Berlin Fashion Film Festival – interview with founder Niccolò Montanari


 

 

This year, the inaugural edition of the Berlin Fashion Film Festival will run alongside Berlin Fashion Week from 3 – 8 July. The festival will present fashion in an innovative way, combining film with fashion presentations, whilst grouping together outstanding film directors, emerging fashion talent and influential characters of the international creative scene.

The films were both invited by a panel of curators and selected from an online open call. The films will then be judged by an international jury, which includes Diane Pernet for Best Fashion Film, Yann Le Goec for Best Fashion, Johan Renck for Best Cinematography, Till Diestel for Best Idea, and Oliver Koletzki for Best Music.

The winning films will then be screened to industry insiders at Berlin Fashion Week, with a public showing on July 8th in Berlin, or if your not in Berlin on selected websites.

We spoke to Niccolò Montanari, Co-Founder of the festival and management company FIER, on the exciting new Fashion Film genre and what we can expect this year in Berlin.

FLUX: What is your own/Fier’s background in fashion/film?

Niccolò Montanari: The event management company FIER management was founded in 2010 by myself, and Lisa Filippini. We provide tailored, designer-focused events for emerging fashion designers, ranging from presentations, catwalks and exhibitions to showrooms, festivals and openings. Last May we also opened a concept for store for emerging fashion designers called Konzept86, a space where designers get the chance to sell directly to the public with no commissions taken on our part. We provide the space, equipment and marketing tools, and the designers contribute to the expenses. We understand emerging designers need somewhere to sell their items, and we want to facilitate that process. What’s interesting, is that we also offer the possibility to rent clothes to those designers willing to do so.

With regard to Berlin Fashion Film Festival, we decided to partner up with Furore, the film production company for the fashion industry. As we did, they also saw the potential in fashion film, and by combining their technical expertise and knowledge with ours, we worked towards setting up the first edition of Berlin Fashion Film Festival.

FLUX: Fashion video is a fairly new genre, so everything is quite exciting about it. What do you think it offers fashion that still images don’t?

Niccolò Montanari: Fashion film is indeed a fairly new genre. We are after all part of the internet generation, and this is also reflected in our industries. With fashion, it took shape in fashion film. There are many advantages: cheaper than a catwalk, greater visibility and duration, greater potential to express the label’s true identity and the chance to tell a story, which is what we focus on with BfFF. We don’t want to showcase adverts. We want to show the versatility of fashion film and the different aspects of fashion, hence why we are also working with different curators so that they can bring in what fashion film means to them.

 

FLUX: How many entries did you get? Did you find they were coming from international sources, or mainly from Berlin based designers?

Niccolò Montanari: Well, in just over a month, we received more than 200 entries, both from Berlin designers and international ones, which has been great considering this is our first edition. The attention we received has been very impressive, but I guess we should take this as a sign that we are going the right away and that we are answering the need of an emerging market. Financially, we are doing this all off our own back, but we wanted to show we could do on own for this edition. So just imagine what we could for our future editions with some support.

FLUX: Is the judging process complete now? How did that go – you have some great judges involved?

Niccolò Montanari: Yes, we do have some great judges. Our selection was based on their expertise. Unfortunately Diane Pernet won’t be able to attend the festival, but she is still judging the films and she’ll have someone represent her on her behalf. We look forward to the awards!

FLUX: Is it a recognisably Berlin festival – or does the final selection have more of an international feel?

Niccolò Montanari: You have to think about Berlin as the international city it is. This means that the festival definitely has an international feel to it, because over the past few years Berlin has become an international hub for national and international creativity. The difference between Berlin Fashion Film Festival and other fashion festivals, as well as the collaboration with curators from various fields, is the fact that we aim to integrate live shows with film screenings.

FLUX: We are looking forward to seeing the videos you are presenting. Can you give us any clues to what you have coming up?

Niccolò Montanari: We have a very impressive selection of films, the quality is very high, and I personally think it reflects very well the different aspects of the fashion industry. We are not trying to revolutationaise the fashion industry, but simply present all its facades. Fashion film has somewhat of a branding stigma. With Berlin Fashion Film Festival it won’t be about branding, but rather about story-telling.

FLUX: What else are you looking forward to at Berlin Fashion Week? Any labels you think we should be looking out for?

Niccolò Montanari: On top of Berlin Fashion Film Festival, we are organising our next edition of FIER showroom, a showroom focusing on contemporary and avant-garde fashion labels. We have a very impressive selection of designers, from different countries and backgrounds, so we are definitely looking forward to giving these labels the chance, some for the first time, to be introduced to the Berlin Fashion scene and an international audience. What’s interesting about all of our projects, is that we succeed in bringing international creative players to the city of Berlin, and presenting emerging designers abroad, as well as here in Berlin.

For those attending Berlin Fashion Week, the Berlin Fashion Film Festival Official Screening is on July 3 at RADIALSYTEM V, Holzmarktstr. 33 , 10243 Berlin. The Winners Screening and Presentation by Tom Van der Borght is on July 5 at FIER Showroom, The Wye, Skalitzer Strasse 86.

There will then be a Public Winner’s Screening (entry 5 Euros) on July 8, 1700-1800 at The Wye Door C, Skalitzer Strasse 86.

For more information see www.berlinfashionfilmfestival.net

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