Reality Check 2023: Festivals Forward
30 January 2023
The Reality Check symposium at International Film Festival Rotterdam was brought to a close on Sunday 29 January following an intensive structured day of debate and analysis into the future of film festivals. A group of over 65 festival and industry professionals from around the world joined forces in person for a think-tank. The day-long event took place in the spirit of an open exchange of views about the current state of film festivals without press or social media. The symposium concluded with an impetus for continued collaboration and organisation.
Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “The festival industry as we know it has come to be defined by a spirit of competition rather than collaboration – competition for premieres, for talent, for new innovations. Our experience in Rotterdam over the last three years with all the challenges it has posed proves that this approach needs to be assessed. It felt vitally important to gather some of the most experienced and knowledgeable players in the sector for Reality Check and to initiate the collaboration and cooperation that festivals need if they are to continue to grow, evolve and ensure their relevance for years to come.”
Reality Check 2023
Reality Check was launched at IFFR 2018 as the festival's platform to reflect on and discuss current issues in the film industry, as well as to work efficiently towards practical solutions.
At IFFR 2023 the symposium explored how to unify and organise film festival best practices to consider strategic collaboration, using the results of a survey distributed by the steering committee titled “Quo Vadis Film Festivals.” The survey outcome identified several challenges such as online platforms competition, environmental impact and sustainability, geographic inequalities, as well as a need to assess the changing roles, purposes, and functions of festivals.
The steering committee together with participants is now exploring the creation of a coalition led by film festival and industry professionals that can continue to investigate and expand the conversation and future collaboration on the many pressing issues facing the sector that were discussed during the symposium.
The steering committee that organised the symposium consisted of Esther Bannenberg, Rosa Bosch, Giovanna Fulvi, Mike Goodridge, and Carl Spence with the support of the IFFR.
IFFR Pro 2023
The outcomes of the symposium were shared during the IFFR Pro Central Dialogue on Monday 30 January, the headline discussion of the programme of industry talks at IFFR 2023. On Tuesday 31 January the IFFR Pro awards will be presented during a reception. On Wednesday 1 February the 40th CineMart concludes with a day of work-in-progress screenings in the IFFR Pro Darkroom. This will close the IFFR Pro programme for the edition, following a full programme that provided a vital space for the industry to gather, connect and evolve.