The East Meets West forum allowed local film professionals and students to learn from the experience of established Asian and European filmmakers, historians, producers, festival directors and criticsThe first of its kind event to be held in Mongolia, the East Meets West Film Forum and Festival brought together filmmakers and film industry professionals from Central Asia and Europe to Ulaanbaatar. Held from 5-8 October 2010, over 2,500 people attended the event which was organised by the Arts Council of Mongolia (ACM), with the support of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the Open Society Institute.

The Festival screened over 11 Asian and European films, including four by Mongolian film makers while the forum covered topics such as co-producing, the role of festivals and challenges in independent filmmaking.

With Hollywood-style blockbusters dominating the local cinema, the Festival provided Mongolian audiences with access to international films that they would not otherwise have been able to view. It also created opportunities for Mongolian filmmakers to gain access to international funding and distribution channels.

“It was a revelation for many of the participants, both local and foreign, that such a festival could be held in Mongolia,” says Mr Jeremy Segay, an advisor to the Festival. “There has not been any international film event in Mongolia and it was essential to hold one to develop the Mongolian filmmaking industry.”