“Moving Audiences across Europe – Favourite Films Initiative” is a transnational youth initiative employed with the preparation, planning and execution of two associated film festivals: the Favourites Film Festival (FFF), set to take place in September 2015 in Berlin, Germany, as well as in Tønsberg, Norway in October 2015.
Organizing the two festivals enables participants in both countries to acquire crucial professional and social skills. Constant reciprocal discourse between the Berlin and the Tønsberg team stands at the core of the joint work as well as ongoing communication with festivals in other countries, with filmmakers and different facilities in Berlin and Tønsberg.
Interest-based assignment of activities and working in a very heterogeneous international team enable every participant to bring their personal skills to the table and gain valuable experience. In an environment that is free of the “pressure to perform” participants can gain self-confidence in their newly acquired skills and learn to trust their own ideas and working methods.
In preparation of the film programmes and during the film selection process, the focus is on the development of film analytical skills. Participants develop common assessment scales for the film selection and deal with aesthetic and thematic criteria. In the process they acquire important media competence: discussions about functioning and possible manipulation of the moving image can lead to a more conscious and sensible handling of media content. During the two festivals participants can also directly see the effects the selected films have on the audience by observing film reception and talking to members of the audience.
The office work preceding the immediate festival planning requires further important key competences that participants can learn according to their respective interests. This involves business acumen like budget-planning, organizational skills, time management, negotiation of contracts, confident communication with representatives of the press, rights holders and prospective partners, as well as skills in online programming and other computer skills. During the planning of the operations during the festivals the ability to organize and allot is trained. Another crucial element to the project is teamwork. Participants learn to deal with conflicts of opinion in a productive manner, to act in concert and stage two big international events with pooled forces. Thanks to audience’s reactions, the fruits of their collective labour can be harvested directly during the festivals.
At the Favourites Film Festival films of all lengths, genre and type will screen, all of which possess the particularity of having already been awarded an audience prize at an international festival. The main goal of the FFF is the establishment of a platform for intercultural artistic exchange. Moving scenarios and actors hold potential for fresh insights into other cultures and traditions. With its broad film selection of audience favourites, the FF-festivals are not only offering its audiences an authentic look at (cinematographic) cultures from around the world, they also invite them to take part in a direct dialogue with one another and with filmmakers over a large variety of themes, both relating directly to cinema and revolving around broader non cinematographic topics. The film programme is as varied as the different festivals whose films can be seen at the FFF. It is thus a reflection of two different phenomena: it mirrors the themes and narrative fields who moved film-makers all around the world, but also their audiences, who voted at festivals in numerous countries and declared these films to be their favourites. Political art-house cinema stands at the core of our programme: movies that tackle politically and socially relevant themes and yet are both accessible and moving.