European film distributors shouldn’t sit paralysed like a frightened rabbit before a snake, when it comes to videoon-demand, viral marketing and social networks”, claims European Film Promotion (EFP) project director Jo Muhlberger.
“It’s time to act”.“European Distributors: Up Next!” a EFP/Industry Club initiative, in conjunction with Europa Distribution, will be dedicating a session, Tuesday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Kursaal, on how new technologies are revolutionising film promotion.The 10 distributors invited from will share experiences in this fast-evolving field, with special emphasis on bridge-building with younger viewers.
Oli Harbottle of U.K.’s Dogwoof, that has built a niche in social issue films, will talk about the “Ambassador’s Programme”a DIY distribution scheme, backed by the U.K. Film Council, allowing individuals to organise exclusive community screenings for films in traditional and non-traditional venues.
Dogwoof dedicates 80% ad spend to online marketing and social networking, and teams with corporations, charities and special interest groups to promote films, such as recent released fishing industry pic, “The End of the Line”, backed by U.K. retail chain Waitrose.
Line Daubgjerg Christensen of Denmark’s Ost for Paradis, will talk about her company’s online “ambassadors” - members of the public who help promote films in exchange for free tickets.
The key challenge is to transform viewers into project champions, especially younger spectators, where Christensen recognises that mainstream films are “winning”.
Katrina Mathsson of Sweden’s Folkets Bio, sees a major opportunity in the rollout of digital screens that has enabled her to open arthouse films, including feature documentaries, on 6-10 screens instead of the traditional 2-3 screens.
Although most of the guest distributors consider they are only taking “baby steps” towards VOD, Michael Stejskal of Austria’s Filmladen will talk about its inhouse VOD portal and Martin Milinkovic of Croatia’s Continental Film will explain how the local VOD service, Max TV has significantly widened the arthouse market.
“There’s now a huge potential for tapping into international audiences”, sums up EFPproject director Muhlberger.“Young people now have a web of international friends that are just one click away - Euro-pean films have to find new ways to reach these expanding networks.”