European Film Academy (EFA) 2012

Founded in 1988 with the Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman as its first president, the European Film Academy (EFA) today unites more than 2.700 European film professionals with the common aim of promoting Europe’s film culture: directors, producers, actors, directors of photography and screenwriters, film editors, production designers as well as other film professionals.

Every year on the first weekend in December, the EFA presents the European Film Awards, which honor the greatest achievements in European cinema throughout the year. On this extraordinary occasion, the EFA unites European film professionals, members of the European Film Academy, nominees and former prize winners. The awards ceremony takes places in Berlin every second year, in the other years, the Awards travel from one European capital to another. The solemn 25th European Film Awards, for example, took place in Valetta in Malta, in 2008 in Tallin, in 2006 in Warsaw, in 2004 in Barcelona and in 2002 in Rome.


Since 2008 we are successfully using the software TablePlanner to make the seating arrangements for our guests – for the gala often more than 1000 guests need to be seated. The ceremony of the European Film Awards is broadcasted in television even beyond Europe’s borders and can be followed live on the Internet. Special attention is paid to the area directly in front of the stage – that is where the nominees, former prize winners and the laudators are seated, as the cameras have to be able to capture their faces and these persons may need free access to the stage.

The specifications of the location as well as the requirements on the seating arrangements of the guests vary notably – depending on the current concept and location of the Awards ceremony. TablePlanner allows to „use“ every hall, as it is possible to flexibly copy the respective hall and the guests can be seated without difficulty. The import of guest data from our database works very well, cancellations as well as new guests can easily be entered and the guests can be seated – and, what is most important, also re-seated – by a smooth drag and drop operation.

All the lists are updated automatically, no matter which operation is at its base. And it is not only a question of guest lists and seating arrangements, but also hotel lists or the like can be created individually corresponding to your requirements, as any field may serve as criterion for a list. These lists are indispensable for the organization of different domains (guest services/hostesses, TV production). However, the graphic output of the seating arrangements is essential for the TV production as the camera positions are fixed on its base. All lists can easily be e-mailed as pdf files to the respective colleagues.

Before using TablePlanner, we used to input all data manually in Excel tables and we had to carry on all modifications of the seating arrangements by hand – an exhaustive practice that in the extremely busy phase of organization of a major event tended to be error-prone. This former practice is now replaced by an easy-to-handle software that offers a number of additional advantages apart from the useful lists: Name badges and personalized tickets, that in the past had to be labeled by hand, arranged in alphabetic order and then handed out to the guests at the welcome counter, thanks to TablePlanner can now by created directly on-site.

Apart from the Awards ceremony the „European Film Awards Weekend“ offers also other possibilities to use TablePlanner – seated dinner events for example.

We wish to point out especially Mister Witte’s tireless efforts to support us. Not only is he always happy to provide advisory support to us, but, and what is more, he has continuously refined the program with us throughout the last years, thus creating a customized version that is tailored perfectly to our very particular needs.

Pictures of the 25th European Film Awards in Malta, where, amongst others, the British actress Helen Mirren was honored with the prize EUROPEAN ACHIEVEMENT IN WORLD CINEMA 2012 and the Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci with the EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (Copyright: EFA / Erik Riikoja)