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INDUSTRY / MARKET Romania

The Pustnik Screenwriters Residency opens call for applications for its sixth edition

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- The Romanian event is tweaking its format following the health crisis and is being organised under a new theme

The Pustnik Screenwriters Residency opens call for applications for its sixth edition

With five editions under its belt already and as many as 38 former graduates, the Pustnik Screenwriters Residency has announced a call for applications for its next edition (7-15 September), organised under the theme of “The Seen and Unseen”. Pustnik is the only Romanian-based residency for feature-film development and is dedicated to emerging filmmakers from all over the world.

One of the fortes of Pustnik (which in several languages in the Balkans means “hermit”) is the fact that it is usually held in remote locations, the most recent editions having been organised at Port Cetate, a grain port on the Danube in communist Romania, now reopened as a so-called “cultural port”. As the eight selected screenwriters may not be able to travel to Romania in September, Pustnik has worked out an alternative plan for an online-only edition of the programme. If travelling still proves to be difficult in September, the residency will go online, offering the participants a micro-grant of €700.

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Organiser Andreea Borţun, herself a winner of script development support from the Romanian National Film Center for her first feature, Blue Banks, explains the decision: “We don’t know if we will be able to meet at Port Cetate for this year’s residency, but we do know that whatever shape Pustnik takes, it will be there to offer a helping hand to the up-and-coming writers we admire. We are living through times in which artists are themselves going through a cultural state of emergency. That’s why, should we not be able to host the residency, we’ve decided to offer the eight selected filmmakers online tutoring and a grant that would allow them to clear their schedule for one week and work on their feature projects.”

The first tutor announced by Pustnik for the 2020 edition is producer Bianca Oana, known for Adina Pintilie’s Berlinale Golden Bear-winning Touch Me Not [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adina Pintilie
film profile
]
and Alexander Nanau’s documentary Collective [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. Other tutors will be announced over the coming months, while the eight screenwriters selected for this edition of Pustnik will be announced in July.

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