Industry professionals gathered in Cologne for the 3rd Franco-German Film Meetings, held November 18-20, 2005.
After two editions of the event held at the Institut Lumière in Lyon, France, the annual Franco-German Film Meetings were hosted for the first time by Germany this year. Over 300 participants were involved in these professional meetings, which kicked off on Friday, November 18, at Cologne's KOMED conference center. This event incidentally shows increased participation compared to last year (around 250 attendees) and its first year (close to 120 attendees).
The event was officially opened by Véronique Cayla, Managing Director of the CNC (France's Centre National de la Cinématographie) along with Peter Dinges, her German counterpart at the FFA (the German federal film funding agency), Michael Schmid-Ospach, Director of the Filmstiftung NRW, and Margaret Menegoz, President of the "Les Rendez-vous franco-allemands" association (the Franco-German Meetings Association). The first day was devoted to co-productions (and included case studies, discussions, and a pitching session, with 15 film projects pre-selected). Day 2 was dedicated to film financing policies of television channels, and issues related to film exhibition and distribution. Representatives from regional film commissions also presented information about funding programs (noting that the Ile-de-France Film Commission and Rhône-Alpes Cinéma were official partners of this event for the first time this year).
On the French side, 115 participants attended the event, including numerous producers (such as Agat Films & Cie, Alicéleo, Cargo Films, Delante Films, Elzévir Films, Epithète Films, Film Oblige, Nord-Ouest Production, Pan Européenne Production, Rezo Films, UGC Images, and UGC YM); distributors (such as Les Films du Losange, Pyramide Distribution, TFM Distribution, and UGC Distribution); sales agents (such as Films Distribution, Magrytte Films International, Onoma, Roissy Films, The Coproduction Office, TF1 International, and Wide Management); as well as representatives from television channels (France 2, Canal +, and Arte).
Attendance levels were high on the German side, with this event serving as an industry meeting point. The following production companies were present: Bavaria Film International, Constantin Film, Gemini Filmproduktions Cologne, Heimatfilm, Lichtblick Film, Fernsehproduktion, Pandora Film, Wüste Filmproduktion, X Filme Creative Pool GmbH, and Zero Film; as were the distributors 3 L Filmverleih, Arsenal, Constantin, Delphi Filmverleih, Kool Filmdistribution, Neue Visionen Filmverleih, and Prokino. Representatives from the Arte, RTL 2, WDR, and ZDF television channels also attended the event, along with a number of regional funding bodies.
As a sidebar event to these professional meetings, a festival of French films entitled "Bonn(e) Séance" (translated as "Happy Screening!") was held in the cities of Bonn and Cologne, featuring premiere screenings, two retrospectives – dedicated to Nathalie Baye and Robert Guédiguian – and a symposium on the teaching of film studies.
The partners of the Franco-German Film Meetings include: the CNC, the FFA, the Filmstiftung NRW, Arte, German Films, Unifrance, WDR, The City of Cologne, The Ile-de-France Film Commission, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FFF Bayern, MFG Baden Württemberg, FFHH Hamburg, MMCI Studio, Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, the French Embassy in Germany, and Antenne Media Düsseldorf and Strasbourg.