MIDPOINT Shorts is a program dedicated to short fiction films in development. It focuses primarily on creative teams from Central and Eastern Europe and the wider Mediterranean area.
Dates and venues
January 16-23, 2019
May 3-9, 2019
in collaboration with the Lithuanian Film Centre
Who is it for?
- teams of writers and/or directors and producers
- projects of professional or graduation short films
“The ideal program to explore, discover and nurture the future generation of European filmmakers.”
MIDPOINT Shorts selects teams of writers, directors and producers from 4 short film projects and a script consultant trainee who joins the creative process.
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Script Consultant Trainee
Head of Studies
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 4 creative teams work in small groups under the guidance of an internationally renowned and experienced script consultant tutor.
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.
LecturesLecturesEuropean Film Financing SourcesMay 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 FilmsMay 08, 2019 | 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.
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.What Film Festivals Can Do For Emerging Film Makers?May 07, 2019 | Europa Royale Kaunas Hotel / Kaunas, Lithuania
Jukka-Pekka Laakso will share his experience on film festivals and tell why you should be interested and know what film festivals are doing. He will explain the selection process of film festivals and differences between different film festivals. There will be also advice how to select right festivals for your films and how to avoid fake festivals.
Also he will be talking about the life of short films after the festival tour. Jukka-Pekka Laakso will also be expecting to be presented with tough questions from attending film makers!Producing, Promoting… & Then Again ProducingMay 07, 2019 | Europa Royale Kaunas Hotel / Kaunas, Lithuania
Producing has always been one of the most complex as well as mysterious positions in the film industry. What if we complicate the situation even more? Sharing the experience as a producer, co-producer, festival organizer, programmer, promoter, projects reading expert &… again as a producer.Case Study: PityMay 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 AgentsMay 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 MarketingMay 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 PitchMay 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 ProducerJanuary 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 StoryJanuary 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 MoviesJanuary 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?January 21, 2019 | Savoia Excelsior Palace / Trieste, Italy
Keynote opening by Katarina Tomkova, MIDPOINT TV Launch Program Coordinator.
Two Worlds Of Storytelling - The Differences Between Series And MoviesCreative Collaboration Between Filmmakers And ProducersJanuary 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 FilmJanuary 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 StorytellingJanuary 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.