The following grants were announced by the Bulgarian National Film Center on 30 June  2020.

Brussels: 30 June 2020 - The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the European cinema trade grouping, today launched the fourth edition of its Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme, a 12-month mentoring programme for women in cinema exhibition.

The Sofia Meetings co-production market starts today. LOVE LAND directed by Viktoria Marinov and produced by Entertain Pictures, is the only one qualified project from Poland.

The main character of LOVE LAND is Viktoria, a Polish girl with Bulgarian roots, who sets out on a journey across the Balkans to understand the magnetism that attracts people to the province of Bulgaria, and which affects her too. LOVE LAND is a full-length hybrid project, developed with the support of the Polish Film Institute. The project has previously participated in the international Structural Constellations program in Austria and France. Viktoria Marinov is responsible for directing, Małgorzata Wabińska is the creative producer.

The Sofia Meetings is one of the largest co-production market in the region. Projects in the sections: Second Film Projects, Plus Minus One Projects, Projects in Bank and First Films First will take part in pitchings and one-to-one meetings during a several-day event, which due to a pandemic is online.

Viktoria Marinov - director, graduated from film-directing and cinematography faculty of the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts "Kr. Sarafov" in Sofia. Has a dual citizenship: Polish and Bulgarian. Author of documentaries and short fiction films awarded at the international film festivals. Her photographs were exhibited in Poland and Bulgaria. Speaks fluently English and Bulgarian, as well as French at intermediate level. Her short fiction Brussels – Sofia – Brussels was Bulgarian candidate for student Oscar in 2003. She was born in Poland, moved to Bulgaria when she was 19. From that moment her heart beats in a double rhythm. 

Małgorzata Wabińska - creative producer, Berlinale Talent 2020, awarded for the Best Producer Debut in 2019, nominated for the Polish Academy Award. Graduated from the National Film School in Łódź and Program for Creative Producers at Wajda School. She was a participant of EAVE Marketing, EURODOC and The Goes to Cannes. She is a founder of the company - Entertain Pictures based in Łódź, Poland. The last film DIAGNOSIS dir. E. Podgórska had its world premiere at IDFA, Amsterdam. 

All projects selected to Sofia Meetings: 

http://sofiameetings.siff.bg/en/articles/sofia-meetings-2020-selection 

Digital expansion of the popular NEM Dubrovnik and NEM Zagreb events

Zagreb, June 29th, 2020 – A new online platform for TV industry professionals, NEM Network, is set to launch on August 19th, 2020. The online extension of everyone’s favorite NEM Dubrovnik and NEM Zagreb events is conceived as their virtual edition that combines the existing elements of the live events and satisfies all needs of TV industry stakeholders. Just like during NEM events, the NEM Network users will listen, but also be able to talk to leading experts about the newest trends in the TV industry, to network with potential business partners, and be provided with the chance of presenting a company or a product to key audiences as well as an opportunity to watch the newest content in the exclusive screenings.

Competition programmes of the 20th goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film will feature Vinko Brešan’s feature-length What a Country! and Sara Jurinčić’s experimental short September 3, 2015. Nenad Puhovski’s documentary Graham and I – A True Story has been selected for the “Symposium” programme, while Sara Jurinčić and Karla Lulić, who presented their new projects in the East-West Talent Lab industry programme, have been nominated for the goEast Development Award. The festival is held in German Wiesbaden throughout the year. 

Executive summary

Film Proxy is an advocate for the emerging Polish below-the-line talent. The talent is scouted and recruited within four areas: cinematography, editing, sound, animation and special effects. Film Proxy promotes them by organizing a series of free, curated matchmaking on-site events with local and international professional film producers, production houses and film directors. Film Proxy scouts for talent before it is recognized in the Polish film industry and then takes it to various industry events and meetings in Europe in order to help them build their professional network and internationalize their potential. Film Proxy also offers an on-site qualification development sessions under the name Film Campus to keep its talent up-to-date with the latest technological and esthetical developments. Film Proxy's talent are Polish film school graduates with own portfolio and first experience in the industry. Film Proxy fulfills their need for mentorship and helps them get noticed by the international industry.

The goal of Film Proxy is to make connections between international and local professional audiovisual producers, production houses and directors, and emerging Polish film talent - in order to facilitate their cooperation. Film Proxy draws from the over 40-year-experience of the Kieslowski Film School in Poland, but is not limited to the talent graduating from this school. The association with the Kieślowski Film School allows Film Proxy key objective to be to establish the talent in the industry, regardless the monetary result.

Film Proxy offers tutoring and workshops that develop soft skills of the Polish talent, but most importantly offers opportunity to meet and network with the film industry professionals who are in search for skilled and reliable talent.

Problem

Development of the technology together with its falling prices and democratization of the access to the filmmaking skills, have resulted in an increased number of professional audiovisual content made each year. The film industry is rapidly growing worldwide, producing original content for VOD platforms, tv stations and also channels that were not traditionally connected to the professional audiovisual content. It results in a constant, growing need for talent and an irrational feeling of its limited supply.

At the same time every year Polish film schools are graduated by large numbers of talented young filmmakers who are yet to create their network of collaborators. Polish film market is full of talented and well-skilled professionals who are seeking their opportunity to enter the film mainstream. They possess the qualifications and skills, but lack the grounded network of other professionals from the audiovisual sector.

Solution

The goal of Film Proxy is to make connections between these two pools of people – international and local professional AV producers and directors, and emerging Polish film talent - in order to facilitate their cooperation and secure its fairness and transparency. Film Proxy addresses the democratization of the access to the film professions, such as e.g. DoPs, film editors, animators, and sound and image postproduction engineers. At the same time Film Campus are the on-site qualification development sessions, which offer not only professional training and equipment/software presentations, but also networking cocktails and meetings during European film festivals and industry meetings.

Unique Selling Proposition

  1. Film Proxy discovers the talent at its earliest stages of career
  2. Film Proxy offers a portfolio of below-the-line filmmakers who do not only possess the technical capabilities, but also are selected accordingly to their talent
  3. Film Proxy offers the industry orientation and legal advice for its talent
  4. Film Proxy draws from the over 40-year-experience of the Kieslowski Film School in Poland
  5. Film Proxy offers an on-site qualification development platform called Film Campus to stay in touch with the latest developments in the industry and technology
  6. Film Proxy promotes and introduces film talent from Poland internationally by enhancing its visibility

Competitive advantage

Film Proxy offers portfolios of highly skilled below-the-line film professionals who Film Proxy scouts at the earliest stages of their career taking care of their later development and networking in Poland and internationally. The talent is scouted and recruited within four areas: cinematography, editing, sound, animation and special effects. The international visibility of the talent is ensured by its presence at the relevant for each area industry events and creating and update of the international professional profiles (imdb, LinkedIN, Cinando).

As a result, Film Proxy gives the unique access to the emerging Polish film talent. Film Proxy is bridging a gap that exists between the film school and being a part of the professional audiovisual industry.

Participation in Film Proxy is for free, it has an academic basis and it is solely based on the individual and their set of skills and talent, which is secured by the existence of an artistic advisory board with an expert in each of the represented area.

Film Proxy offers tutoring and workshops that develop soft skills of the Polish talent, but most importantly offers opportunity to meet and network with the film industry professionals who are in search for talent. While talent agencies focus on finding jobs for their talent, Film Proxy’s objective is to establish the talent in the industry, regardless the monetary result.

Business model

Film Proxy will be an association according to the Polish law with partners among Polish film and art schools. The founder partner of Film Proxy is Kieslowski Film School in Katowice, Poland. It is in deep interest of the founder that Film Proxy remains a nonprofit organization. Because of its structure its initial activities will be covered with the internationalization funding of the University of Silesia from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

Further steps include application to the Polish Film Institute and Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland, as well as Creative Europe MEDIA.

Founder team and advisors

The founder team of Film Proxy includes Anna Huth (assistant professor at the Kieslowski Film School), Robert Sowa (animator, Vice-Dean of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow) and Bogdan Dziworski (Polish director and DoP).

Our most important business partners would be Polish Film Institute and Polish Film Commission, Krakow Film Festival, KIPA (National Chamber of Audiovisual Producers), Polish Institute in Berlin, Polish Institute in Paris and Polish Cultural Institute in London.

Film Proxy’s structure involves an artistic advisory board with an experienced professionals in each of the four represented areas: cinematography, animation and special effects, editing, and sound.

The function of the Ambassador of the Film Proxy will be offered to Slawomir Idziak (Three colours: Blue, Black Hawk Down, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) and Lukasz Zal (Ida, Cold War). The function of the Ambassadors will be to serve as an example of the success story of a Polish filmmaker that has succeeded working internationally.

The Next Wave mentor is Maddy Probst, Managing Producer @Watershed, Bristol / Vice-President Europa Cinemas.

Milestones past and future

Late introduction of the 30% cash rebate in Poland has finally opened Poland for international film productions to be shot in the country. Additionally, current trends of original and national productions of the VOD platforms cause the need for more film professionals available on the market. Film Proxy will enable and facilitate such meetings and connections.

In the future Film Proxy will act as an ambassador of new Polish talent in the international film industry.

The COVID 19 pandemic has urged the Cannes Film Festival to hold Marche du Film online for the first time from 22 to 26 June. The North Macedonia Film Agency is presented at the virtual film market with an e-pavilion. 

The Agency will present eight features at the virtual film market, as well as the latest catalogs with all the new film projects from 2019 and 2020 and films in development. 

This year, the North Macedonia Film Agency will yet again present the opportunities and advantages ensured by the cash rebate measure as well as invite the global film community to shoot films in North Macedonia.

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival has taken on a global initiative for the protection of films and festivals in the digital era, starting a plea for using geoblocking technology in online film festivals. The plea has already been signed by 18 big film festivals from all over the world.