The School of Film Agents 2014 will take place Aug 15-24 in Wroclaw and feature eight projects.

The School of Film Agents (SOFA) will have its second edition in Wroclaw from Aug 15-24, it was announced in Karlovy Vary on Monday [7].

SOFA is a workshop programme which supports international film professionals and mediators in the realisation of film cultural projects, initiated and started last year by Nikolai Nikitin [pictured], the Berlinale delegate for Eastern Europe.

Within the framework of Karlovy Vary’s Works in Progress, Nikitin introduced the eight participants from “SOFA-relevant terrtories”: Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, the Baltic countries and Greece.

“We are looking for projects that are about developing the film infrastructure of their country,” Nikitin told Screendaily. “If you look at France, Germany, UK, they are developed markets with lots of possibilities to finance, show, and archive your movie.

“Further to the east you go, there are less options to finance a film, usually it’s only one national film centre that does that. If your project doesn’t get financed by them, it becomes very complicated to reach international funding schemes such as Eurimages or MEDIA, because they require that there is national money in place first.

“This is why I’m very happy we have, for instance, a Romanian project which aims to set up a regional fund in the city of Cluj. That would be an excellent opportunity for Romanian film-makers to finance their films outside the national CNC scheme.”

The projects vary from innovative VoD solutions to a large-scale national cinema/theatrical digitalisation project.

The participants will work on their projects with experts such as Sibylle Kurz (pitching expert, Frankfurt), Roberto Olla (Eurimages, Strasbourg), Ewa Puszczynska (Opus Film, Lodz), Renaud Redien-Collot (Novancia Business School, Paris), Peter Rommel (Peter Rommel Film, Berlin) and Katriel Schory (Israel Film Fund, Tel Aviv) among others.

What is unique about SOFA, according to Nikitin, is that each of the selected projects will have its own mentor. “When we select a project, then we look into who would be the best mentor to guide it, and based on that we invite experts.”

A number of projects from the 2013 edition have already been realised, or are very close to realisation, including Leana Jaluske’s project ‘Doktok’, a distribution initiative for Estonian documentary films, Melinda Boros’s ‘TIFF Studio Workshops’ in Cluj and Serbia’s Sonja Topalovic recently received Eurimages funding for her interactive database ‘FBO – Festival Box Office’.

SOFA is a joint project of the Filmplus gUG (Cologne) and the Fundacja Filmplus (Warsaw) together with the city of Wroclaw (Breslau) and the Polish Film Institute, funded by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, International Visegrad Fund,  Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Creative Europe Desk Poland, Alfred Toepfer Foundation and EAVE.

It is supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut of Poland (Krakow), Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania and its Head Office in Germany, and with the support of the Film Commission Poland and the Wroclaw Film Commission.


Anna Bielak, Poland: AUR! Magazine – ‘Awesome / Unique / Radical!’ A high-quality cinema magazine in print for Poland

Dániel Deák, Hungary: ‘Festivalised - Community Platform for Film Festival Guests’  A film festival advisory system which helps film-makers find the right festivals for their particular projects

Kestutis Drazdauskas, Lithuania: ‘FRONT – Film Republic of Networked Theaters’ A cinema digitalisation network for Lithuania

Cristian Hordila, Romania: ‘Cluj City Film Fund’ A film fund with which Cluj-Napoca intends to re-open its doors to the film world, re-creating a film production centre around the city

Marija Stojanovic, Serbia: ‘What I See - Program for Audience Development and Stimulation of Critical Approach in the Field of Audio-Visual Cultural and Arts’ What we see is what we are: an educational film project for Serbia

Angeliki Vergou, Greece: ‘Octapus - A delicious new way to watch Greek films’ A VoD platform for Greek films

Jakub Viktorín, Slovakia: ‘DDS – Digital Database of Slovakia: Your Personal Online Library of All Film Content Slovakia can Provide’ An internet database revolving around the film culture of Slovakia

Jonas Weydemann, Germany: ‘Directors Collection’ A b2b platform connecting producers/sales agents directly with national cinemas around Europe, providing a transparent system for licensor and licensee.