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Apply now to participate in SOFA – School of Film Agents


- The unique workshop initiative will take place in the European Cultural Capital city of Wroclaw, Poland, from 19-28 August 2016

Apply now to participate in SOFA – School of Film Agents

SOFA – School of Film Agents is a workshop initiative that was brought to life by Nikolaj Nikitin. Founded in 2013, the unique workshop offers young “film agents” from Central and Eastern Europe, Germany and Central Asia the opportunity to work together with experts on their projects aimed at the development of their respective regional film cultures and industries.

In addition to this call for submissions, SOFA is pleased to announce an exciting, new opportunity for former workshop participants from Central and Eastern Europe. Thanks to the generous support of the Goethe-Institut, SOFA-Alumni are invited to come to Germany for one month to participate in a creative fellowship as well as to take part in a German language course. By placing former participants in creative fellowships within German film, cultural and media institutions that purposefully reflect the ideas and goals of SOFA-Alumnis’ dream projects, the Goethe-Institut is not only making it possible for these participants to come closer to realising their projects, but to also acquiring invaluable practical, international experiences in their field via cultural exchange. 

After the overwhelming response to last year’s “Call for Submissions” – with over 100 applications from 25 countries – SOFA is now accepting new applications for 2016 until 6 May 2016.

Applications for 2016 should contain the following information:
• A maximum two-page project description: what is the idea and motivation behind your project? Where exactly will this project take place/be realised? A particular place/location? Tell us about your goals, project objectives, your vision and what makes your project so unique. Tell us exactly why YOU are the right person to make this project come to life.
• One page with information about a prospective budget for the project. Your budget does not need to be calculated down to the very last cent. Rather, please try to communicate an overall estimation of the potential costs involved in the realisation of your project as well as ideas about possible types of funding/potential financial resources for the project.
• A professional biography with background information about how you came to be active in the film industry. Please send your application via email to:

As in previous years, this year’s selected SOFA participants along with workshop experts and lecturers will be announced during the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Great news for this year’s SOFA workshop participants! For the second year in a row, the Goethe-Insitut is offering some extra “added value” to the already well-established SOFA programme: some of SOFA’s former participants will be able to take part in a creative stipendium in a German company of their choice. This opportunity will offer participants the chance to improve and develop the quality of their projects as well as to strengthen their own personal and professional goals.

Last year, former SOFA participants Leana Jalukse from Tallinn, Anna Bielak from Warsaw and Gábor Böszörményi from Budapest had the pleasure of taking part in this exceptional fellowship opportunity. Leana only had the most positive things to say about her experiences: “The knowledge that I gained will definitely help me in my work as an author, film distributor and in my efforts to fortify the Estonian film market. I am totally thrilled about having had this unparalleled chance and I really hope many more SOFA participants take advantage of this generous offer made possible by the Goethe-Institut. It was such an amazing experience.” She worked for the renowned world sales agency BETA in Munich, where SOFA mentor Thorsten Ritter (executive vice-president Acquisitions, Sales and Marketing) had only warm words for Leana’s enthusiastic input at BETA: “It was enormously enriching to have such a young, and, yet, so experienced and motivated employee in our team. From writing scripts to film production to the organisation of big events, Leana’s all-round participation in our company gave us insight into numerous aspects of the Estonian film industry, in particular, insight into how the younger generation are approaching their work today in this ever-changing industry.” 

Author, journalist and film agent Anna was particularly excited about the opportunity to learn German. So much, in fact, she decided to continue with her German language courses after returning to her home in Warsaw. “While I was learning German at the Goethe-Institut in Frankfurt, it became clear to me that I wasn’t just learning a language, learning to communicate with others in German – I was also developing a much more heightened awareness towards my own native language. It was such a gift. I was given the chance to learn with the best teachers, in the best possible learning facilities and with the best methods. I not only improved my language abilities, but also my overall attitude towards facing challenges and change in life. It immensely improved my ability to be more open, to think more flexibly.”

It has always been important to the SOFA team to maintain close contact with its Alumni and, therefore, SOFA is always up-to-date on the latest developments with Alumni projects. So many projects are on their way to becoming a reality. Take, for example, Ivan Kozlenkos’s Ukrainian Film Museum in Kiew or Angeliki Vergous’ VoD-Platform OCTOPUS in Greece – a project that has already successfully moved forward and beyond one of the most daunting of hurdles in project development: the securing of finances and initial organisational structures.

The ambitious Polish project CINEBUS celebrated its official kick-off last year in Krakow in the presence of Hollywood actress Natalie Portman. Even the Romanian VoD-Platform project CINEPUB 2nd LIFE, a unique project dedicated to the digitisation of student films, has shown the first signs of success with a grant from the National Center of Cinematography. The Lithuanian project F.R.O.N.T. is also making headway: the project plans to digitise seven cinema theatres and anticipates subsidies making it possible to do so for the next three years.

Applications for SOFA 2016 may be submitted immediately. The deadline is 5 May 2016.

SOFA – School of Film Agents is a joint project of the Filmplus gUG (Cologne) and the Fundacja Filmplus (Warsaw) together with the city of Wroclaw (Breslau) and the Polish Film Institute, funded by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, the German (Federal Foreign Office, the International Visegrad Fund, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the New Horizons Association, the Ministry of Culture of Serbia, EAVE – European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs, the Slovak Film Institute, Mozinet, the International Film Festival Karlovy Vary and supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut in Poland (Krakow), Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Moscow and its Head Office in Munich, Germany, as well as the support of the Film Commission Poland and the Wroclaw Film Commission.

For press materials, general inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Jennifer Jones, Kölner Filmpresse & Service GmbH (Cologne Film Press & Service Agency).
Tel. +49 (0)221-16890726, Email:

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