Combining for cross media – the Filmteractive Festival

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 14.16.41Last year I attendend the Filmteractive Festival in Poland for the first time. It was an energetic event with a certain evangilizing feel to it. As cross media and transmedia is not yet as widespread in Eastern Europe as in other parts of the world, Filmteractive felt like it had an important role to play in the dissemination of examples, best practices and possibilities within the fields.

This year the fourth Filmteractive Festival (24-25 September) is a combination of three different parts, the business oriented Conference, the Market for selling and buying innovative AV content and the Festival for digital video art.

I caught up with Adipat Virdi, transmedia producer and head of the Expert Panel at Filmteractive, tasked with judging the participants in the competition for the EVIO Award, to hear how this year’s festival is shaping up.

How did you come to be involved with the Filmteractive Festival?

Having known Olgierd Cygan (Filmteractive Festival founder) for a few years, there was a synergy in terms of our interests in multiplatform thinking for media and creative industries. We started talking about possibilities of introducing an innovative set of tools to allow individuals and companies to create more effective audience engagement through narrative-driven strategies. He then asked me to come and speak about my work and take a place on the Judging panel for the Filmteractive Market last year. This year I have been asked to come back as the Head of the Expert Panel to judge over 70 projects for the EVIO award.

What can you tell me about the selected finalists?

The finalists this year are even more interesting, creative and innovative than last year. In keeping with last year, however, they all have three things in common:

– They have all thought through their projects audience first and have given particular focus to the thematic drivers that hold the project together. Most of the other projects, albeit technically proficient and showing great production value and potential, have just missed the mark in telling us what they are about and how they give us, the consumer, an entertaining and worthwhile experience.

– The pitch documents are clear and have been thought through in terms of how the platforms fit together as well as having a professional-looking appearance and clarity.

– The finalists all have the x-factor in giving us a new and unique take on the world in the way they have built their storyworlds. That uniqueness is key to getting traction with an audience and in the market.

Looking at the state of the cross media field in Central and Eastern Europe today, how do you find that it compares to the rest of the world – based on what you’ve seen as the head of the jury?

One could look at the bigger picture and say that there is an increasing interest and awareness of cross media thinking and application throughout the world. They would be right. In my opinion, however, there is a stark difference between C & E Europe and the rest of the world and that is in the way that this thinking is applied.

In most of the key markets around the world, there is a distinctive industry focus whereby cross media thinking is being applied as ‘augmented marketing’ in very corporate settings and with a view to create more portals of engagement for a central IP. From my experience the difference in C & E Europe is that cross media is used more creatively as a storytelling device and as a tool for thinking through narrative in a more expansive and user-centric way. I guess that there is more awareness of content consumers as content creators.

Lastly – why should I come to Poland for the Filmteractive Festival?

Filmteractive is fast becoming THE event that focuses on Cross Media talent, projects and potential around the world. The unique blend of a conference, market and festival all in one gives it an edge as well as allowing more people to get involved, learn and experience the vast possibilities that are emerging. The EVIO award is the icing on the cake as a prestigious acceptance of the amazing projects that people are involved with. It’s inspirational.

Simon Staffans is a content and format developer and media strategist, employed by MediaCity Finland. He works with multiplatform storytelling, transmedia development procedures and great stories. Contact him at simon.staffans(at) or follow him on @simon_staffans.

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