Berlin EFM Director Matthijs Wouter Knol Leaving To Run European Film Academy

Matthijs Wouter Knol
Matthijs Wouter Knol Berlinale/Angela Regenbrecht

Matthijs Wouter Knol, the long-serving director of the Berlin International Film Festival’s European Film Market (EFM), is leaving his post to take the reins at the European Film Academy.

Wouter Knol will remain in situ until October 31, with Berlinale management exploring options for his succession. Next year’s EFM is due to take place February 11-18.

The Berlin-based European Film Academy is the society of European filmmakers that governs the European Film Awards, which this year will take place on December 12 in Reykjavík, Iceland. Founded in 1988, the org now unites 3,800 European film professionals. Wouter Knol will take up his new position in January 2021.

Current Academy director Marion Döring is retiring from the role.

“The arrival of someone of the quality and calibre of Matthijs to lead the Academy on the next phase of its onward  journey makes the departure of Marion Döring just a little easier to bear,” said EFA Chairman Mike Downey. “Marion is a hard act to follow, but if anyone is up to the task it is Matthijs, whose vertically and horizontally integrated depth of knowledge of the European film business and European cinema itself is second to none.”

Wouter Knol served as the Programme Manager of Berlinale Talents from 2008 to 2014 before being appointed the market’s director in June 2014.

The festival published a statement thanking Wouter Knol for his 12-year tenure.

“With great success, Matthijs forged ahead with the strategic expansion of the European Film Market and developed it into one of the most significant industrial platforms in the audiovisual industry. We are thankful for his great commitment, and congratulate him on the new professional challenge. We wish Matthijs all the best and look forward to continuing the exchange with him in his new position,” said Berlinale director duo Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.

“It was a fantastic and an incredibly enriching experience for me to make a contribution to further expanding the Berlinale, especially the Berlinale Talents and then the EFM, over the past twelve years. I leave the festival with a lot of good memories. I wish to thank everyone in the festival management for their faith in me, and I am pleased that the future will offer new opportunities to continue working together,” added Matthijs Wouter Knol.

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