Danijel Hočevar, Kristýna Plhoňová • Representantes, MIDPOINT
"Queremos apoyar a los talentos emergentes para integrar sus proyectos en el mercado"
por Martin Kudláč
- KARLOVY VARY 2017: Cineuropa entrevistó a los representantes de MIDPOINT Danijel Hočevar y Kristýna Plhoňová para hablar de la expansión de su programa
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Cineuropa sat down with two representatives of the MIDPOINT international script development programme, head of studies Danijel Hočevar and programme coordinator Kristýna Plhoňová, after the announcement of its Feature Launch expansion at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Cineuropa: How has the training programme progressed in its seven years of existence?
Danijel Hočevar: In the beginning, MIDPOINT Feature Launch was conceived as an initial training programme for film-school graduates. Its main focus was script consultancy for young filmmakers, be they directors, screenwriters or producers, who were finishing or had just finished their studies and were starting to work on their first professional film. But we felt that there were still a lot of topics to talk about when your project is at that stage, and for a long time, we wanted to expand the programme into a project development training programme for first and second feature-film projects. And Feature Launch 2017 became just that. The idea is to support emerging talents to integrate their projects and knowledge into the marketplace by facilitating their experience in international collaboration and networking opportunities. There’s still a strong emphasis on script development consultancy, but in broader terms, we’ve also added the reflection on project development as such, including discussions about financing strategies and pitching skills, as well as packaging, marketing and distribution strategies, and the legal aspects of co-productions.
What are your plans for the class of 2018, and what changes will it bring for Feature Launch?
DH: The ideas behind MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2018 are another step forwards from the changes we implemented this year. Besides two workshop modules, we’ll add another two, in partnership with several industry partners. The third module will serve as a premier market-access event where teams of participants will present their projects to industry experts, including funders, producers, sales agents, distributors, training providers and festival programmers, among others, while the fourth and final module will offer the producers of all nine projects the chance to have follow-up sessions with their potential artistic and financing partners in such a way as to close the cycle of the one-year programme.
Who will be your new partners?
DH: We’re very proud that we’ll be able to team up with three very important industry partners. We are joining forces with the Trieste Film Festival, When East Meets West and the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The first workshop module of 2018 will run in parallel with both of the Italian-based events in January 2018. The plan is to organise the second workshop in partnership with funding institutions in one of the countries from our regional focus, while the third module will be organised together with Karlovy Vary’s Industry Days. The fourth module will follow in January 2019, again in Trieste, where we’ll also start the new cycle at the same time.
Why should emerging filmmakers submit their works to Feature Launch? How is MIDPOINT’s Feature Launch different from other initiatives and workshops in Europe and beyond?
DH: We offer script consultancy and project development in equal parts. Also, our main regional focus is Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic area and the wider post-Soviet region. We know the industry landscape here; we are collaborating with professionals from the region, who are capable of “crossing borders” and building the bridges to the western part of Europe. On the other hand, we decided not to be completely territorially exclusive this year, and took the opportunity to add two great projects from outside of our main regional focus.
Why should emerging filmmakers seek out script consultations?
Kristýna Plhoňová: If I may, I would like to quote one of our script consultants, Ivo Trajkov, who has been with MIDPOINT since 2010. He says: “Imagine a film as a road trip. In that case, the creative team is a driver, the road is the plot line, the passengers are the characters, and the vehicle is the form and style of the film. What happens along the way is the content of the narration, and the final destination represents the message. The journey, in a specific time and space, expresses the topic. The GPS navigation, if you have it, is the story editor, who’s helping the driver to find the shortest and fastest route to his destination.” Of course, that’s a very simplified and humorous description, but it really makes a point. The script consultations help writers to “get on track”, answer basic questions and help with the structure. And it’s up to the filmmaker to decide what to accept from among the suggestions given by the script consultants; nothing is, or should be, imposed.
MIDPOINT joined forces with Connecting Cottbus recently. What does this mean for participants and their projects?
KP: It’s a great opportunity for four or five of our projects to be publicly presented, and also, they will get the chance to talk with industry experts. We are very happy to have Gabriele Brunnenmeyer on board as a pitching trainer, so I am sure the “Feature Launchers” will be fantastic. Also, we have teamed up with the IFF Rotterdam, and one of Feature Launch’s participating producers will be selected to take part in the Rotterdam Lab in 2018.
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