ICO Convenes Future of Film Festivals Forum Meet Ahead of New Horizons International Film Festival, Poland

Developing Your Film Festival 2019 - Independent Cinema Office - Photo by Anna Pomichowska

Independent Cinema Office convenes Future of Film Festivals Forum meeting on the eve of mBank New Horizons International Film Festival, Poland.

Wroclaw, Poland ( July 18, 2023 ) -

Representatives of 41 worldwide film festivals from 24 countries will meet in Wroclaw, Poland on 19 and 20 July for a major industry gathering to lay the groundwork for a new International Film Festival Network, which will formally launch later this year. Delivered by the UK’s Independent Cinema Office (ICO), with funding from the British Council, the Future of Film Festivals Forum is taking place on the eve of the mBank New Horizons International Film Festival.

The intention of The Future of Film Festivals Forum is to enable worldwide festivals to share best practise and problem-solve shared challenges. This initial meeting will create a framework and set the priorities for a new membership-based network, focussed around building financial stability, defining long-term strategy, collaborating with comparable festivals in meaningful ways across national borders and finding the space to develop equitable and inclusive working conditions.

Director of the Independent Cinema Office, Catharine Des Forges said “The collaborative possibilities that the Forum in Poland will generate for film festivals globally are very exciting. The conversations we have at the event will be key touchstones as we develop our International Film Festival Network, providing a long-term context for peer-to-peer support and collaboration, as well as solidifying the shared values of the group in relation to topics such as better employment practices for festivals.”

This new membership network will formalise and expand on the support offered by the ICO to an already existing network of 237 international festivals who are alumni of 11 editions of the Developing Your Film Festival training programme, and their innovative Sponsorship Success for Film Festival training that debuted in Jan 2023.

Marcin Pie?kowski, Artistic Director of mBank New Horizons International Film Festival said, “We feel honoured that The Future of Film Festivals Forum will take place during our festival and excited about the potential of the new network which we’ve already signed up to. We all know that our industry has drastically changed, we have to share our experiences, learn from each other, motivate ourselves. I am proud that Wroclaw will be the heart of this engaging event.”

Ewa Ayton, Head of Arts, British Council Poland, “This exciting project is all about tackling the major challenges that film festivals are facing today. At the British Council, our mission is to connect people and create opportunities for a sustainable and better world and The Future of Film Festivals Forum perfectly aligns with this goal and sets a shining example of how we can achieve it. It’s a wonderful chance for participants to enhance their professional skills through the thoughtfully designed programme by the Independent Cinema Office and take their own festivals to new heights of success.”

The new International Film Festival Network will launch later in 2023.

About the Independent Cinema Office
The Independent Cinema Office (ICO) is the UK’s national body that supports independent cinemas through programming, training, consultancy, cultural distribution and organising Screening Days events that help cinemas broaden their programmes. Their mission is to build an open, thriving, robust cinema sector and for everyone to have access to cinema that nourishes the soul and changes lives. Internationally, the ICO runs intensive training programmes, Developing Your Film Festival and Sponsorship Success for Film Festivals, as well a variety of courses on their Online Learning Platform.