27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
East West Index
The presentation of an exclusive survey among key European documentary film festivals focuses on figures representing individual regions.
The initial impetus is a long-term underrepresentation of Eastern European films at Western European film festivals. However, the findings pose much more complex questions related to the role of film festivals and their programming objectives. Is the programme of many festivals mainly composed of Western European and North American films due to the quality of the selected titles, or is this a more complex issue? As part of the survey, the online portal, eastwestindex.com, was founded, and a commitment made by the Ji.hlava IDFF to further monitor these (dis)proportions in the programmes of individual festivals.
● East West Index 2023
● East West Index 2022
● East West Index 2021
● East West Index 2020
● East West Index 2019
Thanks to EWI, we found that the 2020 pandemic led to a 20% reduction in the number of films compared to 2019, which was a total of 600 missing films. As cheerful as the current data is, the 14 tracked festivals still presented nearly 150 fewer titles than in 2019.
The East West Index was launched by Ji.hlava IDFF to see how many films from Western and Eastern Europe are being screened by European festivals. In general statistics, both hide under the category "European film", but it is notable that for festivals in Western Europe, on average only one in seven are from Eastern Europe. Conversely, for Eastern European festivals, on average one in two films is from a Western European country. Nothing has changed in this ratio in the last five years.
- You can download the presentation East West Index 2023 in pdf HERE.
While the previous East West Index showed a dramatic reduction in films screened by festivals in 2021, in the past twelve months 12 of the 14 monitored film festivals have screened more films compared to the previous year. However, they have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. IDFA and Dokufest Kosovo have been the most drastically affected by the pandemic, with IDFA showing a drop of 91 films in 2020 and the Kosovo festival showing a drop of 145 films. In the most recent editions, IDFA and Dokufest expanded their programmes by 46 and 98 titles respectively. Only 2 festivals showed fewer films than last year, when the Krakow festival in particular reduced its programme by almost 30% of titles (from 171 to 124 films) due to financial reasons.
Out of the 14 documentary film festivals monitored, 10 were held in a hybrid way.
The share of European films in the programme is on average 66% of the titles, while for Eastern European festivals it is as high as 71% and for Western European ones 63%. The representation of European films is thus similar. However, if we take a closer look, we find that while the Eastern European festivals are geographically fairly balanced (56% Eastern European productions, 44% Western European), the Western European festivals have only 15% Eastern European productions (15% Eastern European, 85% Western European).
- You can download the presentation East West Index 2022 in pdf HERE.
- East West Index data collected at film festivals during the pandemic year 2020 has been presented as part of the Doc Talk organised by the Ji.hlava IDFF at Marche du Film / Cannes Docs on Monday, 12th July at 4PM.
- You can download the presentation in pdf HERE.
- Press release: "East West Index Survey: Pandemic wiped out one in four films from festivals in 2020" to download HERE.
- Names of the EMERGING PRODUCERS 2022 has been officially announced at the event.
- East-West Index survey presented at the Cannes Docs, Marché du Film, June 24, 2020 to download HERE
- Recording of the debate "Which regions are under-represented in the programming of film festivals and why?" hosted by Ji.hlava IDFF at Cannes Docs / Marché du Film, June 24, 2020
- Results of the East-West Index survey presented at Ji.hlava IDFF in October 2019 to download ZDE