Bridge among the Industry, Market and the School


Interview with Maia Workshops Delegates

Why it is a good idea for the young filmmakers from the Central and Eastern Europe to apply for the MAIA workshops?

We function as a bridge among the industry, market and the school. We train emerging professionals, so we are looking for the graduates – people who have just finished the school. After school, you often do not know where to go. This is the focus area of our training programme. In the Eastern and the Central Europe you do not have the specific accompaniment in a sense of the structures that may help you to get into the industry. Maya gives you the accompaniment not only through our workshops, but also through another activities that we do. For example, tomorrow here in Berlin we are organizing a guided tour through market with a very well known sales agent Sydney Levine. She will take our graduates through the market, explaining to them who is who, where to go and to whom speak.

Which working skills could be upgraded through the workshops?

When you are out of school you need to confront your project with reality, you have to find the co-producers and the sales agent, you have to know how to develop your project. The Maia workshops are not only didactic ones – it is not only the theory we are focused on but it is really a practice how to understand the market, how to build your project in the way it is would be marketable outside.

Graziella Bildesheim, MAIA workshops programme director

What are the biggest problems in the Eastern European film market?

I do not think you have much more specific problems than another countries here in Europe have. Except for an one field – that the training is needed – how to be a good creative producer.

Which remarkable lecturers are you going to host in 2013 season?

We have three workshops a year. The first workshop is focused on the creative aspects of production. One of the workshop's conductor is Miguel Machalski – an Argentinean screenwriter who is working on analyzing scripts and teaching producers. Another guest – Julian Friedmann is a literary agent. He set up a company in the UK many years ago and he also teaches on pitching and selling and aspects of production.The second workshop will be on the legal issues. Linda Beath, teaches the subject for the other European programmes, she has good knowledge how to build your project on a financial level, on all the necessities you need to do as a producer during the project development, e.g., how to understand to the financial structures, what applications you have to make for them, how the structure of the funds in the Europe looks like. Juliane Schulze will be on a second one, too. She works for a German company that consults financing for the projects. She is specialized on cross media projects what is very interesting as we are trying be as ahead as we can with the stimuli that industry gives us. The third workshop on the marketing and distribution will be hosted by Peter Jaeger. He is an international sales agent for the creative documentaries. It is very important because most of the young producers start with the documentaries.

Let us say I am a participant of a workshop – is there any possibility that professional outside the workshop see my project?

Yes, there is. For example, we are partners of the co-production market and the pitching forum in Trieste – When East meets West. Two projects of our graduates were selected to take part in it. But we also organized a pitching of five producers we took from Maia, they attended the cocktail reception we did in the evening and they earned a lot of contacts from there. And apart for this at the end of the year we have a project look, we putting online works of our participants on our website. So professional producers who might have been interested in their project, can see it there. It is also a tool for our graduates in a sense of reference for a further cooperation.

Alessandra Pastore, MAIA workshops Programme and Network Coordinator

What are the key objectives for the MAIA in the next couple of years?

Our objectives are to enhance the number of partnerships we have with the co-production forums and initiatives where graduates can go. We also work very much on networking, we have realized that networking is as important as training. After the training it is very important to keep networking alive among the Maia participants. So in eight years we have around 400 professionals attending Maia and if we do not keep them together they got lost – it is essential that people know each other.