SOFA’s Warsaw workshop unveils its diverse selection of participants
- The training programme is aimed at strengthening regional film industries across Europe, with a particular focus on the Eastern Partnership countries
SOFA School of Film Advancement, the training programme aimed at strengthening regional film industries across Europe, with a particular focus on the Eastern Partnership countries, has announced the launch of its ninth edition and unveiled its project selection for 2022-2023.
After two years of going virtual with a fully online programme, SOFA returns with a physical, on-site presence and has revealed a new, larger line-up of 16 projects and 20 participants, composed of up-and-coming film-industry executives, curators and cultural managers from 17 countries. In the opening session that took place in Warsaw from 25-30 September, the participants agreed and emphasised together that, given the fraught political situation in many of their countries, the need for creative cooperation across borders between the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU is more important now than it ever has been.
SOFA’s intensive one-year programme, comprising three focused workshops complemented by regular virtual sessions, aims to support, nurture and bring to fruition the “dream projects” of the participants, who apply with a specific project plan concerning the fields of distribution, education, funding, exhibition, curation or criticism.
SOFA’s 2022-23 project selection includes business and institutional projects focused on environmental activism, mental health in the film industry, film education, indigenous cultures, sustainability, inclusion and accessibility, and the preservation of independent film journalism and criticism, as well as remote learning.
SOFA director Nikolaj Nikitin said about the specific focus of this year’s edition: “It’s a clear priority of ours to support projects that conceive of film and audiovisual media as a force for free speech, resistance and the strengthening of civil society through our joint work.” This new edition’s support for Ukrainian projects also reflects a specific commitment the organisation has made since the outbreak of the war.
The 2022-23 SOFA participants are as follows:
Leonid Kalitenya and Natalia Bruzhnik (Belarus/Lithuania)
Project: BFN – Belarussian Filmmakers Network
Dániel Botos and Máté Körösi (Hungary)
Bibesh Roy and Arifur Rahman Khan (Bangladesh)
Project: TALKIES – A Cinematic Pleasure
Olga Zhurzhenko and Sia Titova (Ukraine/Poland)
Pavel Ruzyak (Czech Republic)
Project: Filming without Barriers
Gunel Gadirova (Azerbaijan)
Project: Council for Audiovisual Production
Salomé Jashi (Georgia)
Project: Cinema Nutsa
Grzegorz Czyż (Poland)
Project: Warszawa\Praga Studio
Louise Højgaard Johansen (Denmark/Czech Republic)
Project: Sane Cinema
Elena Rubashevska (Ukraine/Poland)
Project: IFCH – International Film Critics Hub
Teimuraz Chkhvimiani (Georgia)
Project: Deli Residency at Svaneti IFF
Joanna Wyrwa (Poland)
Project: Film for Better
Nadejda Koseva (Bulgaria)
Project: CITE - Cinema International Teenage Education
Aleksandar Arsovski (North Macedonia/Croatia)
Project: Short Fits - Film Market
Danijela Radulović (Montenegro)
Project: PROFILMIA LAB - Virtual Film Lab
Anja Mayer (Germany/Switzerland)
Project: My Remote Knowledge Guide
SOFA is a project developed by Filmplus gUG (Berlin, Germany) in partnership with the ARTUM Foundation ewa partum museum (Deby, Poland) and 20 Steps (Tbilisi, Georgia), supported by the German Federal Foreign Office/Civil Society Cooperation, the European Cultural Foundation and SdpZ (Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation). The Warsaw workshop was additionally supported by the Polish Film Institute (PISF) and the Mazovia Film Commission. The strategic partners involved are EAVE, the Goethe-Institut and MIDPOINT.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.