The 4th edition of SOFA – School of Film Agents has invited eight participants from
eight different countries having eight great projects in tow! Scroll down and click on the nameslist below to learn more about the class of 2016 / 2017!
The idea of the project is to establish and run a unique, non-governmental, European oriented educational & practical center, which will explore and highlight the potential of media creatives from Belarus. A seven-day workshop to repeat every quarter with a group of 10 to 12 people will work closely, developing their project from the beginning till the final presentation at the last session. Projects will be locally relevant, affecting various topics connected to the creation of national cinema industry and building strong integration between all participants (both governmental and independent). Our target audience are creative individuals already working in the field of film production/marketing/distribution, who are eager to learn and practice new and most useful techniques to set their projects live. In a nutshell, it will be a professional playground to find, develop, support all who is searching for the way to represent Belarusian cinema on local and international stage, and to create success stories and build a new local cinema industry.
Lizaveta Bobrykava earned her Master's Degree in Visual and Cultural Studies in 2014. Living abroad in Vilnius and Berlin for several years, she realized, that Belarus lacks educational opportunities and good master classes, which provide relevant and wide overview of the cinema field and European reality: "Talking to the people engaged in the creative industries, I was convinced, that they are missing the connection with Europe and rest of the world. That is why I decided to establish a year-round education program, which will hopefully shine a spotlight on the most pressing issues and create a long running line of start-up and local initiatives spreading round the globe. In the long perspective, it will help bring together isolated players of the film industry and build a strong community, which will produce projects that are worthy of recognition worldwide."
Albania is one of the few countries in Europe still without a working cinemateque. Iris Elezi is hoping to create a space solely designated to film culture, its education and promotion in the capital city of Tirana. It will be comprised of a cinematheque with curated screenings, an artist’s studio supporting a residency program aimed at helping the growth of Albanian filmmakers, and a research center for the critical study of film.
Albanian born Iris Elezi studied film theory and criticism, anthropology and women's studies before completing her film production studies at NYU in 2001. Her dramatic fiction feature debut, BOTA (2014), premiered at the prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, winning the FEDEORA critics award. BOTA went on to win seventeen international awards and becoming Albania’s representative film for the 2016 Academy Awards. Together with American archivist Regina Longo and Albanian-American cineaste Thomas Logoreci, she co-founded the Albanian Cinema Project, an initiative that aims at restoring and raising awareness about the endangered Albanian National Film Archive.
A multi-platform project - Baltic View is a unique and pioneering distribution initiative which consists of two parts: Online Viewing Space & Cinema Events. The project is aimed at promotion and distribution of films from comparatively young but already internationally acclaimed Baltic film industries. Baltic View’s goal is to become an ambassador of the Baltic cinema on an international level, starting with three countries - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and expand wider regionally. We are confident that by bringing the best, award-winning films from Baltic countries to our Cinema Events we will maximise the marketing potential and attract diverse demographics as well as connect Baltic filmmakers with culturally curious audiences. Additionally, the aim is to create an Online Viewing Space for Baltic Films on technically prepared VOD platforms like Vimeo and Yotube Red. So far, the project has reveived funding from two Lithuanian funds and is planning to start operating by September of 2016, hopefully reaching first viewers before Christmas.
Inesa is an award-wining producer and founder of the production company Kinomind Films. With extensive experience producing fiction films, she has recently extended her activity to distribution and the development of cross-media projects. Within the past six years, Inesa has produced a diverse body of work, from award-winning shorts to feature documentaries. Kinomind Films projects have been selected for renowned development labs, such as Eave B’est, Eave Marketing, Eric Pommer Institute, DPC II Lab by Focal, Birds Eye View Filmonomics (observer) and BeCre8ative Lab. Inesa graduated from the National Film and Television School in 2012 with an MA in Film and TV Producing.
Despite the Czech Republic’s rich film history, no museum focused on film exists, and as such the aim of this project involves bringing together university students from across the fields of film history and theory, stage design, architecture, art and curatorship to establish a film museum. The intended institution should consist not only of permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, but also of film workshops, a cinema, a library including medialibrary, escape room, museum shop and a café or restaurant – therefore it has not only educational, but also commercial potential. In the meantime NaFilM exists as a non-profit organization dedicated to creating novel and innovative exhibitions focused on diverse film history topics and its interconnection with informal film education for the public.
Terezie Krizkovska is a graduate of the Bachelor program at the Department of Film Studies at Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague, she is currently studying a Masters program within the same department. Together with her colleagues, she is responsible for all of NaFilMs current activities, NaFilM: The Exhibition, the international project ThinkFilM and their associated supporting programs, including curating, fundraising and PR.
"Nushi" is an informative, cultural and educational print media-package – envelope, which contains various components associated with films and the film industry. The goal is to offer a platform for young film critics and other people who want to write about films, including old and new Georgian and international films. "Nushi" wants to develop a relationship between film critics and filmmakers, filmmakers and audience. The project will be more than a magazine for customers. Young filmmakers will have opportunities to find producers by sending loglines of their documentary, fiction or animation projects. The best idea will be developed by film company “Nushi Film”, which already produces several movies. "Nushi" will be bilingual – Georgian/English.
Tekla Machavariani is one of the founders and director of the NGO “Nushi” as well as the LTD "Nushi Film", currently working on two feature film projects. "Nushi Film" also develops documentaries, short fiction films and animation. She participated in several workshops on documentary storytelling while studying European studies at Caucasus University in Tbilisi.
Chisinau. Hub for European Films (CHEF) is a beautiful dream of Moldovan filmmakers and film lovers. The project contains the modernization of a ultra-central Cinema Theatre "Odeon" in Chisinau and development of a film distribution in Moldova. CHEF is mainly focused on European Film distribution on a daily basis, but also a meeting point for filmmakers from all over Europe (East and West) in workshops, festivals, debates, think tanks, etc. The main goal of the project is to bring the cultural diversity and creativity in European film to Moldovan audiences, but also to educate a new generation of filmmakers to create a distinct Moldovan cinema - "spreading our essence beyond our borders".
Dumitru Marian got in film since 2004, working for CRONOGRAF IDFF, the only film festival in Moldova until 2008, when he founded ALTFilm. The main objective was to develop skills and facilitate access for the filmmakers to European resources: workshops, festivals, markets, etc. Together with several renown filmmakers of Moldova, he initiated a reform, which was aiming at creating a new legislation and build a (new) Moldovan film industry. Dumitru and ALTFilm distribute films in Moldova and (co-)organize the ANIMEST International Animation Film Festival in Chisinau.
Cinema is incomplete. It is missing the female gaze. In Europe, women’s cinema makes up one-fourth of all films. It is not caused by an atrophy of their aspirations or scarcity of talent. Cinema delivers majority stories told from a male's perspective. How does a woman see the world? Humanly, filtered through her female experiences. What are women’s films like? Universal – they portray human condition and face the present day. Heroine film festival will embrace the femininity and show the world from a woman’s point of view.
Magdalena Puzmujźniak, producer and film events manager. After graduating from University College Dublin and Adam Mickiewicz University she worked on varied film and tv projects, including two miniseries for BBC and a Silver Bear winner Under Electric Clouds. Magdalena produced her first short film in Ireland, where she also developed several feature film projects. She gained experience in cultural management working for screenplay program Scripteast, Polish Film Awards Eagles, and WAMA Film Festival. Recently she organised a summit on women in film – first of its kind in Poland.
Ukrainian Film Promotion is an institution which mission is to promote Ukrainian films and talents worldwide and in Ukraine. The goal is to support circulation of Ukrainian films, cooperation between Ukrainian filmmakers and international film industry professionals, to create a network which will help the circulation of Ukrainian films and increase a visibility of the films, attracting national and international audiences, supporting artistic approaches and commercial Ukrainian film products. The activities should include a network of international professionals and partners to develop film projects, programs of Ukrainian films, and representation of Ukrainian films at international film events, distribution support of Ukrainian films outside of the country and support of Ukrainian filmmakers by informing and training.
Julia Sinkevych has more than 10 years of work experience in the management of cultural projects. Since 2010, she is a Producer of Odessa International Film Festival. Besides the general management of the festival organization, programming, management of the team and organizational processes, liaisons with international partners and organizations and the promotion of the festival inside and outside of Ukraine are part of her profession. Over the years, she established a network of professional contacts in cultural and audiovisual sectors in Ukraine and abroad.