European Work in Progress is an independent industry event taking place during the Film Festival Cologne for producers and distributors of European and German films with a high-quality appeal and crossover market potential; the event intends a wider focus towards world sales distribution and TV broadcasting companies.

Excerpts will be presented from feature film productions at a stage in their production meeting appropriate artistic standards for cinema screen. The focus of these presentations is on additional financing and development of strategies for distribution.

Unlike the other co-production markets, EUROPEAN WORK IN PROGRESS aims to presents projects that are already in production. The advantage of this later stage of production is, in comparison to the financing stage, the projects can be much better evaluated in terms of their suitability for cinema, since visual material is already available, the cast and style of the film can be judged, and the work of the director and director of photography can be presented on the basis of concrete work samples from the respective project. Now that the discussions about the suitability of many film productions for cinema are abundant, a WORK IN PROGRESS platform is a suitable instrument to develop and distribute projects closer to the cinema market.

Why is EUROPEAN WORK IN PROGRESS taking place in Cologne?

As a central European media city, Cologne has the largest presence of relevant TV stations as well as several educational institutions in the audiovisual sector and offers an active and internationally operating production and distribution platform.
MMC Studios Cologne will support the event as a sponsor and partner.
In addition to theatrical distributors, some world sales companies are also based in Cologne, and several of the major TV stations in the city also have their own distribution.
Furthermore, Cologne’s proximity to major European markets in the Benelux countries and France means that without great expense many European distributors, as well as producers from other European countries can participate with their own film agreements from the beginning of a project.

Why has EUROPEAN WORK IN PROGRESS been initiated with AG Verleih?

The field of film distribution has changed in various aspects in recent years. In connection to a EUROPEAN WORK IN PROGRESS convention, this, above all, applies to the considerably greater presence of distributors in the development and financing of film projects, since the distributor is often in demand as a contractual partner for the financing of films. However, it is also becoming increasingly important for the support and advice of film projects in regard of festival strategies, evaluation concepts, coordination with the activities of world sales, participating broadcasters and distributors from other territories, e. g. when applying for media funding.

Here, the film distributors have acquired considerable competence and can exert a great deal of influence on their films’ presence festivals and can evaluate and influence the concept of a film’s distribution nationally and internationally. The presence at festivals of members of the AG Verleih in competitions and prize-winning films has increased steadily in recent years and the evaluation of festival development can always draw on current and concrete experiences.
The evaluation of film projects based on screenplay or treatment has become a daily business for theatrical distributors and is in no way inferior to the editorial offices of broadcasters, sponsors and producers.

An important reason is the acceleration of the market! An early evaluation at festivals of already completed films is often associated with the striving for a timely cinema release in domestic markets.
Many distributors no longer buy films if the theatrical release is planned to take place after the release of DVD / VOD in competing territories (among other things due to pirated copies), many films are a few months later almost too old for the international market within only a few months.

Therefore, we feel AG Verleih, which is the member-strongest distributor federation in Germany, is in an ideal position regarding expertise and cross-linking for the organization of a German-European international EUROPEAN WORK IN PROGRESS COLOGNE.