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Matthijs Wouter Knol At The EFM Helm

Matthijs Wouter Knol, EFM Director
In June 2014, Matthijs Wouter Knol was appointed the new head of the Berlinale's European Film Market (EFM), and long-standing EFM head Beki Probst became its president.

The European Film Market 2015 is Knol's first market in the new role. Dieter Kosslick, Berlinale's Festival Director, commented at the time of his appointment: "Matthijs Wouter Knol will inspire new areas of business and the development of the European Film Market. With Knol, a professional is joining us who knows the festival well. He will strategically strengthen the synergies that have developed between the Festival and the EFM." Beki Probst in her new function has drawn on her extensive experience and international network to support Knol as he taken on the responsibilities as the new head of the European Film Market.

Knol is no stranger to the Berlinale. He had been the programme manager of Berlinale Talents (formerly known as the Berlinale Talent Campus) since 2008 and has intimate knowledge of how both the Festival and the EFM function as a cohesive whole.

What has spurred the new initiatives introduced to EFM, the first major international film market of the year? Matthijs Knol commented: "The last months have been very interesting for me, diving deeper into the making and shaping of the EFM, visiting other markets and festivals, meeting people, developing new ideas and initiatives that are now becoming reality. One of these ideas is based on the growing importance of Asian and especially Chinese markets. With our new initiative Bridging the Dragon, a newly found network of Asian and European producers, and with an EFM Industry Debate about the revolutionary success of Chinese online platforms, we accommodate this trend. Furthermore, the EFM reflects the global trend of the growing significance of serial formats in the audiovisual content industry and integrates that in its marketplace. We offer the newly created platform Drama Series Days for those involved in their production and distribution. For the first time not only individual films are being traded at the European Film  Market but also drama series, mainly from Germany, Scandinavia, and North America that will be shown at market screenings in the Martin-Gropius-Bau. In addition, during the Drama Series Days the EFM Buyers Lounge will serve as a central meeting point for the drama series industry on February 9 and 10. Another exclusive meeting point will be the EFM Producers Hub, as we aim to continue fortifying our relationship with producers. Along with this we also see an opening towards new platforms, towards digital distribution and new forms of content as another trending development. Thus we brought the EFM startup initiative to life, offering ten up-and-coming companies from Berlin's  huge startup scene the unique possibility to participate at the EFM."

Matthijs Wouter Knol, Director & Beki Probst, President - EFM
The NEW Initiatives.
The EFM and the Berlinale Co-Production Market bring the best in high-quality drama series to Berlin for Drama Series Days at the Market, on February 9 and 10. The initiative includes a home base in the EFM Buyers' Lounge as well as special screenings and a range of talks and events showcasing the latest industry trends and developments from Germany, Europe and North America.

Bridging The Dragon
Partnering with the newly launched co-production platform Bridging the Dragon for European and Chinese producers, the EFM hosts a round-table, panel and matchmaking events on Tuesday, February 10. The kick off Industry Debate on Saturday, February 7, focuses on Chinese online video platforms and their successful business models.

EFM Startups
EFM Startups - Berlin is acknowledged as the thriving hub of startups at the centre of Europe, and the EFM is inviting the city's leading entrepreneurs and connecting them with the film and audiovisual media industries. This year EFM Startups will match 10 startup entrepreneurs with EFM participants during a breakfast, followed by pre-arranged one-on-one meetings.

EFM Buyers' Lounge & EFM Producers

Supporting the initiatives with a focus on developing new platforms designed to better meet the needs of producers attending the Market, the EFM has expanded its infrastructure with two exclusive meeting points: the EFM Buyers' Lounge and the EFM Producers Hub, both at Martin-Gropius-Bau.

About Matthijs Wouter Knol
Matthijs Wouter Knol Knol was born in The Netherlands in 1977 and studied contemporary history at Leiden University and at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome. He worked as a freelance journalist until 2001 before joining Pieter van Huystee Film, a renowned and internationally award-winning production company in Amsterdam. After becoming head of development in 2004, he focused on developing, financing and internationally co-producing documentary film projects. As the associate producer of various documentary films, he worked with acclaimed filmmakers, such as Heddy Honigmann and Mani Kaul. With Arte he also co-produced the DVD edition of Johan van der Keuken's digitally re-mastered works, which was awarded the Prix "Cahiers du Cinéma" in 2006.

In 2007, Knol started working for the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), spreading his activity between the co-production and sales markets, and the IDFAcademy training programme. As head of the latter, he initiated the IDFAcademy Summer School.

From 2008 to 2014 he was programme manager of Berlinale Talents. In June 2014 he was appointed director of the European Film Market succeeding Beki Probst, who became EFM's President.

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