The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF, September 6 – 16) is one of the most important gateways for European films to the North American market. Since 2004, EFP (European Film Promotion) has been granting FILM SALES SUPPORT (FSS) for special promotion and marketing campaigns to European world sales companies to increase the visibility and chances for sales at this mayor festival. With a ratio of more than 60 per cent in terms of sales to countries outside of Europe, the initiative, which is financially backed by the Creative Europe – Media Programme of the European Union, has more than proven its merits for the European film industry.
Despite severe budget cuts for 2018 and 2019 and in a joint effort with the industry, FSS managed to back 27 European world sales companies by reserving €83,000 to promote 27 films from 17 different European countries at TIFF's industry centre at the Hyatt.
16 films in the FSS line-up will celebrate their world premiere at TIFF, amongst them the Gala Presentation of the dark sci-fi drama HIGH LIFE by legendary French filmmaker Claire Denis starring Juliette Binoche, Robert Pattison and Lars Eidinger and the Special Presentation of the small-town drama TELL IT TO THE BEES by British director Annabel Jankel, featuring Oscar-winner Anna Paquin and Holliday Granger. For the first time in ten years, a film from Slovenia, the feature film debut CONSEQUENCES by Darko Stante has its world premiere in TIFF's Discovery Section. FSS was also granted to four documentaries screening in TIFF Docs, including the world premiere of FREEDOM FIELDS by British director Naziha Arebi which takes an intimate look at post-revolution Libya through the eyes of an all-women soccer team.
Thanks to SWISS FILMS, two films from Switzerland will receive FSS: MIDNIGHT RUNNER by Hannes Baumgartner featuring European Shooting Stars Luna Wedler and Max Hubacher and the world premiere of THE INNOCENT, a haunting drama by Simon Jaquemet in the Platform section of the festival.
As a master working tool for producers and film makers, the FSS team has updated its guide for 2018/2019 to the most important European world sales companies which are associated with EFP. 94 companies dedicated to selling European cinema worldwide are being presented, outlining their profiles and listing important contacts.
This year's EUROPE! Umbrella hosts 14 EFP member organisations and is supported by Eurimages, whose representatives are part of the joint platform. The Umbrella is located at the TIFF Industry Centre and includes, for the first time, three European world sales companies: Autlook Filmsales, Fortissimo Films, New Europe Film Sales. All in all, 25 European countries are present at the TIFF Industry Centre, including 11 EFP members which operate individual stands. They jointly support 166 European films and co-productions presented in the various sections of the festival.
The FSS funding for national films was confirmed by the respective EFP member organisations: British Council, Danish Film Institute, Film Center Serbia, Finnish Film Foundation, German Films, Greek Film Center, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales / ICAA (Spain), Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual I.P. / ICA (Portugal), Istituto Luce Cinecittà (Italy), Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann, Lithuanian Film Centre, National Film Center of Latvia, Romanian Film Promotion, Slovenian Film Center, Swiss Films, Unifrance and Wallonie Bruxelles Images.
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