Strategic Partners, a presentation of the Atlantic Film Festival, will host a visionary line-up of speakers including keynote addresses presented by Tornasol Films Producer Mariela Besuievsky and Vimeo Director of Audience Development and Content Operations, Peter Gerard, as part of the event taking place September 11 - 14 in Halifax.
"With our spotlight shining brightly on Spain, Latin America, and the USA at Strategic Partners in 2014, having Mariela as our esteemed Opening Keynote couldn't be more relevant,” says Director of Strategic Partners, Laura MacKenzie. “Her impressive background as a producer, as well as her co-production experience around the globe (not to mention her incredible presence in the room) will ensure an inspirational conversation."
Originally from Uruguay, Besuievsky has produced over 90 films and has been a partner at Tornasol Films in Spain since 1999. She is renowned for her work on illustrious films such as "The Secret in Their Eyes" (winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010), "The Oxford Murders" (starring Elijah Wood and John Hurt) and Oscar nominated "Son of the Bride" (Best Film at the Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards 2002) among many others. Besuievsky has a rich history of bringing raw, character-driven stories to the screen.
"I'm very excited to attend Strategic Partners this fall! It is an optimal place for networking and providing an opportunity to find global partners,” says Besuievsky. “It is also a perfect environment to exchange impressions with other industry professionals, and to find new ideas and different points of view for your projects."
Vimeo Director of Audience Development and Content Operations Peter Gerard will also deliver a highly anticipated keynote address. Gerard set the stage for his impressive career by founding Accidental Media in Edinburgh and leading this groundbreaking company for more than ten years.
In 2010, Gerard founded Distrify to establish “direct-to-fan” digital film sales and in 2014, Peter moved to New York to join Vimeo, where he now manages marketing partnerships within Vimeo’s Audience Development team. His focus is on growing the Vimeo on Demand solution for independent film sales.
“I am excited by the opportunity to meet talented producers at Strategic Partners and talk about the possibilities of online marketing and sales for films and series," says Gerard. "The Vimeo On Demand catalogue is growing fast and we are empowering creators to connect with their global audiences through direct distribution."
"There's no doubt the digital first conversation will be overarching at Strategic Partners this year, and therefore I'm very excited to present industry leader, Peter Gerard, to deliver a keynote address on the topic of Producers as Entrepreneurs," says Mackenzie. "Vimeo's foray into original content with the series High Maintenance further solidifies the commitment and platform of self-distribution to supporting producers and content creation - this is exactly who we want represented at Strategic Partners!"
Each year, top Canadian and international industry players, including producers, investors, sales agents, funding agencies, broadcasters and distributors are selected to attend Strategic Partners. Offering over 1,000 pre-scheduled 1-2-1 meetings, co-production focused roundtable sessions, cutting edge panels, visionary keynote speakers, and screenings and receptions – Strategic Partners is a convergence of talent and innovation, producing tangible results.
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About Strategic Partners: An International Film, Television and Digital Co-Production Market
The Atlantic Film Festival’s Strategic Partners is one of the world’s preeminent co-production/co-financing markets focusing on feature film, TV and web based fiction. Strategic Partners offers an intimate, organized forum for projects looking for financing as well as those still at an early stage, looking for the right partner.
Over the past 17 years, Strategic Partners has established itself not only as a one of a kind co-production market, but also as a cutting edge, intimate environment that delivers solutions to existing and foreseeable industry challenges. The intelligence and program offered at Strategic Partners is developed over many months of research into current global issues. However, this information is only a complement to Strategic Partners’ primary function – to build, establish and nurture relationships between producers and their partners.
Strategic Partners is a part of the Atlantic Film Festival family of programs. Today’s Atlantic Film Festival is now a year-round celebration, growing
beyond our eight-day cornerstone event in September to include: ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth, the AFF Outdoor Film Experience, and