Ex Oriente Film 2012 - Submission deadline April 20

Ex Oriente Film 2012

Application deadline: April 20

Apply for Ex Oriente Film and attend the year-long workshop to develop your creative documentary project.

Submissions are now open for Ex Oriente Film 2012, the year-long international workshop supporting the development and funding of creative documentary films from Central and Eastern Europe. At the three workshop sessions (the 4th session focused on rough cuts is for selected projects only) taking place in the course of one year, directors and producers develop their projects and funding strategies and benefit from the assistance and valuable advice provided by established European producers, directors, experts and commissioning editors. The Ex Oriente Film training programme culminates with the East European Forum co-production meeting that provides documentary filmmakers with an opportunity to pitch their project and secure funding from West European and North American broadcasters. The three residential workshops and the East European Forum pitching are supplemented by the Doc Launch follow-up programme that tracks the projects till their completion.


(Apply with your documentary project through our online ENTRY FORM - Application is free of charge!)

Individual meetings with selected applicants: May 2012 (TBC)

Final selection of projects: May 2012

Workshop Timeline:

  • 1st Workshop Session - „Find Your Originality“: mid-June 2012 (Czech Republic, TBC)
  • 2nd Workshop Session - „Production & Story Development“: October 2012 (within IDFF Jihlava, Jihlava, Czech Republic)
  • 3rd Workshop Session - „The Market Opens“: March 2013 (within One World Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic)

Participants: Out of all submitted projects, 14 projects will be selected, i.e., 28 participants (14 director-producer teams) will be included in the workshop.

Participation Fee: The participation fee is EUR 1,500 per selected project (includes all accommodation, coffee breaks and lunches during the three workshops for 1-2 pers.).

Scholarships: Participants from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia may apply for a scholarship to cover part of the accommodation and participation fees. Applicants must prove that there is no possibility of scholarship in their own country and that the project is not supported by any development funding. To apply for a scholarship, applicants must send us a request and an official letter from their local MEDIA Desk or national film centre confirming this.

Conditions of Participation: Participants must be proficient in English. All workshop sessions must be attended by both the producer and the director.¨

EX ORIENTE NEWS – the very first set of updated information

The first workshop session will take place June 18 - 23, 2012. Apart from individual meetings, group sessions and film development lectures on storytelling and financing, the first part of the workshop will offer an inspirational session by famous Finish composer Sanna Salmenkallio about music in documentary. Sanna Salmenkallio's films include The 3 Rooms of Melancholia, Fever, Mechanical Love, and The Home Front. Her best-known work is probably her score for the documentary The Three Rooms of Melancholia (2004) for which Salmenkallio received a Jussi Award (the ‘Finnish Oscar’). Among tutors scheduled for the first session is also a Dutch filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich who will introduce theoretical as well as practical framework of his filmmaking technique he calls 'single shot cinema', based on long takes and constant camera movement. Leonard Retel Helmrich is a Dutch filmmaker who used to work as a stage director and cameraman in the Netherlands before going to Indonesia to make series of documentaries that have won awards worldwide. His most famous film Shape Of The Moon won Best Documentary Award in the World Docs Competition at Sundance 2005 as well as at the International Documentary Film festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2004. Among other tutors of the first session there will be also a Slovak director Peter Kerekeš whose latest feature-length documentary Ako sa varia dejiny/ Cooking History was awarded at numerous international festivals (e.g. Hot Docs, Leipzig) and nominated for the prestigious European Award Arte 2009.


1st Session: “Find Your Originality”

June 18 – 23, 2012 (Czech Republic, TBC)

The first session of the workshop deals with inspiration, focusing on the development of the documentary project, primarily its story potential, as well as researching the potential for documentary co-production and laying the groundwork for project production. The programme is divided between various master classes of visiting experts and practical intensive work on the projects. During the first session, we aim to form the participants into a functioning group, providing the atmosphere for creative networking as well as defining the position of each project within the context of the European market. We try to answer a number of questions, such as: What is the purpose of making this film? Has a similar film been made in recent years? What will be the film language and visual style of the film? What is the production potential of the film? What are the realistic expectations contained in the story and in the producer’s experience? What improvements should be made?

Tutors confirmed for the session include Marijke Rawie (expert consultant, workshop moderator, The Netherlands); Mikael Opstrup (lead production tutor, producer and consultant, Denmark); Peter Kerekeš (1st session guest tutor, director, Slovakia); Sanna Salmenkallio (composer, Finland); Leonard Retel Helmrich (director, cinematographer, Netherlands); and others..

Click here for more details.

2nd Session: “Production Development”

October 22 – 28, 2012 TBC (Jihlava, Czech Republic)

The second workshop session focuses on budgeting, legal aspects of co-productions, strategies for selecting commissioning editors and the proper television format, as well as a deeper creative development of the projects, the rough material as well as the documentary script. The second session is specific in that it has a partly separate programme for directors and producers. It also puts a strong emphasis on the development of the projects distribution strategy. Click here for more details.

3rd Session: “The Market Opens”

March 4 – 10, 2013 (Prague, Czech Republic)

In March 2013, the workshop will be completed with the East European Forum pitching sessions that will boost funding efforts of the attending projects. The third session deals mainly with practical skills that are required for the presentation of the project and pitching. However, its main theoretical themes are distribution plan and sales, post-pitching negotiation techniques for documentaries, as well as communication strategies to get European/ North American broadcasters involved in the project. The theoretical parts of this workshop discuss specific examples of international co-production using case studies presented by commissioning editors, producers and distributors. The session is concluded with the East European Pitching Forum and Feedback Round Tables with selected tutors. Click here for more details.

The three residential workshops and the East European Forum pitching are supplemented by the Doc Launch follow-up programme which tracks the projects till their completion.

Year-round Consultancy: An important aspect of Ex Oriente Film are the year-round online sessions and consultations led by the lead and guest tutors of the workshop. Further information about Ex Oriente Film are available HERE.

Veronika Lišková,
Programme Coordinator

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Institute of Documentary Film (IDF)
Školská 12, Prague 1, 110 00
Czech Republic