DAB Co-Production Forum
2008 DIRECTORS ACROSS BORDERS SECOND REGIONAL CO-PRODUCTION FORUM REPORT
2nd Directors Across Borders Regional Co-Production Forum was held in Yerevan on July 15-17, 2008, in the framework of the 5th Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided the venue for DAB Forum. DAB basic program took place in the MFA conference hall, the one-to-one meetings were held in the library of MFA and the closing ceremony – in the foyer of MFA.
The 2008 Directors Across Borders Regional Co-Production Forum (the Forum) was aimed at regional co-production and addressed regional producers and directors.
In early April 2008, the call for application for the Forum was announced on GAIFF website (www.gaiff.am) and circulated through the mailing lists. Thirty three (33) projects were submitted. Applications from Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey and Germany (with Armenian co-production) were received. The DAB Selection Committee that was composed of GAIFF and National Film Centre’s experts and international consultants selected twelve (12) projects to participate in the DAB Regional Co-Production Forum. Those were projects from Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Iran, Moldova and Ukraine. These projects were included in the second DAB Project Book. The project book was circulated via e-mail and distributed among international representatives of film industry present at the Forum and the Festival.
Owing to DAB general partners - Hubert Bals Fund, VivaCell (the general sponsor) and the Ministry of Culture of Armenia one 5.000 EURO worth and two 5.000 USD worth project development grants were provided. In January 2007 a declaration of sisterhood was signed between GAIFF, Rotterdam IFF and Pusan IFF. Since then, the regional co-operation initiative – DAB – has become the main basis of this trilateral cooperation and has opened the ‘doors’ to European and Asian film markets. All the projects that participated in the second DAB Forum will be sent to Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) program of Pusan International Film Festival.
STAFF AND SUPPORTERS
Susanna Harutyunyan is the Director of Directors Across Borders program. Tamar Ghambaryan performed as the coordinator of the program. Razmik Melkomyan was the moderator of the Forum.
Three (3) volunteers assisted in administration issues.
1. Jesse Dijkstra – born in the Netherlands, he was actively involved in the preparation works of the 5th Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival. He performed as a Volunteer Coordinator and assisted greatly during the DAB Forum organization and realization.
2. Ayg Bedrosyan – born in Iraq, she now lives in Armenia. She studies English and French Literature in Northern University (Yerevan), works for children projects.
3. Armine Abrahamyan – born in Armenia, she has been actively involved in the Festival preparation works since the first Golden Apricot International Film Festival (2004). Armine participated in the first DAB Forum in 2007 as the producer of one of the projects, “Joan and the Voices”.
The Forum participants totaled to twenty five (25). The detailed participation looks as follows:
The twelve (12) selected projects were presented by eighteen (18) participants, among them were seven (7) international and five (5) local projects presented: Vahram Mkhitaryan, Arzuman Harutyunyan, Araz Artinian (Armenia); Maria Saakyan (Armenia-France-Russia); Diana Kardumyan, Harut Kbeyan (Armenia); David Matevossian (Armenia); Aram Shahbazyan, Tagouhie Karapetyan, Levon Minasyan (Armenia); Salome Jashi (Georgia); Andro Sakvarelidze (Georgia); Reza Majlesi (Iran); Seyfettin Tokmak, Serkan Cakarer (Turkey); Arin Inan Arslan (Turkey); Dumitru Marian (Moldova); Dmitro Konovalov (Ukraine). Two projects from Armenia were involved in the Project Book but were not involved in the competition program. Those were Mariam Ohanyan’s Narine (doc) and Jivan Avetisyan’s Unfinished Story (doc).
The board of jurors totaled to fifteen (15) among them were: Bianca Taal, the Head of Hubert Bals Fund of Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), Janneke Langelaan, Assistant to Head of Hubert Bals Fund of Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), Roberto Olla - Executive Secretary of Eurimages of the Council of Europe; Sonja Heinen – The Manager of World Cinema Fund (Germany), Camilla Larsson – the Head of the Selection Committee of Göteborg Film Festival Fund (Sweden), Detlef Gericke-Schönhagen, the Deputy Head of the Arts Department at the Goethe-Institut Head Office in Munich (Germany), Cecile Despringre, the Deputy General of the Federation of European Film Directors (Belgium), Susanna Harutyunyan, the Art Director of Golden Apricot International Film Festival (Armenia), Miroslav Mogorovich, Head of Project of B2B Industry Meetings of Belgrade International Film Festival (Serbia), Martin Schweighofer, the Managing Director of Austrian Film Commission (Austria), Kamran Shirdel, a famous film director (Iran), Hayet Benkara, Programming and Industry Series Director of ReelWorld Film Festival (Canada). In the Tolerance Without Borders Award Committee were involved Inna Yeranosyan, Senior Human Rights Assistant of OSCE office in Yerevan, Laura Gevorgyan, Art and Culture Porgram Coordinator of OSI Assistance Foundation - Armenia, and Marina Malkhasyan, Project Coordinator of UNDP Armenia office.
The Forum program consisted of:
Day 1 (July 15)
1. Welcoming speeches, brief introduction and presentation of DAB
2. Presentation of Hubert Bals Fund of Rotterdam International Film Festival held by Bianca Taal, the Head of the Fund, and Janneke Langelaan, her assistant.
3. Presentation of Goteborg International Film Festival Fund held by Camilla Larsson, the Head of the Selection Committee. Case study of the film project JOAN AND THE VOICES presented by Armine Anda, the producer (Armenia).
4. Presentation on the topic of “Tolerance” by UNDP Consultant Ara Nazinyan and OSCE Human Rights Officer Silvia Pogolsha.
5. Presentation of Eurimages held by Roberto Olla, the Executive Secretary.
6. Workshop on Package Preparation and Pitching held by Hayet Benkara - Programming and Industry Series Director of ReelWorld Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.
7. Workshop on Pitching: Exchange of Experience, held by Vardan Hovhannisyan – a producer and the founder/director of Bars Media documentary film studio. Mr. Hovhannisyan talked about the specific details of successful pitching for those coming from developing countries (where all the participating projects’ representatives were from).
Day 2 (July 16)
1. DAB pitching sessions. Twelve projects were presented. Each project pitchers had 10 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for Q&As. The pitchers were provided with technical equipment: laptop, projector and DVD player. Simultaneous translation into/from English and Russian was provided by two professional interpreters. Razmik Melkomyan moderated the pitching sessions.
2. Panel-Jury discussion. The jury members (listed above) shared the impressions after the pitching sessions and expressed the priorities.
Day 3 (July 17)
1. Joint presentation of World Cinema Fund and Goethe Institute activities held by Sonja Heinen, the Fund Manager of WCF, and Detlef Gericke-Schönhagen, the Deputy Head of the Arts Department at the Goethe Institute Head Office in Munich. After the presentation a case study of CHNCHIK project by Aram Shahbazyan (Armenia), partly financed by the mentioned organizations, took place.
2. One-to-One meetings. The meetings took place in the library of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia. The regional directors/producers had a cozy environment to discuss their projects with foreign producers and representatives of film funds and organizations. The whole event lasted one hour. The representatives of the twelve projects had meetings with all potential co-production and/or funding partners and were satisfied with the outcome of the meetings.
3. Summary and the project award ceremony was held in the foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia. The event was open for mass media. Over twenty (20) journalists and TV reporters attended the event, and it was widely covered by the media.
4. A reception for DAB closing ceremony was held in the same foyer of MFA of Armenia after the award ceremony.
The overall aim of the Forum was to provide an opportunity for the regional projects to get international interest that would lead to project development and co-production. And we are glad that all regional directors/producers were given market trigged advice and useful information about how to proceed with the projects.
Another important achievement of the Forum was the publication of the second Project Book where the information about the twelve competition and two non-competition projects was included: the short biographies and filmographies of the directors, the directors’ statements and synopsis.
All the project packages have been sent to Pusan Promotion Plan of Pusan International Film Festival.
The award granted projects are as follows:
Project WASHINGTON by Andro Sakvarelidze and Giga Chkheidze, producer Giga Chkheidze (Georgia), received the Hubert Bals Fund (The Netherlands) grant of 5.000 EURO for project development.
Project I AM GOING TO CHANGE MY NAME by Maria Saakyan, Producer Victoria Lupik (Armenia/France/Russia), was awarded with the 5.000 USD grant for project development of Golden Apricot Fund for Cinema Development and VivaCell (the General Sponsor).
Project ALPINE VIOLET by David Matevossian (Armenia) was awarded with a 5000 USD grant for project development from the Ministry of Culture of Armenia.
Project SHEPHERD’S SONG by Vahram Mkhitaryan, producers Arzuman Harutyunyan and Araz Artinian (Armenia), was awarded with “Tolerance without borders” award from UNDP Armenia office (5000 USD), OSCE office in Yerevan (1500 EURO) and OSI Assistance Foundation – Armenia (1000 USD).