Beyond Borders’ Visio-Pitching Lab is ready to get under way
- A total of ten documentary ideas will be presented during the third edition of the lab, which offers young creators the opportunity to pitch their concepts to a professional audience
As part of the parallel cultural activities taking place at the seventh Beyond Borders International Documentary Film Festival on Castellorizo, Greece (21-28 August), the Visio-Pitching Lab will be held for the third year running. The aim of the lab is to offer young creators the opportunity to present their basic idea for a documentary to a panel of experienced European producers, TV and film professionals, and personalities active in the field of documentary. Each participant will receive highly professional advice and information on how to turn their ideas into a project that can be presented to the wider documentary community.
This year, Beyond Borders is hosting four postgraduate students from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s Department of Cinema (Dimitra Kapsala, Antigoni Drolia, Christina Dafni and Leonidas Christodoulidis) to take care of the organisation of the lab, alongside the president of the Film Department, Eleftheria Thanoulis. The moderator for the selection and coordination of this year's lab is Claudia Schreiner, who has many years of experience in the film industry under her belt and is head of studies at the Documentary Campus Masterschool in Germany. The ten selected ideas will be presented on 25 and 26 August.
The selection includes Modern Super Heroes by Irina Malcea-Candea (Romania), a film about how teenagers today can be an inspiration to both their peers and adults – it’s about a generation of adolescents who want to do good and help those in need, and who believe that education should be at the forefront of our overall priorities. Meanwhile, Prison Honey by Jonas Eisenschmidt and Constanze Wolpers (Germany) is set in a prison yard in northern Germany, where serial killers are trained as beekeepers. The film will observe how the prisoners rediscover their lost humanity and empathy by interacting with the bees. Then there’s Stronger than the Cyclops by Stefano Grossi (Italy), a portrait of Albanian writer and intellectual Fatos Lubonja, a political prisoner sentenced to 17 years in prison by Enver Hoxha's communist regime between 1974 and 1991.
Furthermore, two projects hail from Iran: Dear Ali by Mehdi Zamanpour Kiasari, in which 30-year-old Ali, a man with short legs and arms, wants to marry the most beautiful girl he can find, despite the many problems holding him back; and We Are Superstars by Ali Delkari, set in a small town in Iran, where a group of people adapt the most popular Iranian films from before the revolution, known as "Film Farsi", without any academic background. Acting Classes by Sasha Shegai (Kazakhstan) will be a film about women in a nursing home who take theatre classes and create visual representations of their lives.
Finally, four Greek ideas wrap this year’s selection: Chef for Zero Hunger by Nina Fotiadou follows a self-organised group consisting of chefs and people who wish to show solidarity, who have started cooking and distributing food to the homeless in the centre of Thessaloniki and wherever else there was a need; Culinary Wanderings by Yannis Lafis focuses on places where people eat, from rubbish bins to a tavern, and from there to a luxury restaurant, looking for what connects or separates these places and the people within them; The Grain of the Wood by Maria Danalaki is about a woodcarver on a Mediterranean island, who embarks on a personal journey on his motorcycle in order to find a solution to his financial problems; while Juliet by Ioannis Laskaris follows the story of Iulietta Boukouvala, the former judo world champion, who was physically and mentally abused by the coach of the Greek national team.
The above ten proposals that come from the wider Mediterranean region and connect East and West are undeniably consistent with the philosophy behind Visio-Pitching, which Beyond Borders has instituted. The goal of this philosophy is a path to knowledge and to the processing of creative ideas without any barriers or limitations, making the festival a film incubator and a centre for discussing current sociopolitical and existential concerns posed by contemporary creators in dialogue with leading professionals in the film industry.
Here is the full list of ideas taking part:
Modern Super Heroes - Irina Malcea-Candea (Romania)
Prison Honey - Jonas Eisenschmidt and Constanze Wolpers (Germany)
Stronger than the Cyclops - Stefano Grossi (Italy)
Dear Ali - Mehdi Zamanpour Kiasari (Iran)
We Are Superstars - Ali Delkari (Iran)
Acting Classes - Sasha Shegai (Kazakhstan)
Chef for Zero Hunger - Nina Fotiadou (Greece)
Culinary Wanderings - Yannis Lafis (Greece)
The Grain of the Wood - Maria Danalaki (Greece)
Juliet - Ioannis Laskaris (Greece)
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