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DEC 5th 2015
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Beki Probst - Switzerland
The Lifetime Achievement Award
  
Beki Probst
Founder – President, The European Film Market (EFM)

 
For her passion and resolve in championing independent European films and founding the European Film Market (EFM), now the first major event of the film calendar year, Beki Probst, Founder and President of the EFM, is the recipient of TheWIFTS Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

Images of the European Film Market (EFM)
Beki Probst was born and grew up in Istanbul where she studied law and journalism before joining the daily newspaper Tercuman and the weekly newspaper Hayat.

In 1960, Beki Probst moved to Switzerland where she organized several cultural projects. She then became manager of the Probst-Kinobetriebe, with which she is still involved today. Her commitment to film and cinema soon led her to extend her activities to Europe and beyond.

From 1981 to 1988, she was the Berlin International Film Festival's delegate for Turkey and Greece, where she sourced independent European films to attend and be showcased at the Berlinale. In 1985, she organized the first tradeshow for the Locarno International Film Festival. She also served on Locarno's Selection Board until 1995. In addition she was artistic director of the Geneva Festival Stars de Demain in its remit to showcase Swiss talent.

Beki Probst, President of The European Film Market (EFM) together with Matthijs Wouter Knol, EFM's Director
From 1988 to 2014, she was director of the Film Fair of the Berlin International Film Festival. Probst initiated growth, and executed expansion into its present home the Martin- Gropius Bau, and renamed the Film Fair - the European Film Market.

Harnessing the energy of Berlin and the passion for film, the European Film Market is the business epicentre of one of the most important international film festivals in the world, the Berlinale (The Berlin International Film Festival). Every February the EFM opens the grand doors to the Martin-Gropius-Bau and welcomes over 8,400 producers, buyers, sales agents, distributors, exhibitors and financiers to the first major film market of the year. The EFM is the first date in the industry's calendar and is regarded as an early indicator for the new film year. With a keen eye to detail the EFM's organization and commitment to quality content from around the world brings together the right people at the right place and time, inspiring the conversations and connections that are the cornerstone of the business. The meetings, the handshake, and the new film year… all starts in Berlin.

Beki Probst has served on the juries of several international film festivals, among them Toronto, Jerusalem and San Sebastián.

In 1992, Beki Probst was decorated as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Cultural Minister.

With an astute and stellar record of guiding the European Film Market, Beki Probst became its president in 2014.

(Image © Ali Ghandthschi)






Acceptance
Speech


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