“Abbiamo dedicato molto tempo e risorse per immergerci al 100% nelle esigenze dell’industria cinematografica”
Il CEO e fondatore della piattaforma cloud con sede a Lugano, in Svizzera, offre una panoramica di ciò che è cambiato nell’ultimo anno e di ciò che ora si profila all’orizzonte per la sua società
One year after its official introduction to the film industry, the WYTH cloud suite returned to When East Meets West (WEMW) and offered its digital space to the latest, hybrid edition of the event. We had a chance to talk to Samuele Franzini, WYTH’s CEO and founder, who offered us an overview of what has changed in the past year and what is now on the horizon for the Lugano, Switzerland-based company.
Cineuropa: WYTH has already established its position on the market in the past year. How difficult was this procedure of gaining a foothold in the film industry?
Samuele Franzini: It has been a very intense 12 months, during which we have dedicated a lot of time and resources to immersing ourselves 100% in the needs of the film industry and to developing a specific, vertical solution that would allow us to respond to the main demands of the organisers. Thanks to the experience we had with the first event for WEMW 2021, we met many organisers who spontaneously recognised the importance of WYTH’s uniqueness – for example, with networking and the flexibility of the system in implementing highly customised and complete environments for the communities of participants. The integration with Eventival was definitely a step forward that allowed us to offer a combined experience for attendees. During these past few months, we have realised that organisers also need to incorporate specific tools that they already use to manage precise aspects of their activities; that’s why we are adding a plan with a full API open to integration.
This year’s edition was the second time you collaborated with WEMW. What were the differences compared to the inaugural edition, and what were the new challenges you faced?
For this year’s edition, we were able to offer WEMW new tools that allowed them to bring the benefits of digital to those who participated in the event in on-site mode, and to manage the flow of networking even when people were not connected to the platform. The organisers did a great job on the brand identity for WEMW 2022 and managed to implement a totally different world from last year’s edition, which was very well received by the participants. We are continuously working on offering better performance in the meeting rooms – for example, for workshops or round-tables – for live streaming and, in general, for the user and organiser experience.
Do you have any figures from the event or any feedback already?
We know that, on average, the participants spent about two hours each on video calls and that the level of engagement is always very high. The new matchmaking algorithms that were perfected at the end of the year are also working very well, as is the ability to organise spontaneous meetings between participants.
In the past year, you have initiated some other collaborations in the film industry, both with markets and with educational organisations. Could you give us an overview of them?
In the world of education, we are collaborating with EAVE, MIDPOINT and ACE Producers, and last year, in addition to Locarno and WEMW, we also collaborated with Visions du Réel, Karlovy Vary, TorinoFilmLab, Doclisboa, the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin and Focus Asia. In 2022, we have also started to collaborate with Eurodoc and European Short Pitch.
What are your next steps now, in terms of both future collaborations and the evolution of the platform?
At the moment, we have active organisers in nine European countries: they are all using WYTH and are satisfied with it. We are expanding the collaboration with the Locarno Film Festival with a second platform that will remain active throughout the year, and we are taking our first steps in the United States. We are in talks with many other industry organisations, both in Europe and in the USA, to offer the next generation of WYTH, which will be available around mid-2022. It will leverage the management of the entire community of attendees by offering continuous networking value throughout the year and allowing them to provide an unlimited number of experiences, such as training or events with a fully customised environment in each. Our plans also include providing support to the film industry in 2022, with special partnership plans that will facilitate WYTH’s adoption for even the smallest of organisations.
photo credit: Samuele Franzini