Graziella Bildesheim • Programme Director for MAIA Workshops
by Camillo de Marco
20/03/2012 - The Media Programme, which offers 50% of its support, recognizes it as the first training programme for new producers in Europe. Born in 2006 from an idea had by the founder of Fabula Film, Graziella Bildesheim, MAIA Workshops has in fact consolidated its reputation internationally, with 370 participants in the last few years. A perfect "testimonial" of its success is Ines Vasiljevic, who graduated from Turin’s DAMS and has a diploma from Rome’s National Film School, and today works as a freelance producer and coordinates the Ston Kinookus Festival): "I took part in the MAIA workshop after having won a scholarship which allowed me to enroll at a lower cost, to the contrary of what is the case for most training courses, which are very expensive ", she tells Cineuropa. With Ines’ festival in Croatia, Maia has already done an edition in 2010 and now they are working on coming back in 2012. "The most interesting thing about Maia? The opportunity to share the same passion with 15 or 20 people and to get some great professional inspiration, by exchanging ideas and experiences".
For 2012 MAIA has organised three workshops, hosted in Poland and Italy (see the programme), which respectively tackle the creative aspects of development, the legal and financial aspects of development and finally the importance of marketing and distribution strategies already at the development stage. There are 20 participants to every workshop (registration to the first one is already closed). Their profiles are producers, managers of project development, graduates and professionals of the audiovisual industry, production managers and line producers.
Cineuropa: Obviously the aim is to strengthen expertise at the same time as offering producers a network of people.
Graziella Bildesheim: "We cover the gap there is in this sector in many countries in which film schools don’t teach film production, but only film set management. The aim is to increasingly open up towards the Mediterranean and the East".
What is the average age of the participants?
"Participants include both young and recently trained people, and older professionals who previously worked on something else, as for example on television adverts, who now want to start working on audiovisual and film production".
What are the participants’ nationalities?
"They're from from everywhere in Europe and there are also professionals from outside Europe. For example from Georgia, who, through its National Film Center, has provided the funds for the Georgian student to take part".
Which are MAIA’s partners in these workshops?
"The three 2012 workshops are promoted by the Genova Liguria Film Commission, and the main partners are the Polish Film Institute and Regione Lazio, as well as the Krakow Film Commission, Off Plus Camera - International Festival of Indipendent Cinema - Krakow, and the KIPA - Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce for the first workshop".
Who are they and how are the teachers selected?
"They are all European professionals of the audiovisual industry, who are active in the field of production, distribution, script-writing. This year the experts confirmed for the first workshop of April 16-20 on creative aspects are Julian Friedmann, Mary Kate O Flanagan, Miguel Machalski, Sam Taylor, Asta Wellejus. There is a careful selection and constant scouting. We are member of Audiovisual Training Coalition (ATC) and we share experiences. And we also take on board the students’ views on teachers".
Denmark’s Asta Wellejus, former CEO of Zentropa Interaction, is an expert in cross-media. Do you update the participants on new platforms of distribution, production etc.?
"Of course. A student who made his film through crowd-funding, first heard about this form of funding during a Maia workshop".
Are you worried about the cuts to culture and the changes to policies on European funding, such as the establishment of the long-term “Creative Europe" programme in 2014?
"No, we don’t feel threatened. Training is essential in order to face the market situation. The very bases of European culture guarantee a future. This won’t disappear. It is precisely through culture that we can find a way out of the crisis, especially in Europe".