Here’s a statement from the fest:
“With Dennis Ruh, we have gained a well-connected industry expert to head the EFM. We both see him as a committed and forward-thinking individual, and we’re looking forward to working together,” said Berlinale directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.
“The EFM is very well-positioned. It’s an integral part of the film business cycle and an important driving force for the industry. I want to continue its successful tack within the challenging market setting, and further expand strategic development and positioning. I’m looking forward to working constructively together with the experienced and competent EFM team,” added Dennis Ruh.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE 09/07 04:08AM PT: The Berlin International Film Festival is set to announce the new chief of the European Film Market. I hear that name will be Dennis Ruh, who is joining from German Films.
He takes over from the long-serving Matthijs Wouter Knol, who is leaving to join the European Film Academy. Ruh takes up his role on September 15 and Wouter Knol will stay in position for a handover until the end of October.
Ruh is currently Head of Festival Relations and Producers Liaison at German Films.
The festival did not respond to a request for comment.
Taking over the European Film Market for 2021 will be an interesting challenge given the ongoing pandemic disruption to the international film circuit. Word from Venice Film Festival is that the first major international film event to go ahead in the pandemic era has been a relatively smooth affair, and optimism levels are now high for future events. But the EFM, enclosed primarily in the relatively cramped confines of the MGB, is a very different prospect. With thousands of delegates fitting into such a small space, how will the festival manage to introduce effective sanitary and distancing measures?
Of course, the arrival of a vaccine in time for the festival’s February 11 – 21 dates would be welcome, though this looks a distant prospect at present. The festival has already announced that next year’s EFM will run as a hybrid model of online and offline activities, though the currently line is that the MGB will house a market as per normal.