Thursday, February 17, 2005

Berlin film fest, day 7

Most of the tables in the QIU bar of the Hotel Madison are sighing under the weight of screenplays being pitched by hopeful writers to an international assortment of producers. This is the 'real' industry schmooze-fest.

Back in the huge Fifties-era building - Berliners call it the Oyster - where the Talent Campus takes place, young filmmakers are taking their first steps into the professional world. One of the European organisations that helps them do that is the Amsterdam-based Binger Institute, a post-graduate screenwriting 'finishing school' that prepares its students for the debutante ball that is the film industry (see Qiu bar).

Last semester's belles met with prospective producers at the recent Cinemart at the Rotterdam film festival. Binger director Dick Willemsen, also present in Berlin, is happy to report that at least one deal has resulted from that. Polish writer Kasia Klimkiewicz sold her script Daughter to Flying Moon Productions of Germany. "We're talking to some other European organisations to see if we can launch a pitching event at the Swiss Locarno festival," says Willems. "But the idea would be to showcase the writers' capacities and skills as a whole, not just their screenplays."

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