Matthijs Wouter Knol to Step Down as Director of Berlin's European Film Market

Matthijs Wouter Knol
Berlinale/Angela Regenbrecht

He will take over from Marion Döring as director of the European Film Academy starting in January.

Matthijs Wouter Knol is stepping down after six years as director of the Berlin Film Festival's European Film Market. The Dutch executive will leave his current position as the EFM's boss in November.

In January 2021 he will take over as director of the European Film Academy (EFA), replacing outgoing head Marion Döring.

"The arrival of someone of the quality and caliber of Matthijs to lead the Academy on the next phase of its onward journey," said EFA chairman Mike Downey in a statement. "Marion is a hard act to follow. But if anyone is up to the task it is Matthijs, whose vertically and horizontally integrated depth of knowledge of the European film business and European cinema itself is second to none."

Knol has been director of the European Film Market, the industry section of the Berlin International Film Festival, since 2014. Before that he had been program manager of the Berlinale Talents program since 2008.

"With great success, Matthijs forged ahead with the strategic expansion of the European Film Market and developed it into one of the most significant industrial platforms in the audiovisual industry," said Berlinale co-directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian. "We are thankful for his great commitment, and congratulate him on the new professional challenge."

Berlinale management said it would name a successor to Knol as soon as possible.

The European Film Academy represents some 3,300 film professionals from across Europe. Every year it organizes the European Film Awards, the most acclaimed pan-European film honors.

Regarding his new position, Knol said he was motivated by the ambition "to give the Academy that next leap into the future" and help "create spaces within the film industry in which people feel comfortable, feel seen, feel represented."