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SOFA 2020

Country Focus: Lithuania

SOFA showcases the six projects taking part in its seventh edition


- We profile the projects of the 2019/2020 edition of the School for Film Advancement, which were presented online on 26 April

SOFA showcases the six projects taking part in its seventh edition
The SOFA participants in Warsaw in 2019 (© Ali Ghandtschi)

As was announced earlier this month (see the news), the second workshop of the SOFA – School of Film Advancement, which was poised to take place in Tbilisi from 25-30 April, has gone online. The programme, which is following its original schedule, is focused on further developing the marketing and financing aspects of the participants’ projects.

On Sunday 26 April, the six participants presented their projects online for the first time, and Cineuropa profiles them below.

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Viki Antonopoulou – endorphin Film Sales (Greece)
Based in Athens, endorphin Film Sales is a boutique film sales agency that aims to spot young local talents and share refreshing pieces of Greek cinema worldwide. Antonopoulou, after working for ten years in international distribution, has created endorphin as a result of her experience and connections in the industry, combining it with her passion for Greek cinema in order to provide a customised service for the local market. The goal is to give promising young filmmakers the opportunity to share their stories with the world.

Pavel Brăila – AMAR International Wedding Film Festival (Moldova)
Aiming to organise the first edition of the AMAR International Wedding Film Festival from 10-14 September 2020 in Chisinau, Moldova, Brăila is seeking to gather a great selection of wedding films from all over the world. During the four days of the festival, the audience will be able to watch titles across three sections – Moldovan-Romanian Weddings, International, and Classic Fiction Films About Weddings – and also meet the industry. According to Brăila, Moldova is the best place for such an event due to the country’s long tradition of weddings and the fact that, for the past 30 years, the wedding film industry has been expanding dramatically, and so he invites people to give their wedding a “second chance”.

Irena Gruca-Rozbicka – Crew United Polska (Poland/Germany)
Established 23 years ago in Germany, Crew United is an online networking platform for filmmakers with more than 40,000 members in German-speaking territories and a database that features information on about 315,000 filmmakers and actors, 52,000 companies, and 198,00 film projects. Gruca-Rozbicka would like to establish the same platform for the Polish audiovisual industry, which would be adapted to the local production landscape. The platform will not be limited to the national level, though, as Polish professionals will be able to contact and connect with the international network. This will facilitate communication and possible collaborations on European co-productions, the aim being to enable more countries to join in.

Drita Llolla – Dreams on Buckram (Montenegro)
Seeking to put Montenegro on the European map of arthouse cinemas, Dreams on Buckram would like to be the first arthouse cinema in the country, which will operate in the southernmost city of Ulcinj. Initially, the project will function as a digital streaming platform, set to launch this May, and it will be further developed so as to become established as an arthouse cinema by May 2021. According to Llolla, her project will promote the diversity of European culture, create a new space for the cultural expression of talents, and help to bond the Montenegrin and Albanian population in the area.

Přemysl Martinek – Rosa&Dara.TV (Czech Republic)
As an independently curated VoD platform, Rosa&Dara.TV is dedicated to children's content, and is a place where safe audiovisual works from local and European producers will be showcased. The VoD service will follow a subscription model, with new content added every 14 days, live events, and premieres of series and films, and will mainly focus on children from three to ten years old. The streaming content, whether contemporary or older, will not be overwhelming, as its selection will be curated, with titles regularly being suggested to the audience. The platform aims to firstly operate in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and later expand to Poland.

Medea Sharikadze – New Horizons Forum (Georgia)
The team behind the New Horizons Forum project wants to introduce the most inspirational and socially aware creative documentaries to Georgian audiences, and eight years ago, they created the CinéDOC International Film Festival in Tbilisi. New Horizons Forum is intended to be a platform that will run as a side event to the festival in April, and for each edition, it aims to invite three inspiring individuals, who are not necessarily very widely seen or heard, but who can speak about the most important topics in front of an audience representing every single stratum of Georgian society. For the first edition, they aim to create a cosy and informal atmosphere, focusing on education, environmental issues and mental well-being, hoping to engage a wider public that would be interested in attending, regardless of its interest (or lack thereof) in documentary films.

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