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Berlinale Bloggers 2020
Indo-German networking behind the scenes

Martin-Gropius-Bau: A view into the atrium of the European Film Market´s home
Berlinale: European Film Market | Photo (detail): Peter Himsel © Berlinale 2017

What is actually the situation of European film in India? Anjana Singh finds out more at the European Film Market (EFM), one of the important marketplaces for promoting films.

By Anjana Singh

The Berlinale, one of the world’s biggest film festivals, is an event not only for the cineastes, but also for the general public. In addition to the stars and glamour, many creative people, filmmakers, distributors and investors meet ‘behind the scenes’ at various events accompanying the festival, such as in the historic Martin-Gropius-Bau. Katharina Suckale has been coming to the Berlinale for ten years to take part in the European Film Market (EFM), one of the important marketplaces for promoting films and networking with potential investors and distributors. The Berlin native, who also lives in Mumbai, founded Bombay Berlin Film Productions based in Berlin/Mumbai, with the actor and creative mind – Arfi Lamba, part of the cast of Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. This year, she hopes to market the award-winning production Radius by Akshay Indikar.

Like at a bazaar

The EFM is an important meeting place for insiders and represents everything that filmmakers dream of: a place for communication, and networking with important international film partners. In fact, the goings-on at the Gropius-Bau are like at a bazaar. Everywhere there are busy conversations, loud background noise, and hustle and bustle. “Marketing European films in India is a big problem. No significant European film have released there in the last ten years,” says Katharina Suckale. There is a lack of investors to bring European films onto the Indian market, because the producers and the cinemas promote the films there, rather than the distributors. While the Indian films have already been established in Europe, it’s the opposite case for the European productions in India. With more cultural exchange, this could be different.

The Oscar-nominated and internationally respected set decorator Bernhard Henrich (who also worked on the Steven Spielberg production Bridge of Spies) wants to draw international attention to the Saarland, his homeland, at the SaarLorLux Film Meeting (organised by Wolfgang Reed as part of the Berlinale since 2016). “I think the Berlinale is great because apart from the film events, the biggest sales fair is held here with more sales than at other festivals...,” he reveals. This is where artists and social and economic policy stakeholders from all over the world meet.