The first module of the European VOD Meetings in Venice welcomed a list of international and prominent speakers who shared their knowledge with all the participants of the workshop and the audience at the Venice Production Bridge.
Let's get to know them better!
Moderator of all Round-Table
Michael Gubbins is co-founder of analysis and consultancy company SampoMedia, chair of film fund, Ffilm Cymru Wales and project leader of a major creative cluster development in the West Midlands of the UK.
Gubbins was editor of titles, including Screen International and Screen Daily, and Music Week in a 25-year career in newspapers and magazines. He writes influential reports on the changing media and cultural environment in Europe; and is a sought-after and experienced moderator, keynote speaker and organiser of conferences, Think Tanks and events around the world.
In the last six years, Gubbins has worked in more than. 30 countries with clients interested in the changing on-demand, always-on converged economy.
He is an Honorary Visiting Fellow of the University of Exeter, a member of the West Midlands Film Bureau, and sits on the advisory boards of Power to the Pixel and the Met Film School.
The EU VOD Market - Facts and Figures
European Audiovisual Observatory, Council of Europe (Analyst) Christian Grece joined the Department
for Market Information at the Observatory in March 2013. His main fields of expertise are the economics of the online media sector (especially video on-demand and online advertising) and the European TV market.
Christian drafts economic reports and analyses for DG Connect at the European Commission covering European and International on-demand audiovisual service providers. He also reports on the development of the online media sector for the European Audiovisual Observatory, and participates in various conferences related to the media sector several times each year.
Christian holds a BA in Economics from the University of Strasbourg, a Master in Business from Grenoble
Ecole de Management, a Master in Business Administration from the University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale, USA and a Master in Industrial Economics from Paris-Dauphine University, Ecole des Mines & Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications.
Christian worked as an Economist in Broadcasting competition and Spectrum Management for Orange-France Télécom for 3 years in Paris while being a Ph.D candidate in Economics at Paris Tech before joining the Observatory.
Round-Table - Audiovisual Piracy
Thierry Chevillard is the founder and CEO of Blue Efficience, a French company specialized in
protecting films against online piracy, offering innovative and efficient services to rights holders. Clients include TV channels, distributors, publishers and film institutions such as TF1, UGC Images, Mars Films and Les César.
Before founding Blue Efficience, Thierry was Business Development Manager in a start-up offering cutting-edge technology for TV broadcast companies. Thierry Chevillard is a graduate of the ESIEE Paris and Grenoble Ecole de Management.
Chris Le Maitre
Chris Le Maitre is involved in anti-piracy operations at varying levels for 20+ years in the payTV sector, focusing on attacks directed at Conditional Access technology provided by NDS/Cisco.
PayTV piracy has evolved over these years from smartcard piracy to various forms of key-sharing / control-word sharing and illicit IPTV / streaming. Prior to the pay-TV industry, I worked at FACT in the UK combatting film, video and dvd piracy. For the last 10 years, I have represented NDS/Cisco at AAPA, the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance.
Roundtable - VOD for Heritage Films
Wendy Bernfeld, former Montrealer and founder/Managing Director of Rights Stuff (Amsterdam), is a passionate film buff with 25+ years in film/paytv/vod channel startup , biz dev and content/programming experience in N.A. and EMEA/international , including prior multi-region roles as CEO Canal+ International, MD Alliance Atlantis and earlier on in her career as an entertainment lawyer.
Since founding Rights Stuff in ‘99 (www.rights-stuff.com), her digital agency/consultancy, she provides content strategy and pragmatic licensing, including content curation, acquisition, distribution and development, so as to help maximise rights/windows/audiences across an evolving digital landscape. Key expertise is international pay/svod/ott licensing and ‘’Originals’’ deals (traditional, cross platform, digital first/webseries, and VR) , including hybrid and digital distribution going beyond just the Big5, to the many other key EMEA/international thematic and regional players who compete and complement them.
Wendy has a Law Degree (L.L.B.)/J.D.) from Queens University, after a year of B.A./M.B.A. courses in McGill and Univ. of Toronto.
She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada as well as on the Roll of Solicitors in the UK. Earlier, she was one of 10 honored appointees as Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Alongside Rights Stuff, Wendy is a frequent lecturer and writer on digital media, as well as a strong supporter of the production/festival sectors, including industry and advisory boards (IDFA, Binger Film Institute, The Film Collaborative etc). Wendy was named as one of the “Brave Thinkers of Indie
Film, 2010” by Oscar-winning independent producer Ted Hope.
With thirty-five years of activity in cinema and its conservation, a career between Europe and the United States as archivist and restorer, festival director and international expert, theorist and professor of restoration, Nicola Mazzanti dedicated all his life to cinema and to its preservation.
He began his career as an archivist and restorer in Italy, as co-founder of the festival ‘Il Cinema Ritrovato’ and the restoration laboratory ‘L’Immagine Ritrovata’. In the years, he has been responsible for the restoration of hundreds of silent and sound films, from Chaplin to the classics of Chinese cinema, from Murnau to Fritz Lang, from Jean Renoir to John Ford, from the Dardennes Brothers to Chantal Akerman.
A recognized expert in the field of cinematographic archiving, he has a long list of publications on the history and restoration of cinema, subjects on which he taught at universities in Italy, Germany, Belgium and the United States. Currently he teaches at the ULB and Lille3 masters.
He wrote for the European Commission a study on the transition of cinematheques in the digital age: «Digital Agenda for the European Film Heritage».
He has been a board member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA, Los Angeles) and Europeana, a member of the FIAF Technical Commission, and President of ACE - the Association of European Cinematheques.
Since 2012 Nicola Mazzanti runs the Royal Belgian Film Archive (Cinematek).
Cristian Mungiu is a Romanian filmmaker born in Lasi, Romania in 1968.
His debut film, Occident / West, was premiered in Quinzaine des Realisateurs in Cannes in 2002 and was an audience hit in Romania. In 2007, his second feature, 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, was awarded the Palme d’Or in Cannes. The film later received several awards as best film of the year from various international associations of film critics. It also won the European Film Academy awards for best film and best director. He returned to Cannes in 2009 as a writer-producer-co-director with the collective episodic film Tales from the Golden Age and as a writer-director in 2012 with Beyond the Hills – double
awarded for Best Screenplay and Best actresses. Bacalaureat / Graduation is his fifth film presented in Cannes, awarded for Best Director in 2016.
Born in 1956, Rainer Rother, studied German literature, philosophy and history in Hannover. He completed his doctorate in 1987. In 1991 Rainer Rother became director of the film archives of the German Historical Museum (DHM) in Berlin.
During his years at the DHM, Rother has been the curator of film retrospectives and was responsible for exhibitions on historical and film historical topics.
Since 2006, Rainer Rother has been the Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen and head of the Berlinale’s Retrospective section. As a film studies expert, Rother is the author and editor of numerous publications on topics related to the history of film and the
General Manager at AVAKA (Lithuanian audiovisual authors and producers rights association) www.avaka.lt.
Darius Vaitiekunas, LLM with a 15 years experience in copyright law and collective rights management. Darius was working as senior consultant at Lithuanian copyright association LATGA; Branch manager
for Lithuania at Nordisk Copyright Bureau (NCB). Since 2011 head of Lithuanian audiovisual authors and producers rights association AVAKA. Now AVAKA represents interests of more than 500 Lithuanian film
and TV creators and is the main association in Lithuania, representing audiovisual sector interests.
Jean-Baptiste Viaud is the General Delegate of LaCinetek (www.lacinetek.com), the first European platform solely dedicated to classic films with a catalogue of movies chosen and presented by directors from all over the world. In link with its board, he coordinates the operational team and implements its
development strategy. He is in charge of acquisition of rights and works with over fifty rights holders and distributors both in France and abroad. He is also a deputy member of the Commission for “Advanced funds on Earnings" for the French National Center of Cinematography (CNC).
With degrees in Foreign Languages and International Affairs in Paris and Vienna as well as in Cultural Journalism at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, he has been a journalist specialised in International politics at the
French TV channel TV5Monde. He was also editor-in-chief for the movie webzine www.iletaitunefoislecinema.com and has worked for Arte.tv as a movie journalist.
Round table about the European public policies for the VoD sector
Gabriele Bertolli works for Creative Europe MEDIA, the EU’s programme supporting the European audiovisual sector. Previously, he used to coordinate the European Commission's team dealing with media freedom and pluralism in the EU.
Prior to joining the Commission, he worked as consultant in EU affairs and as a freelance journalist. He has a background in media & communication (University of Bologna) and European studies (College of Europe).
With a Master’s Degree in Business Law and a post-graduate degree in Audiovisual Law, Laetitia Facon began her career at the CNC (French cinema agency) as a Lawyer in the Heritage Division, before moving to the Legal Department, and becoming a Legal Adviser in 2006. Appointed Head of the Physical
and Online Video Department in 2010, she is responsible for automatic and selective support for video-on-demand and physical video, the development of the legal offer and the fight against audiovisual piracy, as well as the implementation of the media release chronology policy. She is also in charge of developing the CNC’s referencing tool.
Marzena Rembowski is Director for EU Policy for Netflix where she leads the company’s policy work
with the European institutions and governments. Since joining Netflix in 2017, Ms Rembowski works with these institutions and governments to promote policies that supports a competitive, open and dynamic
media digital ecosystem, beneficial to consumers.
Prior to joining Netflix, Ms. Rembowski was Managing Director at FTI Consulting, heading the Technology, Media and Telecom practice, and has also worked in the European Parliament and in a British law firm.
Ms. Rembowski holds an LLM in European law from King’s College London, an LLB in Law with French law from the University of Reading and a Licence de Droit from Paris X.
Round-Table - Is still technology a factor of differentiation?
Long-time computer enthusiast, Louis Bourguignon has been working as an IT consultant since 2001.
From 2010 onwards, Louis specializes in the video sector, working in projects for Pluzzvad, Bbox by Bouygues Telecom, the French Institute, UniversCiné...
William is an entrepreneur with a diverse background in film, media, innovation and legal. He is the co-founder of FilmDoo, which is a diversified media company utilising disruptive technology to deliver the best in entertainment, cultural and language learning content. FilmDoo has grown to have nearly 1m visitors a month and continues to innovate in the film space. He recently led FilmDoo’s efforts into establishing Fassoo, which is a company focussed on helping content owners to create and automate
their entire metadata infrastructure through the utilisation of A.I. and machine learning technologies.
William is an adjunct lecturer at University Technology Sydney and at Australian Catholic University teaching across various areas of entrepreneurship and law. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Sydney where he is focussing on open innovation and emerging accelerators.
He is also a dual qualified English and New South Wales solicitor.
William speaks regularly at conferences, events and film festivals, primarily on innovation and utilising disruptive technologies in media, corporate governance and startup legal issues, entrepreneurship, the film industry and on the distribution of content.
Philippe, CTO of Kinow, is a software engineer from Epitech, and develops the first version of the
open-source e-commerce solution PrestaShop between 2007 and 2010 as lead developer. He then develops many projects as an entrepreneur, including the PrestaVOD module, to transform a PrestaShop store into a real VOD platform. PrestaShop is today one of the most used e-commerce solutions in the world with several hundreds of thousands of shops deployed.
Pierre Sang and Philippe Antoine (Kaemo / Kinow -CEO & Co-founder) meet in 2011, and, in view of the growth of the OTT video market, discuss the possibility of creating a complete solution for any video catalog holder wishing to broadcast its content online.
They decide to combine their skills and experience to create Kinow, and launch the commercialization of the solution in 2015, after several years of R & D.
Daniel is Frontend Developer at EYZ Media / Realeyz, Subtitlex (CTO), in Berlin.
Round-Table REACHING THE AUDIENCE: Marketing and Audience Development
After graduating in Anthropology at the ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) Christine Eloy started to work for an event organization company, then for a pool of European televisual cultural programs.
In 2000 she joined Cinéart, one of the leading independent distributors in the BENELUX, where she worked at the sales department for twelve years, releasing about 600 films amongst which AMOUR,
AUF DER ANDERE SEITE, PERSEPOLIS, DANCER IN THE DARK, LORD OF THE RINGS or STILL LIFE.
Since September 2013, Christine is Europa Distribution’s Managing Director. Europa Distribution is the association of independent film distributors. With about 115 members, representing 29 countries in
Europe and beyond, it acts as a network and a think tank and serves as the voice of the sector.
Gianluca Guzzo studied classical dance in France and computer engineering at the Polytechnic
University of Milan. He began his professional activities as a dancer, developing a strong sense of aesthetics and the ability to acquire and understand the trends in tastes and customs. In 2000 he
created MYmovies.it, a webite of reference in Italy for cinema, of which he is still today CEO. In February 2010 he designed and launched MYMOVIESLIVE, an innovative social entertainment platform for online movie streaming. In 2015 he officially entered the world of production with the film Louisiana - The other side of Roberto Minervini, in co-production with Arte Francia Cinema and Rai Cinema, presented in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ section at the 68th Cannes Film Festival.
In 2018, he confirms his commitment with Minervini for his new film What will you do when the world is on fire in competition at the 75th Venice Film Festival. In February 2013 MYmovies.it is acquired by GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.A. which today holds 83% of the company. The remaining shares are still by Gianluca Guzzo.
Nikolaj Mathies Knudsen
Nikolaj Mathies has been working with Gruvi since 2016 in helping entertainment companies finding
their audiences online as well developing and executing marketing strategies in collaboration with distributors, producers and exhibitors. Nikolaj has an in-depth understanding of various strategies
and approaches to use when promotingvideo content and cutting through the noise in the online sphere.
Nikolaj Mathies is 28 years old and lives in Copenhagen. He graduated from Copenhagen Business Academy in international marketing in 2016 and has since then been Head of Sales at Gruvi.
After initiating his career directing music videos and documentaries, he started writing articles for newspapers and magazines on trends and videogames while working for Manga Films during 6 years.
On 2005 he became part of Cameo, the prestigious distribution company of independent cinema, acting as Editor-in-chief. On 2007 he became one of the founders of Filmin, a reference website for independent cinema in Spain that has over 500,000 users, in which he serves as Editor-in-chief and Development Manager. On 2015, Filmin initiated an international expansion that has led the company to be an available platform in Mexico and Portugal.
On 2010, Jaume Ripoll created Atlántida Film Fest, the first film festival offering the entire programme online. Its 8th edition exceeded the 140,000 viewers in the three areas in which it was hosted: Internet
(Filmin), open air cinemas (Palma de Mallorca) and Television (Ib3Tv).
On 2015 he made his début as producer in “Barcelona, nit d’hivern” (Barcelona, Christmas night), a great blockbuster in Spain that had over 65,000 viewers and 7 Gaudí Awards nominations. On 2018 he has
executive produced two new films, «Jean François and the sense of life» and «Samantha Hudson».
He has also participated in the screenwriting of “Somos Gente Honrada”, feature film directed by Alejandro Marzoa that competed in the Malaga’s.