Press Releases  ·  11 | 07 | 2023

European Film Festivals introduce Launchpad to support emerging film professionals

The Locarno Film Festival, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, IFFR and Karlovy Vary International Film Festival have joined forces in a new initiative: Launchpad. Launchpad aims at facilitating the integration of selected emerging film professionals working in international sales, marketing, traditional and online distribution, exhibition and programming, funds and commissions by giving them facilitated access to a network of film festivals in the yearly calendar.

© Locarno Film Festival

Through Launchpad, the partners offer the participants the chance to discover important industry events either online or on-site, be part of key industry activities and further expand their international network.

Each festival, industry platform, or market in the Launchpad network will be selecting a maximum of 10 emerging film professionals through a public call for applications. All the selected participants will be granted automatic access to all partner events for 12 months following their selection. They will receive a free industry accreditation (either on-site or online) – and those able to attend the events physically will be offered a tailor-made program and admission to all networking events. Each partner will also host an online introduction meeting and a yearly global online get-together with the whole Launchpad community. 

The joint statement of Markus Duffner (Head of Locarno Pro, Locarno Film Festival), Angeliki Vergou (Head of Agora, Thessaloniki International Film Festival), Marge Liiske (Head of Industry@Tallinn, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival), Inke Van Loocke (Head of IFFR Pro, International Film Festival Rotterdam) and Hugo Rosak (Head of Film Industry Office, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival) reads:

“Film professionals in the first few years of their careers are tomorrow’s key industry players and at the same time one of the most fragile segments of our business. In our still very closed-off industry environment, they are those struggling the most to find their place or to get a proper introduction to the film business, fair treatment and healthy opportunities to grow as professionals. With Launchpad, we want to change that. We believe that the Launchpad network is a first step towards a more inclusive and accessible film industry. This will be possible in a more open and cohesive landscape, where festival and film industry events are able to collaborate and join forces for common goals.”

The first Launchpad alumni have already been selected through the Locarno Industry Academy initiative. Further calls will be launched by each event in the upcoming weeks.