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MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2023

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A professional script- and project-development program for creative teams and aspiring script consultants who believe in the importance of teamwork.

 

Benefits

An exquisite experience

The program targets creative teams with feature films in development & aspiring script consultants coming primarily from Central and Eastern Europe.

As the first film & series development platform in Europe, MIDPOINT Institute introduces within the Feature Launch program a multi-stage project selection process in order to be able to support more emerging talents.

From the applications, we will select approx. 20 projects, of which their creative teams will receive a detailed online assessment from two experienced professionals (script consultants and producers).

Based on this assessment, 9 projects will be selected for the Feature Launch 2023 program.

For teams of writers, 1st or 2nd time directors and producers

  • move your feature film project to the next level
  • create a financing, marketing, sales, distribution or pitching strategy for your project
  • work with some of the most established European and international creators and professionals who are willing to lay the cards out on the table (good or bad)
  • get unique professional international feedback from our tutors and your peers
  • explore the current film industry landscape and trends
  • pitch it & network at Karlovy Vary IFF

For script-consultant trainees

  • get unique experience, possibility to work on real projects
  • take advantage of safe environment & thorough guidance of an experienced mentor
  • enhance your script editing and communication skills
  • learn to give constructive feedback
  • master your analytic craft of writing script reports for film funds, cultural & other funding organizations
  • learn how to present yourself as a script consultant
  • pitch yourself & network at Karlovy Vary IFF

Structure

Comprehensive program combining various formats

  • Team with projects
    Online Feedback Session
    January 2023 | online

    From all applications, the reading committee will select approximately 20 projects whose creative teams will receive a detailed online assessment from experienced professionals (script consultants and producers). After this session, the final 9 projects will be selected for the MIDPOINT Feature Launch program.

  • Script-consultant trainees
    Online Preparatory Seminar for Script Consultant Trainees
    February 27-28, 2023  | online

    Online seminar exclusively for 3 selected script consultant trainees that will prepare them for further work with Feature Launch projects alongside the group leaders.

  • All Participants
    Workshop 1 
    March 3-10, 2023  | Bratislava, Slovakia
    TEAMS WITH PROJECTS

    This workshop focuses primarily on creative development and dramaturgy while also introducing greater knowledge about other aspects of the industry, such as financing and market positioning.

    SCRIPT-CONSULTANT TRAINEES

    Each trainee is assigned to one of the three groups, and works closely with the group leader and the participants on the development of their scripts. Trainees also meet regularly with their mentor to review their learning progress.

    Through this process, the trainees are acquainted with the script and development aspects of developing a film project, enhance their communication skills during the creative process and, most importantly, learn how to give constructive feedback to the creative teams to help them move forward in their development.

    Lectures
    Pursuing Truth in Dramaturgy During the Dawn of A. I.
    Pavel Jech
    Saturday, March 4, 16:00 | Bratislava, Slovakia

    A writer's freedom to make things up may seem like a simple way to determine what is true and meaningful within one's own story. But in the process of constructing their stories, writers often struggle with the fallacies – and even the truths – of their own making. As A.I. technology develops the ability to construct narratives, the issues that have always challenged writers come into renewed focus.  This lecture explores how writers and their trainers can identify what is true and false within their own stories, and how to strive for clearer meaning in the development process... Or, maybe not.

    Screenwriter‘s Paradox
    Christian Routh
    Sunday, March 5, 16:30 | Bratislava, Slovakia

    In this lecture, Christian Routh will present some tips to screenwriters about how to confront the apparent paradox of being a screenwriter, in which they need to switch from a solitary introspective mode while writing, to a more outgoing gregarious mode when the time comes to explain and present their work to the industry. This duality requires certain skills that even the most introverted writer can acquire. The presentation will utilise some inspirational quotes from assorted artists through the ages to pass on some helpful practical advice.

    Project Development – A View of the Producer
    Danijel Hocevar
    Monday, March 6, 16:30 | Bratislava, Slovakia

    What is the (right) role of the producer during project development? How to discuss the creative and other aspects of the project with your writer and director? How to convey a common vision of the future film and how to develop the same creative idea and avoid possible different views, approaches and sometimes even disagreements?

    These are just a few questions each producer is addressing when developing the main idea of the project together with the director (and writer) during the development, usually the most creative process for the whole creative team. Part of the lecture will also be dedicated to the main characteristics of the development financing from the European perspective.

    Copyright Law Roundtables
    Rudolf Leska
    Tuesday, March 7, 9:30 & 10:30  | Bratislava, Slovakia

    What is the position of a writer/director/producer in the European ecosystem, what to look out for when it comes to contracts and which expectations to have? We’ll discuss all this and more in a closed session where there are no bad questions with Rudolf Leška, an established copyright lawyer with international experience.

    Case Study: Ordinary Failures
    Cristina Grosan, Marek Novak
    Wednesday, March 8, 16:30 | Bratislava, Slovakia

    A case study about a second feature film by director Cristina Grosan premiered at Venice Days of the 79th Venice Film Festival.

    A misfit teenager, an anxious mother, and a recent widow see their day interrupted by a mysterious natural phenomenon. As their world descends into chaos, the three women struggle to find their place in life.

    Moderated by Katarína Tomková.

    Gift Service: How to “Sell” a Film Project?
    Katarina Tomkova
    Thursday, March 9, 09:00 | Bratislava, Slovakia

    What written materials do we need on the long route of producing a film, who should be preparing them, and in which phase of the film's creation do we use them? Addressing all the do's and don'ts in a film package, Katarina's lecture will prepare the creative teams for the presentation and positioning of their project in an international context.

    Masterclass: Ada Solomon
    Ada Solomon
    Thursday, March 9, 16:30 | Bratislava, Slovakia

    A unique masterclass will be offered by the renowned and award-winning Romanian producer Ada Solomon, who has over 60 film titles to her credit, including, for example, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Golden Bear, Berlinale, 2021), I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (KVIFF Crystal Globe, 2021) and many others. During her career, she co-produced with fifteen countries and is behind the film debuts of many contemporary European directorial talents, such as Marta Bergman, Chiara Malta, Federico Bondi, Adriano Valerio, Ivana Mladenovic, and Stefan Constantinescu.

  • All Participants
    Workshop 2 
    May 1-5, 2023  | online

    Online individual consultations, group work, lectures focused on script/treatment development, financing and presentation skills. 

    Lectures
    Masterclass: The Writing Process of NASHVILLE
    Joan Tewkesbury
    May 3, 2023, 15:00 | online

    Written by Joan Tewkesbury, directed by Robert Altman.

    How to Pitch Your Film - 6 Questions for the Pitch
    Gabriele Brunnenmeyer
    May 5, 2023, 15:00 | online

    To pitch your project means to know everything about your project, to be aware of its strengths as well as of its weaknesses. The lecture will introduce in the essential elements of a pitch and underline the possibilities to include your specific vision in the presentation. A focus will be put on the elements that help writers, directors and producers to analyze the status quo of the project and to find a language to promote your current story to decision makers.

  • All Participants
    Workshop 3 
    June 28 - July 5, 2023  | Prague and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
    TEAMS WITH PROJECTS

    This workshop serves as a platform to further advance the scripts, while also incorporating intensive and critical training about how to present and promote projects. This workshop is immediately followed by the Works in development - Feature Launch project showcase at the Karlovy Vary IFF, where all nine selected projects are presented to an audience of industry decision makers, including funders, sales agents, producers and festival programmers. One-on-one meetings and further networking follow the presentations.

    The program's awards are handed out at this event.

    SCRIPT-CONSULTANT TRAINEES

    The trainees continue to observe the various stages of the development of the projects, through the final presentation at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. They are present at the pitching training and rehearsals and also prepare their own presentations, as they'll pitch themselves as industry professionals during the KVIFF pitching forum.

    Networking opportunities at the event may help them in their future careers.

  • All Participants
    Workshop 4 
    October 30 - November 3, 2023 | online

    Individual consultations, group works, master classes, lectures focused on marketing and distribution strategies including new formats.

    Lectures
    Marketing Is Your Friend: An Introduction to Film Marketing
    Christina Pelekani
    Wednesday, November 1, 10:00 CET | online

    For filmmakers, marketing is probably the last thing that they want to consider. Not anymore. Nowadays, filmmakers are responsible for the marketing, sales and distribution of their project. 

    The lecture will focus on the 3 valuable C’s, which in marketing terminology stand for Consumer, Convenience and Communication. There will be presented the “secret weapons” of marketing – positioning, benchmarks, strengths & challenges, definition of target audience; distribution models, film marketing in the digital age, plus useful tips for creating the best possible promotional materials in order to stand out from the clutter, will be also part of the presentation.

    One of the lecture’s objectives is to help the producers think both like a film business investor (B2B) and a fan (B2C). The goal of the plenary is to point out to the producers that marketing is truly their friend.

    Dos And Don'ts With Sales Agents
    Marcin Luczaj
    Thursday, November 2, 16:30 CET | online

    This plenary will address issues of working with sales agent. New Europe Film Sales is Warsaw-based directors' driven boutique sales and production company where Marcin Łuczaj acquisitions. Where and when to find a sales agent? What's the role of a sales agent in various stages of your project? How to find a right sales agent for your film? How to prepare for your premiere? DOs and DONTs in working with sales agents, festival strategies, marketing and pitches at parties.

    European Film Financing Sources
    Danijel Hocevar
    Friday, November 3, 12:15 CET | online

    The plenary lecture of Danijel Hocevar will explore the main characteristics and different possible financing sources for film and audiovisual production, available in Europe today, from public support to market sources and from fiscal / tax incentives to private equity.

Company Time

Follow-up workshop for producers

  • Producers
    Company Time
    January 19-24, 2024  | Trieste, Italy / in collaboration with EAVE

    This follow-up workshop offers participating producers support in the areas of company sustainability and strategic business planning. This training is designed and co-organized with our partner EAVE.

    The workshop is led by Juliane Schulze, a strategic creative economy expert in business, finance, investment and sustainability, who advises European and international audiovisual companies as well as funding institutions and business agencies. Over four days, participants will sharpen their competitive advantage and enhance the viability of their businesses. Feedback rounds and individual mentoring sessions will offer direct support to tackle challenges they are facing as film professionals in an ever-changing marketplace.

    In addition, this workshop is run in collaboration with the Trieste FF and within the frame of When East Meets West, which brings participants further networking opportunities through its industry program.

Projects

Nine promising feature film projects

Participating projects are divided into 3 groups of 3, and development within each group is overseen by both a group leader and a script-consultant trainee.

The Boy Who Saw In The Dark

Jacob, a 13 year-old boy, is being raised as the 'perfect son' for his blind parents. Along with numerous duties, he is their 'eyes' to the outside world in the small town of early 2000's Latvia. ...
Project detail

Excavators

Klió is on summer holiday back home in Cyprus, when the remains of her grandmother Melpo—who has been missing since the Turkish invasion that divided the island in 1974—are unexpectedly exhumed. ...
MIDPOINT participants: Argyro NicolaouConstantinos Nikiforou
Project detail

God Break Down the Door

Bob (18) is an overweight boy of a simple nature who comes from a strongly religious family and lives within the safe routine of Christian values. As a reward, yet against his will, his parents send ...
MIDPOINT participants: Vojtech NovotnyTomas Pertold
Project detail

Flight from Kabul

ZIBAA (30), a successful Afghan filmmaker and head of the National Film Fund recently got engaged to SAMIR (29), the love of her life. Her end-of-summer wedding plans are horribly destroyed when ...
MIDPOINT participants: Wanda Adamik HrycovaSahraa Karimi
Project detail

Paperplanes

Nefeli (30), still living with her parents, is devastated to find out of their divorce. She decides to run away and accidentally bumps into a stranger, Harry (30), who's enjoying a beer before ...
Project detail

The Portuguese House

One morning, FERNANDO wakes to find his wife has vanished. When he learns she has left Spain to return to Serbia, his world falls apart and he leaves home. While travelling, he meets a gardener on ...
MIDPOINT participants: Gerard MarginedasAvelina Prat
Project detail

Shadow Play

A young Icelandic woman named Freyja is consumed by anguish after her newborn child disappears. Disillusioned with the lack of progress from the police and townspeople, she takes matters into her ...
Project detail

Soft Hours

Ilona, in her late fifties, is a music teacher in a suburban primary school in Budapest. Her son, Tóbiás, who went missing ten years ago, links her unbreakably to her ex-husband, Dénes. When Dénes ...
MIDPOINT participants: Anna GyimesiGenoveva Petrovits
Project detail

whatever, lol

It’s all about coming-of-(r)age. whatever, lol follows two hectic days of three teenage girls* full of enthusiasm and rage. Too different, or not different enough, Johnny, Romi and Alex try to enjoy ...
MIDPOINT participants: Gabriela GazovaKatarina Krnacova
Project detail

Participants

The next generation of European film professionals

Script Consultant Trainees

Company Time - Guest Producers

Tutors

Inspirational professionals with a passion for sharing their experience

To ensure the most comprehensive approach to training, Feature Launch works with established and respected names from all over the European industry.

Producer Mentor

The Producer Mentor oversees the development of all projects, advises them during the process regarding production and budgetary issues, and guides them through the European industry landscape.

Danijel Hocevar
Slovenia  
Film producer and CEO of Vertigo, a Ljubljana (Slovenia)-based production company with a distinctive track record and extensive working experience on international co-productions incl. the ...
Complete bio

Group Leaders

The Group Leaders oversee the development of projects in their group from the very beginning of the program through graduation. They also coach the script-consultant trainee assigned to their group.

Pavel Jech
Czech Republic  
Pavel Jech co-founded MIDPOINT in 2010 and has been active ever since as a group leader and speaker in its various ...
Complete bio
Pavel Marek
Czech Republic  
Pavel Marek is a graduate of the Faculty of Computer Engineering, Technical University and the Directing Department at ...
Complete bio
Ivo Trajkov
Czech Republic / North Macedonia  
Ivo Trajkov is a director, producer, film editor, screenwriter and story editor. He was born in Skopje, Macedonia and ...
Complete bio

Script-consultant Trainee Mentor

The Script-consultant Trainee Mentor co-creates the training for the script-consultant trainees, ensuring that this training is implemented organically into the group work and that the collaborative set-up simulates a real-life industry environment. He meets regularly with the trainees, providing feedback and support.

Gyula Gazdag
United States  
Gyula Gazdag is a director of film, theatre, and television productions. He has served as the Artistic Director of the Sundance Director‘s Lab since 1997. He was a creative advisor at the Binger ...
Complete bio

Pitching Tutor

The Pitching Tutor prepares participants to present themselves and their projects, in general and for the final pitching session of the program.

Gabriele Brunnenmeyer
Germany  
Complete bio

Producer Tutor

Katarina Tomkova ensures each team develops effective promotional materials and positions their project in an international context.

Katarina Tomkova
Slovakia  
Complete bio

Guest Tutors

These established professionals are usually present at at least one of the workshops to share their expertise.

Isona Admetlla Font
Spain  
Complete bio
Cristina Grosan
Hungary, Romania  
Complete bio
Rudolf Leska
Czech Republic  
Complete bio
Marcin Luczaj
Poland  
Complete bio
Marek Novak
Czech Republic  
Complete bio
Christina Pelekani
Greece  
Complete bio
Marija Razgute
Lithuania  
Complete bio
Christian Routh
United Kingdom  
Complete bio
Ada Solomon
Romania  
Complete bio
Joan Tewkesbury
United States  
Complete bio

Experts

Simone Baumann
Germany  
Complete bio
Joseph Fahim
Egypt  
Complete bio
Gerhard Maier
Germany  
Complete bio
Tatjana Samopjan
Sweden  
Complete bio
Julia Schafdecker
Germany  
Complete bio

Company Time Tutor

Juliane Schulze leads the follow-up workshop for producer participants, mentoring them in company sustainability and strategic business planning.

Juliane Schulze
Germany  
Complete bio

Awards

Works In Development Award

A joint financial award of MIDPOINT Institute, Barrandov Studio and the Karlovy Vary IFF of 10,000 EUR for the best project of the Feature Launch 2023 program underlines the aim of the program itself – help emerging talents from Central and Eastern Europe to develop their film projects. 

Awarded project: Flight from Kabul

connecting cottbus Award

A selected project from MIDPOINT Feature Launch will be given the opportunity to present itself during the pitching event within the connecting cottbus co-production market. Participation will include individual consultations from international film professionals and one-on-one meetings with potential partners.

Awarded project: Excavators

Rotterdam Lab Award

One producer will be handpicked to participate in the professional training program for producers, Rotterdam Lab, which takes place during the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Awarded producer: Tomas Pertold (project God Break Down the Door)

Successful films

Selection of our successful alumni

References

Huge motivation boost and way to move your project to the next level

FAQs

You may ask...

  • Can I apply with an animation or documentary film project?

    Sadly, Feature Launch does not work with animation or documentary projects, as these require a different set of skills and addresses a different market.

  • Can I apply without a writer OR director OR producer in the team?

    You can't. All these creative roles have to be present in your team. One person could represent more than one role (writer/director OR director/producer, etc.), or there could be two people representing one role (2x writer OR 2x producer, etc.). In any case, the team must consist of 2-3 people.

  • I'm not European, can I apply?

    Feature Launch is specifically designed for European writers, as we'd like to address the demand for training coming particularly from this territory. The main focus is put on the region of Central and Eastern Europe. However, projects with a strong co-production potential or already attached partners/team members from this region can be accepted as well. In case you are still not sure about your eligibility, please contact the program coordinator Sona Morgenthalova.

  • I'm not fluent in English, can I still apply?

    Sadly, no. As the entire training runs in English, and during the working days you'll be asked to write directly in English, we require an intermediate level of these language skills. This simply means: your grammar doesn't have to be perfect, but you need to talk/write fluently and have the vocabulary to do so.

  • Once selected, how much time should I allocate to the training?

    Quite honestly – a lot. Feature Launch is an intensive training, and apart from the assignments and work done during all residential and online workshops, it operates with a system of tasks and deadlines in between these modules. So clear that calendar up a bit.

  • Does MIDPOINT Institute offer scholarships?

    It does. However, these are only partial, cannot be allocated to all participants, and their granting therefore considers various criteria. We HIGHLY recommend applying to a local supporting organization (national or local funds, ministries of culture or education, professional associations, etc.) at the same time you're applying to MIDPOINT Feature Launch. You can always withdraw your application if not selected, but as the processing time of this support can be rather long, it might be quite late to do this once we confirm you're in.

  • Can I send you the application materials via e-mail?

    We only accept applications submitted through our Visitor Page. Firstly, that way you can be sure your e-mail doesn't end up in junk, and secondly, all submitted materials are distributed to the selection committee via the Visitor Page (please see the 'Application' section).

Contact

Did we forget something? Don't hesitate to ask

Sona Morgenthalova
Program Coordinator
sona.morgenthalova@midpoint-institute.eu

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