On the first day of the 23rd Rendezvous Istanbul International Film Festival, which started as of yesterday with online movie screenings and events, a panel of “Film and Series Production During the COVID-19 Outbreak” was held.

The 23rd Rendezvous Istanbul International Film Festival organized by the Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture (TÜRSAK) with the contributions of the Directorate General of Cinema of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism will be held until December 23rd. Its first day started with the panel Film and Series Production During the COVID-19 Outbreak. The panel, which was held online with the participation of Turkish and British industry professionals, discussed the change and transformation of the film and TV series sectors and production procedures with COVID-19.

On the first day of the festival, under the moderation of TÜRSAK Foundation Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, General Secretary of the Television and Cinema Producers Association, Producer and Lawyer Burhan Gün, with the participation of General Manager of Corazon Films UK, Screenwriter and Director Anita Lewton-Moukkes; Producer and Distributor Marsel Kalvo; the CEO of ZigZag Production Danny Fenton and Deputy General Manager of the CJ Entertainment Producer and Distributor Ferhat AslanFilm and Series Production During the COVID-19 Outbreak panel was carried out. In this panel, the speakers had the opportunity to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the cinema and television industries.

“Digitalization Has Taken A Great Leap”

At the panel, the participants, who started with commenting on the difference between the number of films produced and the number of tickets sold before the pandemic, stated that based on statistical data, there had been a dramatic decline due to the pandemic. In her speech, Anita Lewton-Moukkes talked about her experiences in the cinema industry, and even though she did not build up on statistics in general, she said the pandemic has had huge effects in terms of production and distribution moving from a film in particular. Pointing out that digitalization has led to a leap in terms of expectations with the pandemic going on, Moukkes said that digitalization will offer new insights for the years to come.

“New Content Models and Digital Media Transformed Cinema”

Stating that the most improvement during the pandemic is seen on digital platforms and this situation has changed the balances in both film and TV series industries to a great extent, Danny Fenton added that the new content models also transformed both sectors. Expressing that they had a very poor period in terms of production until July, Fenton said that a slight dynamism in the film industry started in the following period, and emphasized that this process, the results of which were unpredictable, caused many production companies to go out of business.

“Film Theatres Shutting Down Caused Serious Losses Over the Whole Sector”

Stating that before the pandemic, movie companies had released more than 100 films to the cinema annually, Ferhat Aslan added that the situation was completely reversed together in 2020. He added the fact that the film theatres were shut down for a long time caused losses to the sector and many people who made their profits from the sector and those are clearly visible even today.

During the panel, questions such as “How did the productions go on?” and “What rules and regulations have been applied?” were answered as well. During the Q&A session, the participants took questions from YouTube and Zoom Chat.

Due to pandemic, all events will be held online on Zoom and TÜRSAK Foundation YouTube channel, and the social media accounts of the TÜRSAK Foundation can be followed for information on the events.

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