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Directors, writers, producers, and DOPs: EKRAN from EFA is free for you

WHAT IS “EKRAN”?
The European training programme EKRAN is a collaborative project between the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing, FOCAL (Switzerland), the Norwegian Film Institute, the Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Internationale Film Schule Köln, International Film School Wales & Skillset Screen Academy Wales and the Netherlands Film Institute.
EKRAN (the Polish word for “screen”) is an international training program focusing on the creative pre-production process based on shooting practice. EKRAN focuses participants on exploring, identifying and refining the tone and visual language of film.
As the creative pre-production process is based on teamwork, EKRAN includes each of the key creative roles in its training curriculum. Every participating project is therefore represented by a Creative Team consisting of a director (or writer/director), a writer (or co-writer), a producer and, optionally, a director of photography.
EKRAN trains directors not only to develop each aspect of their Projects, but also to tighten the collaborative working process with the writer/co-writer, producer and DOP.

EKRAN is also a brilliant and unique opportunity for producers to develop their project using the most cost effective and creatively concentrated methods. The 2009 Edition of EKRAN will also offer participants a new production component prepared in close collaboration with EAVE; one of the best programs for producers available in Europe. The EKRAN training component for producers focuses on creative aspects of film production.

EKRAN aims at advancing participants’ treatments/scripts and producing two scenes from each script / treatment. The EKRAN process includes:
- Treatment and / or script development; group and individual work on scripts and / or treatments
- Preparation for shooting; casting, storyboard and individual consultancy with tutors
- Shooting; tutors’ directing consultancies
- Editing; tutors’ editing consultancies
- Evaluation; individual, group and tutor analysis of the produced scenes
- Pitching; individual and team presentation of participants’ projects
- Production and Marketing strategies; individual, group and tutor consultancy on participants’ projects

The creative team (director, screenwriter, and producer) are offered a choice of locations, actors and set design within the usual logistical and budgetary constraints. EKRAN supports shooting with expertise and help from casting directors, set designers and production managers.

In order to ensure the best possible market opportunities, EKRAN will favor applicants with independent film projects with a strong personal vision.

The ‘Godfathers’
To bring the experience of the most distinguished generation of filmmakers to the participants, Andrzej Wajda, as the main ‘Godfather’ himself, has invited two more ‘Godfathers’ of EKRAN to act as Masters of visual grammar, and to interact creatively with the teams. These Godfathers are Volker Schloendorff from Germany and Alexander Sokurov from Russia.
The team of tutors involves experienced film professionals from all over Europe including: Wojciech Marc¬zewski Head of EKRAN Programme, Agnieszka Holland, Jerzy Zielinski (Poland); Lone Scherfig, Mogens Rukov (Denmark); Ildiko Enyedi (Hungary); Udayan Prasad, Pawel Pawlikowski, Witold Stok, Nigel Orrillard, Marilyn Milgrom, Alan Fountain (England), Antoine Jaccoud (Switzerland), Roshanak Behesht Nedjad (Germany).
WHO ORGANISES EKRAN?
The Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing (Warsaw, Poland). Supported with the honorary patronage of the European Film Academy, the School started its activity in November 2001 and became the platform for film discussion, the exchange of ideas and meetings of young filmmakers. The School founders are Andrzej Wajda, Wojciech Marczewski and The Warsaw Film Studio. The School is the only training center for film professionals in Poland and runs fiction and documentary courses based on project development at a Master Class level. The School produces short and feature films.
FOCAL (Lausanne, Switzerland). This Foundation for professional training in cinema and audiovisual media promotes the development of creative, technical and entrepreneurial skills among professionals in the areas of film, audiovisual arts and new media. FOCAL is a well renowned institution with a long established tradition of organizing European and world film training programmes.
Norwegian Film Institute (Oslo, Norway). The tasks of the former Norwegian Film Fund, Norwegian Film Institute and Norwegian Film Development have been transferred to the new Norwegian Film Institute. The organization began operation on 1 April 2008, as a civil executive body under the auspices of the Royal Ministry for Cultural Affairs.The Institute's primary objectives are to offer seminars, courses and workshops to the industry professionals, to administer support for screenplay development, to administer national film support, to market and inform about films in Norway and to market Norwegian films abroad.
The Nordrhein Westfalen Film Stiftung (Düsseldorf, Germany). Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen supports writers, producers, directors, distributors and cinema owners, high-budget and low-budget productions as well as outstanding international films for television. In order to react in a flexible way to the needs of filmmakers and producers, the Filmstiftung NRW supports almost all phases of film production: screenplay, project development, production and post-production, as well as distribution and sales of the final product. Since the foundation of the IFS (International Film School Cologne gmbh) it has also been contributing significantly to the training of the next generation, while the Film Commission provides advice on the selection of shooting locations. In addition, it helps producers to establish contacts with service providers in Nordrhine Westphalia.
Internationale Filmschule Köln, IFS (Köln, Germany) has rapidly become one of the leading study and advanced training institutions in the area of film and television in North Rhine-Westphalia. The IFS’ Film Studies Program evolves innovative concepts offering the first Bachelor of Arts Degrees in the fields of screenwriting, directing, and creative producing in Germany. Ten further education programs prepare young professionals in the film and TV industry for the continuously increasing demands of national and international contexts. Lecturers, students and co-operation partners also come from Europe and the USA.
International Film School Wales (Newport, Wales, UK). International Film School Wales is the main provider of film education in Wales. The School, founded in 1966 by documentary film-maker John Grierson, is a lead partner in the Skillset Approved Screen Academy for Wales and is funded and supported by the British Film Council with the intention of transforming vocational training provision for the film industry in the UK.
The Netherlands (Dutch) Film Institute (NFI). NFI was founded in 1947 as a governmental organisation to impliment and promote educational and didactical objectives in film. In the late nineteen-eighties, NFI became a private organisation and was restructured into a foundation. NFI-MEC (Media Expertise Centre) is continuing the educational and didactical objectives, while NFI Productions is a company executing productions, sales and distribution. NFI produces and distributes socially relevant production with a cultural and/or historical connection with Europe, using these productions as a platform for new European talented filmmakers and crew, supervised by counsellors, to stimulate and develop skills and experience.
Polish Film Institute. PISF is the newest film institute in Europe, established in 2005 in accordance with the new cinematography law, passed by Polish Parliament. It is set up similarly to the mechanisms of film industry support existing in many countries of Europe. The Institute's principal task is to provide the Polish film industry with the modern mechanism of support - from the development of projects, production, promotion, distribution and circulation of Polish and European films. We support films from concept to screen, with particular emphasis on international co-productions.

WHO CAN APPLY?
EKRAN is based on teamwork and involves professionals from several fields. The primary target group consists of European directors or writer/directors who have realised their first feature or several shorts. Writer/directors will participate with their own treatment/script, whereas directors will participate with a treatment/script they are developing with their co-writer. In order to be accepted by EKRAN, the creative team should be consisting of:
- director or writer/director
- the writer or co-writer of the script (where applicable)
- the producer committed to the project
- the director of photography they intend to work with (optional)
The writer or co-writer, producer and director of photography are the secondary target group of the programme. However each and every professional team member will be given specific guidance by experts with professional experience in each of the creative teams’ production roles throughout the programme.

HOW DO I APPLY?
The application must contain:
1) CVs of all team members (3 copies, plus an electronic version on CD)

2) a 10 page (maximum) feature film Treatment (3 copies, with electronic version on CD) – (if the script exists it should be translated into English and available for individual consultancy for the first session)

3) a letter of commitment from the producer or the producer’s production company, as well as a producer’s statement outlining their intended strategy for the development of the project (1 copy)

4) an entry form signed by all the members of the team (1 copy)

5) a DVD of the director’s work (1 copy)

6) a filmography and samples of the director of photography’s work (1 copy)


The application deadline is 15th November 2008
All European applications (apart from Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands and Wales – which should be sent to the appropriate EKRAN Partners’ addresses) must be sent:

EKRAN
Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing
ul. Chelmska 21
00-724 Warsaw, POLAND


HOW ARE PROJECTS SELECTED FOR EKRAN?

On the basis of the material submitted, a pre-selection will be made in each of the partner countries by professionals/tutors chosen by the partners. Wojciech Marczewski, the Mentor of the project, will interview the pre-selected candidates at the beginning of January 2009. He will choose the final 12 participants’ teams.
HOW IS EKRAN TRAINING ORGANISED?
The EKRAN training program is divided into three sessions of 6 days, 12 days and 14 days respectively.
Between these sessions, participants are expected to develop new and further drafts of their scripts or treatments and to write two full scenes to be shot at the second and third sessions.
English is the language used during all EKRAN activities.


Session 1:

02 March -07 March 2009
Participants: directors and scriptwriters only (12 teams, 24 persons).
Duration: 6 days

The session will begin with our presentation of EKRAN programme. The presentation will be followed by a three day treatments’ analysis module. In order to ensure that all participants gain a good working knowledge of each others’ projects, each team will pitch their project. Group analysis and discussion of these projects will enable the participants and tutors not only to get to know each others’ perspectives and approaches but will also help to clarify EKRAN’s perspectives on film as art and as business.

The analysis of script/treatments is further developed during sessions with individual Script Consultants.

In order to enable participants’ films to express the authentic power of the author’s personality, the Programme includes;

• A Master class by Andrzej Wajda on the topic of long-term directing experience
• A Master class by Volker Schloendorff on the topic of the future of art-house cinema

During next three days participants will meet the Casting Director and Art Director in order to prepare the shooting of the scenes from their own scripts for the 2nd session. This preparatory work will be supported with Master classes run by;

• Agnieszka Holland on the topic of casting and working with actors
• Allan Starski, Oscar winning set designer, on the topic of creative set design.


Session 2:

19 April-30 April 2009
Participants: directors, scriptwriters and producers (12 teams, 36 persons; producers stay for around. 7 days)
Duration: 12 days

This session is devoted to a further treatment, story development and the exploration and development of visualisation strategies for ensuring a truly personal tone to the film. The core of the session will be the production of scenes from participants’ projects with 2-3 actors (Polish actors speaking English). Each team will be given time for rehearsal with actors, one day of shooting and one day of editing.

Having made decisions at the first session about casting and shooting locations, participants will now concentrate on developing images and camera movements through storyboard sessions run for each scene by a professional storyboard artist. In this way the taste and personality of a director finds its expression on screen. These tasks are supported with a seminar run by Wojciech Marczewski examining relationship of biography and fiction and methods of leaving the director’s fingerprints on the screen. This seminar is based on a case study of Mr. Marczewski’s film “Shivers” (Awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival ‘Berlinale’ in 1982). The discussion will also provide participants with a valuable perspective on the life-long pursuit of a career in film and methods of managing personal talents and experiences.

This session will also introduce participants to the Producing component of EKRAN, prepared in cooperation with EAVE. Producers will be invited to participate in the group analysis of the scripts/treatments. Over the next few days Producers participate in both individual script/treatment sessions and in the production process of the scenes. In between they will explore how best to pitch their projects by the experienced European producer and producing consultant Roshanak Behesht Nedjad. Producers will be expected to prepare detailed production packages for the third session.

The session will end with the evaluation of produced scenes. On the last day of the session, participants will meet Casting Directors and Art Directors in order to prepare the shooting of the scenes from their own scripts for the 3rd session.


Session 3:

14 June – 27 June 2009
Participants: directors, scriptwriters and producers (12 teams, 36 persons; Producers stay for around 5 days).
Duration: 14 days

Each team will have the opportunity to invite a director of photography and 2 actors from their native countries to produce a 5-8 minute scene from the script. These scenes are shot in the native language of each director and his/her actors, contrary to the previous sessions, when they had to be directed in English.

Each team will be given time for rehearsal with actors, one day of shooting and one day of editing. Each scene will be subtitled in English for evaluation purposes. Preproduction of a scene includes, apart from discussion on directing strategies, choice of location, props and lights.

The session will also be devoted to further script development through group and individual analysis with tutors and with invited, experienced producers and world sales agents. Once again, the main areas of interest are: the dramaturgy of scenes, the development of character, visualization, the tone of the film with regard to its future distribution.

Participants will be asked to address, and articulate answers, to the following questions:

How can we achieve a ‘true’ and intense sense of film reality on a screen?
How can we avoid “the sound of paper” on the screen?
How can we exploit a film language to its fullest?
What audience does your film address?
What is the target group of your film?

Each filmmaker should explore and articulate their own answers to these questions.

The seminar devoted to the creative personality of an author, run by Alexander Sokurov, will help the participants to search for their own individual sources of creativity and values of art. The session will end with an evaluation, screening and discussion of the produced scenes.

In terms of developing your market-oriented expertise, EKRAN producers will have individual meetings with producer participants who will pitch the projects again for Roshanak Behesht Nedjad and take an active part in the scene production process.


WHAT DO I TAKE AWAY FROM EKRAN?

At the end of the EKRAN programme each team will have a well developed treatment or a first draft of a script and two scenes, presenting the tone, genre and visual language of the project. The second scene especially, with its specifically cast actors, selected location, props and style of photography, is to be used by each team’s producer as a test shoot and visual example to accompany the script as part of a Production Package to be used in search for financing the film.

In addition to all the new experience, knowledge and contacts gained, which can only be outlined above, the most important aspect of EKRAN is the unique opportunity for directors, producers and writers to gain the experience of creative development that may influence their future professional lives.


HOW MUCH DOES EKRAN COST?
Participation in EKRAN is FREE!
The selected directors and their teams will be granted scholarships including participation fees and accommodation. Travel costs are to be covered by participants.

Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing the EKRAN coordinator reserves the right to make changes to the programme without prior notice.



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