On August 29th in Poland's largest Art-house Cinema Nowe Horyzonty, the hard work and effort of the first class of SOFA, a program that serves as a fast-track school for film agents, came to fruition as they presented their work to a panel of distinguished industry experts. Among the class-lectures were Claudia Dillmann (German Film Institute), Marion Döring (European Film Academy), Karel Och (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival) and Katriel Schory (Israel Film Fund) and tutors Oliver Baumgarten (Filmplus) and Ewa Puszczynska (Opus Film), who shared their knowledge and challenged the participants from Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.
The multicultural atmosphere provided for an eclectic array of views that was helpful to discuss the sociocultural factors that play into the success of a film. It is evident that the underdeveloped film industries and markets in many of these countries contribute to the difficulty to create a product that is well-received at home as well as in the international film festival scene, in which many of the art-house films perform satisfactorily. At SOFA, the participants expressed the need for alternative distribution on the big screen for these films and developing interest in a new audience of younger viewers to sustain the industry for years to come.
This a unique workshop initiative that provides interdisciplinary and intercultural knowledge exchange at eye level, some of the projects discussed during the program are already closer to become realities due to the fantastic intercultural exchange and networking opportunities it presents its participants with, "We are particularly pleased that in these two weeks transnational cooperations have emerged, contributing to the strength of the projects and underlining their importance for the international cinema culture" - said initiator Nikolaj Nikitin.
This incredibly hands-on opportunity will will be held again in Wroclaw next year. Projects for the second edition can be submitted from now on.
SOFA is a project of Filmplus UG, in cooperation with the City of Wroclaw, the Polish Film Institute and the New Horizons Association, funded by the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture, the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, the International Visegrad Fund, the Foreign Office, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, MEDIA Desk Poland andGoethe- Institute Krakow, and supported by the Adam-Mickiewicz-Institute, the Goethe-Institute Georgia, the Goethe-Institute Hungary, the Goethe-Institute Romania, the Cinema Development Foundation, the Film Commission Poland, the Wroclaw Film Commission and the German Consul General in Wroclaw.
For more information on SOFA click HERE