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European Film Market

How to Approach Buyers at EFM 

The European Film Market (EFM) is a key event for film industry professionals looking to make connections and secure deals. However, with so many attendees and a packed schedule, it can be challenging to stand out and make a lasting impression. To help maximize your time at the market, we’re sharing tips from Fulko Kuindersma, Head of Marketing & Acquisition at SKOOP Media, on approaching buyers like him at EFM. Whether you're a seasoned market veteran or a newcomer, these tips will help you make meaningful connections and advance your film projects.

1: Attend Smaller Markets

First, for producers who haven't met Fulko before, he suggested attending smaller markets. It’s easier to approach him at markets like the Berlin Co-Production Market, the Finnish Film Affair, or other similar events where he has more time to make new connections and hear your pitch. At a market like EFM, Fulko’s calendar will be filled with meetings with producers he already works with or has met in the last year.

2: Don't Start Too Early

If you’re dead set on approaching him at EFM, here’s what he shared. For one thing, when planning your cold outreach leading up to the market, you want to start sending your emails out no earlier than three to four weeks before the market.      Reach out too early and you may find your prospects to be a bit standoffish. Market attendees are slow to fill up their calendars early as they’re waiting to solidify their most important meetings first. With a few weeks remaining you’ll have an easier time reaching out, and by now a majority of attendees will have registered online and you’ll have a larger lead list to work with.

When we asked Linda Nelson (CEO, Indie Rights) for her insight around Marché du Film in 2022, she shared similar advice, advising that you work on a target list of market attendees with the goal of setting up around 4 meetings per day at the market.

3: Aim for the End of the Market

If you’re new to the market, or looking to make new connections with Acquisitions professionals like Fulko, you’ll have better luck setting up meetings scheduled in the final days of the market. Seasoned market professionals are likely to be scheduled sun-up to sun-down during the beginning and middle of the market, with many of their most anticipated meetings happening towards the beginning. However, once the end of the market nears, they’re likely to find themselves with a bit of a lull. If you’re hoping to make a cold open - this is your chance.

4: The Initial Meeting

During the first meeting Fulko expects just the highlights. He shared that the materials can come after a successful initial meeting - otherwise it’s a waste of everyone’s time.     Linda Nelson stresses the importance of nailing the quick pitch, sharing that companies aren't going to have a lot of time to spend with you. For a company like Indie Rights, the main goal of the market is to license and sell their content, not to pick up new projects, especially from people they don’t already have a relationship with. What Linda wants to hear is just the nuts and bolts of the project.

5: The Followup

Once a meeting goes well and Fulko is interested in reading more, he would expect some sort of treatment to get a grasp for the project and/or your previous work. A mood reel, a good synopsis, a mood board, and some visual artwork are all helpful materials for him. Besides evaluating the package you provide, he’ll also likely look into your background and evaluate your fit. A few of the things he might consider include what your work is like, whether you’ve worked with any producers SKOOP Media already works with, and how you might work with SKOOP Media. Fulko elaborates that it’s an intense relationship that’s developed between both parties, it’s crucial to make sure that the partnership will work well for all involved.

Linda might expect your materials a bit sooner. She advises being prepared with a good pitch deck you can leave behind at your first meeting. If you have any work done, whether it’s a trailer or teaser, or any elements already attached to your project, you’ll want to share those as well.

The Takeaway

Approaching buyers at the European Film Market can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the tips and insights from industry experts, you can increase your chances of making meaningful connections and securing deals. Whether it's attending smaller markets, starting your outreach early, or nailing your pitch, preparation and strategic planning are key to success at the EFM. Remember, the market is a competitive environment, but with the right approach, you can stand out and make a lasting impression. Good luck and happy networking!

If you're looking for more tips to make the most out of your time at EFM, we recommend checking out our the full EFM survival guide, a free packet filled with expert advice, market guidance, ideas for your free time in Berlin, and more!