Talent X was held at the EYE Institute in Amsterdam

Talent X findings revealed

The first international forum for professionals working in film talent development, TalentX was held at the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam in March. Bringing together those working to support the progression of new and emerging film talent from across the EU, the forum was run by Creative England, in partnership with the  Danish Film Institute, the Irish Film Board and the Netherlands Film Fund, and supported by the EU’s Creative Europe programme. 

Talent developers from studios and commercial companies as well as state funding agencies and other organisations, such as film schools, took part in a learning and ideas exchange focusing on the challenges and opportunities facing talent within the real world. Participants actively explored what writers and directors really want from development, successful strategies for moving talent into first, second and third features, the role of producers in bringing on talent and different international models for the development of people and projects. 

Over 40 international talent developers were joined by a strong line-up of producers, sales agents, distributors and filmmakers to debate some of the critical challenges they face in today’s global market. 

Six core recommendations emerged, encouraging talent developers to evolve their strategies with the changing markets, and equally to better understand the new challenges faced by talent in the real world:

  • Prioritise Producers: We must acknowledge and support the role of producers in developing talent – they are vital to the development of sustainable film business ecology
  • Bridge the Gap between Public and Private: To effectively develop and progress talent for the real world, we must seek to better align the primary interests of public and private sectors
  • Connect People, Develop Teams, Build Communities: We must be key advocates in connecting and championing talent within industry, working to build thriving creative communities
  • Support Beyond First Features: For long-term career progression, it is essential to support directors beyond first features. The focus of public sector initiatives should not solely be on newcomers
  • Drive Diversity and Discovery: We must increase understanding of the cultural and commercial value that can be added by a wider range of voices. We must tackle diversity throughout the value chain to bring wider representation into film journalism, funding and commissioning
  • Take a Fresh Approach: The role of the talent developer within the public sector needs to evolve with the changing markets, allowing for flexibility and failure

Lisa Howe, Senior Skills Manager at Creative England, said: “For film talent to thrive and succeed we must give time, energy and support to our talent developers. After all, it’s these people who help build great filmmakers and a successful industry.  TalentX was an incredible opportunity to look at how we do this, and I’m looking forward to putting our recommendations into practice.” 

Talent X will return in 2016, to discuss the best ways to put the recommendations into practice across the industry.

Read the full report on the Creative Europe website.

Photo (L-R): Roommate Aitana exterior, Roommate Aitana interior, EYE Institute exterior (© Iwan Baan), EYE Institute Room with a View