With Cannes just over, is it already time to look to Berlin? Evidently, as the festival has announced a big change this morning. As of June 1, Matthijs Wouter Knol will be the new head of the European Film Market. Longtime outgoing chief Beki Probst will become president of the market and in her new function, the festival says, she will help install Knol and provide “support and advice.” This will be a big deal for EFM exhibitors who have established deep bonds with the well-liked Probst over the last 26 years. Knol, however, is not a stranger to the festival. He has been the program manager of Berlinale Talents (formerly known as the Berlinale Talent Campus) since 2008. In recent years, the market has been hit with general criticism of its place on a packed winter schedule, rising screening and stand prices, and a chorus of “Do we really need to be here?” Today, festival chief Dieter Kosslick said, “Matthijs Wouter Knol will inspire new areas of business and the development of the European Film Market. With Knol, a professional is joining us who knows the festival well. He will strategically strengthen the synergies that have developed between the festival and the EFM.” Knol hails from The Netherlands and was a journalist before segueing to producing in 2001. In 2007, he joined the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam working between the co-production and sales markets, and the IDFAcademy training program.
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