Berlinale Set To Name New Head Of European Film Market

EXCLUSIVE: The Berlin International Film Festival is set to announce the new chief of the European Film Market. I hear that name will be Dennis Ruh, who is joining from German Films.

He takes over from the long-serving Matthijs Wouter Knol, who is leaving to join the European Film Academy. Wouter Knol remains in situ until October 31 when Ruh will take the reins.

Ruh is currently Head of Festival Relations and Producers Liaison at German Films.

The festival did not respond to a request for comment.

Taking over the European Film Market for 2021 will be an interesting challenge given the ongoing pandemic disruption to the international film circuit. Word from Venice Film Festival is that the first major international film event to go ahead in the pandemic era has been a relatively smooth affair, and optimism levels are now high for future events. But the EFM, enclosed primarily in the relatively cramped confines of the MGB, is a very different prospect. With thousands of delegates fitting into such a small space, how will the festival manage to introduce effective sanitary and distancing measures?

Of course, the arrival of a vaccine in time for the festival’s February 11 – 21 dates would be welcome, though this looks a distant prospect at present. The festival has already announced that next year’s EFM will run as a hybrid model of online and offline activities, though the currently line is that the MGB will house a market as per normal.

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