First Hand Films GmbH
Sales Representative, Distributor, Producer
Hansen Schnyder Gitte
Joined First Hand Films in 2002, her work includes project development, financing & packaging, sales and acquisition. Previously Gitte has worked with international distribution of feature films, she was Head of Information and Promotion with Filmkontakt Nord for five years in Copenhagen, coordinator of the Nordisk Forum for Co-financing of Documentaries, and she has worked for the former MEDIA project DOCUMENTARY which included the first edition of the EDN TV Guide and a study on the European Documentary sector regarding co- production and film financing. She has joined Vertical Strategy, Eurodoc session, and serves as consultant and lecturer at workshops in Europe. Gitte has served on several juries at film festivals around Europe and holds a master in Film and Rhetoric from the University of Copenhagen.
First Hand Films GmbH
Since 1998, Esther van Messel runs FHF in Zurich and Berlin for international distribution and production of documentaries, series, fiction films and transmedia. FHF acts as executive producer for selected projects and has worked with major broadcasters (like ABC, Arte, BBC, CH4, HBO, NHK, PBS, ZDF) and distributors (like Amazon, Salzgeber, Oscilloscope, Dogwoof, MUBI, iTunes) around the world. FHF is present at all major festivals around the year, with booths and stands at the main events such as the MIPs, La Rochelle, Sheffield, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires and Seoul. First Hand Films have competed in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Rotterdam, Locarno, Pusan, Sundance, Tribeca, Toronto and many others. FHF’s very first pick-up went on to receive the Oscar® for Best Documentary Feature. Since then, most First Hand Films have won awards: Cinema for Peace, Emmy, Prix Europa, many of all IDFA main awards, Biarritz, Banff, Grimme-Preis, Grierson, Grand Prix Nyon, many National Film Awards, European Film Awards, Silver Leopards, Golden Rose Montreux a.m.o.
Since 1998, Esther van Messel runs FHF in Zurich and Berlin for international distribution of documentaries, TV series and fiction films. In 2010, FHF represents close to 300 films and 200 producers from all over the world. FHF acts as executive producer for selected projects and is present at all major festivals around the year, with booths and stands at the main markets - Berlin, Cannes, Mip, La Rochelle and Amsterdam. We offer one-offs, series, slots, theme nights, and strands. Our catalogue includes around more than two hundred hand-picked films from all over the world and is constantly renewed. International productions As international producers, we offer the services of world sales agents and executive producers at the same time. We also handle commissioned programs, and we facilitate and coordinate co-productions anywhere.
What are the ways the company gets involved? / Distributor, Executive Producer, Co-Producer, Sales Agent…. Will it be the same also the next year? Please explain if there are any changes planned:
Documentary genre(s) preferred:
Average number of titles annually acquired:
Three recent titles from international companies. Please specify the countries or territories:
Cash advance / Guarantees:
Other platforms / VOD, mobile, podcasting, etc.:
Preference regarding the length and format (single/series):
What do you expect of the East Doc Platform?: