REPORT: CineLink Project Development Workshop
by Vassilis Economou
"From student to recognised author" sums up the core of the strategy that the Sarajevo Film Festival will follow starting from this year, as presented by its director, Mirsad Purivatra
Seven feature-film projects by debutant or sophomore directors (see the news) and three TV projects by creators from the former Yugoslavia took part in the CineLink Project Development Workshop that was held in Sarajevo from 28 March-2 April. The workshop was aimed at projects in the early development stage and served as a preparatory stage for the upcoming CineLink Co-Production Market.
The participants had a chance to develop their ideas through intensive personalised one-on-one meetings with script consultants Franz Rodenkirchen, Marietta von Hausswolff von Baumgarten, Giacomo Durzi and Elma Tataragić. Film director Danis Tanović, producers Miroslav Mogorović and Danijel Hočevar, market experts Jan Naszewski and Tobias Pausinger, and CineLink Drama TV professionals Meinolf Zurhorst, Nina Bisgaard and Tatjana Andersson held specialised lectures and master classes that covered all the major sections of the industry.
“Without exaggerating, I feel that this programme is a privilege,” remarked Bulgarian director and producer Maya Vitkova, who participated with her film project Africa. “You are in safe surroundings, and you are discussing all the issues that probably popped into your mind, and this is great as it helps your project to advance.”
Maria Drandaki, a Greek producer who accompanied the film project The Dragon Has Come by Christos Passalis and had taken part in previous workshops, highlighted the differences between this year’s and past editions: “The workshop has now been enlarged, as it also covers fields like marketing and sales strategy, which are important even at this early stage, but I still believe that the most unique retained aspect are the individual script meetings, which I have never seen anywhere else at such a high level.”
The Directors' Master Class by Danis Tanović - a case study of Death in Sarajevo and a closer look at his personal drive for making films and why it is crucial not to try to direct life
The CineLink Drama section is a new initiative that was introduced during last year’s edition of the CineLink Industry Days, and marks an important moment for the evolution of the TV industry as it encroaches on the world of cinema.
Meinolf Zurhorst, a lecturer in the section, and also a producer and head of the ARTE film department of ZDF, underlined: “I originally knew CineLink for years as a platform for feature films, and now I’ve been asked to give a lecture on the role of a TV commissioning editor. I feel that it is important that CineLink decided to open up and allow young professionals to understand what kind of high-end series are needed by the networks and the audience.”
Finally, head of industry at the Sarajevo Film Festival Jovan Marjanović stressed: “This edition of the workshop was a turning point, as we managed to serve a growing need among the film professionals in the region – and that is increasing the understanding of the development and financing process for quality TV series. There is a big gap between where Southeast Europe is with this in relation to the rest of the continent, and we hope that CineLink Drama will be a driving force for the region to catch up on this front.”
The projects will go on to participate in the CineLink Industry Days co-production market and CineLink Drama during the 23rd Sarajevo International Film Festival (11-18 August).