News ID: 314777
Published: 0251 GMT July 13, 2021

Documentary festivals report 22% drop in selected films during pandemic

Documentary festivals report 22% drop in selected films during pandemic

There was a 22% decline in films selected by European documentary festivals during the pandemic, according to research presented in Cannes, and films from underrepresented regions and continents, such as Africa, continued to receive little love from selectors.

Marek Hovorka, festival director of Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, presented its annual report “East West Index,” which compared in-person documentary events in 2019, and festivals during the pandemic in 2020, Variety wrote.

The survey covered 14 festivals, eight in Western Europe and six in Eastern Europe. These included CPH:DOX, Visions du Réel, IDFA, Cinéma du Réel, FID Marseille and Ji.hlava.

The report found that 2,701 films were selected by these events in 2019, and 2,106 in 2020 – a one in five decline. Eleven festivals saw a decline in films selected and three had more films in their programs. The festivals in Western Europe saw a 25% decrease and those in Eastern Europe saw an 18% decrease.

As in previous editions, the survey looked at the nationality of the films selected. Films from Western Europe continued to dominate, while films from Africa, Asia and South America had the worst representation.

In 2019, the Western European festivals selected 56% of their films from Western Europe, 10% from Eastern Europe, 11% from North America, 10% from South America, 8% from Asia, and 5% from Africa. In 2020, the figures were films from Western Europe 58%; Eastern Europe 11%; North America 8%; South America 8%; Asia 9%; and Africa 6%.

In 2019, the Eastern European festivals selected 36% of their films from Western Europe; 39% from Eastern Europe; 12% from North America; 3% from South America; 5% from Asia; and 4% from Africa. In 2020, the figures were Western European films 38%; Eastern European films 39%; North American films 10%; South American films 2%; Asian films 9%; and African films 2%.



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