27-08-2013

MIDPOINT: Young European Filmmakers Gather in South Bohemia to Develop Scripts with Professionals

This six-day international workshop in the South-Bohemian town of Poněšice wraps up MIDPOINT, a three-month educational programme aimed at supporting talents and developing European screenwriting and dramaturgy that has been organised for four years by Prague’s FAMU. On Friday, the whole workshop finishes in Prague at an international summit where the best film projects are awarded.

This is the fourth time that young European filmmakers have got together in South Bohemia. “The participants get to work with their peers from top film schools throughout Central Europe and help each other develop their screenplays for their thesis films or feature debuts. They are assisted by respected screenwriters, script editors, directors and creative producers,” describes the course outline Pavel Jech, the Dean of FAMU. During the project, the participants work for instance on a screenplay about the wife of socialist President Husák and on a criminal thriller about the investigation of a brutal murder of a young man.

There are eleven European film schools collaborating in the project and a number of film professionals from different countries, such as German producer Simone Baumann, successful Slovenian producer Danijel Hočevar, Hungarian filmmaker Csaba Bollók and Macedonian director Ivo Trajkov. Film school students and recent graduates apply for the programme with semi-finished screenplays, with MIDPOINT offering them individual consultations with professional filmmakers; they also take a course in pitching – public presentation of projects for film producers and film-fund representatives. For the very first time, there is a whole day dedicated to writing and shooting scenes, supervised by Italian director and screenwriter Giovanni Robbiano. With the help from a renowned Czech actress Petra Nesvačilová (Dolls, Protector), he is going to rehearse and direct several scenes from a screenplay called Sněží (Snowing) by Kristina Nedvědová.

In the course of the four years, MIDPOINT has been joined by tens of young filmmakers, some of whom have become successful also abroad. “Several screenplays developed in MIDPOINT have been made into films, including Hungarian feature Land of Storms by sreenwriter Iván Szabó. The participants also receive contacts for European film institutions and film professionals,” adds Pavel Jech. The film Momo by Slovak screenwriter and director Teodor Kuhn and producer Jakub Viktorín – whose screenplay was developed in MIDPOINT 2011 – has been awarded at different festivals; recently it has won the Award for best student film at the Rome Independent Film Festival. This year, the Kuhn-Viktorín duo are participating in the workshop again, this time with their feature debut, the working title of which is Beloved Son, Brother and Friend. This criminal thriller about the controversial background of the investigation and trial concerning a brutal murder of a young man has got financial support from Slovak Audiovisual Fund. “It is by no means the only screenplay at this year’s MIDPOINT that has already got funding,” notes MIDPOINT’s managing director Barbora Struss. Also the co-production feature entitled OUT, a graduation film by FAMU student György Kristóf, is supported by Slovak Audiovisual Fund. Another screenwriter developing her script in MIDPOINT is Tereza Simanová – she is working on a film called Magda H. dealing with the life of the first wife of Czechoslovakian Normalisation president Gustáv Husák.

The MIDPOINT project was initiated by FAMU in collaboration with film schools in Bratislava, Lodz, Berlin, Bucharest and Budapest. The programme helps develop stories touching on local topics that aim at foreign audiences at the same time. Thanks to the collaboration with film professionals, MIDPOINT helps young filmmakers to better understand the way films are developed in an international environment.

This three-month educational programme for film-school students and graduates comprises of two international workshops and consultations with the lecturers. MIDPOINT emphasises the collaboration of the screenwriter-director tandem, which is why only teams can take part.

The first workshop took place in June at the Art Film Fest IFF in Trenčianske Teplice, the second started on Sunday in Poněšice in South Bohemia.

MIDPOINT – media contact:

Kristýna Greplová, tel.: 776 199 551, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.midpointcenter.eu

www.famu.cz

The programme is supported by the MEDIA Programme of the EU, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Slovak Audiovisual Fund and International Visegrad Fund.

 

Last modified on 29-08-2013