EFFE Awards recognises festival creators

Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE) will recognise festival directors Frie Leysen and Dieter Kosslick at the EFFE Awards Salon on 26 September at BOZAR, Brussels.

Chaired by Jonathan Mills, the international jury selected Leysen and Kosslick to receive lifetime achievement awards for their contributions to the European festivals economy.

In a press statement, Mills said: “The EFFE Awards Salon gives us the opportunity to celebrate those that enable artists to do their work, their analysis, their creation and productions: arts festivals and the managers behind them.”

Leysen established deSingel in Antwerp in 1980 and in 1992 she co-founded the multidisciplinary Kunstenfestivaldesarts (KFDA), where she stepped down as director in 2004 to focus on international projects. Over the years, the three-week long KFDA has developed into an important event for Belgian and international arts and practitioners. Later in her career, Leysen became the artistic director of the festival Theater der Welt and was also appointed artistic director for Berliner Festspiele.

Kosslick has been director of Berlinale, Berlin Film Festival since 2001 after taking over from Moritz de Hadeln. It was announced in February that the 69th Berlinale was Kosslick’s last as a director with artistic director Carlo Chatrian and executive director Mariette Rissenbeek confirmed as his successors. During his tenure, Kosslick  launched several initiatives within the festival such as the Co-Production Market and the World Cinema Fund, helping to transform the European Film Market (EFM). In 2018, more than 300,000 tickets were sold at Berlinale, making it the biggest public film festival. And in 2019 the festival attracted nearly 22,000 professionals from 135 countries.