Networking at GENERATOR

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GENERATOR included two workshops whose objective was networking for young European filmmakers. The first event, “Feedback Me”, was targeted at directors and producers who wish to receive constructive criticism of their work from European colleagues. The second event “Project Pitching Fair” had a form of a classical pitching forum, where participants were invited to present their projects to find co-producers.

The idea behind the two events was to make as many projects as possible circulate and thus become more visible and realistic.

What follows below is a short overview of the talent profile of young filmmakers and producers who came to GENERATOR to share the ideas about their evolving projects with other peers. The general impression is that the presented projects were marked by cultural diversity in a sense that they originate from different countries. On the other hand, what connects the majority of them is the fact that they tend to showcase socially engaging topics and therefore draw attention to a number of underrepresented local and global issues and phenomena. We can say that the mission of both “Feedback me” and “Project Pitching Fair” workshops was accomplished as the feedback allowed all interest to broaden their horizons.

Feedback Me!

Feedback me workshop included presentation of three films, Brindusa Ioana Nastasa from Romania showed her docudrama that she made in 48 hours by following a young gay man in Berlin with her camera.  The director explained that she intended to convey the feeling of loneliness and isolation that people living in big vibrant cities like Berlin face today. She said “you meet tons of people when you go out in the evening but in the morning you feel alone again. The idea of my film is to demonstrate how people learn to be alone in Berlin”. The director received concrete feedback in terms of the film-editing style and dramaturgy as well as music that can be used as  soundtrack.

The second project was a future documentary that speaks about the unfortunate destiny of an old vineyard in Turkey that is about to be destroyed as a result of aggressive urbanization. Finally another project, about people who refuse to grow up, was also presented. They both received feedback on how their initial ideas can be communicated in a more clear and effective way and how they can try to put in place the missing finances.

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Project Pitching Fair

At the Pitching Fair, the GENERATOR participants had a chance to encounter possible co-production partners for their nascent projects. Again divergent topics appeared during this event. The Slovak young production company “Almostar” presented a slate of their low-budget documentary and feature projects that are in different phases of development and production. Among other things, they are working on a movie project that consists of a few short mockumentaries.  The project is called heroes and speaks about those people who are, as the Almostar producers explained, “among us, but they give you an impression that they live on another planet”. Although sharing a common theme, all films from this documentary series use different techniques to tell their story.

The Portuguese producer Luisa Alvão pitched a project, still in pre-development phase, about the anarchist island of Christiania in Copenhagen and what the initial Christiania’s concept of the utopian zone is changing in today’s world.

The representatives of the Viennese group “Batesian” pitched a project whose aim is to complete a collaborative feature film – an omnibus that would consist of 5 science fiction short movies directed by filmmakers from 5 different countries, whose script is based on the previously set rules of an alternative universe. The project was already awarded a grant from the Austrian Ministry of Culture within the scheme for the new film format funding.

What connects all pitched project is a search for foreign co-producers that would be interested to contribute creatively and financially to the projects’ realization. All the producers have applied or are planning to apply to film funds in their home countries; however national support is almost never enough. Producers do have an opportunity to apply for the international European funds like MEDIA Programme and, in case they are developing a feature film, to apply for a minority co-production funds within the countries they want to co-produce with, after they pair with a local producer. However, the competition is extremely high and usually young producers have to fight together with big names when applying to the mainstream funds. Such a situation implies that projects must be of supreme-quality and extremely innovative.

Therefore, pitching forums and “feedback me” sessions are an excellent testing place for projects. There a producer may find how competitive and authentic his/her project is and what should be improved in case it fails to attract attention of producers, financiers and potential audience. Many successful movies have been made after the 8th or 10th pitching. Maybe we would have never seen them on screen, hadn’t their ideas, messages, scripts and aesthetics been re-revisited and adjusted over and over again before the first day of shooting began.

by Petar Mitric

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