Matthijs Wouter Knol, the head of the European Film Market that runs alongside the Berlin Film Festival, is stepping down after 12 years with the fest. He will next be in charge of the European Film Academy, the org governing the European Film Awards, starting on Jan. 1.

During his long tenure at the Berlin Film Festival, Knol served as the program manager of Berlinale Talents from 2008 to 2014, and was then appointed director of the Berlinale’s European Film Market, taking over from Beki Probst, in June 2014.

“With great success, Matthijs forged ahead with the strategic expansion of the European Film Market and developed it into one of the most significant industrial platforms in the audiovisual industry,” said Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, the new Berlinale director duo.

“We are thankful for his great commitment, and congratulate him on the new professional challenge. We wish Matthijs all the best and look forward to continuing the exchange with him in his new position,” added the pair.

Knol said his time at the Berlinale was “a fantastic and an incredibly enriching experience…especially the Berlinale Talents and then the EFM, over the past 12 years.”

“I leave the festival with a lot of good memories. I wish to thank everyone in the festival management for their faith in me, and I am pleased that the future will offer new opportunities to continue working together,” said Knol.

Knol, who was born in the Netherlands, previously worked for the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on the co-production and sales markets, and headed the IDFAcademy training program where he launched the IDFAcademy Summer School.

Wouter Knol will leave his position at the EFM on Oct. 31. The festival’s management has not yet decided on his succession.

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