By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz June 3, 2014 at 10:00AM
On June 1, 2014, Matthijs Wouter Knol from the Netherlands became the new head of the Berlinale’s European Film Market (EFM). Since 2008, Knol has been the program manager of Berlinale Talents (formerly known as the Berlinale Talent Campus), and is well acquainted with both the Festival and the EFM.
Long-standing EFM head Beki Probst will become president of the EFM. In her new function, she will draw on her extensive experience and use her international network to establish Knol as new EFM head. She will also provide him with support and advice.
“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,” says Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.
Knol was born in the Netherlands in 1977 and studied contemporary history at Leiden University and at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome. He worked as a freelance journalist until 2001 before joining Pieter van Huystee Film, a renowned and internationally award-winning production company in Amsterdam. After becoming head of development in 2004, he focused on developing, financing and internationally co-producing documentary film projects. As the associate producer of various documentary films, he worked with acclaimed filmmakers, such as Heddy Honigmann and Mani Kaul. With Arte he also co-produced the DVD edition of Johan van der Keuken's digitally re-mastered works, which was awarded the Prix “Cahiers du Cinéma” in 2006.
In 2007, Knol started working for the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), spreading his activity between the co-production and sales markets, and the IDFAcademy training programme. As head of the latter, he initiated the IDFAcademy Summer School. In 2008, he became head of Berlinale Talents (formerly known as the Berlinale Talents Campus)
Matthijs has worked with the festival since 2008 when he began the Berlinale Talents and highlighted the importance of training filmmakers about the international film business. He took the Berlinale to the Sarajevo Talents and the Guadalajara Talents. As the new head of the EFM, under the mentorship of Beki Probst, he will surely bring new ideas and new technologies to Berlin. Working with this past year's newly installed Co-Director of EFM, Andrea Kaul, whose expertise will reinforce the EFM in its coverage of new business fields on the ever-changing audiovisual landscape, including new television formats, with her experience with television and media companies including IP Deutschland (RTL Group) and BE VIACOM (Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe), and the convention Telemesse; the international film world will see a new form of business taking a shape that extends beyond the confines of the traditional markets of Cannes and IFTA’s AFM.