The face on the screen can be clearly illuminated and outlined. It can also appear as if its features were escaping its outline and blending in with the background. As if the face became its surrounding landscape. Close-ups in film have tremendous power to make us forget about time and space. Through their affective powers, we can be confronted with the borders of known and familiar and at the same time we can be invited to sharpen our senses.
The face and the close-up will be the two sources of inspiration for regional film professionals gathered at the 11th edition of Talents Sarajevo. Not only for inciting rethinking of cinematic image, but also for encouraging a closer look at realities of film professionals. Be it a career path, feasible film financing strategies or zooming in on details of a story, a range of topics drawing on notions of “close-up” and “face” will come under scrutiny of regional film professionals this summer at Talents Sarajevo.
The Talents Sarajevo 2017 programme encompasses four major units:
- Summit (master classes, moderated talks, interactive panel discussions, case studies)
- Project Labs (Script Station, Pack&Pitch)
- Studios (Film Stage Studio, Acting Studio, Camera Studio, Editing Studio)
- Talent Press
The summit programme of Talents Sarajevo consists of a range of master classes, moderated talks, interactive panel discussions and case studies taking place at the 4 key locations: Open Stage of the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, Meeting Point Cinema, Networks and Hotel Europe – the CineLink Industry Days venue. Approximately 10-15 sessions draw on a yearly thematic focus.
These Summit sessions are mainly curated in collaboration with a variety of festival programmes and platforms, e.g. Competition Programme (Feature, Short, Documentary and Student Film), Open Air, Kinoscope, European Shorts and CineLink Industry Days. The intimate setting of the Open Stage encourages experienced filmmakers - experts, and the audience - Talent participants mainly, to easily enter into a dialogue and productive exchange.
In addition to the broad summit programme of master classes, case studies and panel discussions with top-notch experts, Talents Sarajevo offers two Project Labs in which scriptwriters, directors and producers can further develop and present their own projects. Studio programmes, aimed at either specific groups of film professionals (Acting Studio, Camera Studio) or a combined group of multiple participating disciplines (Film Stage Studio), are offered as well.
Script Station has been designed to accommodate 9 projects only and open space for longer and more constructive discussions on specific script issues to encourage their further developments and do a necessary follow-up on the screenwriters' work outside the festival dates. A lab, tailor-made for 9 talent screenwriters, consists of an introductory meeting, two one-on-one meetings between screenwriting tutors and talent screenwriters, and a group wrap-up meeting. Beside the group and one-on-one meetings between the experts and the talents, additional feedback session is organized in order to offer space for experts to discuss talents' projects among them.
Three additional sessions, a master class, a film analysis and a panel discussion, are curated meticulously to meet the needs of emerging screenwriters.
As of this year, screenwriters’ activities include rewriting of the three selected scenes, submitted by Talent Writer-Directors for the purpose of the Film Stage Studio. Based on their interpretation of characters, conflict and dramatic structure of the original scene, screenwriters will be invited to create a new version of the scene assigned to them. In this way, Script Station activities will organically merge with those of the Film Stage Studio.
Producers and directors willing to take part in Talents Sarajevo are, since 2010, encouraged to submit their current projects and apply for Pack&Pitch. Within the framework of this project segment, selected participants get the opportunity to learn how to analyze and prepare their projects for written and verbal presentations. Selected talents will be mentored by two pitching trainers, who will teach them how to do a One Pager, how to analyze their current projects, how to pitch them and to whom and thoroughly prepare them for written and oral presentation that will take place at the end of the program before the jury and the audience of colleagues and industry professionals. The talent who makes the most convincing pitch, according to a 5-member jury, will get an invitation to attend the CineLink programme at Sarajevo Film Festival 2018. In addition to granting the winner with the attendance at CineLink, the jury’s task is to provide feedback on the quality of participants’ pitches. Sarajevo Film Festival grants the best pitch with one of the Film Festival partner award as well. Talents Sarajevo Project Lab Pack&Pitch will have a desk at the Sarajevo Film Festival’s Industry Terrace, to facilitate communication with the Industry guests and promote the project. Talents are encouraged to network with seasoned experts, which may aid further development of their current projects - possible realization and subsequent distribution of films.
Film Stage Studio
Film Stage Studio is a Talents Sarajevo workshop, established in order to provide an experience to participants selected from different disciplines of cinematic storytelling in the exploration of the nature of dramatic structure, character development and visual forms, through a 5-day scene workshop. Film Stage Studio promotes creative interaction between screenwriters, film directors and actors in a safe workshop environment. Additionally, 4 Talent participants from additional three fields of work will support this creative process - a director of photography, a producer and 2 film critics. They will be selected based on their application material to the their respective sections of Talents Sarajevo.
Prior to the workshop, Writer-Director applicants are invited to submit a DRAMATIC SCENE between two characters, ages between 18-40 years old, preferably involving dialog. Submitted scenes should be no longer than 3 pages. Preference will be given to scenes with a dramatic turning point, either a dramatic change in the two characters’ relationship, or a dramatic revelation of character qualities or character changes in the scene.
Film Stage Studio is designed to actively engage 37 Talent participants in a multiple-day mentored training activity. The emphasis is not placed on an actual result, a final product, but on an experience, a process in which each participant is challenged to a certain extent, provoked to take on another perspective and learn something new.
An idea behind Film Stage Studio is to enable directors and actors embody writer-directors’ vision and assist them in visualizing what they have written so far. This way we see Film Stage Studio as an encouragement for directors/writers to finish projects they have started working on.
The purpose of Acting Studio is twofold. On one hand, it is a workshop aimed at actors, where they get a chance to exchange their insights, rethink their artistry and enhance their acting skills. On the other, it is a preparation for Film Stage Studio, an interdisciplinary workshop, which includes 37 participants from 6 different categories included in the program.
A workshop, open for actors, consists of two parts.
The first part further comprises a group exchange between the Acting Studio mentor and the Talent actors about former acting experiences and improvisation as such.
The second part is based on a practical work with the actors involving improvisations.
Within the framework of Film Stage Studio, Actors will audition, rehearse and perform the characters of the 3 selected scenes submitted by the Writer-Directors, under the leadership of Acting Studio and Film Stage Studio advisors. Additionally, they will perform in a cold reading of the Screenwriters' 3 newly created versions of the 3 scenes submitted by Writer-Directors to Film Stage Studio. They will be cast during the workshop, based on their application material and a casting session conducted according to the requirements of the scenes.
Camera Studio is a workshop, open to 6 Talent Directors of Photography, carefully designed and prepared in collaboration with a Camera Studio mentor. The workshop should spread over the course of 4 intense days and end with the involvement of one of the DPs in the Film Stage Studio, who will contribute creatively to the visualization of the Film Stage Studio workshop scenes, based on application material submitted for admission at Talents Sarajevo as Director of Photography.
The very first edition of Editing Studio will welcome 3 Talent Editors, who will gain insights in the work of renowned and experienced experts in the form of master-classes and panel discussions. Their first-hand experience working with the Talent Directors of Photography will take place over the course of the 4-day Camera Studio.
Talent Press is a programme tailor-made for emerging film critics and journalists from the region of Southeast Europe and Southern Caucasus. Through this platform, film criticism is introduced as a principal tool for contextualization of filmmaking practices within the region and in relation to other European countries, and for further enhancement of film language.
Six film critics are invited to Talents Sarajevo to review films and events throughout the entire festival.
Under the coaching of prominent film critics, participants are invited to articulate their impressions and insights in the form of written articles, interviews and radio reportage for the Talents Sarajevo website and those of its media partners.