Look at the Distribution Potential of the Story


Interview with a Dok.Incubator Project Director Andrea Prenghyova

What are the most decisive criteria for admitting projects in Dok.Incubator?

We have two rounds of a selection. The first round is focused on the quality of the shot material and on the editing. We are checking rough cuts and the edited scenes, we consider the pilots of the projects. Pilot is not a trailer, pilot is a very short essence of the film – where you go to and what you want to tell. Out of these projects we select 15, by which we think about the background – who is the director, who is the producer. We try to look at the distribution potential of the story whether the film has the potential to be distributed internationally. By the first round we mainly ask the good editors and the dramaturgist to reconsider the project and in the second round we involve the festivals and sales agents.

What are the special features of your workshops compared to the other ones in our region?

Most of the workshops are focused on two things, on the development of the project, all the practical workshops work with the project before its shooting. And there is also a lot of workshops focused on professional skills – how to do this and how to do that. We are quite unique not only in our region but in the whole Europe. We are working with the documentary filmmakers who have already made a film and crucial decisions. Their projects are in the rough cut stage which is very fragile but also very important for the film production. Most of the filmmakers are completely exhausted, they don't have any budget anymore and they want to finish the film. But from the second point of view, this is a stage that is crucial for having your success. We are trying to help our participants to make a strong story line and a really clever strategy where to start, how to make their release, because today are so many films and you have to be very smart in a way how to premiere your film and how to distribute it.

According to your experience, which skills are in high demand to attract festival marketers?

I think it is very important especially for the starting filmmakers to look really around, to copy not anyone else and be themselves. I am convinced you can make your succes with a first film. We have a very good story of Georgian filmmakers who didn't have any budget, any distributor, any producer and any sales agent. After this they won the prize for the best directing at Sundance. I think you should really trust in your project, you shouldn't make any compromises on a quality and you should have a very good editors. Most of the projects stop with the editing very early but they need their time. At festivals they do not watch the whole films, they watch the first 10 minutes and the story must attract in a short time.

What kind of experts are you going to host in the current sessions?

We are working with the great editors: Gesa Marten, received three times one of Germany’s most prestigious editing award, Ivo Trajkov, a Macedonian living in the Czech Republic and Wolfgang Widerhofer who is a main editor of the Nikolaus Geyrhalter from Austria. We have the good producers for the production strategy for the projects, experienced Danish Sigrid Dyekjær and we are also working with the good European sales agents.

Do you think that future of documentary filmmaking in the Central and Eastern Europe is in the VOD platforms?

There is no money in VOD and there are still doubts whether it would be ever money out of that. Look at the music industry that is much more advanced than the film industry. The crisis came earlier to the music industry and they still don' find results how to deal with it. Big question about the documentary productions is a division between making films for television and for cinema. The television medium is not growing anymore. The most of the attraction of our generation goes to the Internet. I think, the future of the TV will be in live shows and news. So for me it is a big question what will happen with documenatry filmmaking. Nowadays documentary survives thanks to the film funds. But when the film funding will be in a crisis then we have serious problems with filmmaking in the future. It is not very optimistic but this is happening now.

Andrea Prenghyova was interviewed by Zofia Bosakova.