Interview: EFP President Martin Schweighofer looks back at Future Frames 2016

The second edition of Future Frames at the 2016 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival saw another successful year of showcasing 10 of the best student films from across Europe. While still much in its infancy, the project - run by European Film Promotion in conjunction with the festival - is already building itself a reputation as being an event in which to talent spot and discover important new voices. 

Laurence Boyce asks European Film Promotion president Martin Schweighofer about how he thinks Future Frames 2016 went and the plans for 2017

Laurence Boyce: It was the second year of Future Frames. How did you build on it from the first year?

Martin Schweighofer: The first edition of FUTURE FRAMES in 2015 was very successful. A fact that is underlined by the international recognition some of the students had following FUTURE FRAMES. Austria's Patrick Vollrath not only received a Student Academy Award in 2015, but was also nominated for Best Short Film at the Oscars 2016 for his film "Everything Will Be Okay". And the Czech participant Ondrej Hudecek went on to premiere "Peacock" in Toronto and was awarded the Special Jury Award for Best Direction at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. For this year's edition of FUTURE FRAMES, we have added even more professional input for the young filmmakers. We were very lucky to have Felix van Groeningen as a mentor for the participants and also Katriel Schory - Executive Director of the Israel Film Fund and one of the most respected figures in the film world - to give a very lively and entertaining lecture on the complex and extremely important relationship between director and producer.

LB: You had Felix Van Groenigen as the 'mentor' of this year's Future Frames. How did he become involved?

MS: We were first in contact with Felix van Groeningen when he was part of our previous cooperation with KVIFF and Variety, "Variety's Critics Choice", with his much acclaimed international success "The Broken Circle Breakdown". So, when we reached out for suggestions for a FUTURE FRAMES mentor, we were thrilled to hear from our EFP member Flanders Image that Felix would be willing to take on the role. We found him the perfect match because he is just at the right spot in his career - still aware of how he started out, but with lots of experience in production and the international film business. He took great interest in the work of the young filmmakers, went to all their screenings and was amazed how accomplished their work already is. After his masterclass, the FUTURE FRAMES participants also attended the Czech premiere of his latest film "Belgica" and finished off a wonderful, inspiring day at the "Belgica" party!

LB: Howw do you feel Future Frames went this year?

MS: We are really happy with the outcome. All of the screenings were sold out. The KVIFF audience is fantastic. Also, the young filmmakers bonded strongly over the short, very intense period of the programme because they are all in the same position, trying to or already realising their first feature-length film and struggling with the same problems. All of them found the experience exceptional and cherished the possibility to talk very openly about professional problems, artistic differences and the personal aspects that you face when shooting a film.

LB: What things would you like to do for the future? How are you looking to expand and build upon Future Frames in the coming years?

MS: We have not found the time yet to thoroughly reflect on this year’s Future Frames. But we have some ideas what to focus on and how to improve some details. We will try to find a new mentor who is equally inspiring as Felix was. And we hope to intensify our partnership with the Sundance Channel and Gail Gendler, who attended all of the screenings of the young filmmakers and was impressed by the craftsmanship and the exciting, creative diversity of the films.

19 July 2016, by Laurence Boyce