Pustnik kicks off its 2023 residency for first-time filmmakers

    The ninth edition of Pustnik's screenwriting residency, focused on first-time filmmakers, began yesterday in Izvoranu, Buzău.

    Ten participants have the opportunity to work on their feature-length debut scripts during the eight day residency (October 10–17), with dedicated writing time as well as tutoring, group sessions, individual sessions, screenings and peer feedback. Pustnik has selected the eight fiction projects from 67 applications received from 35 countries, including one from the European Short Pitch alumni network.

    Special guests are screenwriter Claudia Bottino (Senad Sahmanovic’s “Sirin”, Massimiliano Camaiti’s “Caught by a Wave”), and producers Julie Billy (Jonas Carpignano’s “A Chiara”; Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh’s “Gagarine”) and Alexandra Blue („Welcome to Iron Knob”, „Martha”). For a third time, the residents will also benefit from the expertise of Delia Vasile, a psychotherapist and narrative consultant.

    Claudia Bottino co-wrote “Sirin”, by Senad Sahmanovic, which premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival in 2023, and the Netflix teen drama “Caught by a Wave”, directed by Massimiliano Camaiti. She wrote and directed multiple short films, including “Duo”, which was selected at numerous international festivals, including Palm Springs International ShortFest, Odense International Film Festival, London Short Film Festival and Sundance, and “À Trois”, screened at Clermont-Ferrand this year. During 2013-14, she was on the writing team for the award-winning ARTE TV series “Churchmen”, and she is currently working on Julien Gaspar-Oliveri’s first feature film, “La Frappe”, whose script was a finalist at the Sopadin Best Screenplay Award 2022. She previously worked with Julien on “Tender Age”, nominated at the 2022 César Awards.

    Julie Billy produced around a dozen films at Haut et Court including “Gagarine” by Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh (Official Selection Cannes 2020) and “A Chiara” by Jonas Carpignano (Director’s Fortnight Award 2021). She produced a wide range of films from the genre film “The Night Eats the World” by Dominique Rocher (Tribeca) to the social feature documentary “Latifa” by Olivier Peyon and Cyril Brody (Rotterdam). Her international co-production credits include Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster”, Nadav Lapid’s “The Kindergarten Teacher” and Jonas Carpignano’s “A Ciambra”. In 2020, Julie co-founded the production company June Films with Naomi Denamur. June’s lineup includes the next features by Hafsia Herzi, Clémence Poésy, Fanny Liatard & Jérémy Trouilh, Emma Benestan.

    Alexandra Blue’s short films have been Oscar-longlisted and received acclaim at festivals including BFI London, Clermont-Ferrand, Flickerfest and Palm Springs. She has been mentored by some of the top production companies, including a Screen Australia Talent Escalator placement with Element (“The Lobster”, “Room”) and a six-month producer placement with Warp (“This is England”, “’71”). Alexandra also worked as a development executive at Heyday for producer David Heyman (“Harry Potter”, “Paddington”) until 2017, before collaborating with Eleven (“Sex Education”) as a development producer with her own projects. Her slate includes projects that have been developed with Film 4, BFI, Netflix and Screen Australia, and she was selected as one of 12 producers for BFI Insight, Film London Lodestar of 2021, Emerging Producer of the Year (SASA), Best Emerging Filmmaker (Shorts Film Festival) and Short Film of the Decade at the Australian Academy Awards.

    Delia Vasile is a communicator, psychologist and psychotherapist with a humanistic approach, based in Bucharest, Romania. She graduated from the Faculty of Letters and the Faculty of Psychology and since 2012 she has started her training in Transactional Analysis with Yorkshire Training Centre International. Her therapeutic approach is a narrative one, being passionate about understanding life stories and the scripts people act out in their lives.

    The selected projects are:

    “Silk and Rushes”, by Ryushi Lindsay, UK/Japan

    “Three Waters Meet”, by Katarina Jazbec, Slovenia/Netherlands

    “Sister Sílvia (Irmã Sílvia)”, by Pedro Vaz Simões, Portugal

    “Egon Buys Air Conditioning” (wt), by David Vajda, Austria/Germany

    “Hold Still”, by Shalini Adnani, Chile/UK

    “A Woman Waves and Flows”, by Andra Chiriac Hera, Romania

    “The Sound of Europe”, by Gunhild Enger & Raluca Manescu, Norway & Romania

    “Stringa”, by Alexandra Matheou & Maria Hatzakou, Cyprus & Greece

    Maintaining its commitment to the local community, Pustnik is also hosting free film and storytelling workshops as well as screenings at the Sarichioi Secondary School, hosted by Pustnik alumni Răzvan Oprescu

    About Pustnik

    Pustnik is a programme created in 2014. Its aim has always been to focus on the writer’s needs. Good cinema needs time and intimacy to develop, and this has always taken centre stage in whatever happens at Pustnik. Our aim is to create an environment that encourages and emboldens upcoming writers whose work we admire, away from the pressure of the industry.

    Pustnik is organized by T.E.T.A Association

    TETA is an NGO founded in June 2006 with the purpose of developing cultural activities and alternative education to stimulate cultural revival within overlooked communities. TETA also produces films and theatre performances.

    Cultural program co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund (AFCN), the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR), Romanian Filmmakers’ Union (UCIN), Dacin Sara and the French Institute Romania

    Partners: European Short Pitch, National University of Theatre and Film "I.L. Caragiale" – UNATC Bucharest

    Media partners: Film New Europe, Films in Frame, All about Romanian Cinema - aarc.ro

    The program does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the program, nor for the manner in which the results of the program might be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the grant.

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