A new networking and training platform for European documentary producers is to be launched by the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival during its 16th edition between October 25-28, 2012.

The Emerging Producers project, which will be organised in co-operation with MEDIA Desks or MEDIA Antenna in 16 European countries from Cyprus to Norway, will select 15 producers to participate in a four-day programme which is set to include such networking events as information breakfasts and matchmaking dinners as well as roundtables on such issues as strategies of film festivals and new alternatives for documentary film distribution and case studies on how to get your documentary to Cannes and differences in production in Western and Eastern Europe.

According to the new initiative’s organisers, priority will be given to producers with projects supported by MEDIA Development or those who have participated in MEDIA Training in the past. In addition, the applicants will be expected to have several years’ experience in the local market – i.e. they should not be a film student or recent graduate – with a capacity for future professional growth and ambitions to be active in the European market. A concrete project is not a condition for applying, but it will be regarded as an advantage.

The lineup of producers for the first edition of Emerging Producers will be announced on July 5 at the Docu Talents from the East presentation which will be organised by Jihlava during the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

The new project was announced during this week’s inaugural edition of the Prague-based Institute of Documentary Film’s (IDF) East Doc Platform from March 5-11 which is dedicated to East European documentary films at all stages of production.

The IDF had organised an industry section at the Jihlava festival from 2001, ranging from the East European Forum’s presentation of projects in development and production through the Doc launch presentation of projects in postproduction, to the East Silver video library with 300 completed films.

However, last October, IDF decided to move its industry activities to Prague and hold them in association with the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival as the East Doc Platform (EDP), hosting 120 East European filmmakers and producers and 70 key festival programmers, commissioning editors, buyers, distrubutors and sales agents.

The 12th East European Forum’s lineup at EDP includes veteran Latvian filmmaker Herz Frank’s Without Fear, Michelle Coomber’s Russian-UK co-production Submarine Man, Richard Komárek’s Play 9/11 about people whose lives have been formed by their memory of September 11, and Andrei Dinu’s My Father’s Name about the fascinating father-son relationship between the singer Roger Cicero and his internationally acclained pianist father Eugen Cicero.

Moreover, nine hand-picked documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe will be presented in Prague this evening (Thurs) as part of the Doc Launch showcase. They include Polish director Marcin Koszalka’s You Will Be A Legend, Man about the runup to the Euro 2012 Football Championship, Russian Daria Khlestkina’s The 16th Republic (The Last Russian Limousine), and Peter Kerekes’ Velvet Terrorists.

Meanwhile, apart from launching Emerging Producers, Jihlava will also host the ninth edition of the East Silver Market and 2012’s second session of the Ex Oriente Film training programme at the end of October.