British Leonardo Project delegates pioneer new training programme

By Siobhan Keirans & Ian McCormick

    {mosimage}WARSAW: A delegation of British graduates became the first ever to participate in an innovative new pilot project launched in Warsaw with funding from the European Union Leonardo Project. The 14 strong group participated in the 2011 edition of the Watch Docs Human Rights Film Festival (www.watchdocs.com ) in Warsaw at the invitation of Anna Franklin general director of Film New Europe as well as meeting with key representatives of the Polish film industry. The pilot project is the brainchild of Contented (www.contented.net) director Gerard Davies who plans to bring more groups of graduates to central and Eastern Europe throughout 2012.

    As part of this unique training programme set up to develop [ment] projects in creative industries set up by Contented the delegation participated in daily workshops at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (www.hfhrpol.waw.pl/en) who also organise the Watch Docs festival. These included learning about the influential role of the Polish Film Institute from Izabela Kiszka-Hoflik, Manager of the Department of International Cooperation (www.pisf.pl) in film production and education in Poland. As one UK participant said after the presentation of PISF's work: "Wow after seeing what you are doing for the film industry here in Poland I feel like I am living in the wrong country as a filmmaker."

    Violetta Kaminska, Managing Director of Warsaw based Apple Film Productions (www.applefilm.pl) made a presentation about the script development project ScripTeast which is funded by the EU's MEDIA programme. Other presentations included the Gutek Film (www.gutekfilm.pl) education programme and a behind the scenes visit to TVP (www.tvp.pl) the Polish pubcaster.

    The delegates will be producing a short documentary about the Film Festival as well as carrying out research and developing future projects inspired by their visit to Poland. Specific opportunities proposed include exploring the role of volunteers in film festivals and constructing a model for future co-productions between Poland and the UK.