Sarajevo Film Festival and Creative Europe/MEDIA tackle industry challenges

Who is watching our films - now, and in the future? How can European film makers create new global co-production partnerships? These are issues in focus at "Reaching new audiences for European films", the Regional Forum & Creative Europe MEDIA Conference taking place in Sarajevo on August 20-22 at the Hotel Europe Conference Hall.

The Regional Forum is Sarajevo Film Festival's annual conference on current issues for the film industry in Southeast Europe, bringing together over 100 key professionals from 15 countries, from both the private and public sectors. 

For its 6th edition, the Forum will be arranged in collaboration with Creative Europe and its MEDIA strand, and it will be presenting three days of debate on the future in audience development, film education and co-production. 

Key points for discussion are the new international aspect of the CE MEDIA strand and further internationalization of the European Convention on Coproduction, the new European Commission study Reaching the Audience; the largest of its kind ever made, revealing unique information about audience behaviour across Europe and a French report calling for a pan European film literacy development action. 

A number of international experts from exhibition, research, distribution, production and film agencies such as BFI, European Commission and IMCINE will be sharing their insights.


August 20, 16:00 -18:00

Introduction by Miroljub Vuckovic, Film Center Serbia 

International coproduction – spreading the European coproduction model overseas

This panel comes as Eurimages, the Council of Europe’s co-production fund, looks to expand outside Europe and potentially to grant associate membership status to non-Europeans. Its aim is to make it easier for countries to co produce through a reformed convention without having to go to the lengths of striking a bilateral treaty. The Regional Forum will explore how European filmmakers can forge international relationships and open up new markets to build on existing co-production partnerships.

Speakers include: Mariana Cerrilla Noriega, IMCINE; Isabel Davis, BFI; Cedomir Kolar, ASAP Films; Sanja Ravlic, Croatian Audiovisual Center; Katriel Schory, Israel Film Fund, Jovan Marjanovic, Sarajevo Film Festival. 

Moderated by: Marten Rabarts, NFDC

August 21, 11:00 -13:00

Introduction: Audience development in the creative Europe programme and in EU audiovisual policies - Dag Asbjornsen, European Commission

Reaching the audience

Welcome to the world of ‘digital natives’ and ‘hyper-connected movie addicts’. The panel on day 1 of the Regional Forum’s MEDIA conference brings together European experts to explore the different ways films reach spectators throughout Europe. The starting point is a far-reaching Film Audience Survey, which has been carried out across Europe by Headway International with Attentional and Harris Interactive on behalf of the European Commission.

Speakers include: Arnaud Dupont, Headway International; Karin Haager, Flimmit; Dragan Zachariev, EuroVod; Madeleine Probst, Europa cinemas, Watershed; Ena Dozo, Sarajevo Film Festival; Jasmin Durakovic, DEPO Zona. 

Moderated by: Simon Perry, ACE

August 22, 11:00 -13:00

Film literacy – a strategy for audience development

The third panel of the Regional Forum’s MEDIA Conference on ‘Reaching New Audiences for European Films’ is poised to be a lively debate about how to develop the audience of tomorrow through a European-wide film literacy programme. It comes as the Bosnian film industry is lobbying for film to be included in the country’s high-school curriculum. The panel is inspired by the report ‘For A Film Education Policy’, written by Xavier Lardoux, deputy executive director of Unifrance,

Speakers include: Xavier Lardoux, Unifrance; Matteo Zacchetti, European Commission; Ian Wall, The Film Space; Madeleine Probst, Europa cinemas, Watershed; Asja Makarevic, Talents Sarajevo, Sarajevo Film Festival. 

Moderated by: Nik Powell, NFTS

Screen International, a long-term partner of the Forum, is publishing a special report and statistics supplement in connection with the conference, which can be downloaded here.

Jovan Marjanovic, Head of Industry, Sarajevo Film Festival: 

-  "We're delighted to be partnering with Creative Europe and MEDIA on arranging this conference - our experience from the past 5 editions show that while its focus is our region, the issues and challenges discussed are relevant and shared in the much wider international film industry. We hope to contribute to this pan-European debate and look forward to three days of intensive exchange of knowledge." 

The Forum takes place in Conference Hall of Hotel Europe, Sarajevo. For more information and attending, please contact Ena Dozo, Industry Manager, 


MEDIA Conferences are a project of the Creative Europe Media programme. The Regional Forum is arranged with the support from British Council, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Sarajevo Film Festival's industry section is the major hub for regional film professionals and has the past 10 years played a crucial role in the development of regional co-production. It has also become a key destination for professionals from across Europe who search for talent and co-production possibilities, or simply wish to get in-depth knowledge on the development of this dynamic region.?

With CineLink, Regional Forum, Industry Terrace, Docu Rough Cut Boutique, Talents Sarajevo, Sarajevo City of Film and Minimarket, Sarajevo Film Festival's industry offer includes activities for people from all spheres of the business, and for filmmakers in all stages of their career.

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