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EWA Network event at 2018 Berlinale

Sophie Charlotte Rieger
Sophie Charlotte Rieger

EWA Network members' day at the 2018 Berlinale

It was a special kind of homecoming: In this year, EWA's annual members meeting at Berlinale took place in the exact same location where the organization had been founded five years ago, namely in the rooms of Collegium Hungaricum right in the city center. Executive president Ada Solomon and network director Alessia Sonaglioni greeted the crowd of members who had gathered for a masterclass as well as a focus on women DOPs at this Monday afternoon, five days into the Berlin film festival.

After the short introduction by Salomon and Sonaglioni, pitching coach Agathe Berman and filmmaker and online marketing expert Kobi Shely took the mike to introduce the audience to the topic of social media storytelling: By means of an individually tailored campaign accompanying movie production or even pre-production, filmmakers can already engage with and broaden their future audience.

Statistics on user interaction can also work as indicator for topics of interest and thus provide valuable information for development, distribution and marketing of a film or series. Kobi Shely briefly presented the most important aspects of this marketing strategy: Video content, which is still rewarded by social media platform's algorithms, is mostly watched without sound and therefore needs subtitles. Also, as these videos are often accessed via mobile devices, Shely recommended a 1:1 image ratio.

As the questions in the audience showed, many of the present filmmakers were quite skeptical about social media, wondering in how far it would actually help them for example to fund their projects. In response Kobi Shely emphasized more than once how much even major broadcasters rely on social media and therefore show special interest in projects that have already generated a considerable number of followers.

To give people a better idea of the subject, Agathe Berman and Kobi Shely then gave feedback to three pitches by filmmakers present at the event.

While Berman would comment on the presentation as well as the structure and content of the pitch, Shely gave first ideas on how a social media campaign for this particular project could look like. In both regards keywords play a special role. They get the listener's attention during the pitch and they also attract the social media user watch a video. What we need to appeal to in the current millennial generation is their “fear of missing out on information”, Shely explained.

After a short coffee break, Alessia Sonaglioni introduced two founders of the new German female DoP network CinematographersXX Germany.

The initiative wants to make camerawomen and their work more visible and promote diversity in the film industry. The representatives Christine A. Maier and Anne Bürger talked about the challenges they are facing in the industry, having their expertise put into question and being unfairly paid compared to male colleagues.

While Maier emphasized that the movie business had a structural problem that could best be tackled with a quota, Anne Bürger among other things mentioned the importance of child care at movie sets, enabling members in all departments to work and be a parent at the same time.

While there was certainly agreement among all people present that female DoPs should receive the same pay and respect as their male colleagues, there was some discussion on the nature or rather existence of a female gaze in women's camera work – an issue that could not be solved until the end of the event, but surely was the topic of some of the following cocktail chats.

Alessia Sonaglioni had the last word to introduce Andrea Culkova, the winner of EWA's Scriptwriter Residency in Berlin. Andrea Culkova completed her script "Testosterone Story" with the assistance of the Script consultant Suzanne Pradel.