– The event has revealed its panels and juries, boasting a schedule filled with talks and parallel events tailored for film professionals, all taking place in Trieste from 21-24 January

When East Meets West discovers that inspiration is everywhere

One of the WEMW sessions from last year

The upcoming 2024 edition of When East Meets West (WEMW), scheduled to unspool from 21-24 January, has finalised its programme, including its selected projects, professionals and juries. Notably, WEMW introduces a novel blend of industry talks, inspirational sessions and “regenerative experiences” for over 550 attendees from over 60 territories. The event encompasses a diverse range of panels, lectures and case studies, making it a unique and enriching experience for participants.

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WEMW has once again curated a compelling series of industry talks for 2024, covering a range of cutting-edge topics through collaboration with longstanding content partners. The programme kicks off with an inspirational keynote, “The Power of Storytelling: How Can We Get Inspired, Truly Impacted, and Encourage Others?” curated and moderated by Tamara Tatishvili. This session delves into the transformative influence of storytelling, featuring insights from accomplished filmmakers and activists Bisi Alimi and Sara Fazilat. The line-up also includes a lecture by Christina Pelekani on effective marketing strategies, titled “Marketing Is Your Friend: Tips & Treats”, offering valuable insights into how to stand out in the competitive marketplace. Furthermore, EAVE will host a panel discussion on “Paving the Way for Equitable Co-productions”, bringing together experts such as Mohamed Saïd Ouma (Documentary Africa), Karen Harnisch (Film Forge), Heejung Oh (Seesaw Pictures) and Tamara Mariam Dawit (Gobez Media) to explore the challenges and opportunities in fostering fair co-production relationships.

First Cut Lab Trieste marks its tenth anniversary with the “Poetics of Editing” session, moderated by Julie Marnay, where Una Gunjak, Benjamin Mirguet and Matthieu Taponier will share their personal insights from the editing room. ACE Producers presents the “ACE Interview”, featuring Émilie Blézat and David Dusa, of the “IP boutique” Dark Riviera. In addition, the Apulia Film Commission will unveil its funding plans for 2024. Through collaboration with MEDICI – The Film Funding Journey, WEMW brings insights from the funding landscapes in Catalonia, Brazil, Colombia and Montenegro. Evenings feature DAE Confidential chats on documentary financing, while mornings start with Circle Doc Accelerator breakfast sessions.

WEMW is set to launch its inaugural season of Inspirational Talks, open to all market attendees and aligned with the themes explored in the WEMW Inspirational Labs, covering virtual production, drama-series content, animation production, impact and outreach strategy, video-game development, and genre film production. These concise, 30-minute talks, delivered by professionals, aim to spark curiosity and encourage forward thinking in the audiovisual community, bookending each day’s programme. Going beyond a traditional film-industry focus, the WEMW programme incorporates diverse artistic elements, including live music, environmentally themed performances, graphic recording sessions, and a series of “poetricks” challenging the essence of art, language and poetry. Additionally, WEMW will host a forward-looking exhibition in collaboration with Tactical Tech, exploring the impact of technology on our lives and the world.

In December, the WEMW Co-production Pitching Forum unveiled its 21 selected projects (see the news), and the international jury line-up is now confirmed. Comprising Hervé Aubron (Directors’ Fortnight), Pierre Dallois (Ciclic Centre-Val de Loire), filmmaker Una Gunjak and Angeliki Vergou (AGORA – Thessaloniki IFF and Thessaloniki IDF), the jury will give out two cash prizes of €5,000 each: the Film Center Serbia Development Award and the Ciclic WEMW Award (sponsored by the French Centre-Val de Loire region).

The Last Stop Trieste jury, featuring Aleksandra Božović (Film Centre of Montenegro), Aleksandra Derewienko (CAT & Docs), Hanka Kastelikova (HBO Max) and film producer Tereza Simikova, will determine the recipient of the Film Centre of Montenegro Award, valued at €2,000, and the HBO EUROPE Award, to the tune of €1,000. The This is IT jury, led by Zsuzsi Bankuti (Locarno Film Festival), Hugo Rosak (Karlovy Vary IFF) and Susana Santos Rodrigues (IFFR), will present the Arte Video Award, a prize valued at €5,000. The First Cut+ jury, comprising Esra Demirkiran (TRT), Paolo Bertolin (Venice IFF) and Clément Chautant (Indie Sales), will confer the TRT Prize, worth €5,000.

Lastly, marking a significant first, the Shorts Showcase, curated and organised by MIDPOINT Shorts, will bestow an award upon one of the showcased projects in development. The jury, consisting of Anamaria Antoci (Tangaj Production), Bernd Buder (FilmFestival Cottbus) and filmmaker Una Gunjak, will thus hand out the HAVC & MIDPOINT Development Award, a cash prize amounting to €3,000.

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