After the successful completion of the second edition of SOFA – School of Film Agents – and just in time for the Berlinale – the SOFA-team is
proud to announce their, “Call for Proposals” for a third round slated to take place in Wroclaw, Poland from August 21st – 30th, 2015 .
SOFA is a workshop initiative for young film professionals and mediators from Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, Central Asia,
Greece and Germany with the goal of supporting and realizing innovative cinema projects.
SOFA’s first success stories
are able to be told thanks to the overwhelming response derived from a visionary and unique pan-european target group, from the undying support
of the initiative’s partners as well as from the hands-on contributions of exceptional expertise from some of Europe’s most knowledgeable film professionals (e.g., 2014
Eurimages’ Executive Director, Roberto Olla, “Ida,” “Als wir träumten“)
SOFA Director, Nikolaj Nikitin
is immensely pleased with the results of FBO, which, for Nikitin, only reaffirm the indispensability and significance of SOFA: “FBO will revolutionize the future of the film industry. For the first time, not only will the makers of film festivals, but
also producers and financiers be able to have access to the concrete numbers behind so-called ‘festival films’. It has been clear for quite
some time that the international success of a film can no longer be measured based on classic theatrical statistics and attendance figures.
These methods of evaluation often have no relevance or do not function as well in other countries, particularly in ‘low-capacity’ countries
where the distribution of European film content no longer finds its audience in the typical art house cinema on the corner, but rather at
active and numerous film festivals. These festivals often take the place of the role of a distribution company, making a film available to
viewers year round whilst collecting information on audience development. That’s why FBO will serve as one of the most important assessment
tools for a new generation of filmmakers. We are thrilled that this idea was conceived and developed in Serbia, where it has already received
funding and will be further subsidized in Strasbourg by Eurimages.“
Here, some more details about this unique and innovative project from the creators / developers themselves – the company SOULFOOD from Belgrad:
“FBO – Festival Box Office is an internet-based platform aggregating all relevant data and figures regarding international festivals’ presentation of films .
In addition to showcasing film presentations at international festivals (with the focus on European festivals), FBO will provide information
about 1) the number of the festivals where the film was screened 2) number of films presented at festival(s) 3) actual number of festival
screenings 4) total number of audience attendees and 5) the total and average income from ticket sales. The purpose of this subscriber-based
service – with a detailed festival film overview – is to provide quantitative data that can be used as a powerful production tool. Information
from large, one-time or occasional events will provide producers, distributors and sales agents with a more detailed account of the commercial
potential of films, films that may otherwise only be seen only as showcase events.“
From SOFA’s second edition in 2014 comes the outstanding project „Transylvania Film Fund“ which is soon to become Romania’s first regional film funding body. The Romanian SOFA participant, Cristian Hordila,managed to get
his ambitious project off the ground in less than one year. This project has even managed to branch out geographically and will kick-off much
larger than originally planned. Hordila comments: “Before participating at SOFA, I had an idea for a project, yet still so many questions, even
doubts about how to get it in gear. After 10 hard-working, super creative days with the SOFA family, I returned home with all the necessary
tools and resources to create the foundation of the first regional film fund in Romania, the Transylvania Film Fund. SOFA made me go from just
having an idea to absolutely nothing and then back gain; I destroyed my initial concepts during those 10 days so many times and the team at
SOFA always helped me rebuild each time…better and better. I’m very proud to say that without SOFA, the Transylvania Film Fund wouldn’t be
the same project with the same vision and approach as it is today. Romania will have its first regional film fund this year. The Transylvania
Film Fund release is planned for mid-May and SOFA is definitely one of the founders.“
Nikitin adds: “From the very beginning, the establishment of regional / national film funding in Eastern Europe was of
particular importance to us. Our years of experience have shown us that additional funding and support schemes are often exactly that needed to
stimulate national film production, create new job opportunities for those seeking work in the film sector along with the establishment of new
film companies, not to mention pushing forward the professionalization of the audio-visual sector. The longstanding success of one of SOFA’s partners, the Film und Medien Stiftung NRW , illustrates this point perfectly. We wish
Cristian and his colleagues the very best and are certain that the establishment of such an institution will positively nurture and support the
wave of success that Romanian cinema is currently experiencing.”
The Lithuanian project FRONT – Film Republic of Networked Theater has taken major steps
forward towards realization. SOFA-Participant Kestutis Drazdauskas:
„SOFA made me realize the European dimension of my project. Following SOFA, we at the Vilnius Film Cluster conducted research
which took into consideration the knowledge I acquired at the SOFA-workshop. The research received 30.000 Euro support by the Cultural Council
of Lithuania. We evaluated the infrastructural needs as well as social, cultural and economical circumstances in thirty municipalities in
Lithuania. At present we are working on the investment plan for the establishment of the regional cinema network.“
Many other projects from the first two edition of SOFA are on the road to success and will continue to be supported and presented by the SOFA
team in the future.
New projects for SOFA 2015
may be submitted as of now
. Deadline for submissions is April 10th, 2015.
SOFA – School of Film Agents is a joint project of the Filmplus gUG (Cologne) and the Fundacja Filmplus (Warsaw) together
with the city of Wroclaw (Breslau) and the Polish Film Institute,
funded by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, theFederal Foreign Office, the International Visegrad Fund,the Film und Medien Stiftung NRW,The Creative Europe Desk Poland
, The Alfred Toepfer Foundation and EAVE – European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs and supported by theAdam Mickiewicz Institute, in collaboration
with the Goethe-Institut in Poland (Krakow), Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania, Greece and its Head Office in
Germany, and with the support of theFilm Commission Poland and the Wroclaw Film Commission.