Netflix and Amazon: Disruptive Forces Reshaping the Market

February 28, 2017, 6:30-8pm, STUDIO ONE - TOI TU, AUCKLAND

“The advantage for us and other streamers is that we don’t have to make money on theatrical. Online is the growth engine. I can lose significantly on theatrical but the buzz surrounding the release will increase our subscriber base” – Efe Cakarel, CEO and founder of MUBI

Script to Screen and WIFT NZ present an international panel with German broadcaster Susanne Müller (Executive Director, Feature Films and International Co-productions, ZDF German Television), Head of Sales at the Match Factory Thania Dimitrakopoulou, and producer, EP and entertainment lawyer Bryce Menzies (Marshalls & Dent) as they discuss the transition from the traditional market structure to an SVoD-led environment. The panel will be moderated by Managing Director of Match Factory, Viola Fügen.

As the emphasis on foreign sales as a way to reach your audience wanes, and online global reach gains relevance for niche projects, Netflix and Amazon are aggressively reshaping the traditional sales models. (As outlined by the Hollywood Reporter from Berlin “Netflix and Amazon Evolve From Industry Disrupters to Market Darlings.”) The rising importance of SVoD platforms is a simultaneously exciting and frightening prospect for television and indie filmmakers alike.

The panel join us in New Zealand as speakers at WIFT NZ’s third annual Co-production Summit – Up with the Play, a market-focussed programme for experienced producers working in film, television and digital media. This year the summit focuses on German/New Zealand co-productions.

Tuesday 28 February, 6:30pm drinks. 7-8pm talk. Studio One – Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road. $10 koha suggested. Includes a glass of wine before the talk and a slice of pizza afterwards.

Susanne Müller Executive Director, Feature Films and International Co-productions, ZDF German Television

At German pubcaster ZDF, Susanne heads up the department responsible for international fiction. Her department acquires and co-produces feature films and drama series for the ZDF main channel as well as for the digital channel “ZDFneo” and for “funk”, a new platform for young people. For many years ZDF has been involved in “Scandi noir” crime series as a co-producer, for example in THE KILLING, THE BRIDGE, more recently in MODUS and TRAPPED. Further drama co-productions are taking place with Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom, to name a few. From 1992 to 2003 Susanne was Head of the Children’s and Youth department at ZDF, and from 2003 to 2006 Head of the New Media department. In 2006 she was appointed Vice president of North-American operations in the New York office of ZDF Enterprises. In 2008, she became Head of Co-productions and Development at ZDF Enterprises in Mainz, before she started her current position in 2012.

Thania Dimitrakopoulou, Head of Sales, The Match Factory

Born in Athens, Thania studied English Literature at the University of Athens and continued her studies at the University of Amsterdam where she graduated with a Master’s degree on Film Studies in 2007. She worked briefly at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, where she came across the newly founded company The Match Factory and started an internship. Thania has been with The Match Factory for 9 years, starting as a festival coordinator and then becoming part of the sales team which she now heads. During this time, working closely with Michael Weber. she has seen the best of arthouse cinema from all over the world and worked with plenty of different people during the fascinating process of bringing those films to the audiences. Among the Directors represented by The Match Factory are Aki Kaurism.ki, Jim Jarmusch, Ari Folman, Fatih Akin, Christian Petzold, Brillante Mendoza, Eran Kolirin, Miranda July, Danis Tanovic, Ritesh Batra, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Maren Ade. The company is a regular at all important festivals and has gained the most prestigious awards, including three Golden Bears at the Berlinale (GRBAVICA by Jasmila Zbanic / MILK OF SORROW by Claudia Llosa / BAL by Semih Kaplanoglu); Best Screenplay and Grand Prix in Cannes (for THE EDGE OF HEAVEN by Fatih Akin and LE MERAVIGLIE by Alice Rohrwacher respectively); Cannes Golden Palme for UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES by Apichatpong Weerasethakul; Golden Globe. for Best Foreign Language Film (WALTZ WITH BASHIR by Ari Folman) and seven Nominations for the Academy Award..

Bryce Menzies, Partner, Marshalls & Dent

Bryce has worked in the film industry for over 30 years. His first experience in 1982, playing a man in overalls opposite Gerard Kennedy, segued into legal work on more than 600 productions. In addition to quantity, he has worked on some of Australia’s highest quality films from the 1980s to the present day. His legal work can be seen in MURIEL’S WEDDING (1994), NED KELLY (2002), THE PROPOSITION (2005), LIKE MINDS (2006), IRRESISTIBLE (2006), NO. 2 (2006), DEATH DEFYING ACTS (2007), DISGRACE (2007), THE CHILDREN OF HUANG SHI (2007), RED DOG (2011), A FEW BEST MEN (2011), THE SAPPHIRES (2012), ODDBALL (2015, distributed internationally by Global Screen), MAHANA (2016), LION (2016) and the upcoming films RED DOG: TRUE BLUE (2016) and JUNGLE (2017). Bryce is also a prolific producer. His producing debut saw him travel to the Berlin Film Festival in 1985 when he won the Silver Bear for the film WRONG WORLD. Since then he has acted as an executive producer on over forty films, including TWO HANDS (1999) and CHARLIE’S COUNTRY (2013) which competed in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, taking away the Best Actor for David Gulpilil. Bryce is currently acting as Australian production counsel for the Australia/New Zealand co-production CLEVERMAN, the second season of which airs in 2017. Co-productions are of a special interest to Bryce, and he has acted as Australian counsel for co-productions with the United Kingdom, France, China, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, and Israel. He maintains that his greatest achievement is overseeing a Australian/French/ German/UK co-production.

Viola Fügen, Managing Director, Match Factory Productions

Viola began working for Pandora Filmproduktion in 2006, right after she received her Film-and TV economy diploma. She was a Line Producer on THE CONGRESS by Ari Folman and Associate Producer on ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE by Jim Jarmusch and in parallel started to work for The Match Factory on co-productions. In 2013 Viola founded Match Factory Productions together with Michael Weber – the company produces arthouse films in line with the high quality The Match Factory is known for. The first co-productions (STRATOS by Yannis Economides and SWORN VIRGIN by Laura Bispuri) went to Berlinale competition in 2014 and 2015. CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR, by 2010 Golden Palm Winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Eran Kolirin’s BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS AND HILLS premiered 2015 and 2016 in Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival. On the slate for 2017 amongst others are SUPERFLUOUS MAN by Korn.l Mundrucz., THE WAR HAS ENDED by Hagar Ben Asher and THE OPERATIVE by Yuval Adler. During her time at Pandora Film, Viola has worked with New Zealand director Armagan Ballantyne on THE STRENGTH OF WATER and is currently discussing with her a new project suitable for a co-production between New Zealand and Germany.

Proudly brought to you in collaboration with WIFT NZ, with support from Screen Auckland and the Goethe Institute.


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