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EAVE January News 2023


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EAVE Interview with Kesmat El Sayed about Creative Producer Indaba and the ownership of African stories

Kesmat El Sayed, EAVE graduate, Berlinale Talent 2023 and producer from Egypt, recently opened a new office in Berlin to expand SEE MEDIA Production’s premises and start growing her professional roots in Germany.

She talks about her experience participating in Creative Producer Indaba, the training programme by Realness Institute in partnership with European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE), International Film Festival Rotterdam Pro (IFFR Pro) and Marrakech International Film Festival (Atlas Workshops) that aims to strengthen African producers' skills and promote co-production within and outside of Africa.


Why did you move to Berlin?

Being based in Egypt and working in documentary or even in fiction is kind of an impossible task as an independent producer, so it made a lot of sense for me to look for another place where there is room to grow and to integrate in the international market. Berlin is a vibrant city with a growing Arab and African community and especially in the arts and film industry. So it makes more sense to be here. Also, not many producers focus on films or artists that come from my region. 

Are you interested in producing stories about your region in Africa for the international market?

I am interested in working with locals, filmmakers who still live in their region, because that's the biggest challenge. They are the least connected, they do not have access, but they have a real presence, they are really undiscovered. At the same time with the flow of artists from the region to Europe they also want to work with a producer that understands and relates to them. 

What has changed since you moved to Europe?

I feel I have better access and understanding of the landscape as a producer since I moved. Now that I have started a company here, there has been more interest in collaboration and partnerships – I am being asked to come on board projects a lot more and have more possibilities of co-production. I think there is interest in this kind of combination of a producer who is originally from the region but based in Europe. This combination is probably comfortable for many artists and filmmakers.

Have you kept your company in Egypt? 

Yes. I have a partner in Egypt and travel there often, so it’s still possible for me to manage things from there. 

Why did you apply to Creative Producer Indaba?

This round was very interesting for me because the programme was looking for African producers who are operating outside of Africa. I wanted to participate as a career participant because I saw during the EAVE Producers Workshop how much the career participants benefit from the programme. At that moment - since I’m doing this big shift and having a different mindset and situation - I felt this was exactly the right fit.

Did it meet your expectations? What did you expect to learn? The last session in Rotterdam is still to come, that will be the highlight of the programme.

The whole team is really caring and genuine. The working sessions with the group leaders Mehret Mandefro and Diana Elbaum – both EAVE experts - were really great. I think their input and coordination and motivation of the discussion was inspiring and insightful.  As for the group of participants, they were really amazing. They all share and care so generously.  There were so many precious moments during the group work.  

Compared to the EAVE Producers Workshop, this workshop was very Africa-centric. This allows access to a space that I relate to more, yet have limited access to actually. I felt very at home in the group we had a lot in common. I can describe it as a mini-EAVE specific to our region - and not just the South or the North, but the entire African continent.

The setting of the Atlas Workshops was interesting because they took place during the Marrakech Film Festival. Since there was a market going on at the same time, we were able to meet informally with the decision makers without having to schedule a meeting. 

Indaba is a continuation of EAVE because they use the same methodology, so it feels very familiar but also more specific to me. 

I also got to meet more experts from the region and enjoyed very much following the discussions with script editors.  It is interesting that they all come from the region even if they are based outside, like Mmabatho Kau, also EAVE graduate and expert.

Can you tell me a few things that are specific to your region that now you focus more on? Are there things that are particularly important in these kinds of training related to Africa?

First of all, the issue of representation is crucial: how do we want to represent our region? It's also very interesting to discuss what the expectations are in Europe for the region and how you want to meet those expectations. For me this is a critical point because there is always some kind of mismatch of expectation. We discussed for example the differences based on how the characters are built: whether they are strong characters or victims, whether they are in certain roles, are they always poor or are they actually in decision-making positions? 

The other discussion that I found very interesting, because I work on historic and archive-based documentary films, is that all the archives in Africa are in European hands, even those that were taken or shot during colonialism. These institutions make it unattainable to produce films with reasonable budgets that would allow us to own our narrative and our history. We have been discussing how to push back and make that claim. If we produce films from our region, we have the right to make films, we have the right to tell our stories, it should not be an obstacle to pay so much money for archives.

Is it much more expensive to get this material compared to European archives?

It is relatively much more expensive, because of course the euro is much more expensive than any local currency. It's always a challenge for local productions. Especially when you are working with a filmmaker for the first time, you have limited access to funding, so you have to produce more sparingly and really take ownership of the story.

In a co-production, the European producer usually has the biggest stake in a project because they have the biggest budget that can fund the archive. So, there is an imbalance. It should not be that way.

Another very interesting presentation was given by producer Steven Markovitz from South Africa who shared with us how he is working on attracting local investors and having a bigger share in the project as a local producer. He tries to co-produce within Africa not just with Europe.  I also found this discussion very insightful on how to have more impact on a project as a smaller and weaker industry, and I think this is very relevant to our situation. 

Are there any major funds in Africa that can be approached or is it more private investment?

There are, and we also talked about how to co-produce within the region. This is something that needs a lot of interaction between producers and spaces where they meet! Usually, we always go to international festivals and meet other European producers, and it's rare to find this combination of exclusively African producers who have the time to really discuss and work and get to know each other. I think this networking effect is also a great value and outcome of Creative Producer Indaba.

I would like to apply to other Realness Institute programmes to meet and spend time with more people in the African industry.

How do you see African cinema in the long run? Do you see the industry changing? What are your thoughts on it?

I feel like the African film industry is really trying to catch up to Europe - it's going to take time, but there are so many people working towards it. I think that's amazing. There is already a lot of interest in Arabic/African content, but the problem is that it is always produced in the same way. The common goal is local production with more local producers, and if it's done that way, it's really empowering, because when you work with majority European production, the Europeans are the ones who benefit the most. There has to be a balance and something has to be given back.

Could you update me a little bit about your project BERLEEN, developed in 2021 at EAVE?

We have received funding from the Red Sea Film Foundation for development and the director Ahmad Abdalla will spend time in Berlin developing the characters and meeting local artists that he wants to feature in the film to finalise the script. At the same time, we have on board now Film Clinic the main Egyptian production and distribution company for independent films in the Arab region. 

As an emerging European producer, I believe it is a perfect start that ties both my worlds together. A story that is genuinely based in Berlin that explores the local Arab community here and that combines cast and crew from both regions. So I am very excited to be working on finding the right crew here in Berlin and securing the financing as well as growing and developing my presence and network in Berlin.

 

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Apply now to the 2023 edition of PUENTES!

The call for EAVE PUENTES, the most relevant and successful training programme for developing European-Latin American co-production is now open for applications until February 15!

The 2023 edition of PUENTES is the fourth one under the guidance of PUENTES Head of Studies and producer Fernanda del Nido (Setembro Cine – AR/ES), known for her prestigious track record of co-productions involving Europe and Latin America such as Oscar-winner UNA MUJER FANTASTICA, NERUDA, AGUA FRÍA DE MAR and PEQUEÑA FLOR.

Among the core experts is producer and EAVE graduate Didar Domehri (Maneki Films – FR) as group leader, and Jacques Akchoti (FR) as script consultant. They will be joined by guest experts from both Europe and Latin America, such as Agustina Chiarino (Bocacha Films, UY) and others.

 

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

The workshop is targeted at Latin American & European film professionals interested in developing strong bonds between Europe and Latin America. The selected group of applicants is composed by 10 producers focusing on project development (fiction films only), and 4-5 European film professionals (sales agents, financiers, distributors, festival programmers, coproduction market representatives) or European producers focusing on career development (not brining a specific project).

Latin American and European Film producers focusing on project development:

EAVE is looking for experienced feature film producers in their own countries wishing to work on an international scale and to create long-term creative and business relationships between Europe and Latin America. Interested producers should apply with a feature fiction film project in development stage. European producers applying must be able to demonstrate a clear involvement with Latin America and vice versa.

European Film Professionals focusing on career development:

EAVE is open to receive applications from related European film professionals (such as sales agents, distributors, festival and market representatives, financiers) or European producers focusing on career development and wishing to work on an international scale and to create long term creative and business relationships with Latin America.

TIMELINE

Applications are open until February 15, and the selection will be announced by end of April 2023.

PUENTES takes place in the course of two weeks of the year. The first workshop of the 2023 edition will take place in Italy, in late June – July (exact dates and location TBC), in partnership with FVG Audiovisual Fund and MiC (Ministero dei Beni Ambientali e Culturali).

The second workshop will be held in Uruguay in late November (TBC), in partnership with Bocacha Films and supported by IBERMEDIA. Thanks to a special partnership, the PUENTES participants will attend VENTANA SUR after workshop 2 in order to strengthen their ties between Europe and Latin America even further by meeting and networking with European and Latin American producers alike.

 

“EAVE Puentes is yet another well-crafted EAVE program that empowers producers from Europe and Latin America to work in one common network.”

Marija Razgutė, CEO and producer of M-Films (LT)

“PUENTES is an amazing reality check, held in a professional and warm framework that provides with lots of tools to evaluate and work on the intersection of our professional career and personal life.”

Facundo Lema – Talent Manager at IFFR

 

Recent PUENTES’ success stories include BLANQUITA by Fernando Guzzoni and produced by PUENTES graduate Giancarlo Nasi ( Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay in Venice FF 2022).

Other titles include:

  • OUR MOTHERS by César Díaz, produced by Géraldine Sprimont

Winner of the Camera D’Or and the SACD Award at the 2019 Cannes Semaine de la Critique in Cannes, the Magritte Award for Best First Feature and six other awards at international film festivals.

  • CLARA SOLA by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén, produced by PUENTES graduate Nima Yousefi.

Winner of the International Jury Award for Best Actress and Best Art Direction at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival, New Visions award and Young people’s Jury Award at the Reykjavik International Film Festival and Best Music award at the Ghent International Film Festival.

Winner of the International Jury Award for Best Actress and Best Art Direction at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival, New Visions award and Young people’s Jury Award at the Reykjavik International Film Festival and Best Music award at the Ghent International Film Festival.

Click here to start your application and find out more information about the selection criteria.

In case of questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with the EAVE team: ana@eave.org

EAVE graduates: If you already have an EAVE profile, please log into your account to complete the application. If you do not remember your login information, please contact: members@eave.org

 

The PUENTES workshop is made possible with the support of the Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union and IBERMEDIA, and with the recognition of the Directorate-General for Cinema of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.

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Running sustainable film companies in challenging times – Apply now for the April edition of EAVE+!

Applications are now open until January 31, 2023 for the 13th edition of EAVE+

EAVE+ offers 15 producers the opportunity to discuss their company structures and management practices together with high-profile industry experts during 4,5 days to tackle the business side of running a film company.

The upcoming edition will focus on company sustainability and how to reinvent yourself in times of crisis. Under the title ‘transforming companies’ we will feature a series of company case studies and inspiring new business models and tackle the role of the producer as a leader.

Together with top-notch experts, we will also explore topics such as cashflow management, company strategies, negotiation with financiers and partners, and raising finance from investors and how to create viable business models for the future. All producers will work on their individual leadership qualities and resilience in private coaching sessions.

EAVE+ will take place from March 31 – April 5, 2023 in Luxembourg.

« [At EAVE+] we could brainstorm and think "out of the box" with a great team of producers and experts and come back to the office with very specific plans to "rebuild" Fasten Films. Do not miss it. »

Adria Mones – Fasten Films, Spain, EAVE+ 2022

Applications are open for independent producers with a solid track record and international experience from Europe and the rest of the world until January 31, 2023. 

The programme is designed for producers who have been running their own company for five years + and/or who have worked five years + at senior management level in another company. We strongly recommend that two individuals at senior management level attend from each company

The workshop will tackle topics such as: How to structure my company more efficiently? How to grow as a company? How to reinvent yourself in times of crisis? How to sustain a viable business? How to diversify your company slate? What kind of leader am I? How to improve my team management? How to achieve a better life work balance? 

Transforming Companies, new business models and company constellations will be one of the main topics throughout the workshop, that we will explore via a number of inspiring company case studies.

EAVE+ is organised once a year in Luxembourg with support of the Creative Europe - MEDIA sub-programme of the European Union and Film Fund Luxembourg.

For more information, please visit https://eave.org/programmes/eave-13th-edition or contact satu@eave.org

Apply here: https://eave.org/apply/introduction/eaveplus-23/plus

EAVE graduates: If you already have an EAVE profile, please log into your account to complete the application. If you do not remember your login information, please contact: members@eave.org

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EAVE 2022 HIGHLIGHTS

Awards for EAVE producers in 2022:

  • 8 nominations for the American Academy Awards in 2022
  • 31 films by EAVE producers represent their country in the race for the next 2023 Foreign Language Academy Awards
  • 4 Golden Globes nominations
  • 24 nominations for 13 films for the European Film Awards
  • 9 European Film Awards including Best Film for TRIANGLE OF SADNESS
  • 19 awards in Cannes including the Palme d’Or for TRIANGLE OF SADNESS
  • 15 awards at the Berlinale including the Golden Bear for ALCARRAS, 4 Silver Bears and 2 Crystal Bears
  • 3 awards at Sundance, including World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Innovative Spirit for TTB project LEONOR WILL NEVER DIE
  • 12 awards in Venice, including Best Screenplay for PUENTES project BLANQUITA and FIPRESCI Award for Best Film for TTB project AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • 12 award in Locarno, including the Pardo d'Oro
  • 3 Hearts of Sarajevo and 3 additional awards
  • 5 awards in Karlovy Vary

…and many more.

32 EAVE workshops delivered in 2022:

  • 3 Producers Workshop weeks in Luxembourg / in Estonia / in Spain
  • 2 PUENTES workshop weeks in Italy / in Uruguay
  • 2 TIES THAT BIND workshop weeks in Italy / in Taiwan
  • 1 Marketing Workshop in Luxembourg
  • 1 EAVE+ workshop in Luxembourg
  • 16 EAVE on Demand workshops all over the globe online and onsite: EoD APFC Canada 3 online workshop weeks // 3 CHANGE Co-production workshops in Denmark and in Georgia // 3 ACCESS workshops online and in Canada // EoD Gran Canaria // 2 EoD workshops for Film Fund Luxembourg // EoD Brussels // EoD Aurora Studios // EoD Tours // EoD Company Time
  • 4 Green Film Lab workshops in Italy, in Spain and in Iceland
  • 2 Creative Producer Indaba workshops online and in Marrakech
  • 1 EAVE IMPACT Think Tank at WEMW in Trieste

  • numerous EAVE sessions at festivals, markets and online

And a thriving EAVE network of over 2.500 professionals!

We wish you a HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

Thanks to our partners, decision makers, experts, pedagogical team, and all the members of the EAVE family for their precious support!

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The third edition of EAVE on Demand Canada in partnership with APFC kicks off tomorrow!

EAVE is proud to organise an EAVE ON DEMAND workshop for the third time in co-operation with Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada – APFC. The workshop will take place in three modules planned for January, Juneand September 2023 and will be open for selected members of AFPC.

EAVE ON DEMAND for members of APFC will consist of 3 workshops of masterclasses and group work sessions, as well as individual meetings for 3 producers and their writers / concept developers with their projects in development.

The program will combine the long experience that EAVE has in international training and networking with a tailor-made approach for francophone producers in minority communities across Canada, taking into account their specific needs.

The objective is to improve the participants’ skills in international coproduction, film finance and management, legal issues, marketing, packaging, festival and sales strategies as well as script development, allowing them to expand their careers and businesses internationally.

The EAVE experts confirmed for the programme include the following: group leader Diana Elbaum (Beluga Tree, BE), script consultant Nadja Dumouchel (FR/DE), legal expert Pierre-Emmanuel Mouthuy (Mouthuy Avocats, BE), pitching expert Sibylle Kurz (DE), marketing consultant Mathias Noschis (Alphapanda, DE/CH), sales experts Salma Abdalla (Autlook Films, AT) and Karoliina Dwyer (The Yellow Affair, FI/UK/US), guest expert Katriel Schory (IL), as well as Canadian finance and co-production expert Yanick Letourneau (Peripheria, CA).

The languages of the workshop will be French and English.

The 3 sessions of the workshop:

W1: January 14-20, 2023 online
W2: June 1-7, 2023 online
W3: September 1-5, 2023 online

EAVE ON DEMAND for members of APFC is organized by EAVE and APFC in partnership with Netflix, lead partner, Telefilm Canada and the Canada Media Fund.

EAVE is Europe’s leading training, development and networking organization for producers. In addition to our flagship programme, the renowned European Producers Workshop, we are involved in a variety of programmes in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Russia, Africa and the Middle East. Founded in 1988, EAVE’s objectives are to provide professional training opportunities and to bring producers from different regions of the world together with the aim of facilitating co-production relationships. EAVE’s unique international network comprises over 2,300 producers and key decision makers (funders, sales agents, distributors, commissioning editors etc.).

Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada – APFC

The Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada is dedicated to the development of the French-language film, television, and digital media industry across Canada. The Alliance is the voice of the audiovisual and independent production sector in francophone Canada.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

About Telefilm Canada

Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual coproduction treaties to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund accepts private donations which principally support emerging talent.

About the Canada Media Fund

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, promotes, develops and finances the production of Canadian content and relevant applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment through fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through industry and private sector partnerships.

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EUROPE! Hub at Sundance welcomes European producers

EFP offers for the very first time a small but cosy EUROPE! HUB at the festival - a new central industry meeting point and networking space which can be used by all Europeans attending the festival.
It is the place from which we can jointly promote European cinema.
EFP rents a small space in the Double Tree Hotel (formerly known as 'The Yarrow'), right next to one of the main festival cinemas with the Press & Industry Screenings.
ALL Europeans (and of course all others) attending the festival are warmly invited to come to this centrally located meeting space and use it for their meetings.

In case of any question, please contact Sonja Heinen: heinen@efp-online.com.

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Donate to the EAVE Alan Fountain International Scholarship Fund

A scholarship has been set up to honour the memory of Alan Fountain, former Head of Studies and President of EAVE, who passed away in 2016. Its goal is to enable one producer from outside the EU to participate in all three sessions of the EAVE Producers Workshop each year.

Find out more...

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