Training Day: How does a film office establishes itself in the marketplace?

The training day organized by the Hellenic Film Commission in collaboration with EUFCN provided training and networking to the film officers and the executives of the regional Film Offices operating in Greece.

“How does a film office establishes itself in the marketplace?”. Invaluable answers were given during this Training Day, organised by the Hellenic Film Commission of the Greek Film Centre in collaboration with the European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN) at the 62nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival (09.11.2021).With the support of Athens Film Office. The aim of the training day was to provide training and networking to the film officers and the executives of the regional Film Offices operating in Greece.

The event was a success story with over thirty (30) people attending from the Film Offices of the Region of Central Macedonia, Region of West Macedonia, Region of East Macedonia and Thrace, Region of Epirus, Region of Ionian Islands, Region of Crete, as well as film producers, line producers, location managers, film experts, keeping notes on what EUFCN Board members had to say. “We all have something to learn and something to teach”, remarked Mikael Svensson EUFCN Co-President, Head of Southern Sweden Film Commission, along with praising the organization of the event, the Greek hospitality and, of course, the Greek food.
«Initiatives by institutions like this one are very important for the filmmakers in Greece», stated Markos Holevas, president of the Board of Directors of the Greek Film Centre, while Athina Kartalou – Antoukou, the General Director of the Greek Film Centre noted «It is really important to see people from all around Greece wanting to become better”.

«For us [Film Commission Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein – Germany] the three following pillars are very crucial: creating film friendly communities, building strategic networking and problem solving”, emphasized Alexandra Luetkens, EUFCN Treasurer, in her presentation on “First steps for a newly established film office – creating film friendly communities”. Alexandra has been a film commissioner for almost 22 years now, developing the film commission’s services and building up Hamburg’s reputation as a filmfriendly city. From the beginning the Hamburg Film Commission held a vital role in the structure of the German Film Commissions network.

“For us [Catalunya Film Commission – Spain] collaboration is key. Also, the website is everything; all the information has to be there, and everything is well connected. We systematically collect information on the productions shooting in a network of over 230 film friendly towns and villages across Catalonia. Then, we organize this information into these complex excel sheets because we believe that we are keeping historical data for future generations”, emphasized Carlota Guerrero, EUFCN Board Member, in her presentation on “Keeping up with the daily workflow – how to collect the right data”. Carlota is the manager of the Catalunya Film Commission since 2007. She coordinates a network of over 230 towns and villages across Catalonia, which altogether host around 4,000 productions every year.

“For us [Oslo Film Commission – Norway] it’s all about film world meeting local expertise; collect information as much as possible, keep a contact with the people involved, make sure that you can give as much as you have in your region, don’t promise anything if you can’t deliver it”, emphasized Adrian A. Mitchell, EUFCN Board Member, in his presentation on “How to attract and deal with foreign and Hollywood productions in your region (the case of the Nordic countries)”. Adrian is Head of Oslo Film Commission and has a long track record in the film industry, ranging from production manager, location scout and manager, distribution and as producer.

“For us [Southern Sweden Film Commission – Sweden], and for you, what is important is whatever you do invite your politicians. Take all opportunities to make them understand the value of your work. Invest time, money and effort in training your local crews. And ask for help. Always ask for help”, emphasized Mikael Svensson, EUFCN Co-President, in the same presentation. Mikael has been running Southern Sweden Film Commission since 2007 and he is co-founder of Nordic Film Commissions.

“As the EUFCN Communication and Social Media Manager I can assure you that promotion is a key element for a film commission and a film office. It is important to define the purpose of your association, your audience, your target. Your website is very important. Creativity is key. Get inspired but do not imitate”, emphasized Sara Inés Hernandez in her presentation on “Good practices for promoting national film commissions and regional film offices – EUFCN Location Award Competition”. Sara promotes and supports the work of more than 90 European film commission members. She manages the EUFCN Location Award, the annual prize for best European filming location.

The panel was moderated by Venia Vergou, EUFCN Board Member, Director of Hellenic Film Commission – Greece.

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 95 European film commissions and film institutions from 31 different countries.