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MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2021

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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

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.

ALIYA

Aliya, an 18-year-old recent immigrant from Ukraine, finds meaning in her recently discovered Jewish identity and feelings of patriotism towards Israel, her newly adopted country. Wishing to blend ...
Project detail

Bijuterie

Violeta (60) sits under the bright lights of a TV interview. Her intense eyes flare as her mind reels back to: 1985, Kaunas, Lithuania. Violeta (20), now a young mother, sells cheap jewellery at a ...
Project detail

Brothers

After living in Denmark for twenty years, famous writer Niko Boskovic comes back to his birthplace, the village Grahovo, visiting his younger brother Masan, the village priest, with whom he has a ...
Project detail

Head Nurse

During a one-day shift in a regional Czech hospital, different characters will sooner or later encounter Hana, the head nurse. Sometimes she is a random bystander, sometimes welcomed help, and ...
Project detail

Leave the Door Open

Four different families arrive at an overcrowded furniture store in Zagreb, all hoping that by rearranging their homes in the Scandinavian style they will also rearrange their lives. Unconsciously, ...
Project detail

No Reverse

In his youth, while working as a truck driver transporting coffins across the former Yugoslavia for a funeral home in a small Montenegrin town, the 62-year-old Slavko experienced some of the most ...
Project detail

The Bomber

The far-right organization 'Thundercross' fails to blow up the Victory Monument dedicated to the Soviet Army in Riga, Latvia. A premature explosion accidentally kills two of its members, but their ...
Project detail

Thinking David

Identifying as gay in the Jewish community in Prague, seventeen-year-old David cannot imagine ever finding acceptance from his community. While exploring his Jewish identity in Israel, his sexuality ...
Project detail

What It Feels Like For a Girl

After getting fired from a high-end job, Lilian (39), a powerhouse woman, spends the night partying and meets Mona (24), a sensual self-aware beauty. For the first time, Lilian desires a woman but ...
MIDPOINT participants: Maria ReinupMaario MasingMaria Reinup
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.

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

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

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, 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

Guest Tutors

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

Linda Beath
Italy  
Complete bio
Casey Cooper Johnson
United States  
Complete bio
Antoneta Kastrati
Kosovo  
Complete bio
Besnik Krapi
Kosovo  
Complete bio
Marcin Luczaj
Poland  
Complete bio
Christina Pelekani
Greece  
Complete bio
Franz Rodenkirchen
Germany  
Complete bio
Norika Sefa
Kosovo  
Complete bio
Ada Solomon
Romania  
Complete bio
Joan Tewkesbury
United States  
Complete bio
Katarina Tomkova
Slovakia  
Complete bio

Experts

Arnaud Gourmelen
 
Complete bio
Karla Stojakova
Czech Republic  
Complete bio

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: Head Nurse
Special Jury Mention: ALIYA

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: The Bomber

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: Aleksandra Aleksander

Structure

Comprehensive program combining various formats

The nine creative teams, split into three groups, work under the guidance of internationally renowned and experienced tutors and in close collaboration with script-consultant trainees, who are involved in all parts of the program.

The workshops consist of group work, plenary sessions, inspiring masterclasses 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-on-one meetings with guest tutors and international experts from different areas of the audiovisual industry to help participants to further develop their projects.

  • Script-Consultant Trainees
    Preparatory Seminar
    February 18–20, 2021 | online

    Script consultant trainees are briefed and given some introductory training by their mentor. The aim is to become acquainted with the mentor, the group leaders and the projects, and to learn the fundamentals of script consultancy.

  • All participants
    Kickoff
    February 24–26, 2021 | online

    The aim of this session is to to become acquainted with the tutors, the fellow participants and the methodology, and to begin work on the scripts and set up the dynamics within the groups.

    Lectures
    Message in a Bottle
    Pavel Jech
    February 24, .2021, 4:00 p.m. | online

    The forced isolation of the ongoing pandemic has changed the way we interact and connect. But connection remains an essential human impulse. Many of us now live like castaways on deserted islands. Our recourse for connection is limited, but we do not cease in our efforts to reach out. Like a castaway we find any means to reach the outside world. A Message in a Bottle.

    Screenwriters have always had to negotiate a balance between the needs of solitary creation with the imperative of collaboration and teamwork. The balance is different for every project, but the goal is always the same, making sure that your communication is clearly received.

    In this lecture, we share some Messages in a Bottle from your core tutors, key steps and pointers they would like you to know as you navigate the development process towards creating an engaging cinematic story.

    How to Set Your Mind to the Story You Are Writing?
    Gyula Gazdag
    February 25, 2021, 5:15 p.m. | online

    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.

    Project Development – A View of the Producer
    Danijel Hocevar
    February 26, 2021, 10:00 a.m. | online

    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?

    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 European perspective.

  • All participants
    Online Consultations
    March 2021 | online
  • All participants
    Workshop 1: Script-development & Financing Strategies
    April 17–22, 2021  | online
    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

    The trainees are trained by both their mentor, who supervises their entire learning process, and Feature Launch tutors, who help them understand the different approaches and strategies they use while developing feature-film projects. Each trainee is assigned to one of the three groups, and works closely with their mentor 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 important, learn how to give constructive feedback to the creative teams to help them move forward in their development.

    Lectures
    Masterclass: The Writing Process of NASHVILLE
    Joan Tewkesbury
    April 18, 6:30 p.m. | online

    Written by Joan Tewkesbury, directed by Robert Altman.

    European Film Financing Sources
    Danijel Hocevar
    April 19, 10:00 a.m. | 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.

    Case Study: ZANA
    Casey Cooper Johnson, Antoneta Kastrati
    April 20, 6:30 p.m. | online

    Haunted by her long suppressed past and pressured by family to seek treatment from mystical healers for her infertility, a Kosovar woman struggles to reconcile the expectations of motherhood with a legacy of wartime brutality.

    An Albanian woman, Lume, lives with her husband, Ilir, and mother-in-law, Remzije,in their small Kosovar village. Haunted by night terrors, childless and unable to get pregnant, Lume is relentlessly pressured by Remzije to fulfill her wifely duties – if Lume cannot produce a child, her mother-in-law threatens, it will be Remzije’s responsibility to bring in a younger and more eager prospective wife for her son to consider.

    Bowing under the pressure of being replaced, Lume concedes to abandon modern medicine and seek the help of witch doctors and mystic healers to treat her infertility. Lume’s appointments, first to a local witch doctor and then to a famed (and costly) televangelist-healer, do seem to yield results as Lume finds herself pregnant at last. But while the family celebrates, Lume’s long-suppressed traumas from the war slowly rise to torment her again, convincing Remzije and Ilir that Lume is possessed by evil spirits, and extreme caution must be taken to protect the unborn child.

    Case Study: LOOKING FOR VENERA
    Besnik Krapi, Norika Sefa
    April 21, 2021, 4:00 p.m. | online

    Calm, taciturn teenager Venera lives in a small village in Kosovo. At home, three generations are constantly under one another’s feet in their cramped house, so she has hardly any privacy. Outside too, on the streets and in the café, it’s not much better: the village is small and there’s always a brother, nephew or neighbour keeping a beady eye on her. A girl is expected above all else to protect her good reputation – and that of her family.

    All of which makes it difficult for Venera to go her own way. Her spirits are lifted when she makes friends with rebellious Dorina, who already has a boyfriend.
The two girls go out having fun together, as far as Venera’s father allows. One thing they know for sure: they don’t want to end up like their mothers. “I’ve never even seen my parents kiss”, Venera says.

    Gift Service: How to "Sell" a Film Project?
    Katarina Tomkova
    April 22, 2021, 10:30 a.m. | online

    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.

  • All participants
    Online Consultations
    May–June 2021 | online
  • All participants
    Workshop 2: Pitching Training & Industry Insights
    June 28-July 3, 2021 | online
    Teams with projects

    This workshop serves as a platform to further advance the scripts, while also incorporating marketing and sales strategies into the development process. It also includes intensive and critical training about how to present and promote projects, including the basics of business development and sustainability.

    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.

    Lectures
    How to Pitch Your Film - 6 Questions for the Pitch
    Gabriele Brunnenmeyer
    June 28, 2021, 10:30 a.m. | 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.

    Dos And Don'ts With Sales Agents
    Marcin Luczaj
    June 30, 2021, 10:00 a.m. | 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.

    Marketing Is Your Friend: An Introduction to Film Marketing
    Christina Pelekani
    June 30, 2021, 1:00 p.m. | 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.

    Transforming Companies
    Linda Beath, Ada Solomon
    July 1, 2021, 10:00 a.m. | online

    Linda Beath interview with Ada Solomon organized in partnership with EAVE.

  • All participants
    Works in Development - Feature Launch
    July 28, 2021 | online, within Eastern Promises Industry Days of KVIFF
    TEAMS WITH PROJECTS

    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 follow the presentations.

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

    SCRIPT-CONSULTANT TRAINEES

    The trainees are also presented during the showcase to the audience of industry decision makers, including funders, sales agents, producers and festival programmers. Networking opportunities at the event may bring dividends for future careers.

  • All participants
    Online Consultations
    September-December 2021 | online
  • Producers
    Company Time
    January 22-27, 2022 | Trieste, Italy

    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 Linda Beath, an expert on project financing and strategic business planning who advises both European and international producers. Her areas of expertise also include public policy and new business models relating to digital media.                

    Over four days, participants will enhance their entrepreneurial skills, analyze their own companies, and receive feedback from both Linda and renowned experts from the industry, who have experience working both inside and outside Central and Eastern Europe.

    In addtion, 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.

    After the workshop, participants have the opportunity to follow up with an expert online, to discuss the individual strategy for their company further.

    Lectures
    Screen Companies - Survive or Thrive?
    Linda Beath
    January 7, 2022, 2:00 p. m. | Online

    Online preparation plenary for the Company Time workshop in Trieste, Italy.

Successful films

A sampling of our successful alumni

References

A motivational experience that elevates your project and skills

Funders

General Partners