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MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2019

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A unique training platform for emerging talents aimed at scouting the most talented filmmakers & producers of the future who are developing their first or second feature film projects. It focuses primarily on creative teams from Central and Eastern Europe.

Organizational information

MIDPOINT Feature Launch is realized with the support of Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

Dates

Workshop 1: January 16-23, 2019
Workshop 2: May 3-9, 2019 
Workshop 3: June 27 - July 3, 2019 
Feature Launch Spotlight: January 19-22, 2020

Venues

Workshop 1: Trieste, Italy
in collaboration with the Trieste FF - Eastweek

Workshop 2: Kaunas, Lithuania
in collaboration with the Lithuanian Film Centre

Workshop 3: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
in collaboration with the Karlovy Vary IFF

Feature Launch Spotlight: Trieste, Italy
in collaboration with the When East Meets West

Who is it for?

  • teams of writers and/or directors and producers (max. 3 participants per team) with projects of first and second feature films 
  • aspiring script consultants

Contact person

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

Awards

KVIFF & MIDPOINT Development Award

A joint financial award of MIDPOINT and the Karlovy Vary IFF of 10.000 EUR for the best project of the Feature Launch 2019 program underlines the aim of the program itself – help emerging talents from Central and Eastern Europe to develop their film projects.

Awarded project: Some Birds

Connecting cottbus Award

A selected project from MIDPOINT Feature Launch will be granted the opportunity to present itself during the pitching event within connecting cottbus co-production market. Participation will include individual consultations from international film professionals and one2one meetings with potential partners.

Awarded project: Rattlesnakes

Rotterdam Lab Award

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

Awarded producer: Elene Margvelashvili

“The leading year-long development program for Central and Eastern Europe’s new film talents.”

Cineuropa

Projects

8 feature films projects

Every year we select teams of writers, directors and producers of approx. 9 feature film projects and we also select 4 script consultant trainees who join the creative process.

The best project of the program receives the KVIFF & MIDPOINT Development Award of 10.000 EUR. See the Awards section for more information about other networking awards the program offers.

A Sensitive Man

Elias (12) and his family are coming home to settle down after years of a nomadic lifestyle. Instead of an idyllic return, they find their mother’s father dying in his dirty flat. The mother ...
Project detail

Grey Skies

1994, Georgia. Amidst the apathy of a post-war city, a teenage boy Goga (15) spends his days in the streets imitating criminals and bullying others. Goga seems to be destined to join the violent ...
Project detail

Horia

Horia, a 17-year-old with his head in the clouds, was born and raised in a Romanian village by his libertine father, Petrică. After graduating from high school, his heart is broken by the girl he ...
Project detail

How is Katia?

Anna, a 35-year-old paramedic, lives a modest Kyiv life with her 10-year old daughter Katia. One morning Anna receives a call: Katia has been hit by a car. Behind the wheel is Marina – the daughter ...
Project detail

Rattlesnakes

Nadja and Boris, former activist couple, have changed their lives completely. Nadja works as an assistant in a big corporation that is planning to buy a weapons factory and turn it into agricultural ...
MIDPOINT participants: Nikola LjucaMaja IlicVuk Boskovic
Project detail

Riviera

Alkistis (17) - an obsessed with the past teenage girl – is refusing to move on with her life after her mother decides to sell their family home on the Athens Riviera. They have been running it ...
Project detail

Some Birds

Aging, lonesome Bela (78) is moved to a nursing home against his will by his son, where he must spend his days with an impulsive girl Zoe (17) who is sentenced to do social work. They both struggle ...
Project detail

Traces

After the death of her father, Ana (41), a single woman with vitiligo disease, suddenly faces a series of strange synchronicities. Her anthropological research of ancient tombstone symbols ...
MIDPOINT participants: Dubravka TuricIra CecicDubravka Turic
Project detail

Participants

Script Consultant Trainees

Tutors

Head of Studies

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

Group Leaders

Anne Gensior
Anne Gensior works as an international script consultant for feature films and documentaries and as a script reader and ...
Complete bio
Christian Routh
Christian is a script editor and film consultant based in Catalonia, Spain. From there he works for various filmmakers, ...
Complete bio
Ivo Trajkov
Ivo Trajkov is a director, producer and screenwriter. He was born in Skopje, Macedonia and graduated from FAMU in ...
Complete bio

Script Consultant Trainee Mentor

Gyula Gazdag
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

Producer Tutor

Danijel Hocevar
Complete bio

Pitching Tutors

Gabriele Brunnenmeyer
Complete bio
Stefano Tealdi
Complete bio

Guest Tutors

Timo Goessler
Complete bio
Alessandro Gropplero
Complete bio
Cedomir Kolar
Complete bio
Amanda Livanou
Complete bio
Marcin Luczaj
Complete bio
Christina Pelekani
Complete bio
Franz Rodenkirchen
Complete bio
Katriel Schory
Complete bio
Elma Tataragic
Complete bio
Stefano Tealdi
Complete bio

Experts

Anna Ciennik
Complete bio
Gabor Greiner
Complete bio
Jiri Konecny
Complete bio
Karina Korenblum
Complete bio
Dorota Lech
Complete bio
Yianna Sarri
Complete bio
Katriel Schory
Complete bio
Mira Staleva
Complete bio
Bostjan Virc
Complete bio
Meinholf Zurhorst
Complete bio

Methodology

Project Methodology

The 9 selected projects go through an intensive 4-module program, spanning over a year that consists of two residential workshops, a project showcase and a follow-up session.

During the two residential workshops the participants focus on script and project development while also being able to gain deeper knowledge about other aspects of the industry.

The 9 creative teams work in small groups under the guidance of internationally renowned and experienced script consultant tutors.
Most of the projects that are selected are in an early stage of development either with a treatment or an early draft of the script, therefore Workshop 1 focuses mainly on creative development and structural dramaturgy. Workshop 2 serves as a platform to further advance the scripts, while it also incorporates marketing strategies into the development process and addresses the important matters connected to presentation skills and promotion.

Both workshops consist of group work, plenary sessions, inspiring master-classes and case studies which offer a deeper understanding of the creative aspects involved in the work, as well as insights into financing, sales, festival and distribution strategies.
There are also one-to-one meetings with guest tutors and international experts from different areas of the audiovisual industry to help the participants develop their projects further.

Tailor-made online consultations follow every workshop according to the need of each project.

After the development process of the two residential workshops, all 9 selected projects are presented at the Works in Development - Feature Launch at the Karlovy Vary IFF to an audience of industry decision makers, including funders, sales agents, producers and festival programmers. The creative teams are prepared for the final presentation by a pitching trainer within a one-day intensive training immediately preceding the Works in Development - Feature Launch.

To close the cycle of the one-year program, the co-production market When East Meets West invites all Feature Launch 2019 selected producers one more time to offer them the chance to have a follow up with their potential artistic and financing partners during the Feature Launch Spotlight.

Script Consultant Trainee Methodology

The development process that the Feature Launch projects go through, is used as a platform to train the attending script consultant trainees, who are studying for their future careers as professional script consultants.

The script consultant trainees are trained by both their trainee mentor, who supervises their entire learning process and Feature Launch tutors, to understand the different approaches and strategies they use while developing feature film projects.

The trainees attend the two residential workshops and the project showcase along with the Feature Launch participants.
Each trainee is assigned to a group of projects and works closely with the script consulting tutor and the participants on the development of their scripts. In addition, the trainees regularly meet their trainee mentor and 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 in the creative process and most importantly, learn how to give constructive feedback to the teams to help them move forward in their development. They witness the different stages of development of the projects up through the final presentation at Karlovy Vary IFF.

Lectures

  • Lectures
    Lectures
    Copyright and Scriptwriting: Getting It Right
    July 02, 2019 | Hotel Thermal, Industry Pool

    With the new directive of the copyright law, approved by the European Parliament in March 2019, and to be implemented in all countries in the European Union in the next 24 months, the legal framework, upon which European writers operate, will change. Will the writers be ready?

    Do supporting organizations and bodies, such as writers’ unions or guilds, exists and function in Eastern Europe?

    Can Central and Eastern European writers make a career internationally and what is the role of a talent agent in this closely intertwined ecosystem?

    MIDPOINT, as a leading training platform for fiction writers, will guide this pressing discussion with representatives of writers’ guilds, talent agencies, and local professionals, in collaboration with its partner KVIFF. 

    European Film Financing Sources
    Danijel Hocevar
    May 08, 2019 | Europa Royale Kaunas Hotel / Kaunas, Lithuania

    The plenary lecture of Danijel Hočevar 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.

    How to Make Friends And - Sometimes - Even Good Films
    Alessandro Gropplero
    May 08, 2019 | Europa Royale Kaunas Hotel / Kaunas, Lithuania

    It is not only about money, most of the time it is about the people you choose to work with. And to find the right people you need to plan to attend the right places and to prepare in advance the right materials.

    Case Study: Pity
    Amanda Livanou, Marcin Luczaj
    May 07, 2019 | Europa Royale Kaunas Hotel / Kaunas, Lithuania

    Case study of an award winning Greek/Polish co-production PITY / OIKTOS by Babis Makridis. Lead producer Amanda Livanou (Neda Film) and sales agent Marcin Łuczaj (New Europe Film Sales) will share their experience on long production (sometimes painful) and sales process of the film. The film premiered at Sundance's World Dramatic Competition followed by European Premiere at Rotterdam's Big Screen Competition.

    PITY is a story of a man who feels happy only when he is unhappy, a man addicted to sadness, who has such need for pity, he’s willing to do everything to evoke it from others. This is the life of a man in a world not cruel enough for him.

    Dos And Don'ts With Sales Agents
    Marcin Luczaj
    May 06, 2019 | Europa Royale Kaunas Hotel / Kaunas, Lithuania

    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.

    Marketing Is Your Friend: An Introduction to Film Marketing
    Christina Pelekani
    May 06, 2019 | Europa Royale Kaunas Hotel / Kaunas, Lithuania

    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, benchmarking, strengths & challenges, definition of target audience; promotion for blockbuster vs. indies, 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.

    How to Pitch Your Film - 6 Questions for the Pitch
    Gabriele Brunnenmeyer
    May 05, 2019 | Europa Royale Kaunas Hotel / Kaunas, Lithuania

    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.

    Project Development - A View Of The Producer
    Danijel Hocevar
    January 22, 2019 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

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

    This 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 European perspective.

    On Body And Soul - (Un)usual Love Story
    Elma Tataragic
    January 22, 2019 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    The second lecture by Elma Tataragic will be the film analysis of the critically acclaimed film On Body and Soul (2017) directed by Ildiko Enyedi. The film premiered at 2017 Berlin Film Festival Official Competition and was awarded by the Golden Bear. The film won numerous awards and was one of the most acclaimed films in 2017 with the Foreign Language film nomination in 2018. The analysis will focus on the narrative and the visual approach of both the screenplay and the film, which brings an eccentric but intermittently startling romance between two misfits. The film is a love story that unfolds both in a secret inner dreamscape and an outer world of ostensible normality – which is actually far more comically irrational. This duality could be the one hinted at in the title but is very much reflected in the narrative structure of the story.

    Two Worlds Of Storytelling – The Differences Between Series And Movies
    Timo Goessler
    January 21, 2019 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    Nearly - or maybe even literally - everybody loves to watch series in the moment and nearly everybody wants to make one these days. The global series market exploded – thousands of new shows are coming out every year. The once much-maligned form became the most attractive one for many audiovisual creatives and audiences all around the globe. This lecture will provide an overview on the basic differences between the storytelling in series and movies. Examples will illustrate the theses, which originate from serial theories of different dramaturgs as well as from own practical experiences.

    MIDPOINT TV Launch presents: Why Do We Need To Talk About TV Series Now?
    Katarina Tomkova
    January 21, 2019 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    Keynote opening by Katarina Tomkova, MIDPOINT TV Launch Program Coordinator.

    Followed by 

    Timo Goßler

    Two Worlds Of Storytelling - The Differences Between Series And Movies

    Creative Collaboration Between Filmmakers And Producers
    January 20, 2019 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    What is the role of the producer and what is the role of the director? What is the kind of dialogue, relationships or partnership, that should take place throughout the process of setting up the production?  If and when to embark on the journey of co-productions and how to talk to film funders and talk them into your project? What kind of dialogue should main partners conduct during the film production?

    Screenplay – The Origin Of The Film
    Elma Tataragic
    January 20, 2019 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    Midpoint Feature Launch’s 2019 Plenary Lecture by Elma Tataragic will focus on screenplay as the basis and the beginning of the process of filmmaking.

    The lecture will focus on both the form and the content of the text as well as on other elements important for the story and its narrative. It is aimed not only at screenwriters and directors but also at producers who are often neglected but are an equally important part of the creative process and can be valuable at the very early stage of the project’s development.

    What are the important elements to focus on when developing a script? How to recognize the essence and the core of the script? How to find the “secret ingredient” and to be able to explain the unexplainable? In general, how to read a script in a proper way that will push the project forward and gather the writer/ director/ producer as a team?

    Pitching Through Storytelling
    Stefano Tealdi
    January 19, 2019 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    Pitching is used in American baseball and is the action of the launcher of the ball.

    In the world of cinema production it means throwing an idea with the hope that it is collected by those interested in supporting, collaborating, co-producing or investing on new projects. This verbal presentation of projects, initially used in the United States in fields like the licensing of industrial and technological patents, is today a common practise in the film world. All the major film markets in Europe like Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Rotterdam  organize pitching forums or meetings. Public pitching sessions have become one of the most efficient ways of promoting an international co-production and finding co-financing resources. Even in the era of internet, and actually even more so, there is a great need for filmmakers and producers to meet and discuss eye-to-eye to build up co-production strategies and find resources.

    Pitching is also extremely useful for project development. Preparing for the pitching of a new proposal obliges filmmakers and producers to understand and highlight the most intriguing, relevant and unique details of their proposals.

    Pitching through storytelling guides filmmakers and producers in finding the unique, specific and most effective way to pitch their stories. Through a collective exercise first and then reflecting on the layers of meanings linked to public pitching forums, the participants find their way of managing a public presentation without too much anxiety and take possession of a technique and a methodology they will be able to relate to throughout their career.

“Having well-trained script consultants is helpful to remind the writers of certain elements of craft that they may forget in the process of writing.”

Gyula Gazdag
Artistic Director of the Sundance Filmmakers Lab

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