Developing Your Film Festival, a week-long course organised by the ICO, was held this year at New Horizons, a big international film festival in Wrocław (Poland). I went there with the hope to learn more about aspects of festival organisation I am not in charge of on a daily basis (but am still confronted to).
The three days focused on sponsorship, audience development and press & PR were particularly stimulating, and gave me key skills I know I'll use in the future. The course was a mix of presentations, workshops and role plays, led by seasoned speakers who have worked for numerous cultural events on an international scale. But knowledge also came from the other participants' experiences – there were 30 of us, all working for different festivals in different parts of the world (although European festivals were heavily represented, some came from Canada, Colombia, Panama, Indonesia or Nepal).
In the end, the most precious thing the course gave me is time – time to take a step back, and define my goals and priorities. "What are you trying to achieve?" is a question we heard a lot during this week, and as simple or obvious as it may seem, it's worth taking the time to answer it!
I felt privileged to be able to attend this enriching course in the beautiful city of Wrocław, that hosts New Horizons, a festival that had been on my radar for some time. Its massive programme, its sold out screenings at 10am and its intricate ticketing system also gave me food for thought!
Lucile received a bursary from Film Hub Midlands to attend this course.