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Testimonials > Filmfest Gent

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Marina Syhanath


Established in 1974, Film Fest Gent has become Belgium’s most prominent film festival. Each year 130,000 people come to a wide variety of films and concerts. Thanks to the expertise of Lesterius, Film Fest Gent can organise an international cinema event without compromise.

Wim De Witte, Filmfest Gent

« Film Fest Gent is the most important general film festival in Belgium that doesn’t focus on a particular region or genre. We are the largest festival, currently managing to attract about a hundred thousand visitors each year to the films, concerts and related events.

The most important thing they have developed for us is a FileMaker database. We work with several departments: I work in the programming team, but there is also a press department, a team for festival guests and a sponsoring team…

Years ago, we all used to work on our own documents — Excel, Access, the database — which created all sorts of problems. Then at a certain point we tried to find a solution to centralise all this data, and we went looking for someone who could cobble together a database to do this, where all these teams would come together. In other words, where we would all work with the same data. In fact that was the basic assignment we gave to Lesterius at the time.

We had numerous meetings with them to explain what exactly we were all doing in our departments and how we thought we might be able to create a structure. »

Loïc Eeckhout, Lesterius

« In fact that was phase 1: programming the films and the information to do with them, as well as the information to appear on the website. All of that was stored in FileMaker so that it could then be used very quickly: all the information for all the media. »

Wim De Witte, Filmfest Gent

« And clearly we have really benefited from their input and expertise to set up a central database of this kind, a FileMaker database that now consists partly of a CRM database containing all our contact information. It also has a module for the sponsoring team where they keep all the information on a given partner or client whom we welcome to the festival. Then, of course, there is another important module for programming the films as such. »

Loïc Eeckhout, Lesterius

« And in a later phase, we added something to draft the visitor planning. »

Wim De Witte, Filmfest Gent

« So you see right away that there are several things interacting. A filmmaker comes for a specific screening. That screening is in the database. If something to do with the film screening changes, the change will automatically appear in the guest list. And that is what we were really looking for: planning software to help us enable all these different departments to work together better.

So we spent a lot of time working here in the office with a laptop to benefit from direct contact, along the lines of “here, I’ve tried this, come and see, is this exactly what you want,” so that we could adjust it really quickly. »


Loïc Eeckhout, Lesterius

« And then we particularly noticed that in the run-up to the film festival, they need changes to happen really fast. »

Wim De Witte, Filmfest Gent

« It is important for the website to work properly right from day one. Every year, we do still have to do a bit of fine tuning here and there. »

Loïc Eeckhout, Lesterius

« We factor that into our planning as well, to provide a margin for interventions like that to be made as quickly as possible. »

Wim De Witte, Filmfest Gent

« Honestly, I must say that I am very satisfied. There is really nothing that we thought they had messed up. No, nothing at all. Actually everything went like clockwork.

Is there a funny story I’ve forgotten? Astrid? Any anecdotes? »

Loïc Eeckhout, Lesterius

« Wait. »

Wim De Witte, Filmfest Gent

« Damn, funny anecdotes… »

Loïc Eeckhout, Lesterius

« And now of course I can’t remember their name. »

Wim De Witte, Filmfest Gent

« No, I really can’t think of anything right now. »

A thoroughly well organised international cinema event - @FilmFestGent #successstories #filemaker https://t.co/qAZa1DgI2q

 — @lesterius_eng


Testimonials > Filmfest Gent was originally published in Lesterius on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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