My ‘Bosch Stiftung Film Prize Nominee Forum’ Experience

I just came back from Berlin where I attended a film forum organized by the Robert Bosch Foundation. Organized for nominated projects competing for their 2013 Arab-German co-production film grants. 

I first found out about the Bosch Foundation and their generous funding opportunities this past summer in Amman where I attended a short-film project market hosted by the Royal Film Commission of Jordan meant to help Arab writer/directors partner up with German producers. After some pitch training and meetings, I decided to join forces with an ambitious producer, Jessica Landt from Beleza Film, and apply to the co-production grant together with our short fiction project The Stork.

We were shortlisted and invited to the Nominee Forum with nine other teams, each working on either short fiction or documentary projects, also made up of Arab and German filmmakers. It was an intense few days of training rounded out with good food and conversations. I think we all left more prepared to officially pitch our projects in February to the jury during the 2013 Berlinale.

Since I found it so useful, I thought I’d summarize my highlights:

Pitch training with Cathy de Haan: I first met Cathy in the Amman project market, where she introduced us to the art of pitching, but here she had more time to expand on her advice. She reminded us of the essentials: to keep things clear, consistent and concise – reflected in everything from how we use our voices, our bodies and the design of our visual material. We’ve got to relax, to enjoy the process, because we’ll never have this opportunity again to speak to this particular audience about this specific film. We tend to get so wound up with our presentations and ourselves that we forget about our audience; who we’re actually pitching to and who has ultimate power. What do they know about the project already?, what do they want to hear and how/why will they be moved by your project? Even if they’re critical of the pitch in the end, we should be appreciative and answer their concerns seriously, as their questions and feedback is proof they actually took the time to hear our pitch.

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‘New Technologies & Opportunities’ Presentation –

This is a presentation I recently did on ‘New Technologies and Opportunities for Filmmakers in the Middle East’.

It offered me an opportunity to explore some new possibilities of storytelling with tools like PC tablets and dSLR cameras that I’d like to use for my own filmmaking in the coming months. If you’re interested in things like crossmedia, the iPad, and independent distribution then I think you’ll enjoy this.

One of the themes of this presentation is the idea that we as filmmakers need to provide our stories or messages in various forms to our audience.

With that in mind, you have TWO WAYS of enjoying this presentation depending on your preference:

FIRST OPTION, you can download a PDF of the slides and written narration.

SECOND OPTION is to simply read the post below, where I’ve embed the slides and some delicious videos and useful hyperlinks.

Enjoy . . . and tell me what you think:

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New Technologies & Opportunities
for Filmmakers in the Middle East

1. Introduction:

In order for us to use new technologies we have be ready to conquer a learning curve and the feeling of being disorientated.  Despite this, as filmmakers we must embrace the new opportunities these developments provide.

We will be talking specifically about the Middle Eastern region but much of what I’ll say is applicable to most of the world especially if you live in an underdeveloped region and you’re trying to communicate a story for your local and global audience.

This short presentation isn’t meant to be a sermon – rather the beginning of a conversation. I really want to hear your opinions about how we as filmmakers can leverage technology.

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