Helga Arnalds - The Interview

04. Jan 2013


This was your first Cinars? How was it?

Cinars is the first such fair I have been a part of and it is quite distinctively different from performing at normal festivals. The goal is not only to perform but also network with others in the performing arts, especially those who are potential collaborators, interested in presenting the work and promoting it..
It was quite a pressure and the possibilities manyfold. Cinars was extremely big with about 1200 registered participants and the sales booth section huge. We were lucky to be able to perform our whole show because some where only given time to perform parts of theirs. My job was to introduce my piece, get people to see it and make personal contacts. It was fun but a lot of work

Did you set yourself any goals on what you wanted to achieve at Cinars?

I was rather open to possibilities. However, beforehand I had skimmed through the list of participants searching for possible presenters. It was quite a long list with hundreds of names, but I spotted out those searching for childrens performances.. I mainly focused on the Scandinavian area and English speaking regions. I also had the idea to find an American agent, which I did … ..we will see how that turns out.

What do think worked well for you and what would you have done differently?

Its always easy to look back and see what you could have done differently and how that could have had different results. One thing I would definitely do differently next time is to bring an assistant for the booth to handle the sales for me. Someone whose role would be to introduce the show in the booth and mingle at parties etc, because I spent much of my time preparing the performance. I had to be at the theatre to install the set and go through technical issues therefore I could not be at the booth the whole time. It would have been worth it to purchase another plane ticket and get more out of the sales. Besides this, I am pretty pleased with the results and everything went smoothly. We got great reactions to our performance and everybody is very excited.

How was it for you and your project to be a part of the The Nordics combined at Cinars?

The Nordics combined project was the reason I felt up to the challenge. This is was a huge fair and going alone to such an event can be mind blowing. The support from the collaboration of Nordics combined was priceless. We all had the same booth, the largest one, at the fair. It drew a lot immediate attention. . We were offered a workshop the day before Cinars started at which we were taught how use the event to our advantage, we got lots of great tips and advices.
I got to know many of my Nordic colleagues and I got the notion that those connections will be the most valuable ones in the long term. The Nordic combined project rented a theatre to host all the Nordic events at Cinars and organized scheduled buses for the audience as the Cinars program was vast and scattered across the city. I repeat; the Nordic collaboration at Cinars was invaluable.

Do you have any advice for other artists participating in future fairs as Cinars?

First is of all I suggest that all artists go to at least one fair like Cinars if they have any material that they want to promote abroad, it is both inspirational and fun. But there are few things good to keep in mind while preparing for a fair such as this. Firstly I would advice people to bring an assistant experienced in promoting and selling cultural products. Secondly, take a good look at the list of participants and investigate who is going to attend. Study websites of presenters, festivals and other potentially interesting collaborators. You should be sure your artistic project fits the profile and interest of the potential collaborator. If you are sure, get in contact with the administration and introduce your project. Try to book a meeting with the person you have already introduced your work to or try to establish some kind of connection. Thirdly set yourself a goal, what it is that you want? But keep in mind this also can be very unpredictable and something you never even dreamed of might suddenly appear before you. Last but not least, I say GO FOR IT, I have no regrets, on the contrary, it was quite an adventure.


08. Jan 2013  

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