CPH Web Fest 2020: Report
As a part of UCPH Innovation Hubs CPH WEB FEST 2020 became an innovative success. The international film festival succeeded in showcasing and connecting new talent in the web series and the media world.
Digital film festival becomes a success - again
The third edition of the CPH Web Fest took place from November 2-8, 2020. Having observed the wave of festivals moving their events online during the year, we also decided early on to host a digital CPH Web Fest this year. Despite a need to re-think and re-structure our festival week it turned out to propel the relevance and reach of our festival beyond expectation.
This year has urgently shown the film industry that there is a shift to digital platforms as well as that there is an immense need for a diverse, innovative talent to create content for new formats. Both are gathered at the CPH Web Fest, which consolidates our place in the Nordic film landscape.
Digital format clears the way for international filmmakers and former university alumni
Compared to the years before, we extended the festival period to a whole week: from Monday, November 2 to Sunday, November 8. Overall, we had an attendance of 300 people throughout the festival week, which exceeded our expectations. What was great about this digital version of the festival was also that we could include many more international filmmakers, who couldn’t otherwise travel to Copenhagen, and also include university alumni who had moved away.
We started off on Monday, November 2 with a masterclass on Film Criticism, Diversity and Representational Justice with Nanna Frank Rasmussen, a journalist at Politiken, and Tess S. Skadegård Thorsen, Ph.D. researcher. During this event, both students, filmmakers, and industry practitioners received state-of-the-art input and got the chance to ask questions to Tess and Nanna.
On Tuesday night, we gathered for an industry talk based on the prestigious Nostradamus Report written by Swedish media analyst Johanna Koljonen. The report presents a 3-5 year outlook on the global media landscape. After Johanna’s presentation, we invited Head of the Danish Film Institute Claus Ladegaard, producer Meta Foldager, scriptwriter Clara Mendes, and CEO of Vision Denmark Jan Neiiendam for a panel discussion. The session was moderated by Wendy Mitchell, contributing editor at Screen International.
Wednesday was our practical workshop day with two sessions on ‘How To Promote Your Film or Web series’ with Rosa Camero from Rossscammm Film Marketing and ‘Knowhow: Funding, Applications, Building your Network’ with Ene Katrine Rasmussen from Creative Media Europe. Those were well attended by international and Denmark-based filmmakers as well as students.
On Thursday, we hosted a conversation specifically targeted for filmmaking in a global crisis and innovative talent. ‘Filmmaking in Crisis, Innovation and Web series’ was hosted by Swedish producer Helene Granqvist and brought together four filmmakers from Israel, Canada, US/Denmark, and Austria.
Two film projects chosen for development with Sweet Chili Entertainment
Friday and Saturday were dedicated to our Pitch Training and Pitch Day. After last year’s success, we decided to run it again this year and, after recurring lockdowns, moved it online. We invited 8 pitch presenters who received a two-part training with coach Helene Granqvist (one on Tuesday, one on Friday), and met a jury on Saturday to present their projects, receive feedback, make connections and build their network. The jury were producers from Sweet Chili Entertainment, Aarhus Seriefestival, this.nordic, Creative Media Europe, Nordic Factory Sweden, and Denmark.
Two of the projects were taken on to be developed with Sweet Chili Entertainment and more connections made, which we were truly proud of.
On Friday, we also hosted two in-person screenings at Huset Biograf in CPH for our local audiences and filmmakers.
On our last day, Sunday, November 8, we hosted our digital award ceremony where we welcomed our selected filmmakers and jury members. Awards like our KU student award, International and Danish web series, and many more were given out.
Despite an online ceremony, we were delighted about the dedication, passion, and love with which the filmmakers realize their projects and even though we awarded one project in each category, it became clear that every single person in the room was a winner that night: for being brave and genuine storytellers that we dearly need to celebrate more.
All in all, it has been a year full of learning about the possibilities of the digital world and about recognizing what’s needed in the film industry to move us through times of crisis. For us, that will always be kindness, support, and generosity in finding new talent, nourishing it, and preparing it for the industry.
Are you interested in knowing more?
Watch the following recordings of three of the masterclasses: