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European Film Market reports a successful online edition

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Filmmakers announce new film online report
A total of 504 exhibitors were represented at 264 virtual booths from 60 countries

The online edition of the Berlinale’s European Film Market (EFM) came to a successful close. On five market days, up to 12,000 market participants from 131 countries took part daily in numerous activities at the EFM, one of the most important trade platforms for audiovisual content worldwide. The majority of participants was from Europe, followed by the USA, Canada, Russia, Japan, Brazil, China and South Korea.

“We’re pleased that the online version of the European Film Market was so well-received by the industry, and that the EFM concept for this special year was a success”, comments EFM director Dennis Ruh. “The strong interest in the online platform, the bustling activity of sales businesses, the high demand for the Online Market Screenings, and the extensive use of the conference programme and active networking formats show that the industry actively immersed itself in the market during the EFM week. It’s especially encouraging to see the number of completed films and films currently in production that were registered as sold during the market, and that we got such positive feedback on the quality of the films offered by international sales agents.”

A total of 504 exhibitors (2020: 564) were represented at 264 virtual booths from 60 countries. 215 of those businesses were first-time exhibitors at the EFM.

A total of 821 films (2020: 732) were shown in 1,452 Online Market Screenings, including 578 market premieres (2020: 525).

“EFM Industry Sessions”

The comprehensive “EFM Industry Sessions” conference programme – with around 90 talks, seminars, round tables, pitches, podcasts, presentations, keynotes, workshops, think tanks, masterclasses and showcases – was followed live by thousands of market visitors, and reached 130,000 views. Most of the “EFM Industry Sessions” are still available to Online Market Badge holders for viewing on demand until April 15.

The “EFM Industry Sessions” opening event kicked off the framework for this year’s conference programme, whose three main content focuses were “Digitising the Business”, “Social Sustainability” and “Diversity & Inclusion”. Over 80 international representatives from various areas of the industry participated in the three think tanks, where these themes were looked at in depth during the week of events.

The main results of this very active exchange were presented and discussed at the closing event on March 5, in order to share the important ideas with the whole industry, and are now available at www.efm-berlinale.de.

“EFM Goes Global”

The programme of global market screenings, “EFM Goes Global”, celebrated premieres in Tokyo, Melbourne, São Paulo and Mexico City. 19 films from the official Berlinale selection – including nine films from the Competition section, the heart of the festival – were shown in these four key film distribution territories. The screenings were only accessible to film distributors from the regions. Approximately 180 distributors in total took advantage of the opportunity.

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London exhibition portraying unfairly censored communities is open until Friday

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Visitors at the Unseen exhibition in London
Female body and race are amongst the content being censored on social media platforms

An exhibition in the United Kingdom is showcasing images of 13 communities censored and silenced on social media platforms.

Unseen’, part of an online community project aiming to open the discussion around digital censorship, is now a public exhibition featuring posts and several stories submitted by people and small businesses who experienced their content and social media accounts being removed or shadow banned. Created by British photographer Rankin, the initiative is on display at Quantus Gallery in Shoreditch, East London.

“Censorship is a necessary tool to prevent fake news, protect children, and more. But it is often used inadvertently to silence marginalised voices,” says creative founder, Rankin. “We have had an incredible response so far, and we’re just getting started. This is an important issue, and those affected deserve to have a voice in the policies that affect them on the platforms they love and build their businesses on.” – defends the photographer known for his portraits of a variety of celebrities, from Kate Moss, Madonna and David Bowie to Queen Elizabeth II and Britney Spears.

Brands, content creators, and body-positive activists and artists have been clashing with social media networks over overly restrictive publishing guidelines for a while, with platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok regularly banning content posted worldwide.

“It is a continuous, frustrating game of whack-a-mole with platforms, so much so that I have ended up blending my Ph.D. in the moderation of online abuse with my experiences of censorship,” – Says Dr. Carolina Are, a visiting lecturer at the City University of London whom recent work focused on finding frameworks to effectively moderate social media without affecting freedom of expression, and on platforms’ moderation and censorship of nudity and sexuality.

The exhibition ‘Unseen’ will run until June 24th at Quantus Gallery 11-29 Fashion Street, London, E1 6PX.

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One in five UK adults has started a ‘side hustle’ since March 2020

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freelancer woman working from homw
38% of people surveyed used the money they earnt from a side hustle to pay for rent, clothes and even food | Photo: Jonathan Borba

One in five (19%) adults in the UK have started a ‘side hustle’ since March 2020 and, almost one in six (16%) claim to earn upwards of £1,000 a month from their new venture, according to new research from insurance provider, Aviva, conducted by Censuswide over 10 days in May, 2022.

However, only two thirds of those who started a side hustle over the past two years are still pursuing them today. 37% have returned to their day jobs being their main source of income now that lockdowns are over, and some companies expect employees to return to the office or work from home only partially.

The most popular ‘side hustle’ people chose to pursue was to ‘sell handcrafted products’ (23%), a phenomenon that saw online marketplaces for crafts and vintage items such as Etsy growing exponentially in 2020 and 2021. One in nine (11%) looking for an extra income turned to art, 9% to photography, while a similar number (10%) tried their hand at being a social media influencer – a popular choice with those aged 16-24 (13%). Other income boosters included becoming a courier (6%), driving a taxi (4%), and offering nutritional advice (4%).

When asked what their original motivation was to start a side hustle in addition to their normal, full-time job during the pandemic, most say it was financially motivated. Two in five (39%) people said they did it because they saw an opportunity to turn a hobby into an income; others to ‘make ends meet’ (30%); become financially independent (21%) or to pay off debts (18%).  Over a quarter (27%) started their new vocation to empower themselves/ gain confidence and improve their mental health, while 16% just wanted to practice the skills they had attained (i.e. photography, counseling, etc.).

“The pandemic has transformed how we relate to work. Aviva’s research reveals two sides to this story. For some, the pandemic has brought greater work-life flexibility. This appears to have fuelled a boom in ‘side hustles’. For others, the pandemic has brought greater financial strain, and this appears to have fuelled a need to look elsewhere to make ends meet.” – says Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva.

On average, side hustlers make around £497 a month from their secondary income, with more than one in four (28%) earning more than £500 a month.

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Young people increasingly struggling to get on the UK property ladder

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Young woman at her home lounge
Feeling the pinch: 19% of young people living in Cardiff needed to find additional employment to pay their bills, a survey has revealed | Photo: Karolina Grabowska

Despite a property market boom across the UK in recent years, the average age of a first-time buyer is up by almost two years, meaning the average Briton, now, will be 34 years old by the time they purchase their first home. 20 years ago, the average age of a first-time buyer was 31, while in the 1990s it was approximately 29, according to market analysis by Which.

And a recent survey released by independent finance broker KIS Finance has found that over 22% of 18 to 35-year-olds have been forced to take on an additional job as the cost of living crisis deepens, making home ownership out of reach for an increasing number of people.

Last week the Government’s announced a range of steps to try to help more people onto the property ladder. However, exactly how the proposed schemes will work in practice remains to be seen.

The proposal to extend the existing Right to Buy Scheme to include housing association properties could help large numbers onto the property ladder, who thought that home ownership was beyond their reach. This amendment to the original scheme, which was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1980 and allowed people to buy their council house at a discounted rate, could see up to 3 million low paid workers buy their own homes.

“Whilst the announcement of measures to help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder will be welcomed, it remains to be seen how the proposals will work in practice. Accepting housing benefit payments toward a mortgage will be a significant change for mortgage providers and it may take some time for the details to be worked through. However, any steps to help support young people to escape from the trap of rented accommodation will be positive and the industry needs to be ready to adapt to support the proposed changes” – says Holly Andrews, MD at KIS Finance.

Key statistics from KIS Finance’s survey also found that 22% of those aged 18 to 35 have taken on an additional job to help them afford basic items such as rent, heating, and food, and a staggering 57% of young British workers reported they are already struggling financially and expect things to get significantly worse in the near future.

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