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MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2020

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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 15–⁠22, 2020
Workshop 2: April–⁠June 2020
Works in Development: 7–⁠9 July, 2020
Feature Launch Spotlight: January 2021

Venues

Workshop 1: Trieste, Italy
in collaboration with the
 Trieste FF –⁠ EASTWEEK

Workshop 2: Online

Works in Development –⁠ Feature Launch: Online
in collaboration with Karlovy Vary IFF

Feature Launch Spotlight: Trieste, Italy
in collaboration with 
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 2020 program underlines the aim of the program itself – help emerging talents from Central and Eastern Europe to develop their film projects. 

Awarded project: Usud

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 one-to-one meetings with potential partners.

Awarded project: Vacuum

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: Andrijana Sofranic Sucur

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

Cineuropa

Projects

9 feature film projects

Every year we select teams of writers, directors and producers of 9 feature film projects and we also select 3 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.

CRISSEA IV

Adrian is a 30-year-old fisherman who lives in Sulina, a small town in the Danube Delta, surrounded by water. He lives with his father and he takes care of him. They own together a small fish shop ...
Project detail

Kyuka - Journeying to the moon through the endless sea

A single father and his two mischievous adult twins go with the family sailboat for their yearly summer holidays; an opportunity to take care of their fragmented relationship which lacks mutual ...
Project detail

Neither Voice

Ida (10) lives in a village in the 70s Yugoslavia. While her parents argue she listens to obituaries with her Grandma who means the world to Ida. One day, Grandma collapses while watering the ...
Project detail

Sara's Bungalow

SARA and INKAR were happily married. When the anti-aging vaccine was invented, they promised each other to age together, naturally. But Inkar betrayed Sara, and secretly took the vaccine. The film ...
Project detail

The Fragile Beauty of Masculinity

Adam and Iva have been together for over 15 years, married, with two teenage girls. Everything in their lives would be just ordinary if Adam wasn’t craving to satisfy his thirst for adrenaline so ...
Project detail

The Sanctuary

Irina (40), a single mother of Kalina (18), is running her own fitness center. When her best friend is brutally beaten by her fiancé, Irina hides her in a small village where she used to live 15 ...
Project detail

Two Times One

Victor, a charismatic politician, aims to become an MP when his 10-year-old son, Dani, reenters his life after the sudden death of his mother. Victor adapts with the bravado of a man who is used to ...
Project detail

Usud

In a Slavic pagan village, two brothers - hard-working Mladen and lazy Radovan - inherit a farm after their parents die. Mladen’s frustration with his brother’s relaxed attitude leads to the ...
Project detail

Vacuum

A man disappeared right from his workplace. The police starts an investigation and finds the only relative of the Missing Man - his grown-up daughter Marta who works as an archaeologist. She has to ...
Project detail

Participants

Script Consultant Trainees

Tutors

Head of Studies

Danijel Hocevar
Slovenia
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
Germany
Anne Gensior works as an international script consultant for feature films and documentaries and as a script reader and ...
Complete bio
Pavel Jech
Czech Republic
Pavel Jech is a graduate of Columbia University as well as of FAMU, where he has served as dean since 2008. Pavel has ...
Complete bio
Ivo Trajkov
Czech Republic / North Macedonia
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
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

Gabriele Brunnenmeyer
Germany
Complete bio

Guest Tutors

Cedomir Kolar
Croatia
Complete bio
Gabor Krigler
Hungary
Complete bio
Franz Rodenkirchen
Complete bio
Teona Strugar Mitevska
North Macedonia
Complete bio
Elma Tataragic
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Complete bio
Katarina Tomkova
Slovakia
Complete bio

Experts

Alessia Acone
Italy
Complete bio
Joseph Fahim
Complete bio
Mirjam Klootwijk
Complete bio
Alessandra Pastore
Italy
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 2020 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
    Are Screenplay Formats Relevant?
    Gyula Gazdag
    January 21, 2020 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    What different screenplay formats may achieve and how they can serve our
    creative process?

    Gift Service: How to "Sell" a Film Project?
    Katarina Tomkova
    January 21, 2020 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    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 dont’s in a film package, Katarina’s lecture will prepare the creative teams for the presentation and positioning of their project in an international context.

    The Idea to Spawn a Thousand Stories (And How to Run With It)
    Gabor Krigler
    January 20, 2020 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    When you embark on a feature film project, you need to have one great story. When you want to set up a TV series, what you must have is one great premise. If you and the writers you work with play your cards right, this premise will give birth to several great stories over multiple episodes and, hopefully, seasons. It needs careful planning, organization and management to run with your premise. We will take a look at how to begin this process.

    Case Study: God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya
    Danijel Hocevar, Teona Strugar Mitevska, Elma Tataragic
    January 19, 2020 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    Case study on an award winning film by writer/director Teona Strugar Mitevska, co-writer Elma Tataragic and co-producer Danijel Hocevar (Vertigo). 

    In Stip, a small town in North Macedonia, every January the local priest throws a wooden cross into the river and hundreds of men dive after it. Good fortune and prosperity are guaranteed to the man who retrieves it. This time, Petrunija dives into the water on a whim and manages to grab the cross before the others. Her competitors are furious – how dare a woman take part in their ritual? All hell breaks loose, but Petrunija holds her ground. She won her cross and will not give it up.

    From Script to Film: Visual Construction of a Film
    Teona Strugar Mitevska
    January 19, 2020 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    In the first part of the lecture I plan to start from a scene within the script and take you step by step through the process until the final realization. We’ll work on the actual scene from my last feature film God exists, her name is Petrunya. In the second part of the lecture I’ll speak of the importance of the location and its treatment as a core element of bringing the context to the story.

    Project Development - A View of the Producer
    Danijel Hocevar
    January 18, 2020 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    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 sometime even disagreements?
    This are just a few questions each producer is addressing when developing the main idea of the pro-ject together with the director (and writer) during the development, usually the most creative pro-cess for the whole creative team. Part of the lecture will also be dedicated to the main characteris-tics of the development financing from European perspective.

    How to Set Your Mind to the Story You Are Writing?
    Gyula Gazdag
    January 18, 2020 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    The process of preparing for writing a screenplay may involve different ways to conduct research and to set our mind through different exercises and practices to the focus and understanding what our story calls for and what our characters may tell us.

    Truth in Dramaturgy in the Era of Fake News
    Pavel Jech
    January 17, 2020 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    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 our current era of fake news demonstrates – working with alternate truths can create a lot of frustration and confusion. 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.

    What Is Script Consulting? Assessing vs. Consulting
    Franz Rodenkirchen
    January 15, 2020 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy

    Opinions and judgement are what is often asked for when assessing a script's potential. How do we need to alter our mindset and approach if instead we intend to help a writer/filmmaker to develop a film project? And how can we communicate both our intent and feedback in a truly productive way?

“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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