Maia Workshop - Creative Aspects

With my fabulous Franco-British project stewing, I thought this is the year to apply to EAVE! Well I did and they didn't want me, so instead I saw something online which sounded like a good alternative. It was called Maia Workshops and was aimed at the emerging producer, with a distinct slant towards the Eastern co-production. I thought well - why not? Let's give it a go, and happily they decided they would have me! First session in April was set in the Chia Laguna resort in Sardinia - no less than a fabulous 5 star resort sandwiched on a hill between two gorgeous beaches... One inhabited by pink flamingos! Well frankly... What's not to like!

Chia Laguna

First workshop was focussed on all creative aspects - looking mainly at script, development, practical strategies and feasibility. Our producer mentor was Danijel Hocevar from Slovenia. He has produced millions of award-winning films, and I have to confess I knew none of them. But then again I am quite ignorant and can't say I have been exposed to many films from the Balkans generally. But I am discovering his films gradually, and despite a dark disposition (not surprising) many are eye-opening and some even uplifting, beautiful films. Danijel's Serbo-Slovenian Circles by Srdan Golubović has an incredibly positive vibe. (Sundance 2013: Special Jury Award, Berlinale 2013: Ecumenical Prize).

Daniel and Danijel in Cagliari

Our script mentor was Alejandro de la Fuente, who comes from Italy, via France and South America. He has worked forever in script development and acquisitions and he has been supporting all the projects with a particular interest in the scripts themselves, story and how they position themselves.

Everybody Maia 2015 Sardinia

Graziella Bildesheim
who created and runs the workshop, is an inspiring passionate producer herself, an industry person with many years experience in film and sits on the Italian film commission in Roma. She cares deeply about practices within the industry, developing good producer skills generally but also encouraging the under-developed areas of Europe (and the world) and encouraging those for whom there is less available close to hand.

Sardinia tutors

We were given as task and study tool the script of Sworn Virgin by Laura Bispuri which was nominated for the golden bear award at the Berlinale. We met Marta Donzelli (producer behind Le Quattro Volte) from Vivo Film in Italy, who produced the film. She talked us through all the production and finance steps that went into making the film. We watched the film and then dissected it later with Alejandro.

Linda Beath brought us all back to reality with a big bump as she splayed out sheets of paper on a the wall and minuted a most likely timeline for any of our projects, which took us through a good 7 years before any of our projects would actually see the light of day. Maybe a bit tough - the ruler was out and knuckles were wrapped when stupid questions were asked, or mobiles and laptops twanged - but a super intelligent and perceptive lady - knows her stuff inside out and is completely clear on all things finance and making sense of the industry in business terms.

Stefan Rüll spoke to us about chain of title and script optioning contracts. Nevina Satta accompanied us into Cagliari and the local festival to teach us about the local possibilities and the different film funds they have on the go there.

There were 20 producers from around Europe with feature and documentary projects on the workshop - some were on board without projects but looking to see how they could grow themselves and their companies. A clutch of 9 or 10 producers booked themselves on the full course of 3 workshops, the rest were only booked on one.

It's funny how these bonds of friendship form, but already after only a week spent in Sardinia together something grows, like a little ivy creeper, and friendships and future collaborations blossom. If I was a bit apprehensive at the start whether or not I would have anything in common - any shared interests etc... with my fellow participants and tutors, I didn't realise how much it would open my eyes and whet my appetite to learn more about the Baltics and the Balkans and even Poland and Germany!

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How funny that on my return from the Maia session, Daniel Mulloy should get back in touch with a Kosovo based project. It would have seemed unthinkable before but now...

Find out more

We're in production and development so things are always changing. Ohna will be keeping the news page & twitter feed up to date. But if you want to know more please do get in touch!

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