The Locarno Film Festival, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Rotterdam”s IFFR and the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival have joined forces in a new initiative called Launchpad which aims to nurture budding film professionals.
The basic purpose of Launchpad is to facilitate the formative process of selected emerging film professionals working in international sales, marketing, traditional and online distribution, exhibition and programming, and funds and commissions. The idea is to give them facilitated access to a network of European film festivals spread throughout the yearly calendar.
Through Launchpad, these prominent partner fests “will offer participants the chance to discover important industry events either online or on-site, be part of key industry activities and further expand their international network,” they said in a statement.
Each festival, industry platform, or market within the Launchpad network will be selecting a maximum of 10 emerging film professionals through a public call for applications. All selected participants will be granted automatic access to all partner events for 12 months following their selection. They will receive free industry accreditation (either on-site or online). Also, those able to attend the events physically, on their own dime, will be offered a tailor-made program and admission to all networking events. Each partner will also host an online introduction meeting and a yearly global online get-together with the whole Launchpad community.
Below is a joint statement fropm Markus Duffner (Head of Locarno Pro, Locarno Film Festival): Angeliki Vergou (Head of Agora, Thessaloniki International Film Festival): Marge Liiske (Head of Industry@Tallinn, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival): Inke Van Loocke (Head of IFFR Pro, International Film Festival Rotterdam): and Hugo Rosak (Head of Film Industry Office, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival).
“Film professionals in the first few years of their careers are tomorrow’s key industry players and at the same time one of the most fragile segments of our business. In our still very closed-off industry environment, they are those struggling the most to find their place or to get a proper introduction to the film business, fair treatment and healthy opportunities to grow as professionals. With Launchpad, we want to change that. We believe that the Launchpad network is a first step towards a more inclusive and accessible film industry. This will be possible in a more open and cohesive landscape, where festival and film industry events are able to collaborate and join forces for common goals.”
Launchpad will kick off during the upcoming Locarno Film Festival which runs Aug. 2-12.