Audiovisual Days, previously known as Västsvenska Filmdagarna (West Sweden Film Days), was held this year for the eighth time and — as previously — participants were offered a full program with lectures by experts and inspirers as well as consultations and networking with a focus on film, television and new technology.
“Once again, we are very satisfied! We had participants at this year’s event who hadn’t attended previously, and more producers from established companies in Gothenburg came as well,” says Maria Eng, one of the project managers for Audiovisual Days.
“As a meeting place, Audiovisual Days is focused on innovation and curiosity, and is a relaxed arena where visitors have the confidence to ask questions and make contact with each other,” she continues.
The difference with previous years, when the event was held under the name West Sweden Film Days, is above all the increased focus on industry knowledge.
“We see the industry undergoing great change, both from audience behavior and from access to new technologies. There is a great need among operators in the industry to keep up; traditional filmmakers and producers have to switch over to developing series, which largely requires different skills and knowledge,” says Martin Svensson, Head of Programming at Lindholmen Science Park and the person in charge of Film & TV program, which arranged the event.
“We see a lack today of forums and meeting places specifically around TV and film in this format, and based on the number of registered attendees we also see that interest is great.”
Tomorrow’s film and TV in focus
The Gothenburg Film Festival presented a solid program with the latest in film and television. In addition to a sampling of what the coming festival will look like, the highlight was “Nostradamus: Do or Die — A Moment of Truth for European Film” in which Johanna Koljonen gave a peek into what the future of film and television will look like over the next few years. The presentation was built on the research being conducted as part of the Nostradamus project. The theme continued with discussion of future drama series and what form they will take, in a talk with several well known industry profiles: Petri Kemppinen, CEO of Nordisk Film & TV Fond; Tatjana Samopjan, Creative Development Producer and Martina Österling, from the Albatros Agency.
A talk on the art of reaching out with a script
Under the program item “Nålsögat — how the h*ll do you do it?” arranged by Manusfabriken, two panel discussions were held which focused on the role of the scriptwriter in the film and television industry.
In the first part of the discussion, five established scriptwriters shared their experiences: how they got into the industry, how they go about their projects, and the challenges they have encountered over the years.
“There are many scriptwriters — both those working to establish themselves and those more experienced — who are unsure of how to establish themselves in an industry that is already tough to get into,” says Gunnar Eriksson, who moderated the panel discussion.
“There really are no answer keys or simple solutions, but these discussions are an attempt to throw light on the questions and to see whether or not we can find a few answers together. By discussing this, I hope we can open up opportunities for more scriptwriters to break through.
That discussion was followed by a discussion with representatives from production companies and television channels, who shared their experiences from collaborations with writers and from script development. In addition, they provided tangible tips and advice on how to proceed with a manuscript at various stages.
Major opportunities to obtain support for making project ideas reality
As a filmmaker, taking production a step further means not only a sustainable idea; it also places great demands on industry knowledge and funding. A portion of the program was therefore dedicated to film and television consultants, who presented all the existing opportunities for advice and financial support in the region. The participants who wanted to discuss their project ideas in more detail also had the opportunity for individual conversations with representatives from the Swedish Film Institute, the City of Gothenburg, Film i Väst, Kultur i Halland – Film, SVT and Lindholmen Science Park’s project funding.
“Our main focus is on sharing knowledge of how to successfully realize film and television projects in practice: how to sell a manuscript, how to finance a pilot, how to get into the industry,” Martin Svensson tells us.
“One important task for Audiovisual Days and for Film & TV’s operations is strengthening their shared competitiveness so that both companies and individual filmmakers have the knowledge and support to make their ideas and projects a reality, and to bring them into the market,” Martin says.
VR — changing tomorrow’s film and TV production
For those interested in practical film technology, one of the high points of Audiovisual Days was VR/XR guru Ola Björling, who explained in tangible terms how the different methods for volumetric film work and how the technology behind it, with its possibilities and disadvantages, was built. We also had the chance to meet two other fantastic VR creators, who presented their projects: Robert & Robert with their successful immersive dance piece, and photographer Martin Edström, who dazzled us with a fantastic 360-degree interactive experience — published for National Geographic — with Son Doong, the world’s largest cave system.
“We wanted to highlight the use of new technology in XR for people who haven’t taken that step, and to showcase the possibilities of VR as a narrative media. Working in VR is not only a technique; it entails a change to all of the thinking around the film experience,” Martin continues.
A unique collaboration in West Swedish film
Audiovisual Days is held as a joint venture by many of western Sweden’s leading film and television operators, which has meant great opportunities for creating content that both involves and strengthens the industry.
Audiovisual Days is arranged by Film & TV at Lindholmen Science Park in partnership with the Gothenburg Film Festival, Manusfabriken, Gothenburg Film Studios, Kultur i Halland – Film, Kulturakademin, Film Cloud, Boost HBG, Level Up, the Swedish Film Institute, Alma Manusförfattare and ABF Medialab, and is financed by the City of Gothenburg and Region Västra Götaland.