This past 19th and 20th of July, FEST — New Directors | New Films Festival held the first part of its online conferences cycle: FUTURE, dedicated to the immediate future of the film industry.
The conference gathered 20+ industry specialists and professionals, among its speakers and moderators, as well as hundreds of participants interested in learning about new technologies, the challenges posed by the pandemic, and how the rise of streamers is upending the whole workflow of the industry.
Tobias Queisser (Cinelytic) and Sami Arpa (Largo) were the first professionals to share their knowledge and expertise, in a panel dedicated to Artificial Intelligence and its applications on film. The panel was rife with questions and curiosity, from A.I.'s marketing and sales possibilities, to its analysis and betterment of scripts, all the way to its increasing importance on the how/when/where films and TV series are made (both in streamers, such as Netflix and Amazon, and in independent productions); but there were also those with doubts and uncertainty about how A.I. can negatively impact cinema and the creative vision of the next generation of filmmakers.
You can find a recording of the first panel here.
Virtual Production, the technology behind cutting-edge TV Series such as Star Wars' The Mandalorian, was the second topic covered on the conference, led by industry leaders Johannes Wilke (Glassbox Technologies), Alex Stolz (Future of Film), and Epic Games own Jamie Mossahebi, who gave an overview of Unreal Engine and its use on film productions, from animation to live action. Interest on its applications was high, with special focus from the participants on the repercussions Virtual Production technology will have on budgeting, the shift from post-production to pre-production, and the new jobs being created, streamlined, and turned obsolete.
The last panel covered Blockchain's slow but steady rise to the top of the film industry toolbox, and was joined by Irina Albita (Filmchain), Sam Klebanov (Cinezen), and Florian Glatz (German Blockchain Association).
Albita was the first to present her thoughts on the technology, stressing the need to modernize payments for film and TV professionals, and how "20% to 50% of revenues never reach the correct rights holders". Glatz followed the Filmchain's co-founder presentation, on how Blockchain can create a more transparent environment in the film industry, in regards to knowing how much a given professional should be paid by their work, and stressed how Blockchain can democratize access to cultural content. Klebanov shared his insight and experience with blockchain, and the hurdles still to overcome in order to legitimize and make it more accessible to filmmakers.
From the 22nd to the 23rd of July, FEST will hold the PRESENT conferences, where we'll cover topics such as the collapse of the distribution windows, the New Creative Europe Programme 2021 - 2027, and the new challenges faced by screenwriting and editing professionals. It will be joined by industry professionals Gareth Wiley, Jon Croker, Melody London, Susana Costa Pereira, Tim Corrie, Valerio Bonelli, and more.
Register now, attendance is free!