-line viewers».

Professionals debated about custom animation, short, environmental and documentary films promotion mechanisms at roundtable «Event Films – A Long Way to the Audience?» and panel discussion «Brand Content: Event Films Creation Tool in Consumption Area». «Different countries have different mentality, audience and tastes. So one and the same film might become an event in one country and box office failure in another. So it is impossible to offer a universally accepted formula of a successful film. But if a director understands what audience he or she is working for the film will be popular», said Simone Baumann, chief expert of national film industry promotion association German Film in Eastern Europe.

 Pichings have been an integral part of business forum for three years. This year selective committee accepted 37 submissions: 20 script projects and 17 producer projects. Professional and emerging authors form Krasnodar, Ufa, Krasnoyarsk, Nalchik, Belgorod, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl, Tyumen, Ekaterinburg, Tula, Kurgan, Bishkek, Kiev, Donetsk, Rostov-on-Don, Moscow and Saint Petersburg were ready to present their ideas. Jury members were satisfied with the projects’ level.

- Pitching is a careful selection work. You have to get at least 500 submissions to pick a worthy one in Moscow. Here we choose one out of ten. This is good result, - Sergey Bagirov, festival vice-president and 2017 pitching juror said.  – Script and producer pitching level in Rostov is increasing. There are guys whose works are interesting for us. Personally I liked three projects: «Poison for Soul» by Sergey Kisin, «Light Up, Christmas Tree» by Elena Morozova and   «It's Petersburdg, Baby!» by Ksenia Vinogradova.

Briefing «Don Film Industry Development Srategy» of Sergey Bagirov and Yulia Shulskaya, «Kit» group of companies press service head, aroused intensified press interest. It was announced that the Cossack stanitsa and German commercial settlement construction work is over, the building of objects imitating a church and Ismail Fortress is under way. This where the film «Ataman’s Way» will be shot. Film sets in Merzhanovo and Taganrog are also functioning.  Starocherkassk has already become a film location and it is planned to be used for «Green Wagon» and a film about Michail Sholokhov shooting. Film Cluster «Don» is promising to recruit young graduates form Russian Southern VGIK affiliated institution, Southern Federal University and Don State Technical University. 

BRIDGE of ARTS business forum was a success due to festival's unique concept. International competition and special program consist mainly of event films that have not yet been distributed in our country and the only way to watch them is at Rostov festival - summarised Ekaterina Bordachyova. - Festival organizers performed unprecedented work of program development. It is composed of screenings, meetings, theatrical shows, children's events, star sets and cinematographic excursions. Such approach to program development and forms of communication between film experts, audience and film lovers creates perfect conditions for synergy of educational-motivational projects and international professional communication platform for leading film industry figures and specialists, producer community. 

According to Ekaterina Bordachyova,  business forum curator, Russian Film Market program the agreement will support festival initiatives in the region and lay foundation for new joint projects.