A new project aiming to connect the film industries of the CIS countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) with Europe and the rest of the world is launching in the Kazakh city of Almaty this autumn.
The first edition of the Eurasian Film Market (EFM) will take place from 11 to 14 of September. The initiative is intended to be an annual international forum that facilitates the expansion of regional cooperation and the building of new business connections between the film industry in the region and the global film community.
Due to its rich natural environment and varied scenic landscapes, most films are shot in or around Almaty, making it the centre of the Kazakh film industry. The main film organisations are based in Almaty, which is why the city was chosen to host the first edition of the EFM.
The Eurasian Film Market aims to serve as the platform that not only unites professionals in the CIS film industry and creates optimal conditions for film business within the region, but also forges robust cooperative bridges between the CIS countries and the global film community.Hélène Haug, EFM co-founder and director, told cineuropa
“In light of the ongoing social-political developments worldwide, we recognise the increasing significance of Central Asia as a critical link between the East and West. Presently, Central Asian countries are producing films that garner invitations to prestigious A-list film festivals, with sales agents incorporating Central Asian films into their international line-ups. This surge in demand for co-production projects is further supported by a well-developed infrastructure for filming in the region. However, there remains much to be accomplished, improved and achieved”, Hélène Haug, co-founder and director of EFM, told Cineuropa.
Among the participants to the forum will be other international film festival organisers, producers and production companies, distribution companies, sales agents, cinema chains, streaming platforms, as well as foreign organisations promoting the film industry of their country and representatives of foreign funds and selective fund programs that can support film production and distribution in the region.
One of the main goals of the EFM is to support the film industry in Central Asia, so the organisers set up the #SEARCH program, matching creators with buyers. Submissions for full length features films and documentaries from 2022/2023 are open until 31 August, after which international distributors, sales agents, streaming platforms or film festivals can choose the projects they want to partner with.
Additionally, EFM is creating an industry guide of Central Asian companies operating in the film industry. The catalogue will be distributed to all Eurasian Film Market participants and uploaded on a dedicated online platform created in partnership with Toqsan.com, as well as on the website of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea.