SOFA 2020: Tbilisi Workshop Goes Digital

Due to the worldwide measures to control the spread of the new Coronavirus, SOFA – School of Film Advancement is breaking new ground in the preparations for the second workshop of its seventh edition: this workshop, which traditionally takes place in Tbilisi, Georgia, is going to be held exceptionally as an online-only edition. 

From April 25-30, this second workshop of the 2019/2020 edition will concentrate on further developing the marketing and financing aspects of the participants’ projects. To do this, SOFA will avail itself of the variety of e-learning possibilities ranging from presentations, one-on-one meetings and e-dinners through to screenings, interviews and group discussions. Selected events will be live-streamed for the general public (please follow us on Facebook for details). The six participants of this edition, who will e-meet an illustrious round of experts and tutors, are: Viki Antonopoulou (Greece), Pavel Brăila (Moldova), Irena Gruca- Rozbicka (Poland/Germany), Drita Llolla (Montenegro), Přemysl Martinek (Czech Republic) and Medea Sharikadze (Georgia). 

“Thanks to an intense first workshop in Warsaw in August 2019 and subsequent online group sessions, the participants have got to know each other very well”, explains SOFA director Nikolaj Nikitin. “This will help a lot to make this first-ever digital Tbilisi edition a success. In spite of the sad current circumstances and the lack of personal encounters, which are the basis of our highly individual training concept, we see great opportunities for being able to implement online techniques and methodologies. We’d like to express special thanks to our financing partners for their ongoing support and flexibility.” 

In order to achieve the educational goal of the workshop, the SOFA team will be supported by some great experts: Jonas Dornbach (Komplizen Film, Berlin), Juliette Duret (Head of Cinema at the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels), Renaud Redien-Collot (Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Léonard de Vinci Business School, Paris), Juliane Schulze (Media Deals, Berlin), Oliver Baumgarten (Artistic Director, Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis, Saarbrücken), and Tamara Tatishvili (MEDICI Head of Training).

SOFA – School of Film Advancement is a programme of workshops aimed at strengthening national film industries and the European cinematic landscape, as well as kick-starting projects in the realm of cinema. SOFA helps its participants to advance their ideas into concrete projects, opening up new avenues towards application for financing programmes and final implementation. SOFA’s focus on cultural managers and film entrepreneurs rather than producers and directors has made it a unique programme on the international film/AV scene.


SOFA – School of Film Advancement is a joint project of Filmplus gUG (Berlin) and the Institute for Democratic Changes - IDC (Tbilisi), funded by German Federal Foreign Office and Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union. In addition, the 2020 Polish workshop is funded by the Polish Film Institute, SdpZ (Foundation for Polish- German Cooperation), and the Lithuanian session by the Lithuanian Film Centre. The organisers also wish to thank the strategic partners Goethe-Institut and EAVE. 

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