the cannes 2017 issue
YOUNG CINEMA a magazine for emerging filmmakers published by daazo.com â€“ the European Shortfilm Centre
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CONTENTS 6 14
Cannes – Shaping Your Cinema Into Art – Young Cinema on the Croisette Mapping your Mind – a celebration of creativity
The Odyssey of Space in Film – narrative spaces and their creation
Beyond the Labyrinth of Cannes – festivals, crowdfunding, and SOFA
Contributors – without whom this magazine wouldn’t exist, page 3 Exploring Sexuality in Every Format – the shorts and first features of Pedro Almodóvar, page 8 Us Against Them – Variations on a Theme in Sing and Timecode, page 10 On (Short) Cinema – an Interview with Cristian Mungiu, page 12 Lick Around the World with your Short – an interview with animation filmmaker Nadja Andrasev, page 30 La Résidence du Festival – the Cinéfondation’s programme for directors of the next generation, page 32 “It’s Diversity That Makes For Greatness” – introducing 2017’s Producers on the Move, page 35 The Essential Cannes Dictionary – the sections, programmes and sidebars of the festival, page 40 Making Reels Rot and Celluloid Decay and Other Addictive Activities – the new life of found footage, page 44 It’s All in Your Head – filmic spaces from early to digital cinema, page 46 Animation as Multiple Possibilities of Using Space, page 48 Festival Focus – Vienna Independent Shorts, page 53 “Without Culture We Don’t Have a Society” – an interview with SOFA founder Nikolai Nikitin, page 58 Hungary's Hub for World Animation – all about the KAFF festival, page 62 Where The Raw Things Are – SZAFT, the quirky sidebar of KAFF, page 63 The Sleep of the Balkans – the concept behind the winner of the Interfilm Script Pitch, page 64 “Wish Lists Are for Vacations. I Have a To-Do List.” – crowdfunding tips from independent female filmmakers, page 66 Festival Panorama, page 70
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Bence hopes that one day he’ll write his PhD about the language and functions of old Hungarian film reviews. He works as a journalist and collects comic books. You can read his essay on space in film on page 46.
Boglárka has been in the business for over a decade as a film buff, cinema-goer and programmer with a soft spot for documentaries. Elle parle français, but prefers português. And she will not give up on watching movies on a big screen.
Misha Szuharevszki studied graphic design, glass design and painting and now works as an illustrator and an art director. His main inspirations are art history, music, cinema by Jean Cocteau and music videos by David Bowie. Misha’s amazing work illustrates this issue of World of Young Cinema.
Perfect film for a first date? Any 1980s Hollywood teen movie might do, especially the ones with Rob Lowe wearing makeup and a ridiculous haircut.
Anything by Billy Wilder. Or just something stupid you can comment on.
Shortbus by John Cameron Mitchell. Definitely not The Strangers…
Perfect film for a quiet night in on your own? Titanic, for the hundredth time. It’s way past midnight by the time they meet again at the big clock.
Anything by Satyajit Ray. Or binge watching my favourite series.
Midnight Pleasures with Monica Vitti or Clouzot’s unfinished film Inferno.
North or south? Is there anyone who would say north?
South. Always. The food is much better and there is sunshine.
North for drinks, south for food. I like both the nordic psyche and the southern way of life.
Your secret crush? Everyone from Titanic except the old people and Billy Zane’s butler.
I can’t keep a secret, so Marlene Dietrich. Pastel de nata. The ocean near a rocky beach.
Cronenberg until 1996 and Haneke after that.
Cronenberg. He’s the right kind of kinky. Or at least was until eXistenZ.
One of my favourite films is Michael Haneke’s La Pianiste with Isabelle Huppert, which comes from the world of Elfriede Jelinek and Stefan Zweig.
When I hear “Cannes”, I… … Think of people obsessing over Xavier Dolan, even if he doesn’t even have a new film at the festival.
… Hope to get an invitation for the new Hong Sangsoo movie! Besides, long to-do lists and a little black dress in the shoulder bag.
… See Sophia Loren, Alain Delon and Romy Schneider in a car with the roof down.
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illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
Cronenberg or Haneke?
CREATIVITY AND FRESHNESS – a letter from the editor, Zsuzsanna Deák
Dear Friends, Welcome to the 2017 Cannes issue of the World of Young Cinema magazine! We’re celebrating the great septuagenarian with one of our most colourful issues to date, which bursts with creative force and talent. If you are interested in how this year’s President of the Jury, who is none other than cinema hero Pedro Almodóvar, began his career then turn to page 8 to read all about his short films and first features. You can meet other participants of this year’s festival, like on page 12 where you will find an interview carried out with the prolific Romanian director, Cristian Mungiu, who presides the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury at the 70-year-old festival. Look up our Mapping Your Mind collection on page 14 to marvel at the art that the filmmakers selected for the Cinéfondation programme created to represent their short films: these pictures shed a different light on the films, as sometimes a few lines or brushstrokes can be worth a thousand words. We also interviewed this year’s Producers on the Move: enthusiastic young people from all corners of Europe who are sure to bring a new energy to the film scene over the coming years; read their thoughts on page 35. As we have long been fascinated by the narrative role of space in film, we decided to dedicate a whole section of this magazine to the subject. Our collection of exciting essays and articles, entitled ‘The Odyssey of Space in Film’, starts on page 42. Although those who are lucky enough to be part of the Cannes Film Festival really live it up for about ten days, we are happy to announce that life does not end when the closing credits of the last film screened at the Palais des Festivals start rolling. June awaits with other film events as well as a lengthy to-do list for filmmakers who are eager to return to Cannes in 2018 with something new. Find out where to go next, how to raise funds and what programme to take part in for the rest of 2017!
Enjoy Cannes and enjoy this celebration of young cinema!
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Shaping Your Cinema into Art
illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
Happy 70th birthday to the most glamorous film festival in the world! Cannes might be famous for its red carpet splendour and star-studded parties, but what we love most about it is how it nurtures emerging talent. Year after year, the festival discovers new filmmakers and fosters their career. Directors who were first noticed here in the short film programme have been known to come back to the competition with their feature films, and previously unknown first feature filmmakers have gone on to clutching an Oscar thanks to their Cannes exposure. Turn the page to find out about this yearâ€™s programmes and discoveries!
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EXPLORING SEXUALITY IN EVERY FORMAT – THE SHORTS AND FIRST FEATURES OF PEDRO ALMODÓVAR Salome
text by Janka Pozsonyi
Last year he returned to the Cannes competition with his vibrant feature, Julieta, and now he has accepted the role of being president at this year’s Official Jury for the festival’s 70th anniversary. He is one of the most internationally acclaimed European directors – he is the captivating, funny, sensual and colourful Pedro Almodóvar. The iconic filmmaker stood out from the Spanish artistic scene very early on in his career, with his humorous, and at times scandalous, perspective on relationships and sexuality. Almódovar’s career as a filmmaker started in the 1970s when he joined an independent theatre as well as started experimenting with a Super 8 camera. Due to the political state in his home country at the time, he never attended film school, but that did not hold him back. In 1974, while working at a telephone centre and writing for
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newspapers, he made his first short film, called Political Film. This was followed by a series of shorts created around different sexual narratives, family stories and death. Playing with the definition of sex and gender roles has been a central theme in many of his earlier and later works. The early shorts were created without a soundtrack, because in the beginning he would screen all of them in loud bars and parties. Instead he would take cassettes and often did all the voiceovers live and by himself – he performed the songs and the dialogues. The first film of this series was Two Whores, or A Love Story that Ends in Marriage (1974), a fairy tale set in the Spanish countryside. Centering on a female prostitute, her customers and a magical fairy who gets sexually involved with everyone and who eventually happily marries the prostitute. The films that followed included Whiteness and The Fall of Sodom (both 1975), the latter a redefined version of the classical biblical story with a sexual twist around Lot’s daughters. In 1976 he created the project called Homemade Trailer for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a short film called Homage, and another, Be Charitable. In 1977, he shot The Three Advantages of Ponte and The Dream or The Star, which portrays a drunken boy at a party who imagines himself to be a star and who
illustrations by Mihály Szuharevszki
sings the song My Man like Billie Holiday. By the end of this surreal performance, the boy is surrounded by the most important men in his life, soaked in alcohol and full of despair. Almodóvar continued his prolific output by making three more shorts in 1978: Death on the Road, Sex Comes and Goes and Salomé. Salomé was his first film shot on 16 mm. In this piece, he once again revisits a Biblical story, that of Abraham and his son Isaac. In Almodóvar’s version of this classical tale, Salome is used by God to tempt Abraham, by promising to give her anything in exchange of one comical dance. In 1978, after years of experimenting with the Super 8 format in shorts, Almodóvar made his first feature film with the intriguing title Fuck Me, Fuck Me, Fuck Me Tim. The film follows a poor girl working in a store who is in love with her blind boyfriend who plays the guitar. But things change when the boy becomes famous, and she too becomes blind. The film features his muse, the wonderful Carmen Maura for the first time, and this collaboration continues throughout his career. After Fuck Me… Almodóvar waited two years to explore the 16 mm format for a feature film, which is considered to be his first real success: Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap. It was made on a low budget with a humourous, punky and trashy attitude, and again with Carmen Maura in the lead role. The story focuses on Pepi, a young woman who is caught growing weed at home by a policeman who eventually rapes her. As she recovers, she seeks revenge on her attacker by convincing his wife to leave him. Amazed by the humour, confrontational spirit and sheer quantity of his early work, it seems only fair to agree on the fact that being
named the man who opened up the global film industry for his home country, the most acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel and the “agent provocateur” of Spanish cinema only begins to describe the contribution that this colourful artist has made and continues to make on the world of film.
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VARIATIONS ON A THEME IN SING AND TIMECODE text by Veronika Jakab
As we look forward to seeing what exciting pieces this year’s Cannes short film selection has to offer, we seize the opportunity to take a closer look at last year’s Palme d’Or winner, Juanjo Giménez’s Timecode. To celebrate its success, we chose to highlight its strengths by analysing it and comparing it to another festival favourite, Sing, the Oscar-winning short by Kristóf Deák. A busy school full of energetic kids. A bleak parking lot with lonely security guards. One story is heavy with conversation, the other barely contains any dialogue. One relies on voices that need to be heard, the other on moves that need to be seen. Apart from being shortlisted at the 89th Academy Awards and from sweeping awards at prestigious festivals across the globe, Kristóf Deák’s Sing and Juanjo Giménez’s Timecode have seemingly little in common in terms of their narrative and execution. However, these two critically acclaimed short films share more similar traits than meets the eye: they both tell an
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uplifting tale about solidarity and about prevailing in an existing system. Set in the 1990s, Sing, the 25-minute-long Oscar-winning short by Kristóf Deák, tells the story of Zsófi, a young girl who starts a new school and, the enthusiastic singer that she is, wants to join the prestigious school choir lead by the respected Ms. Erika. Zsófi gets accepted and befriends one of the popular girls of the school, Liza. All seems to be well until Ms. Erika tells Zsófi in a matter-of-fact way that her voice is not good enough and that she should just mime instead – for the good of everyone else in the choir. Zsófi’s world comes crashing down as she confides in her new friend Liza. Together they devise a plan to seek justice for all their peers who have been silenced in the choir by Ms. Erika and to expose their teacher’s manipulative methods. In the final scene, we see the children’s choir standing up against the authority: those who can sing refuse to and only mime, just like those who were silenced by their teacher. This act of bravery is even more powerful because it represents the strong loyalty between the children – without any help or guidance from an adult. Timecode
While the rebellious act in Sing is a direct confrontation with authority, Timecode, the winner of last year’s Cannes Short Film Palme d’Or, depicts a more indirect resistance. Diego and Luna, two security guards who work at a parking lot, are by no means fierce revolutionists; they go to work, do their job and then go home. Luna does the night shift and Diego works during the day. Each day they exchange the same two sentences before going their separate ways. Nothing is out of the ordinary until Luna discovers Diego’s secret: her coworker dances in the abandoned parking lot and, on one occasion, accidentally smashes a customer’s headlight. Luna does not report him but instead leaves a peculiar video message for him: she too dances when nobody is watching. A wonderful dialogue unfolds between them as they harbour a common secret, something that is unexpected and out of the ordinary. Unlike in Sing, Timecodes protagonists do not confront any authority or expose any unjust system, because there is nothing to confront and nothing to expose. Luna and Diego have chosen to exist in a system and to accept its rules, but they have found a powerful way to stand up for their true selves. Both films use classic motifs in a contradictory manner that enrich the story and give it a deeper connotation. In Sing the act of singing itself, which is usually associated with freedom, becomes a symbol of oppression: Ms. Erika uses the choir’s talent for her own agenda (to be the leader of the most prestigious school choir) and tries to emotionally blackmail those who have an exceptional singing voice in order to take responsibility for the choir as a whole. The children’s refusal to sing is their act of rebellion; it is how they avoid getting exploited before personal victory. The security cameras and surveillance tapes are so often associated with autocracy and oppression; in Timecode,
however, these cameras become the means to develop a wonderful common language between the two protagonists and a way to liberate themselves from the mundane. In the film’s final scene we see the two adults finally showcasing their talents – and it is precisely through this act that they also refuse to get exploited by a system. Both Kristóf Deák’s and Juanjo Giménez’s stories are rooted in reality: Sing is based on an event that happened to the director’s flatmate during school, while Timecode is based on Giménez’s personal experience while working for a big company. Both have been turned into tales of bravery and loyalty; the fact that one story is rooted in childhood while the other is in adulthood provides wonderful variations on the same theme – solutions to the same existing issue yet under different life circumstances. The children in Sing learn that by showing a united front and using their voice - or, on the contrary, refusing to use it – they can change for the better an existing system that was forced upon them. The adults in Timecode do not need to change the system to be able to stand up for themselves; they just need to find a way to remain or to become true to themselves within an existing set of rules. Currently, both Kristóf Deák and Juanjo Giménez are developing their feature film projects, so hopefully the audience will soon get a chance to enjoy their next films – perhaps at next year’s Cannes.
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ON interview by Boglárka Nagy
CINEMA AN INTERVIEW WITH CRISTIAN MUNGIU
Cristian Mungiu is one of the remarkable film directors who have brought Romanian cinema into the limelight of the international film scene. His intriguing movies are proof of extreme attention to detail, consequent style and intelligent construction. Almost every time you see him in Cannes, he will arrive with a competition movie and leave with an award. This time he turns his attention to the short films of film students in his role as the president of the Cinéfondation jury. Since graduating from film school and starting to make feature films, you haven’t made any more shorts. What are the most important things you learned from making them? Actually, I made three shorts right after film school. I was kind of lucky, because when I graduated in 1998, the Romanian CNC started working a bit better – and in a clearer way –, so you would just submit the screenplay through a production house and that was it. For two consecutive sessions in 1999, I won all the possible funding for short films (with the three projects), so I could say I started working as a filmmaker as soon as I graduated – and get paid for it. Then in 2005 I made a short for an omnibus film called Lost and Found and in 2009 I produced Tales from the Golden Age, a collective film made of shorts. I couldn’t really say what I’ve learnt from my earlier shorts. Things you learn about cinema come little by little from very different experiences you have, and shorts
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definitely help – you meet actors and you understand how to work with them, how to shoot, how to work with a crew on a set and how the narrative works. You make mistakes, you get feedback about what you did, and so on. Even travelling around with shorts is very useful, as you talk to other people who have very distinct working methods, you see very different films and you start thinking more profoundly about what you do. But I can’t say I had any revelations about cinema while making short films. What does it mean for a student to be in Cannes in the Cinéfondation selection? How can it help their career? I suppose it’s very helpful (my colleagues Porumboiu and Mitulescu had their shorts in Cinéfondation prior to being selected in Un Certain Regard) as the attention paid to directors that were selected in Cannes is far greater. Festivals like discovering young directors and following them, and where else could you be better discovered than at the Cannes Film Festival? As a short film filmmaker, you could meet important people there (producers, directors and mentors) while screening your film – and enjoy the wonderful feeling of being part of the most important celebration in cinema. Also, it is probably easier to put together your first feature if you start pitching it in Cannes. Tales The Legend of Air Sellers
Ana Ularu in Turkey Girl
Tales The Legend of the Zealous Activist
Tales The Legend of the Official Visit
On the other hand, I am living proof that you can get to the Cannes competition even if you were never noticed as a director of short films.
In Bucharest, for example, given the traffic you would have all the time in the world to see up to ten shorts a day from home to work and back again.
What short movies do you consider a reference and why? I haven’t seen enough short films to be able to properly answer, but I’d say that the Chaplin shorts are a good example of how you can be short, funny and have something relevant to say at the same time. Which is something that becomes harder and harder now after 100 years of cinema.
The problem is the missing link between the producers of shorts and those wanting to buy them – as neither directors nor producers know enough good and specialised sales agents of short films.
Considering that even feature films mostly have a short lifespan, what do you think the best way to distribute short films and bring them to the attention of a broader audience is? Even for features, life in cinemas becomes shorter and shorter – and if this trend continues, which is very likely and logical, we can expect that some films will end up not being distributed in cinemas at all. So they’ll have to find alternative ways to reach their audience. Short films never worked very well in movie theatres, aside from dedicated festivals that will hopefully continue to interest people for a while and that represent the only realistic way of showing new short films regularly on the big screen. Then again, it depends on what you understand by “distribution”. If you want people to see your short you have to upload it online. If you want people to pay to see your short, then it gets a bit more complicated. Selling them to dedicated VOD platforms just for shorts or to TV platforms would probably work, or even to the platforms of telephone operators.
New media and online resources seem to provide a lot of technical and theoretical insight to those interested in learning about making short films. What is the relevance of film schools in this context? You could probably learn how to operate any camera or device you wanted on the internet and could also maybe read about how to make a film, but this will never replace a (good) school. School should mean order, a plan, a vision and a systematic way of learning about what other people did in cinema before you (some people call it culture). It should be a period in which you read, test, try, make mistakes, listen to inspiring professionals, watch films and talk about them with people who are also interested in cinema. I don’t want to say that you can only be a good filmmaker if you go to film school, but I think you have better chances. Anyhow, my feeling is that being a filmmaker is based both on things you can learn (but that are not enough to make you a filmmaker) and on things that you simply understand while thinking about storytelling, and that are essential (but that can’t be learnt at school or on the internet). Don’t forget to live and to observe what happens to you and around you: this could help.
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To illustrate better the relationship between directors and their work, the filmmakers whose short films have been selected for the Cinéfondation programme were asked to draw spontaneously something about their film, using a pencil and a piece of paper – or any other medium they could think of. Anything would do – a symbol, a landscape, fresh and raw, straight from their imagination.
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R U YO
D N I M
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illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
Lejla is a young woman from Sarajevo who feels stuck in her life, working in a fast food restaurant and taking care of her elderly father. One day she meets Vedad and they fall in love. Vedad offers her the possibility of leaving together with him, but she is unsure about what's best for her future.
Stijn Bouma Bosnia & Herzegovina / The Netherlands
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À PERDRE HALEINE BREATHLESS
Emile, a young cellist, is overwhelmed by anxiety on the day of her concert...
Léa Krawczyk France
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GIVE UP THE GHOST
Floyd has worked his whole life. One day, while out on a new job, he discovers something that alters his way of thinking.
Marian Mathias USA
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PAUL EST LĂ€ PAUL IS HERE
Paul is here. Like a step backwards, like a ghost knocking at the door. Paul is here, and his annoying presence will disrupt Jeanne's everyday life.
Valentina Maurel Belgium
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Camouflage tells the story of a forbidden friendship blossoming in a secret garden in the city where the East meets the West. This animated short inspired by Ottoman Miniatures and the art of Hieronymus Bosch takes the audience to a mysterious and surreal world which is a reflection of the directorâ€™s reality.
Imge Ă–zbilge Belgium
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BEN MAMSHICH HERITAGE
Noam is a young gay man. He discovers that his father, who just died, had a secret affair with another married man. He follows and meets that man without telling him who he is. He now holds his fatherâ€™s secret.
Yuval Aharoni Israel
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A man who wants to pass the border disguises himself as a ram.
Bahram Ark Iran
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DEUX Ă‰GARĂ‰S SONT MORTS TWO YOUTHS DIED
In a wild landscape, Vera and Matteo have their first date. The girl's father surprises them and assaults the boy. At the end of a fierce fight Matteo knocks down the man. Vera asks the boy to take her to dance. Matteo, shaken, runs away.
Tommaso Usberti France
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PEQUEÃ‘O MANIFIESTO EN CONTRA DEL CINE SOLEMNE LITTLE MANIFESTO AGAINST SOLEMN CINEMA
A trivial story about two people that meet at a party and spend the night together, told in the most pretentious, most poetic, but above all, most solemn possible ways.
Roberto Porta Argentina
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Two people meet in the dark. The darkness of an invisible exhibition. Through the film we follow them as they get closer and move apart from each other by crossing blurry boundaries. Boundaries that exist between and within people and are mostly invisible. Not only for the blind.
Áron Szentpéteri Hungary
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Kaki is a widow who lives alone with her Nepali domestic help, Malti. A flower blossoms on their balcony and Malti has an unexpected visitor from her home town. Meanwhile, men spray mosquito repellent spray in the apartment block, which gives Kaki strange dreams.
Payal Kapadia India
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YIN SHIAN BIEN JIAN GON LU TOWARDS THE SUN
A man loses his house because of a foreclosure sale, and he is forced to live in his truck. A Vietnamese woman, who only has one flight ticket and easy packages, gets on the manâ€™s truck. They sit on the moving truck with their painful memories, follow signs directing all the way to North, and embark on adventures on the road trip.
Yi-Ling Wang Taiwan
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ATLANTĂ?DA, 2003 ATLANTIS, 2003
2003. Martin and Denisija, a young couple from the Ukraine, are trying to get to Germany.
Michal Blasko Slovakia
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LICK AROUND THE WORLD WITH YOUR SHORT interview by Zsófi Herczeg
Nadja Andrasev directed The Noise of Licking for her graduation film at the animation department of the MoholyNagy University of Art and Design (MOME Anim) in Budapest with the support of the Hungarian National Film Fund. The film competed in the Cinéfondation programme, which presents the best of film schools from all around the world at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, and went on to win a shared third prize out of those selected. The short animation is about a lonely lady and her relationship with a mysterious black cat. Every day, the woman is watched by a neighbour’s cat as she takes care of her exotic plants. Day after day the cat is lured further into her sensual world, until one night it disappears and their perverted ritual comes to an end. Time passes, the plants grow and the woman lives her life in content isolation, until a peculiar man pays her a visit. Nadja Andrasev graduated at MOME Anim in 2015 before participating in the Animation Sans Frontières (ASF) international animation workshop. She is currently developing her next animation in Denmark while working as a production manager of animated and live-action films. Since receiving third prize in the Cinéfondation, The Noise of Licking has travelled across the world and has been granted numerous awards, including the Best Short Animated Film at the Denver Film
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Festival in the United States and the Grand Prize for Graduation Film at the Buncheon International Animation Festival (BIAF) in Korea. As a fresh graduate, what was it like to make it into the Cinéfondation programme at the Cannes Film Festival? It definitely came as a shock and, to this day, still feels like a wild dream. Prior to studying animation at MOME I worked as an assistant director in the film industry. I remember attending the annual Hungarian Film Week over a decade ago, fantasising about one day making a film that would be screened in front of an audience. I would never have imagined that my first premiere would be in the Cinéfondation selection. Which short film was your favourite from the selection? There were hardly any films that I didn’t like in one way or another. If I have to name my favourites, though, I would say that Anna by Or Sinai was the one that touched me the most. I encourage everyone to watch it and find out why. I also loved Hamid Ahmadi’s In the Hills and can’t wait to see the first feature from both of these directors. A film that did not win an award but that I liked very much was Gabber Lover by Anna Cazenave Cambet, which portrayed an important moment in the relationship of two young girls with sensitivity, good casting and cool music. What do you think are the advantages or disadvantages of having animated and live-action films competing in the same category? I think the biggest advantage for an animation to be screened at a festival where animated and live-action films compete in the same category is that the few animated films that are selected stand
Since Cannes is not an animation festival, what was your experience about how the audience perceived animated films? What reactions did you get for your movie? In general I sense a separation between the live-action film industry and the animation community. I hope this will change and there will be more cross-over and interest from both directions, which is why I love opportunities such as the Cinéfondation, where shorts are screened together, regardless of whether they are animated or live-action. Specifically in Cannes, I did not receive much feedback to determine whether or not the audience viewed my film differently. But it was good to see that in the previous year, an animated short entitled Waves ‘98 won the Palme D’Or. It is reassuring that the medium doesn’t necessarily matter. How did the presence of Cannes and winning third prize help the afterlife of The Noise of Licking? Being in the Cinéfondation selection helped in many ways. Festival programmers have written to request a screener, which has allowed me to send my film to more places. We have also received funding from Hungary for my next film and are waiting for some news from France as well. Funding a second film would most likely have been more difficult otherwise, so I consider having been selected in the Cinéfondation a gift. Do you see some kind of trends in contemporary (animated) short films, like genres, themes and techniques, etc.? I generally don’t pay much attention to trends. There are certain festivals that tend to select more experimental films
and others that seem to prefer more narrative or classical animation. I think the goal should be – even if it’s a cliché – to make films based not on what festival programmers would like or what seems to fit current trends, but what you want to talk about. And then to find your best way to tell it. Based on your experience, what is your advice to young filmmakers? What could they do to try and make their films more successful? My suggestion is to actively participate in the festival distribution of the film and figure out a strategy that fits the work itself. A film is often picked up at a later time, after screening at smaller events where they greatly welcome your work. Of course it’s great to be present at festivals, but that can also be expensive and time consuming, so it’s good to be selective about where you would like to travel and why. For animators I think it is interesting to attend at least one animation festival every year. What I enjoy the most is meeting other directors; it’s very inspiring to get to know other filmmakers and how they work and then to follow their progress from a distance. I believe it’s important not to judge your film based on the number of festival invitations or awards. Programmers and jurors have a very hard time choosing between the thousands of films they receive, from which they have to create a well-balanced selection. So don’t be discouraged. When you can, release your film online, keep working and focus on new projects! What project are you working on now? I am currently in Denmark working on a new animated short. It is very exciting to have the opportunity to make another film while still in the festival circuit, and it’s definitely full of new challenges.
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illustrations from The Noise of Licking
out more in the animation-related news. At the same time, attending these festivals is different; the industry guests are not always closely related to your field. But I believe it is great to just open up one’s perspective a little more. Last year Superbia, another Hungarian animated short by my friend Luca Tóth, was premiered in Semaine de la Critique. We were very happy to share this experience with each other and strengthen the presence of Hungarian animation in Cannes.
La Résidence du Festival THE CINÉFONDATION’S PROGRAMME FOR DIRECTORS OF THE NEXT GENERATION text by Laura Jóföldi
Every year six young and talented filmmakers get the chance to develop their first or second feature film project in the city of Paris. There are two sessions each year: one from the end of October to mid-February and the other from the end of February to mid-July. Allow us to introduce the participants of the current session! Myrsini Aristidou was born and raised in Cyprus but completed her film studies in New York. She has previously made both documentary and fictional short films. Her latest short, Semele, brought her major success after being selected for several film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus, where in 2016 it won the Special Jury Prize for Best Short Film. Myrsini is currently developing her first featurelength film called Freedom at the Résidence.
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Anwar Boulifa was born in Leicester, in England, and is now based in London. He comes from a documentary background: he worked for numerous broadcasters (such as the BBC and Channel 4) before launching his career in fiction film. His first short film, entitled A Short Guide to Re-Entry, became a hit at the 2016 Glasgow Short Film Festival, where it won both the Bill Douglas International Award and the Audience Award. His second film Templates was in the selection of Toronto Film Festival just to pick one from the bunch. His Résidence project is called The Unwanted. Besides filmmaking, he is also a published poet. João Paulo Miranda Maria was born in Brazil and completed his studies there. He is a teacher at the Methodist University of Piracicaba (UNIMEP) and a coordinator of the collective Kino-Olho. His short ‘The Girl who Danced with the Devil’ was in the Official Competition at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. He is currently working on his first feature, Memory House, which has already participated at Critics’ Week – Next Step LAB.
The Résidence programme was launched in 2000, and since then more than 200 young directors have participated in it who have both individual and collective programmes. The Résidence is intended to get acquainted with the fellow laureates and with professionals of the trade and gives directors the opportunity to attend major film festivals. Besides networking and developing, participants are offered optional French classes, free access to many Parisian cinemas and an 800-EUR grant per month.
One of the most successful films to have been developed in the Résidence is László Nemes’ Son of Saul. It won, among other awards, the Palme d’Or, the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Carlo Sironi was born in Rome. At the age of 18 he started to work on film sets as an assistant director. His shorts (Sofia, Cargo and Valparaiso) have been selected in many film festivals around the world and he was an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2013. At the Résidence he is currently working on his first feature, Sole, which has been involved in other developing programmes such as the Script Station within Berlinale Talents. Rati Tsiteladze was born in Georgia but studied filmmaking in Los Angeles. He has directed several short films that have been awarded internationally, not only fictional projects but also a documentary called May 17, which has participated in pitch competitions as well as in developing programmes. While at the Résidence he will develop The Empty House, a feature project that has participated in other developing sessions as well.
Qiu Yang was born and raised in China before attending the Victorian College of the Arts in Australia. His short entitled Under the Sun was selected in over 70 film festivals, including the Cinéfondation competition in 2015. He is currently developing his first feature project, whose working title is also Under the Sun, which has been selected for CineMart and Cinéfondation Résidence.
There are eight Résidence alumni to have been selected this year in Cannes. Kornél Mundruczó, who was a Résidence participant in 2003 with his film Delta, is now in the festival’s Official Selection with his new film Jupiter’s Moon. Another returning competitor is Michel Franco, whose After Lucia was developed within the framework of the programme in 2010 before competing and winning two years later in Un Certain Regard. Franco’s April’s Daughter is competing in the same section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
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DAAZO FESTIVAL DISTRIBUTION PORTFOLIO
FINDING A WAY OUT OF THE MAZE OF FESTIVALS
Daazo’s Festival Distribution Portfolio offers all the help a director needs, especially when it comes to choosing the right festivals. Here are some of the freshest shorts ‘strategised’ by Daazo – two of which have already caught the attention of some of the most significant and prestigious film festivals.
Do you want to know more about the films? Do you want to be part of it?
DROP A MAIL TO INFO@DAAZO.COM!
LOVE (2016) | Director: Réka Bucsi | 14 min. | animation Festivals: Berlin International Film Festival | Hong Kong International Film Festival South by Southwest | LA Film Festival | Sundance | RiverRun
End of Puberty (2015) | Director: Fanni Szilágyi | 13 min. | coming-of-age Festivals: 40th Toronto Film Festival | Filmfestival Cottbus Vilnius International Film Festival
Superbia (2016) | Director: Luca Tóth | 16 min. | animation Festival: Semaine de la Critique du Festival de Cannes
Sing (2016) | Director: Kristóf Deák | 25 min. | coming-of-age Festivals: European Film Festival of Lillel | TIFF Kids Festival People’s Choice Award Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia | Chicago Int' Children's Film Festival
Academy Awards, Best Live Action Short Film
“IT’S DIVERSITY THAT MAKES FOR GREATNESS” World of Young Cinema is proud to introduce 2017’s Producers on the Move. We asked eleven young producers about their beginnings, experiences, and anecdotes – and they also told us about their dreams for European cooperation. EFP (European Film Promotion) and its member organisations have again selected 20 of the most promising up-and-coming European producers to take part in EFP's high-profile networking platform Producers on the Move at the Cannes Film Festival (May 17 – 28, 2017). During the five-day event between May 19 and 23, the exclusive group will enjoy a tailor-made programme of roundtable pitching sessions, 1:1 speed dating, case studies, including one in co-operation with the pan-European co-production fund Eurimages, as well as other industry meetings. All of these events are being organized to support the exchange of experiences and help create new professional networks. The longstanding programme is financially backed by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the participating EFP member organisations. The stakes for participation are high,
1. Anton Máni Svansson IS Anton is an Icelandic film producer who focuses on forging close working relationships with talented young writer-directors, a dynamic that has resulted in over 100 international awards for fiction films which have premiered in competition in A-list festivals around the world, including Cannes, Venice and Toronto. I believe the first film that me say “wow “ in some way was Breathless by Jean-Luc Godard. Simply because it was the first film I watched where the director was experimenting with the film form, which made me very excited about auteur cinema. I started in the film business by co-writing fiction films as well as taking on every possible position on set. Soon I realized there was a need for a producer
including the key requirements that the candidates have experience in an international co-production and an international theatrical release in their portfolio. The final selection shows that quality and entrepeneurship are not limited to the big players of the larger European countries, but can also be found in Latvia, Iceland or, as shown in previous years, in countries like Hungary. Consequently, Victoria Petranyi (Producer on the Move 2003 from Hungary) can be seen in Cannes competing for the Palme d'Or with her production of Jupiter's Moon by director Kornél Mundruczó in the same way as Patrick Quinet (who represented Belgium as a PoM in 2003) is in the Competition with his latest co-production, Rodin by Jacques Doillon. Another competition title is The Square by Ruben Östlund, produced by Erik Memmendorff (PoM Sweden 2009) with the Danish co-producer Katja Adomeit (PoM Denmark 2015). This year's group of Producers on the Move includes the Polish participant Maria Blicharska who will be presenting Frost, starring Vanessa Paradis, in the Directors' Fortnight, while France's Didar Domehri co-produced Argentinian director Santiago Mitre's La Cordillera which will celebrate its world premiere in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.
in the crew and since I was the responsible one I began taking on that role. Quickly I discovered this role really suited me, I had something to offer in this position and that it could give me the creative fulfillment I needed. I‘ve faced a bunch of interesting obstacles as a producer, e.g. finding a stranded whale to film and rescuing our production design from the ocean after a thick layer of ice had covered it. I like very much to be involved in projects from early stages but only to support and give feedback on my collaborator‘s creative vision. I feel it is most important my writer-directors stay true to themselves. I think it is also valuable to be visible on productions, to keep motivating team spirits and ensure everyone is willing and able to help in every way possible.
illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
text by Zsuzsanna Deák
2. Iuliana Tarnovetchi RO Credited with over 30 projects during her 20-year career in the film sector, Iuliana Tarnovetchi is an experienced producer who has contributed to successful Romanian and international productions. The first film that made me say “wow” was Once Upon a Time in America. I was impressed by the music. I saw it before 1989, in a time of Communist party censorship, when the only way to see international films was on VHS, illegally, in somebody’s house. It was always an adventure. I started in production at a very early age, I liked it, it suited me, so I continued. I had the chance to work with amazing crews in big budget productions, and I kept on rolling. I never imaged or desired to do anything else. I like to watch both short films and features, and as a producer I develop and produce both. But I particularly have a weak spot for debut features. I don't like to refer to any given situation as a problem. In production there are a lot of challenges, some small and others extremely complex, but a producer has to overcome them. In 10 years’ time, I’ll be here, producing films. And by “here” I mean anywhere in the world where people want to tell stories and where I can help bring those stories to screens. I am enthusiastic about meeting the other producers in the programme, about sharing our experiences and our passions, about discussing our projects and plans. I hope we can create true connections that later on might translate into collaborations and co-productions. I don't have a good luck charm as an object, but I always instantly feel energised as soon as I see or hear my daughter.
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3. Jovana Nikolic´ć RS An EAVE and Berlinale Talents alumna, Jovana Nikolić is the main producer of several awardwinning documentary films. She is currently serving as the President of the Board of the DokSerbia, the Association of Documentary Filmmakers of Serbia. She likes juggling with fire. The film that had a big impression on me was My Own Private Idaho. I liked it all – the special artistic approach within the well known story, with strong visual style and deep emotional undertones connecting a contemporary setting. I like the challenge of production, especially documentary films. No one knows the final result, so the producer has to be very stabile and creative in order to satisfy all sides – financiers, artists – and still think of audience. In documentary films, the main problem is the lack of the script – all other problems are always in connection with that. In The Caviar Connection we started to shoot the story about two brothers, fishermen searching for white sturgeon, and when we finally finished the fundraising, the fishing of white sturgeon became forbidden. But we didn't want to give up, and the result was much better than we could have ever expected. All our films were located in Eastern Serbia. It means bad roads, magnificent landscapes and rare customs – great potential for documentary films. At Producers on the Move, I expect to make deeper connections with producers I have already met at different training programmes and festivals, and to get in contact with some other people whom I will meet for the first time. It will help us all to connect with wider circle of people from the industry, and to find partners for our new projects and make these projects more visible.
5. Maria Blicharska PL
Julius Ponten, founding partner of New Amsterdam film company, is a Dutch producer with a strong desire for impact, building a brand along side developing a strong story. My first “real” production was Marriage, a short film. It had a proper premiere, introducing us to international festival life and had a lasting impact on our career. I like the diversity of the job. Acting or directing would mean a more dedicated focus. I did some acting, but would never be able to act on the stage. My talent was not enough to reach the top. I am attached to the script and the marketing strategy of the films. The last time I served coffee for the crew? Last week. Once I found a location: a piece of land in Amsterdam that was forgotten and full of shipwrecks, crooks and animals. It took me two years to get a permission to use it. Before the premiere the owner died. International co-production should never be more important than the story. My good luck charm? Smile, even on a bad hair day!
6. Verena Gräfe-Höft DE Verena Gräfe-Höft from Junafilm is developing cinema and TV content with talents from around the globe to highlight unconventional stories and storytellers that ought to be seen. For me, being a producer is the Alpha and the Omega of filmmaking. One needs to be a multi-tasker. The job is very complex, from development, writing, law, financing, marketing, psychology, selling, buying, pitching and much more – it seems there is nothing that a producer doesn't need to be trained at. In ten years’ time… I want to do what I do now, only with more money for the film projects and therefore being able to keep on investing in
Maria Blicharska has a company in Paris and another one in Warsaw. She works with American, Ukrainian, Brazilian and Belgian crews. She is the Polish Producer of Frost by Sharunas Bartas selected for Director’s Fortnight in Cannes 2017. “The first film that made me say “wow” was Cinema Paradiso. I was 13 and it was in 1989 in Poland, just after the fall of The Berlin Wall, I remember the feeling of freedom... We could finally admire foreign culture freely. I was impressed by this nostalgic and romantic story about the golden era of the seventh art. Even now I can still hear the music… Film production is everything that always fascinated me. It requires some skills in art, literature, music, finance, law, mathematics, technical and practical management knowledge... And you have creative contact with talented people. Producing is managing a constant crisis. Every film is a prototype. I have understood that a good producer is not the one that does not have problems, but the one who is able to deal with them on a regular basis. My most memorable shooting location was the tower of St Mary's church in Cracow. You walk through the glittering splendour inside, climb the 239 steps of the 82-meter trumpeter's tower, for a panoramic view of the city. Then you go down. Then you notice you haven’t signed the release with the trumpeter and you have 10 minutes to climb up once again… What I expect from the Producers on the Move programme in Cannes? Fame! And more seriously: international recognition for the hard work we do as European producers in the name of Art.
emerging talent, take risks when they are needed and to make sure that wonderful films will always find their audience. I am a better producer if I am part of the creative development of the whole film. I have worked as a journalist for many years therefore writing and creative development are my strength. Creative networking and bringing talent together from different countries is something that I find very rewarding, especially if it turns out to be creative partnerships that last for a long time. For me, communication is always the key to a fruitful work-life-relationship. Don't assume just because things are handled in a certain way in your own home country that this is the same case everywhere else.
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illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
4. Julius Ponten NL
8. Chris Martin UK
illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
7. Alan Maher IRL Alan Maher is an Irish producer of feature films and documentaries and once acted in a commercial for cheese. The first film that made me say “wow” was probably Back to the Future, a perfect combination of humour, sci-fi and adventure. And then Dog Day Afternoon for the remarkable performances. I was a professional actor from age 10 and attended Drama School but, eventually, I wanted more control over my life and sanity and stumbled into this area (it hasn’t helped my sanity). I also tried directing and was terrible at it. I love the cinema experience and the structure of a feature. In 10 years’ time, I hope to be running a successful film company making films I am proud of – or living on Mars. I do take part in the creative process, but I respect the creative talent I work with and recognise the right of the director to be the author of the work. Once I was part of an international coproduction. Canada–Ireland. It was tough but rewarding. I am used to working in a small country where you can pick up the phone to whomever you need to speak to. One has to learn to respect other systems.
9. Ivan Madeo CH Ivan Madeo is a Student-Oscar-winning and Berlinale awarded producer of films with social issues at their core. I love telling stories. But since I’m completely untalented when it comes to acting and directing, I focused on writing and producing the stories I want to tell. Our omnibus feature film Wonderland was written and directed collectively by ten filmmakers. My most difficult job was to help these ten great directors find one common artistic language, and to show them that they must profit from their vast diversity
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Chris Martin works with new and established talent to bring their shared dreams to the screen. He used to be an aerospace engineer and loves cricket and Heavy Metal. My very first visit to the cinema as a child to see The Empire Strikes Back. The whole experience and spectacle of an art deco cinema with stalls and circle and velvet curtains and cigarette girls and then the blackness and title scroll and the music. I was hooked. Having experience previously of running companies dealing with clients, budgets, contracts and then combining that with the passion for film, this was a natural transition to producing. I did write and direct a short just to get a more complete overview of the industry. Once the security services arrested some of our crew under the prevention of terrorism act during the making of a politically sensitive film! Another time, we were shooting up the top of the mountains in a hurricane. We should have rescheduled! Learning the other countries’ systems and procedures is invaluable. Also carefully selecting your co-producer. It’s a relationship that can add a lot of stress or make the process much easier. From the Producers on the Move in Cannes, I expect visibility for me as a producer and my projects. Also, hopefully forming relationships with other producers that can go on to forge partnerships for future films together.
– because if they work against each other, their tenfold skills are reduced to less than one. We co-produced Wonderland with a German production company. Being different opens eyes. It’s like in Europe, after all its diversity that makes for greatness. Once we had to find a big supermarket that was still running and that we could completely destroy for the scene of a panic buy during a natural catastrophe. Good luck asking supermarket owners… I’d like to find out what the socially urgent matters in other countries are at this moment and I want to see how passionate producers from the four corners of Europe are dealing with them.
10. Carlo D’Ursi ES Actor and producer Carlo D’Ursi was born in Italy, and grew up in Spain. He started his career as a producer in the Almodovar company. He is now producing Boss, the first feature of an Oscar and Goya nominated director. I think that improving my emotional intelligence is the most important thing I’ve learnt. And the good management of feelings is one of the most important ingredients to make the right movie. Be ready to bring the best out of everyone in the team is the most important issue and the biggest problem to solve as a producer most of the time. In ten years time, I see myself producing high quality and commercial content while contributing to the cultural sector of my adoption country, Spain, and of the whole of Europe. I wish to put to the service my experience towards contributing actively in cultural politics for Spain and Europe. The last time I served coffee for my team was this morning during the script reading of our next production. I was born in Italy, I do love coffee and making the team a good ristretto. 10.000km away, in Mozambique, during the scouting of The Last Flight of the Flamingo, my first movie as producer, I stepped onto a little tiny black snake that looked so cute. Then I heard the location manager screaming “run!”, because one bite of it would have killed me in a minute. Co-producing internationally is not only a matter of financing, it is an important step to make the movie bigger artistically and give it the chance to being distributed in several countries. Every co-production is unique, and it is quite similar to a romantic relationship. They last from 3 to 7 years, so you better choose properly who is going to be your life mate during such a long time. Co-production is a fine art, and it has to be treated with a lot of care.
11. Lasha Khalvashi GEO Lasha Khavalsi’s main focus are debut feature and documentary films. He is experienced in international co-productions. I have a masters in law and economics. With my great love of films, it is a great combination for being a producer. As a creative producer I start every project at a very simple level (idea or synopsis) and then we go through all the stages together with the director and other team members. My most adventurous location scouting was for Horizon by Tinatin Kajrishvili. The film set is on Paliastomi lake, a very unique place in Georgia. Most of the time I do coproductions and I am very happy with results. It is always a very interesting experience with lots of benefits and knowledge. Producers on the Move is a great place for networking. I see an opportunity to promote my new project Citizen Saint by Tinatin Kajrishvili, and find partners. I never thought about a good luck charm. But now I’ve completed an online test which says: “Dreamcatcher”!
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We would like to provide you with a short guide to help you find your way around the maze of Cannes’ sections and parallel programmes, which festival veterans often refer to as by their French name. This little help comes in the form of a dictionary. But do not worry: despite appearances, French and English have a lot in common!
The essential Cannes dictionary “Every year in May, Cannes gives a sort of snapshot – both ephemeral and lasting, when one adds up the years – of what constitutes the art of cinema.” Thierry Frémaux, festival director
‘o cial selection’ a collection that serves to highlight the diversity of cinematic creation through its different sections COMPÉTITION ‘competition’ films that are representative of “arthouse cinema with a wide audience appeal”
UN CERTAIN REGARD ‘a certain regard’ films selected from cultures near and far in various styles and consist of an original aim and aesthetic
HORS COMPÉTITION ‘out of competition’ films that are not competing for prizes but still deserve a screening and a reaction from the audience and the press
CANNES CLASSICS vintage films and masterpieces from the history of cinema in restored prints, tributes to filmmakers or foreign cinema and documentaries on filmmaking
CINÉFONDATION short and medium-length films from film schools all over the world offering a testimony to the diversity and dynamism of young international filmmakers
SÉANCES SPÉCIALES SÉANCES DE MINUIT ‘special screenings’ – ‘midnight screenings’ special opportunities to view more personal works
MARCHÉ DU FILM
QUINZAINE DES RÉALISATEURS
‘film market’ a gathering place where, every year on the Croisette, film professionals get together with one same objective: the successful production of all films
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‘international village’ an exhibition and networking venue that enables countries to showcase and raise the profiles of their cinematography, cultural identity and film institutions
‘directors’ fortnight’ an independent-minded and non-competitive event that supports individually talented filmmakers by introducing their work to critics and to the audience
CANNES COURT MÉTRAGE ‘Cannes short film’
an entity that brings together two sections – the Short Film Corner and the Short Film Competitions – to support emerging talents and the format of short film SHORT FILM CORNER an area where filmmakers can come together to exchange ideas and promote films with a programme including industry meets, workshops and conferences
COMPÉTITION ‘competition’ a selection of short films represented at the Competition, at the end of which the Short Films Jury awards a Palme d’Or (‘Golden Palm’)
CINÉFONDATION SÉLECTION ‘selection’ part of the official selection with a programme of short and medium-length films (see Sélection Officielle)
ATELIER ‘atelier’ an initiative that selects about fifteen projects for feature-length films from every corner of the world and welcomes their directors to meet a team of film professionals, giving them a chance to gain access to international financing and speed up the production process
SEMAINE DE LA CRITIQUE ‘critics’ week’ a showcase of first and second feature films by directors from all over the world; the aim of this programme is to explore and reveal new creations by discovering new talents both in feature films and in short films
RÉSIDENCE ‘residence’ a programme that every year invites twelve young directors working on their first or second fictional feature film project and provides them with a place of residence in Paris, a personalised programme accompanying the writing of their scripts and forums with industry professionals (see page 28 for further information)
L’ACID a sidebar that takes its name from the initials of its sponsor, the Association de cinéma indépendent pour sa diffusion or ‘Association for the Distribution of Independent Cinema’, an organisation dedicated to helping independent films find their distributor by presenting around nine feature films selected from all around the world that do not yet have one
http://www.festivalcannes.fr, http://www.quinzainerealisateurs.com, http://www.semainedelacritique.com
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Imagine you have a film in progress; youâ€™ve got the script ready, with a strong protagonist, and you have the budget. So whatâ€™s the most important step now? Finding the right space that reflects your character and helps you visualise your narrative is a key element in the process of filmmaking. Searching for the right locations, scouting for old or brand new fields and creating the surroundings of your story is equally significant, whether your world is animated, is set in a classic live-action genre or is experimental with the material. In the following segment we take a quick peek into the different spaces in film.
F O Y E S S Y D O THE
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illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
M L I F N I E C A P S
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MAKING REELS ROT AND CELLULOID DECAY AND OTHER ADDICTIVE ACTIVITIES text by Péter Lichter translated by Gábor Roboz
Remixes made out of found footage, aptly named found footage movies, did not simply drop out of the bottomless magic hat of YouTube. Frankenstein flicks, clips put together using bits and pieces from other movies, appeared at the dawn of film history. One of the earliest found footage films is Joseph Cornell’s Rose Hobart (1936), which the surrealist artist compiled from the footage of an adventure movie. The director paid homage to his titular character using only the shots from East of Borneo that featured Rose Hobart, the star of the film. By doing so, Cornell got rid of the surplus so that the star could emerge from the burdensome narrative. In a sense, the director’s experimental movie is similar to idolatry. This early montage picture had already contained the essence of found footage filmmaking: celluloid - the footage itself was adored by these remix artists much
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like a god might be by the members of a crazed cult. No wonder found footage films tend to highlight celluloid with all its physical deformities. When one can hold a reel of Star Wars or that of a Godard movie where, for example, along the perforation the divine Anna Karina’s speech becomes visible on sound, one can finally make a genuine connection with a film. This is when you truly understand that making a film is like making a sculpture: you can literally form the film with your own hands. One of the most beloved techniques of found footage filmmakers is inducing the physical decay of the footage, either by painting, scratching or drawing on the reel. However, since celluloid contains a large amount of organic material, these filmmakers soon discovered the time-consuming technique of inducing biological rotting; for instance, German experimental director Jurgen Reble used bacteria and fungi to make the images rot. Sure enough, by harnessing the forces of nature, we can put outlandish shapes on reels: by looking at the forms on the surface of the frames created by the bacteria and insects living in the soil, it is as if we were seeing frescoes painted by extraterrestrials. This is a technique I myself have started to use. I buried several reels – among them an excerpt from a Coppola flick – at the foot of a pine so that the greater part of the artistic work would be done by the turf. (I am planning to create a decayed, painted adaptation of
The decay is often done over time: for instance, American experimental director Bill Morrison only uses footage that has literally disintegrated throughout the years. His most famous work, entitled Decasia, is a magnificent symphony of rotting that pays tribute to the disintegrated images of early motion pictures. Of course, found footage filmmaking is more than just the act of destroying stuff with a constructive attitude: these filmmakers often re-work visual waste, the leftovers of film history. Their movies are like houses built out of plastic bottles. LJ Frezza’s Nothing, for instance, was made by compiling the empty rooms appearing in the scenes of Seinfeld into a flow of images showing nothing, i.e. empty rooms. Similarly to Frezza, Michael Robinson rummaged through the forgotten music videos and TV shows of the 1980s to make ironic, often completely surreal montage films; his Light is Waiting is like a far-out nightmare of old television commercials. The grandfather of found footage filmmakers is of course Bruce Conner, who laid the foundation of this cinematic genre in the 1950s. Ironically, the title of his most famous work is A Movie, and in this case the director’s sole contribution was compiling shots of perfectly incongruent films as if they belonged together. A captain of a submarine looks into his periscope and sees a woman sunbathing
on a beach: Conner’s cunning editing makes us believe these images belonged to the same movie, but the tension and humour present in it derives precisely from the obvious dissonances. The montage game played with the original meanings and aura of found images is one of the most often utilised strengths of found footage film. György Pálfi, in his 90-minute-long Final Cut, does practically the same as Conner does in his 5-minutelong A Movie, some fifty years before. True, Pálfi’s work is somewhat more predictable, as he does not make use of the endless possibilities of montage as creatively as Conner – still, it is impossible to stop watching the film, addictive like a drug dissolving through the eyes. Using the same simile, we can say that found footage films are basically the gateway drugs of filmmaking: watching them and making them can easily result in a serious addiction. One of the most peculiar side effects of working with found footages is that after some time you start to feel as if the shots made by others were in fact made by you. As you spend days, weeks and months editing, painting and ruining different shots, it is almost shocking to realise that the images you are holding in your hands were made decades ago. This is why using homemade movies is even more addictive for me: their reels are undeniably singular. It is no coincidence that Péter Forgács, the greatest historian of Hungarian cinema, managed to create a whole body of work out of such footage.
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illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
Hamlet by fermenting thousands of metres of celluloid.)
It’s All in Your Head – FILMIC SPACES FROM EARLY TO DIGITAL CINEMA
The Lonely Villa
text by Bence Kránicz
The sound of a body falling on the floor. A girl looks back from the terrace and runs into the house, scared. She realises that her father has collapsed. She runs like hell to the bathroom where he keeps the medicine for his heart condition. The girl makes it and we see her in the mirror of the bathroom cabinet. We have been seeing everything through this mirror for the last 30 seconds now, because her run from the kitchen to the bathroom was shot in a single take. But she ran through the whole house, so what kind of space is that? How can that mirror show other parts of the house too? This is, of course, an eminent example of creating filmic space through the use of digital imagery. Those who remember the film we are talking about – Robert Zemeckis’s Contact (1997) – might also recall that the “impossible” shot ends with the photo of the girl, Ellie, and her father. This is shown in the mirror, as their relationship is now only a memory, a reflection, because Ellie’s father dies of a heart attack in this very scene. The use of CGI is the latest step for filmmakers to construct narrative spaces on film – spaces that not only serve as Contact
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material surroundings for the characters, but that also effectively help in creating the desired atmosphere of a movie and contribute to triggering specific emotional responses on behalf of the audience. It might sound a bit complicated, but this is actually one of the basic and elementary operations in filmmaking. Anyone who has ever tried to shoot something that even slightly resembles a film instinctively constructs narrative spaces. The most famous example in the history of early cinema is the proverbial scene with the unsuspecting passer-by and the dangerously approaching car. If we cut from one image to the other and back again, viewers connect the two and place them in one continuous space, making the audience instantly fear that the car will hit the poor person. In reality, however, there is no reason for person and car to actually be anywhere near each other. The viewers’ engagement with the story, fueled by the fact that they have more information about a certain situation than the film’s character, is called suspense and is most often created through spatial relations. D. W. Griffith, among others, experimented with this practice a decade after motion pictures were first distributed on an international scale, in his groundbreaking short films The Lonely Villa (1909) and The Lonedale Operator (1911). Filmmakers also quickly realised that space can not only
affect viewers’ emotions, but it can also mirror the emotions and nature of the characters themselves. The source of these experiments was, more often than not, the theatre, and when prominent figures of modern German theatre started to work in film, they brought their highly artificial, unusual and dreamlike set designs with them. If you have not seen many German expressionist movies, you will still be familiar with at least some of the iconic images, which almost always place characters in unnatural spaces. Nosferatu the vampire, for example, looms creepily in the doorway, himself just as tall as the door – this was a small but effective idea used in F. W. Murnau’s classic horror to create Nosferatu’s eerie and monster-like quality. We do not have enough space, as it were, to glance through the practices and artistic achievements of constructing filmic spaces throughout the history of cinema. However, highlighting the spatial style of a few important directors might prove useful, both for movie fans as well as for aspiring filmmakers. The latter are now able to create diverse filmic spaces more easily than ever, simply because phones and other small cameras in films can be placed to show spaces and angles that once proved very hard to grapple with when large professional film cameras were used. While cutting between different portions of space may invite the audience to construct a single space from the visible elements, directors have also found artistic possibilities in capturing one large space without the help of montage. We refer Citizen Kane
here to the significance and functions of long takes, which – before the digital revolution – usually had to be shot in existing continuous spaces. Let us evoke the image of the glass of water from Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941). The protagonist, Kane, knocks impatiently on the door, but we cannot see him because the camera is in Kane’s mistress’ room. We can hardly see her, too, because the focus is on an empty glass and a bottle of sedatives. The image has three layers: glass, mistress, door; the door eventually opens and Kane enters the room. As the long take runs, viewers realise, by connecting the different layers of image that are the three levels of visible space, that Susan has tried to commit suicide. Throughout his career, Welles continued to use long takes to capture emotions as they unfolded – a stylistic effort that inspired André Bazin to refer to Welles as one of the greatest realist directors of cinema. Naturally, we should omit a great amount of exciting elements of filmic space (spaces of experimental films, for one – an entirely different world; google Maya Deren or Michael Snow), but let us close this with Béla Tarr. Remember Damnation (1987)? The story is set in a small mining town where everyone feels trapped, though not because they cannot physically go anywhere. Tarr emphasises, through long takes and slow panning shots, that the town opens to infinite spaces. The loneliness of the characters grows from their personalities, not from their social problems. The space around them is vast and yet they cannot go anywhere – Tarr’s narrative space serves as a tool to create the feeling of a universal, cosmic solitude.
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ON I T IMA TIPLE N A UL ITIES M AS SIBIL ACE P S PO SING S U zeg erc fi H OF ó s Z by t tex
Live action films use reallife recorded shots or at least strive to present real life, while animated films – due to their technique – are artificial creatures that use artificially constructed spaces (there are exceptions, of course). Animation produces an illusion of life, so viewers know straight away that what they see in an animation is not real. Animated films can therefore reorganise space as well. In her 2006 study, Re-Animation Space, Aylish Wood highlighted that for traditional thinking, space is mostly interesting in terms of the characterisation of characters and the role they play in the narrative. However, she treats space as its own entity and examines it based on content and form. One can say that there are multiple uses of space in animation; I would like to highlight some examples here. Creators can use live action footage on which they later draw their characters, like in the famous 1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where cartoon characters and people interact with each other. The film takes place in Los Angeles in the 1930s and was shot in a studio, albeit using reconstructions of real places. As the plot
indicates, there is an isolated location for cartoons called Toontown, where everything is animated – but viewers only see this place at the end of the movie. You Ought to be in Pictures, from 1940, refers to animation filmmaking in a self-reflective way: the movie takes place within the animation department of Warner Bros Studios, where Daffy Duck convinces Porky Pig to be an actor in live action films. At the end we see them as they interact with everyone and everything in the studio, so it is not only a movie that takes animated characters to live action backgrounds, but viewers also get a behind-the-scenes look into filmmaking in the 1940s. The vast majority of mainstream feature animation uses space just as live action movies do: for characterising the heroes and extracting the narrative. From Disney, Aardman and Laika to Ghibli, creators build a world where the background helps the perception of the plot and the feelings of the protagonists. There could be exceptions when creators move away from the film’s reality, for example when there is a surreal (dream) sequence like the singing dinner sets in Beauty and the Beast or the dancing honey pots in Winnie the Pooh. Due to its profit-oriented nature, the essential question at the beginning of the animation film’s history was how creators could keep the budget as low as possible. Recycled, simplified or stylised backgrounds were perfectly suitable (not to mention the use of gloves, ties and four fingers, just like in The Flinstones or The Yogi Bear Show). UPA, an independent
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
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animation studio, was a pioneer in limited animation in the fifties with shorts like the Oscar-winner Gerald McBoing-Boing and the Oscar-nominated Rooty Toot Toot, providing stylistic innovation with their simple representation, which have had a deep impact on eastern European cartoons and mainstream contemporary series like South Park. In these series and shorts, space is merely indicative and often repetitive. The most interesting way to show space in an animation is by capturing it during a transformation. The greater part of this category is metamorphosis animation, where viewers see everything in just one cut – or in a long shot – during the process of change. Due to its technique and plotless nature, this is often connected with experimental animation. There is a famous example of the everchanging background: the self-reflective Duck Amuck by Chuck Jones, from 1953, in which Daffy Duck’s character accommodates to the changing elements, not to the background. Except for the first and final scenes, Duck Amuck is a one-shot animation where the changing background replaces the editor’s work and adds humour to the movie. The Oscar-winning The Fly by Ferenc Rofusz, which follows the last three minutes of a fly’s life, also belongs here as it was made with background animation, meaning that
all frames are unique pictures without repetition and there are no cuts. Last but not least, computer games form part of applied animation, with a multitude of books published on how animation is used to create virtual reality; they build an artificial world in which players are often placed into a completely different situation. An extremely talented animator, David O’Reilly, has just released his first game entitled Everything, in which he created a reality where players can see the world through the eyes of an animal or a plant, as it were. 360° videos are the same as they use interactivity, whereby viewers decide what they want to see at any given time. The number of such videos on Youtube is increasing, not to mention that for the first time ever, a 360° movie, Pearl, by Patrick Osborne, has been nominated for Best Short Animation at this year’s 89th Academy Awards. Pearl
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BEYOND THE LABYRINTH OF CANNES Festival Focus: Vienna Independent Shorts
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illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
Cannes will no doubt steal the spotlight in May, but then June follows with a number of exciting film festivals, like VIS and KAFF. You can find out about even more exciting events in our ever-useful Festival Panorama. You can also meet the founder of SOFA, Nikolai Nikitin, read about Interfilmâ€™s Script Pitch winner and get crowdfunding tips from three female filmmakers from the United States.
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ÂŠ Rafael Ried
You have just seen dozens of features and a bunch of exciting shorts in Cannes. But where to go after the Riviera? With a fresh approach and an amazing selection, the Kaiserstadt of Vienna and its Independent Shorts FiIm Festival, beginning on 1 June, seems to be the obvious choice. The VIS is one of the youngest and freshest OscarÂŽqualifying short film festivals in Europe, offering an array of programmes.
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IN VIS WE TRUST! VIS VIENNA SHORTS 14TH FESTIVAL FOR SHORT FILM, ANIMATION & MUSIC VIDEO | JUNE 1ST – 6TH 2017 Austria’s biggest short film festival has taken its own creed of shortness more radically to heart than usual this year: Not only will it run for one day less than in the last years, but the festival formerly known as VIS Vienna Independent Shorts dropped a whole word from their official title, now operating as VIS Vienna Shorts. This year’s focus of the festival is called Trust Me; following up on last year’s claim that Fear Is Not An Option. The absence of fear requires the presence of some form of trust – trust in a peaceful togetherness and mutual respect for one another, but also in a functioning democracy and political practise. Merged into a number of programmes, this year’s focus gets to the bottom of real conviction and its tiptoeing disappearance in film and creative work of both new and old. Short, but pleasantly plentiful: VIS will again screen well over 300 Austrian and international films of up to 30 minutes in length in an array of competitions, spotlights, live performances, and curated programs. Selected from the record
© VIS / Natsu no gero wa fuyu no sakana (Summer's Puke is Winter's Delight) by Sawako Kabuki
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number of over 4,000 submissions, 101 films from 33 countries will run in four core parts of the festival: The competitions. Competition: Animation Avantgarde This is where the road less travelled leads. The audience can expect the unexpected, for Animation Avantgarde steers clear of common clichés, uniform techniques or commonly accepted messages. Experimental filmmaking, digital media, video and animation always with a close relationship with the Fine Arts. Everything but the usual awaits in this competition. Jury: Johann Lurf (AT), artist & filmmaker. Lurf graduated from Harun Farocki’s class in 2009. He received the Outstanding Artist Award for Film and participated in the Artist-in-Residence Programs at the MAK Center in Los Angeles, the SAIC in Chicago, and in Tokyo. Lucia Cavalchini (IT), director of Animasivo – Contemporary Animation Festival in Mexico City. Her work focuses on the analysis and dissemination of Latin American animation. She also produced the animation project Fantástico Encarnado which will also be presented during VIS. Réka Bucsi (HU), independent animation filmmaker. Her film Symphony no. 42 was shortlisted for the 87th Academy Awards. Her films were screened at Berlinale, SXSW, Sundance, Annecy,and won over 6 0 international awards. She was Artist-inResidence at the Open Workshop in Viborg and at Q21 in Vienna.
Competition: Fiction and Documentary Tell a story, and do it well – this could be the short claim for this competition. But of course there is more desire behind it: Filmmakers are asked to surprise, irritate, do whatever they have to do to keep the audience in suspense. Fiction & Documentary wants to find smart and powerful films that take a critical look and a political position, and engage with our surroundings in an unusual way.
the relevance, script, acting, visual design, sound, editing and the courage to take risks will be taken into account.
Jury: Sam Morrill (US), Director of Curation, Vimeo. If there is anything Morril doesn‘t know about video streaming, you probably don‘t need to know it: from customer support, to content acquisitions, to curating Vimeo Staff Picks, he has experienced Vimeo’s growth and evolution from a variety of different angles. Laurence Reymond (FR), programmer, Director’s Fortnight. A film critic for several magazines and websites (including Cinéastes and Score) and member of the selection committee for various film festivals, Reymond joined the team of the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes as a short film programmer. Neil Young (UK; no, not that Neil Young), film-journalist, curator/ programmer and filmmaker. He writes regularly for several publications including The Hollywood Reporter and Sight and Sound. He attends around 25 film festivals each year and has served on dozens of juries since 2001 (incl. Semaine de la Critique). From 2011–15 he was Director of the Bradford IFF at the UK's National Media Museum.
Jury: Delphine Jeanneret (CH), programmer & curator and member of the committee for the international competition at Kurzfilmtage Winterthur. She is in the selection committee for Southeast Asian films at Open Doors, Festival del Film Locarno and launched the Festival Cinéma Jeune Public in Lausanne with independent films for young audiences. Christoffer Olofsson (SE), Programme Director of Uppsala International Short Film Festival. Olofsson has been in the short film industry for over twenty years. He serves on the nomination committee for the Swedish National Film Awards, and advises several regional and national cultural boards and institutes. Simon Hadler (AT), journalist. Hadler studied Communication Studies, Political Sciences, and Cultural Anthropology in Vienna and Lisbon, focussing on migration research. He works as an editor for the online news platform ORF.at, since 2009 he is senior culture editor. For his reportages about social and socio-political topics he received several awards.
National Competition (Österreich-Wettbewerb)
Screensessions – National and International Music Video Competition
Home game, but no easy turf: This is where the quality and diversity of Austrian short film is shown. The National Competition is looking for exploratory or reflective approaches to topics in culture, society and politics in films of any genre. Depending on
There is an infinite universe of music videos on YouTube, Vimeo and TV, but not all those clips are as artfully aware of the relationship between visual and musical level as the entries for this competition. The Screensessions celebrate those audiovisual miniatures as a cinematic
© VIS / The Rabbit Hunt by Patrick Bresnan
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© VIS / Palmen am Balkon (Granada) by Bernhard Kaufmann
artform. Music videos are not seen as a necessary promotion tool for songs, but an opportunity to play with technology, aesthetics and cinematic approaches, to take joy in experimentation and in highlighting the interplay between song and film.
Jury: Florian Pochlatko (AT), filmmaker. Studies sometimes Directing at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and Critical Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Winner of the Austrian Music Video Award 2016 for God of Ghosts/Nu Renegade by Zebra Katz. Amira Ben Saoud (AT), journalist. She is a latinist and book author, party guru and retired filmmaker. As a journalist she focuses on pop culture, especially music and digital cultures. Krzysztof Sienkiewicz (PL), festival manager and music & programme coordinator of ZubrOFFka International Short Film Festival in Białystok. An energetic promoter of film culture, coordinator of the platform “Film Podlasie in Attack!”, organizer of film workshops, and film curator. He is an amateur filmmaker and involved in community activities that promote creative people from Eastern Europe.
SPOTLIGHTS: LAROSE, LENTZOU & MAKINO Every year, VIS dedicates three extraordinary tributes to international artists with a unique signature, a striking creative drive and completely new perspectives.
In Collaboration with The Film Museum Vienna and sixpack, Makino will share his uninhibited processes with audiences in Vienna in the form of a film program and a live performance.
MAKINO TAKASHI – Images tangible for the senses
JACQUELINE LENTZOU – Captivating storytelling
Born in 1978 in Tokyo, Makino creates works of ecstatic excess. His films, which have received many international awards (among them the IFFR Tiger Award), consist of countless layers and sprawling multiple exposures of concrete images that liquefy at a certain point and cause the screen's surface to disappear. In collaboration with musicians like Jim O'Rourke and Inconsolable Ghost, he creates a cinematic experience that makes the inextricable ramifications of abstract and concrete images tangible for the senses.
With the intense coming-of-age drama Thirteen Blue, her graduation film, Jacqueline (actually: Zaklin) Lentzou, born 1989 in Greece, gave audiences the first taste of her abilities. Invitations to talent pools in Sarajevo and Berlin followed,
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honoring her style and storytelling chops and eventually leading to two competition submissions for Locarno (Fox) and the Berlinale Shorts (Hiwa). Emotions and dreams serve Lentzou as inspiration, and her sense of the complexity of interpersonal relationships shape her mostly existential stories about growing up and taking responsibility. The director is an observer; she follows her actors and actresses with a curious eye, many closeups and a handheld camera. The young Greek filmmaker will personally present her previous works in the METRO Kinokulturhaus Vienna and give insight into her current work process. ALEXANDRE LAROSE ~ Cinema of Attractions The films of Alexandre Larose, born in 1978 in Canada, may be described as a contemporary "Cinema of Attractions," which in various constellations lets viewers experience the interconnections of film, memory, and the perception of dreams and space. There is a somewhat unfinished quality about Larose's films; they always tell stories of ever-fresh attempts at recording something on film, and they blend into each other in terms of form and themes. Using no digital effects whatsoever and,
instead, closely oriented toward the characteristics of analog material, Larose creates impossible images that have their origin in the real world. Alexandre will both guest-teach a program and masterclass at the Austrian Film Museum and grace this year's festivalposter with a still from Le Corps Humain.
LIVING THE FESTIVAL LIFE... Those who spend the day in the cinema need to get their exercise done at night – preferably on the dance floor. As always, there will be plenty of opportunities this year for shaking your bodies and banging your heads. Besides numerous parties, VIS will captivate its young audience with two extravagant live performances. Austrian Live-Act Ventil makes the METRO cinema
bulletproof, while avant-garde artist Makino Takashi breaks down boundaries at the “rhiz bar” with a mesmerizing 3D show. In addition the festival offers discussions, exhibitions, and industry activities including “Film & Talk”, a location tour, and a panel discussion with “Salon in Gesellschaft”.
Don’t forget to save the date!
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SOFA Spiritus Rector Nikolaj Nikitin, source private archive Nikolaj Nikitin, photographer: Ali Ghandtschi
“WITHOUT CULTURE WE DON’T HAVE A SOCIETY” interview by Dániel Deák
Nikolaj Nikitin is one of the most vivid figures of the European film circus - literally. As the Berlinale’s Eastern European delegate and the founder of School of Film Agents (SOFA), Nikitin discovers and accelerates European film talents. But who is he really? It seems that your life is driven by cinema. True! What can I say? Yes! How did it start? What was your first cinematic experience? Looking back at my life (he’s only 42!), I feel that I have always been a very happy person. I think I managed to turn a dream into reality or rather to stay down to earth: my greatest hobby became my job. As a child I loved watching movies. Whenever I could I went to the cinema or watched TV. Yes, I was a bit like those French Nouvelle Vague heroes who skip school to go to the movies. I often dozed off at school, thinking about films… Luckily I always had the support of my amazing parents. Somehow they believed, or maybe just hoped, that one day something would come out of this cinephile – and right they were. The most influential films in my life were definitely titles like M by Fritz Lang and Rosemary’s Baby by Roman Polanski – whose Two Men and a Wardrobe is in my opinion probably the best short film ever made –, Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa and, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, E.T. and of course the original Star Wars, both of which have had a huge influence on my career too. Born in Moscow, of course I prefer Battleship Potemkin over Citizen Kane, but then again this isn’t sports and
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we’re not here to judge how fast a director can run 100 metres. All I can say is that when I saw Once Upon a Time in the West for the first time on the big screen (after seeing it many times on TV), I understood not only emotionally, but also intellectually, what the power of cinema and especially of the big screen really is. When you see the film on TV, you don’t get important parts of the narrative due to the format change. I adore Buñuel for his long-lasting and always refreshing career, and I am always excited to discover new names from Latin America or Asia… I also like hard-to-find gems or forgotten, banned or simply overseen films – check out Hellzapoppin, rediscover Diner and, if you have never heard of Howard the Duck then you are really missing out. One of the best thematic double features is, of course, Man with a Movie Camera and The Cameraman – I would go as far as saying that they are two of the best “documentaries” ever made! Your job at the Berlinale – insofar as Eastern European delegate – seems to be a dream job. Could you tell us about the most exciting and the most boring parts of it? I am forever grateful to Dieter Kosslick for giving me the chance to be part of his team over 15 years ago! The Berlinale is one of the biggest festivals in the world, not only as a film industry event but very much audience driven as well. Around 335.000 tickets are sold to cinema goers! It’s a very stimulating and special atmosphere. So being part of this amazing festival with a brilliant and experienced team under the leadership of a highly innovative, inventive and active director really makes it a dream job. Especially as I’m blessed with being responsible for the pre-selection of highly productive, original and, yes, lately rather successful cinematic countries. I thought that 2013 was already a wonderful year, where five films from the East made it into the competition (out of the 19 selected) and were awarded four Bears and a Teddy.
SOFA class of 2014
But now I see that the dream continues on this year: four films in competition and they all won awards! And that’s just the main competition! When you think of your discoveries, who are you most proud of? Well, what can I say? They are all like my children and I love them all equally, but for different reasons. I must stress that they’re not only my discoveries, but Dieter’s and the whole Berlinale crew’s as well. One discovery that comes to mind is the 2006 Berlinale Golden Bear winner Grbavica by Jasmila Žbanic ´. A debut (with a budget of less than a million euros, if I remember correctly) that not only made it into the competition, but also won the festival! Jasmila’s career skyrocketed after that, but what really made an impression was how her film influenced and actually changed politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As curators and cultural workers, we’re often confronted with questions like why do we actually do all this? Does it have a meaning for society? Why is it important to finance culture and shouldn’t the money be invested into society instead? Meaning that culture is “just” a luxury. Well, as a philosopher’s son, I can say that without culture we don’t have a society! Supporting culture is an investment and it creates working space. Each invested
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SOFA godfather Dieter Kosslick, Polish Partner Radek Drabik and Nikolaj Nikitin
euro into a film or a festival brings much more back than in most other, so-called economic fields. So for me, “subsidies” is the wrong word in terms of funding culture. Coming back to your question, of course it’s amazing to “discover” short films or debuts, but it’s also important to nourish second- and third-time filmmakers and the “masters”. This year we had directors who really surprised me with the outstanding quality of their second film or who made a very personal arthouse film after having a track record as a highly successful commercial director. You have led several press conferences at the Berlinale. Which has been the most memorable one? Again, too many great ones to mention them all… Here are some examples from this year: Aki Kaurismäki’s main actor Sakari Kuosmanen singing a Finnish Tango, wonderful Agnieszka Holland getting standing ovations for her brave and smart political statements and the warmth with which the press reacted to Ildikó Enyedi’s film on the second day of the festival as we all felt that “this is really something!”. You started the SOFA programme in 2013. What inspired you to launch into such an ambitious project? What do they always put in American high school questionnaires? “All of the above!” Having this amazing experience of working for the Berlinale and some
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other unique festivals; in 2004 gathering a young group of filmmakers to shoot the omnibus film Lost and Found with directors Kornél Mundruczó, Cristian Mungiu, Jasmila Žbanic ´, Stefan Arsenijevic ´, Mait Laas and Nadja Koseva; in 2007 participating in the fantastic and very fruitful producer’s training EAVE; traveling the world for different projects and funders, being blessed with having for 22 years now Oliver Baumgartner as my partner on all our own projects, etc. My main question is always what could be the next step to help and support what I like to call “my/ our filmmakers”, that is filmmakers from the former Eastern bloc? It was obvious that we had amazing films – directors, scriptwriters, actors, editors, DOPs, etc. But what was missing was infrastructure, institutions and, of course, money. So why not just combine the talents from the East with the experience and money from the West? That's about it in a nutshell. I owe the copyright of that saying to our wonderful SOFA mentor Roberto Olla. Finally kicking off SOFA in August 2013 was like finding an angel investor for my own project! I honestly believe that our dream is still to find those investors for the the cultural sector. But to be honest, and luckily for me, I knew that they exist – I don’t only mean individuals like Soros, who have achieved so much, but rather foundations and political structures in Brussels, Strasbourg and Paris, and of course Berlin and Düsseldorf too – which are very willing, sometimes even eager to support projects from the East. You just need to know what door to knock on and what the code is to get in. I just want to return, to the next generation, the luck I have had in my life of being
supported by incredibly active and wise film professionals like the aforementioned Dieter Kosslick as well as Tina Trapp, Petra Müller, Tamara Tatishvili, Riina Sildos, Miroslav Mogorovic, Roberto Olla, Magdalena Sroka (and her angels), Claudia Dillmann and my very own guru, Katriel Schory. If you were a mentor of the young Nikolaj Nikitin back in 2012, what would you advise him regarding SOFA? Invest! Especially in yourself. Always have a plan B. And always remember what you learned when the dream is too big and the sky seems to be the limit. Funny, but in life we tend to forget what we learn and know. Listen to and remember what people around you tell you! Especially your friends and – this was probably the lesson of my life – your parents, as they usually really do want the best for you. Then again, no matter how good and dear the advice from your mama and papa may be, you won’t listen anyway! So yes, we lost some years setting up SOFA as I didn’t have a proper plan B, but for a while now I have been seriously investing: especially into myself in terms of sports, yoga and healthy food. As for the needed and crucial homework to succeed like seeing movies and reading books; luckily I have been doing that since childhood. Yes, I’m a late bloomer, but I’ve also proved that it’s possible to start at any age! What can I say – it’s more than I could ever imagine and I just wish I had listened and started earlier – but better late than never! Of course I’m partly joking, but as Freud said, there is a bit of truth in every joke and one day I will use the SOFA set-up as a case study… Besides the crucial workshops and consultations, how are you able to help the projects?
One big step in our fifth year is now the implementation of a second workshop in Georgia. So from a one-stop workshop we’re developing SOFA into a year-long programme – a full-stop SOlution-Finding Agency… Our participants can benefit from our experience and knowledge the whole year round and can from now on and at least twice meet outstanding European experts and mentors to develop their dream projects. On the one hand we help with extremely important knowledge to develop the project, and on the other it is, of course, networking. What comes now are rather general topics that are important nowadays, like how to communicate, package and finance innovation, and we’re very happy to welcome an angel investor, Simay Dinç, at SOFA to evaluate our participants’ projects, ideally even to invest in them. I believe that our future lies in public–private partnerships. We’re very happy that we managed to set up this workshop in Georgia, especially thanks to the Foreign Ministry of Germany, the Media Programme and strong local partners (including the Ministry of Culture, the City of Tbilisi, Film in Georgia and the Georgian National Film Centre). In this recognition on the European landscape of training programmes, we can definitely see our unique position within them: training cultural managers in the field of cinema! Right now we could imagine no better place than Georgia, as the film production is incredible successful, no better team and no better local partners to work with. To close a circuit, we are very happy that our first Georgian workshop is organised by our first-year participant, Ketie Danelia, and our SOFA mentor, Tamara Tatishvili. So next to the Warsaw workshop, the ongoing support of our initial partners, the Polish Film Institute and the Mazovia Warsaw Film Commission, Foundation of Polish-German Cooperation, we’re very happy to be in Tbilisi! So don’t just sit on the couch! Join us at SOFA, where we want you with us!
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Hungary's Hub for World Animation text by
Hungary’s oldest animation festival, the Kecskemét Animation Film Festival (KAFF), is being held for the 13th time this year. The idea of the festival was originally born in the 1970s, when the famous Pannonia Studio’s new location opened in Kecskemét – as a new wave of Hungarian auteur short films emerged in the 1960s, welcoming the necessity for its own animation festival. The first animation parade was eventually held in 1985 in Kecskemét, an event that from 1993 became a triennial festival. After that, not only Hungarian animation films were screened, but foreign movies and various accompanying programmes became part of the KAFF as well. Since 2005, the KAFF has been held as a biennale, with an evergrowing list of accompanying programmes. The Festival of European Animated Feature Films was held for the first time in 1996,
The KAFF has a double aim: to present the best in Hungarian animation to foreigners and to show the animation movies of other nations or continents to the Hungarian industry. Therefore, just as in previous years, Asian and Latin American films will be present at the festival, where Australia will be the guest country this year, focusing on contemporary Australian animation. During the conception of the festival in the 1980s and 1990s, the Hungarian animation industry was considered a great power, so in the hope of future co-productions, the festival wanted to shape the cultural relationships into economic connections with the help of the widening of its programme. 116 animations have been selected to the 13th KAFF’s Hungarian competition programme, including successes like LOVE by Réka Bucsi, Superbia by Luca Tóth and The Noise of Licking by Nadja Andrasev. 36
as part of the KAFF, and will this year be celebrating its 10th anniversary, now as a stand-alone festival. There will not only be feature films competing, but television series and specials as well. Furthermore, the KAFF has another accompanying programme, the Meeting of Independent Animation Filmmakers (Szabad animációs filmkészítők találkozója – SZAFT), which focuses on young animation film directors and is being held for the fifth time this year, in partnership with Daazo.
shorts, 25 television episodes, 22 student films and 33 commissioned animations compete for nearly 20 awards, including for the festival’s Grand Prize and for special prizes in other categories. In the Festival of European Animated Feature Films and TV Films, 7 features compete, including Oscarnominated films like The Red Turtle and My Life as a Zucchini, as well as 7 television specials and 22 television series. As in previous years, a prestigious international jury will be choosing the winners.
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Where The Raw Things Are Zsófi Herczeg
Hungary’s oldest animation festival, the Kecskemét Animation Film Festival (KAFF), has been organised since 1985 and has several accompanying programmes. Besides the Festival of European Animated Features and TV-Films, the Meeting of Independent Animation Filmmakers (Szabad animációs filmkészítők találkozója – SZAFT) is also an adventurous part of the KAFF’s line-up. SZAFT will be held in Kecskemét for the fifth time now, with special workshops, exhibitions, screenings and meetings within the animation industry. SZAFT focuses on young, independent and underground animation filmmakers who have not been classically trained or had a production company behind them. Anyone can apply to the contest with a film of any length, theme or technique.
In 2015 at the latest SZAFT, the jury members were Dániel Deák, a co-founder of Daazo, Viktoria Traub, an animation director, and Zoltán Fritz, an art director at Umbrella and a member of the Hungarian Comics Association. The jury honoured three venturous animated shorts. First prize went to Rascal Redemption by Gábor Mariai, which was made in four days as a school project without any preparation or story board. The movie tells the story of a bullied girl who fights back after being humiliated by her bully - and crush - before he takes revenge. Not only is it a serious theme, but the film’s raw visuals, strong and inconvenient sound design and humour make the five-minute short so impressive. Máté Varga won second prize for his short Farost, which shows the process of paper production and mixes live-action footage
Participants can upload their movies to Daazo’s site – insofar as SZAFT’s professional supporter –, where viewers can vote for their favourite one. The films submitted will be judged by a threemember jury that awards prizes to the three best animation films. The winners also get the chance to prove their skills in a real studio; they can make their movie in one of the most successful animation studios in Hungary, the Umbrella Budapest-New York.
with animated sequences. Third prize went to Dávid Gutema’s short, Soldiers and Prostitutes, which reflects on the manipulation of the consumer society’s views on social and gender identity in an animated form. The winning films as well as the other submissions to the fourth SZAFT can be watched on Daazo’s site.
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THE SLEEP OF THE BALKANS text by Klara Stoyanova
Klara Stoyanova’s pitch for DANS was the winner of Interfilm’s Script Pitch 2016 competition. In this article, she writes about the concept and background of this project. This year there is a Bulgarian production and a co-production in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, so it seems that the time has come to talk about some of the problems faced by a nation that finds itself at a crossroads between the East and the West. As a Bulgarian in a German arts academy, the interest in my own background naturally grew, leading to the development of a short movie project about an event that had already happened in 2016. It is a good example of the attitude of the people in charge as well as that of the citizens when it comes to human rights and the definition of their limits. Imagine a rainy night in the middle of March in the centre of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, where random passersby were captured by the police and by members of DANS, an abbreviation that stands for State Agency for National Security and that I also use as the working title of my project. With their identity document taken away, these people were brought to an isolated field and made to stand under the rain for hours; they were given
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Klara Stoyanova is a film student and freelance filmmaker. After taking part in a one-year course at the National Academy for Film and Theater Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2011, she started studying Fine Arts with accent on Film at the Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg. Besides winning a couple of Short Film Challenges with her short movies – the latest an award from Goethe Institut Bulgaria, and participating in various exhibitions with her video art, she worked as a performer in Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Republique Theater Copenhagen and HAU Berlin.
no explanation of what was happening. It later turned out that they were being used as extras in some kind of an antiterrorist exercise. Sounds like a perfect surrealist plot, right? Thatâ€™s what I thought too, so I developed a short satirical and grotesque story out of the event, using interviews and other documentary material: a lot of choreography, a small twist and a lamb at the end. Of course some claim that there might have been hidden dread and that the police was searching for someone in particular, but this still does not forgive the way they handled the situation or the fact that most of Bulgariaâ€™s citizens do not know what their rights are and how to stand up for them. Why I chose this topic was not determined by a wish to work with political events but much rather by an urge to discuss a characteristic trait of the behaviour that seems to be inherent in this part of Europe â€“ apathy. Is this nation
capable of facing and answering historical questions, including the question of its own identity? It seems like we have obediently declared defeat by modern tendencies. We lack the wish to speak up and try to change the conditions we are living in, to self-reflect and heal the wounds of our society. Only by taking the initiative into our own hands can we start the process of revival, and artistic intervention plays an enormous part in helping the metamorphosis happen. It will take a long time before we have managed to finish this task, but unless we dwell deeper into our own selves and analyse the current situation, we will not be able to outgrow the former, non-functioning structures and become better. We can all sense that the world is moving in a fearful direction, and it is therefore becoming crucial to acknowledge the voice of every individual, the value of each person and the responsibility we all have. Let us not forget that together we are stronger.
Alina’s advice for a successful campaign:
“Wish Lists Are for Vacations. I Have a To-Do List.” – CROWDFUNDING TIPS FROM INDEPENDENT FEMALE FILMMAKERS FROM THE US text by Migdea Chinea
Women filmmakers get about 2 to 6 per cent of venture money, so how do they do it? We asked three women: a pitch adventurer with an acting background, a graphic novelistturned crowdfunding expert, and a film MFA testing the waters as a producer. Alina Szpak Alina was born in Germany-occupied Poland. Her formative years were spent in a city of displaced Poles and Russian “liberators” whom they taunted as kids by throwing rocks at them. “I was, for lack of a better term, a small barbarian”, Alina says. She is now a director/producer. “Within 18 months of arriving to Los Angeles, I made three major career mistakes”, Alina explains. “I accepted a major studio offer without negotiating a better deal with a competing studio. I did not accept big-agency representation for same dumb reason. And I hired an alpha crook post-production guy and became penniless overnight.” Flash forward to the present. Alina is currently working on three new projects for which crowdfunding is an
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• Create a visual “pitch” to introduce your project and seduce potential investors into giving you some of their money. No talking head approach – unless you are a stand-up comedian or a storytelling genius. Instead, put together a teaser or a fusion of talking head intercut with striking imagery and moving clips. • Don’t over-pitch. I’ve had at least one filmmaker friend promote his teaser with daily updates for weeks on end. Plan goals and deadlines ahead. The farther you set your deadline, the more likely your crowdfunds will get to you on time. • Break up crowdfunding goals into small units. Set smaller goals so that, in a pinch, you can anonymously self-fund and not be penalized by deadline. It’s psychologically better to meet a small goal and be a success – than to have a “Well, we tried” message attached to your project. • Finally, a kindhearted comment, not just on crowdfunding specifically, but on filmmaking as a whole. It’s pretty tough for women in general. Hollywood chews up actresses and America still considers a strong woman to be a – shall we say – “bitch.” Plus, sadly, not everyone “appreciates” the arts. That being said, I believe that indie filmmaking offers more opportunities for women now than at any other time. Technology doesn’t care about sex. The audience just wants to be entertained or moved. If you wish to make a personal indie film – do it. If you like collaborating, this is the perfect medium, as technology has simplified the process and reduced the cost to make that possible. option, at least to supplement self-funding. For her film Player, she had raised 50% of their advertising goal via IndieGoGo and realized their limitations. Her friends and social network contacts are high-on talent, low-on funds indie creators themselves. Better to cultivate a wider circle of potential crowd-funding
investors before starting a fundraising campaign. “Yes, we have the “marshmallow walls” of indifference and the need to get the project out there”, says Alina. “But so do all indie filmmakers. I will keep doing this as long as I can keep doing it. Period.”
Madeleine Holly-Rosing A TV, feature film and comic book writer, Madeleine is the winner of the Sloan Fellowship for screenwriting, and the Gold Aurora and Bronze Telly for a PSA produced by Women In Film. She is currently working on the 2nd edition of her her book Kickstarter for the Independent Creator, a practical and informative guide to crowdfunding. Madeleine’s reason to use Kickstarter was to help fund the last three chapters of her graphic novel, Boston Metaphysical Society, as a collection of stories in paperback. Little did she know at the time that she would become an expert on crowdfunding. With a goal of $25,000, her team had a solid following online and a decent social media presence but that campaign failed because she did not have a targeted email list and was asking for too much money for a newbie to Kickstarter. Since then, she has had three successful Kickstarter campaigns for the same project but with smaller funding goals. The lesson learned here is that you may have to parse out your goals into smaller amounts. During all of this, Madeleine would see a lot of amazing projects do the crash and burn and fail to make their goal. And all of it was due to lack of preparation. So she partnered up with Pulp Fiction Books to teach a class on crowdfunding for independent creators, which prompted her book Kickstarter for the
Independent Creator. Since then she has been on numerous crowdfunding panels and conventions, as well as lectured at DreamWorks. What helps the process? “Research skills I developed while obtaining my MA in Arabic and the Cultural History of the Arabs from Columbia University in NYC and an MFA in Screenwriting from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. During my time at UCLA, I wrote Boston Metaphysical Society and adapted it into graphic novel”, says Madeleine.
According to Madeleine, some examples of a poorly executed crowdfunding homepage would be: • Lack of a video • Lack of samples of your work • Too few or too many reward tiers • No biography of you or your team • A quoted budget not based in reality. “To stay up-to-date, I study other crowdfunding campaigns all the time and can pretty much tell if a creator is going to fail by looking at their homepage before they launch. There are always exceptions, but you absolutely must have a fanbase – i.e. a group of people willing to spend money on your project or at least help promote it through social media or wordof-mouth and who genuinely loves what you are creating.” Developing a fanbase is an arduous, yet very important part of the process and one you should start long before you launch. To build a fanbase, Madeleine recommends a multi-tiered approach utilizing friends/family, social media, and events: “creators often forget that you are not just selling your project – you are also selling yourself.”
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Diana Densmore Diana holds a B.A. in Film & Video Studies and Creative Writing and an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA. She usually writes alone, but once the director comes onboard even the script becomes a total collaboration.
illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
Most of Diana’s experience is in Independent Film. “I have never been one to seek industry approval to make my projects”, she says. Coming from filmmaking and commercial production in Michigan, the projects she has been a part of have relied on local grants, private investors and self-financing. “Thanks to advancements in technology, social media and the growth of crowdfunding sites, it is now possible to make films outside of Los Angeles. You can get funding for short films no matter where you are, assuming that you aren’t afraid of long hours and hard work and that you believe in yourself and your project”, Diana says. The crowdfunded projects Diana has worked on didn’t’ have very large budgets, ($10,000-$20,000), the directors were first-time directors and the talent wasn’t famous. So, crowdfunding made a lot more sense than trying to pitch to a studio. Especially because the directors were still learning and I was still testing the waters as a producer. Diana has known directors who have used crowdfunding to make short pieces that are part of a larger project and some whose shorts were just for their reels. “It’s important to keep in mind your intention when looking for funding. Is your project for festivals? The web? A teaser for a larger project? An actor driven project? Each has a different funding audience.
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For instance, with an actor driven project, meant to build the actor’s reel or expand their fan base, focus your energy on the actor’s current network and reach out to fans of similar actors”, advises Diana. A support group is essential for all aspects of life. “I have a diverse network of friends, family and fellow alumni. And while it is hard to find time for other people’s projects, especially when ears deep in your own, you never know where you’re going to find your next crowdfunding bid advocate. I recommend following projects that appeal to you and supporting them however you can – this will only expand your network and grow your connections.” A lot of people think networking is meeting people who are further along in their careers and getting them to mentor and help with advancement, but it is truly about showing your support to other growing artists and making a community. “For me”, Diana says, “wish lists are for vacations. I have a to-do list. Right now, I’m working on a re-write of a feature and the first draft of a pilot. There are two things that you’ll find in a lot of my work, female protagonists coming of age (no matter what age they are) and magical realism or supernatural elements. I strive to tell stories that are unexpected yet universal.”
2017 CANNES PREMIERE
Sunday, 21 May 2017 · 5:30 pm · OLYMPIA 1 www.german-films.de
Visit the GERMAN PAVILION for more information about German short films!
illustration by Misha Szuharevszki
Every year now we have been collecting some of the worldâ€™s most prestigious festivals to help young filmmakers. A film festival could be life changing and the best place to network and to get involved with the new waves of the industry. So donâ€™t hesitate to submit and go to whatever programme you can in order to widen your skills and your knowledge as well as to highlight your projects!
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Academy Awards, EFA, BAFTA qualifying
Uppsala International Short Film Festival
Academy Awards, EFA, BAFTA
Encounters Short Film Festival
Academy Awards, EFA, BAFTA
Toronto International Film Festival
Festival del film Locarno
Academy Awards, BAFTA
Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF)
Academy Awards, BAFTA
Interfilm International Short Film Festival Berlin
Cork Film Festival
Academy Awards, EFA, BAFTA
Edinburgh Short Film Festival
October 27 – November 11
Love and Anarchy Helsinki International Film Festival
Busan International Film Festival
June 30 for shorts, July 31 for features
St. Louis International Film Festival
October 30 – November 2
Kyiv International Short Film Festival Molodist
Warsaw Film Festival
International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao
Academy Awards, BAFTA
International Short Film Festival Winterthur
Academy Awards, BAFTA
Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival
Flanders International Film Festival Ghent
International Short Film Festival Leuven
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WORLD OF YOUNG CINEMA (formerly: World of Shorts) Publisher: Dániel Deák email@example.com Editor in chief: Zsuzsanna Deák firstname.lastname@example.org Art director and graphic design: Zoltán Bukovics Daazo graphic design: Zoltán Bukovics Founding designer of the magazine: Cristina Grosan World of Young Cinema authors: Zsófi Herczeg, Veronika Jakab, Laura Jóföldi Contributors: Migdea Chinea, Bence Kranicz, Peter Lichter, Boglárka Nagy, Janka Pozsonyi, Klara Stoyanova Thanks: Laura Brown, Rosalie Callway, Judit Fischer, Dimitra Karya, Clarisse Robillard Cover image: Misha Szuharevszki Illustrations by: Misha Szuharevszki facebook.com/SzuharevszkiMisaofficial/ You can also find this magazine online at: http://issuu.com/daazo/docs/cannes2017 World of Young Cinema magazine is published by Daazo Film and Media Ltd. Published in Hungary, May 2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden save with the written permission of the publishers. www.daazo.com I email@example.com
ISSN 2064-2105 (Online) – ISSN 2064-2113 (Print) Daazo.com – the European Shortfilm Centre is supported by the MEDIA programme of the EU. This material does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the EU. This magazine was printed on recycled paper.
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N.b. b.s. Not better, but shorter. 21st Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur The Short Film Festival of Switzerland 7â€“12 November 2017, kurzfilmtage.ch Submission Deadline: 16 July 2017 Main Sponsor
14 th International Festival for Short Film, Animation and Music Video 1 - 6 June 2017 viennashorts.com
World of Young Cinema (WOYC), the magazine published by Daazo.