Why are film festivals so important? Because that's where we experience films we wouldn't otherwise get to see: challenging, edgy, experimental, provocative works, retrospective looks at the art form and its creators, hybrid forms, crossovers and the tantalising contours of things to come.
"Meetings and conversations are essential ingredients in developing a vibrant and diverse film culture."
Festivals are important because that's where landmark meetings take place, between creators and audiences, and between audience members. It's where professionals meet, in forums for financing, distribution, new storytelling forms and technical innovations. Not to mention all the informal meetings where new partnerships and new friendships are struck.
A seismic shift in film audience patterns is happening these years. We want to see films where and when we want to. Use of VOD services is in explosive growth. But in our enthusiasm at the availability and the volume of digital content across many different platforms, we should not overlook the importance of physical meetings: meetings that happen when we share experiences, are shocked or amused, reflect or discuss – together.
The Danish Film Institute supports both dimensions: Films should be available to everyone on as many platforms as possible, and there should be opportunities to meet, discuss and celebrate them with others.
We support the festivals in Denmark as well as the participation of Danish films and filmmakers at international festivals, because meetings and conversations are essential ingredients in developing a vibrant and diverse film culture.
Since the first festival 25 years ago, around 150 Danish films have been invited to IDFA, and I know that participation has been hugely important to the films' makers. Moreover, I hope that the films have had an influence in the opposite direction.
Nine powerful Danish films are participating in this year's festival. I hope the coming meetings will enrich and move both audiences and filmmakers.
Happy 25th anniversary, IDFA.
Henrik Bo Nielsen, CEO