European Film Market Director Dennis Ruh – The Hollywood Reporter

What is your status when participating in another virtual market?

Confidence in the extensive online platform we have created and the improvement of many services. At the same time, I hope that this is the last time the pandemic forces us to move completely online.

What do you miss most about the physical market?

Chance encounters… those encounters cannot be transferred to the virtual world. And of course, the market is projected on the big screen, feeling the resonance of buyers and professionals.

What do you miss most about Berlin in particular?

Mix and match of the EFM crowd at the Gropius Bau and the Marriott Hotel. Having lunch at Gropius Mirror Restaurant, Potsdamer Platz is brimming with film professionals, the city buzzing and bustling with movie enthusiasts from around the world. Market nights, are legendary for their networking opportunities at legendary and always surprising Berlin locations.

What have been your best and worst experiences with virtual markets in the last two years?

The best experience is realizing that online network formats can work. I was skeptical at first, but during my time stuck at home under lockdown, those formats have helped bring together, connect, and easily arrange informal meetings.

This is the worst experience, I will rate spamming, due to bad algorithms used for matchers.

What has changed about the way you do business?

Of course, in general use of video conferencing, which is how I do most of my business communication now. The advantages are obvious, but I see more and more disadvantages and I try to reduce the time spent on them. I always like to meet in person, if possible.

Any tips on zoom etiquette?

Punctuality is essential, especially when meeting many people. Preparing and having an agenda will help reduce Zoom time. End the meeting when it’s actually over, don’t prolong the meeting until your Zoom area is over.

What was your favorite, one-of-a-kind Berlin moment from past festivals/physical markets?

There are so many great moments and stories, so it’s not easy to choose one… I remember a strange story when a sales agent invited his customers to a club and didn’t inform him. Inform the guest that he is only booking for a limited time. Some guests stay longer and find themselves with general guests entering an uninhibited party, and guests are required to follow a (no) dress code. I think this can only happen in Berlin.

What aspect of Berlin, or the physical markets, have you complained about, but now find yourself lacking?

Definitely the revolving door at the entrance to Gropius Bau. It’s usually the number one thing people complain about. The hum of this retarded barrier has given way to the romantic memory of unscheduled clapping and waving from behind glass with peers and old friends.

Assuming we have a physical market next year, what’s the first thing you’ll do after landing in Berlin for EFM 2023?

I guess so, this question is for non-Berlinians. Most market participants will be surprised at the new Berlin airport landing that opened in autumn 2020. The last physical EFM participants in February 2020 are still landing at the airport. Old Tegel, now inactive. So, in fact, the first thing people will do after landing, is probably find their way into the city.

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