How did a small company from Prague become the world's most succesful provider of software for film festivals, used by thousands of festival organisers in nearly fifty countries?
Eventival was founded as a UK company in November 2008 near Fontainebleau, France, by Adrian Johnson, Tomas Prasek a Cha Yeo Myoung (Dawna).
The original plan, however, was something entirely different.
In 2000, Tomas and the computer programmer Pavel Kalenda co-founded a DataKal, a company that was to further develop and distribute a software system of the same name originally created for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival where they both worked. DataKal eventually became the world's first universal and globally used film festival software, and by 2008, it was used by more than twenty mostly large film events (e.g. the Bergen, Busan, Thessaloniki, Far East Film, Tribeca, Mar del Plata, Rome, Hamburg, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Goa film festivals) on several continents.
Around 2004, while living in Berlin and working on a major side project, the development of CuBa, the new festival software system for the Berlinale, they briefly worked with a British entrepreneur and software developer Adrian Johnson. In September 2008, Adrian approached them in Paris, and suggesting to join forces in a new company called Eventival that would create a kind of "DataKal light" - a simple, web-based platform focusing on smaller festivals and social events. After several months working together, Pavel pulled out of the project, and was replaced by Dawna Cha, Tomas's colleague from Prague's MOFFOM (Music on Film / Film on Music) film festival which she had managed for five years.
Tomas and Dawna moved to France where Adrian was based, and with their knowledge of the film festival operations and Adrian's programming skills, the company began to develop the Eventival platform, aiming to create a tool that would be useful to festival organisers in all stages of the event, simplify the organisational proces, improve their communication, increase their visibility and impact, and offer better services to professional visitors.
Eventival was a huge success from the start, attracting the attention of over fifty film festivals at the Berlinale 2009, and immediately securing major clients like AFI Fest, Ventana Sur, Bergen IFF, the Giffoni Festival and, most importantly, the Toronto IFF. However, the company was understaffed, and despite enormous motivation, energy and work put into the development, it proved impossible to complete the platform on time. In August 2009, Tomas and Dawna moved back to Prague, set up a new Eventival as a Czech company, and started from zero: this time with a large development team and a graphic design company that has remained its partner to this day.
Today, the Eventival company is regarded as the leading innovator in festival technology and a resource of globally applicable knowledge and expertise in the film festival industry, its Eventival software is used by film festivals and event organisers all over the world, and its range of services and global influence is constantly growing.
Eventival has clients in nearly 50 countries and its services are used by over half a million filmmakers and film industry professionals all over the world.
Dozens of people have contributed their ideas, skills and deditation to the creation of Eventival since the time the company was founded near Fontainebleau in 2008, We immensely appreciate the support and patience of all the festival organisers who trusted us when this unique and unusual company was merely an ambitious idea.