The first day of August brought together the twelve participants from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Poland, Romania, USA, Ukraine, Hungary and Lithuania at the 14th edition of the most important workshop dedicated to film documentary from eastern Europe, at Belis, Cluj.
The selected teachers, the danish filmmakers – Arne Bro and Lotte Mik-Meyer, helped the participants to take the first steps into the world of documentaries, bringing the context into action and offering them the chance to express themselves and get to know each other in a very short time. Starting from the premise that the film is a universal language, the tutors challenged the participants to get into the action, making them part of a series of creative exercises.
Take a camera, film something, tell your story in three days
In no time, the tutors managed to get to know the 12 participants, to identify the subjects of interest and to observe the visual style of each one of them.
“It has been an amazing process and I declare myself delighted of the artistic potential of each one of the participants. They come from different backgrounds and this cultural diversity translates itself through different perspectives of the world” noticed the director Lotte Mik-Meyer, documentary film teacher and television studies. “Most of the time, the students interested in documentary film have a journalistic approach, but here we got ourselves a truly collection of artists”, pointed Arne Bro, director of Documentary Film Department and TV Studies of National School of Film from Denmark.
By the end of the masterclass, before saying goodbye to the danish experts, the young filmmakers found the names of their future colleagues. The distribution of the directors, operators and editors in the four teams formed came as a conclusion of the three days of study. During all this time, each of the participants had the opportunity to express themselves through daily journals and to analyze the results of their colleagues together.
“I very much enjoyed the intimate atmosphere from the classroom. It allowed us to become friends with each other. I think it will come in hand producing the films here” said director Sam Bassett (UK), who forms a team with ucrainean Olya Chernykh (DoP) and romanian editor Voicu Muresan.
The students were very much impressed by the style of work of the 2 tutors. “That whole concept of non-judgemental reviewing of work was a great experience,” declared the german editor Julia Elger, who will work side by side on a short film with british director David Power and romanian DoP Bence Prokop.
“I’ve learned in these 3 days that thinking too much can also lead you to actually not doing what you wanted to do” sums up Vasile Todinca, the director of the team made of polish Maciej Thiem (DoP) and lithuanian Ieva Sakalyte (editor).
Four production teams in searching of a documentary film subject
In the following weeks, the teams will explore the surroundings of Belis, in searching of film subjects, under the careful guidance of the director and producer Isidore Bethel, first time invited at Aristoteles Workshop.
Along with the the third tutor, the participants will be searching for the perfect recipes of successful stories, exploring and working day by day at their projects, starting with identifying the subject and finishing with editing the first draft.
“We need to have a perfect reason when we choose a film subject. We need to feel it in our stomachs when it comes to choosing the right one”, concludes american director Bronte Stahl, who explores a few possible scenarios, among his colleagues, the italian DoP Lorenzo Fabbro and romanian editor Claudia Alexandru.
At the end of the week, the participants will get to know the multi-awarded director and producer Laurent Becue-Renard, and the outcome will be a true exam to them. The filmmaker will encourage them to continue exploring the selected themes or, on the contrary, he will send them back in the field, to search for other stories. By the end of the last workshop day, on August 31, at least four films will be ready to follow the footsteps of other successful titles made at Aristoteles Workshop.
Aristoteles Workshop (AW) was born in 2006, founded by the romanian producers Dan Nutu and Cristina Hoffman, with the support of the french-german television Arte, in order to support a new generation of filmmakers, with previous experience in film or video production. Starting 2018, Aristoteles Workshop is organised in partnership with Master of Documentary Film – Faculty of Theatre and Film, Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj.
Part of the most important and most awarded films produced by Aristoteles Workshop can be enjoyed on cinepub.ro, an online platform where the romanian movies can be watched legally all over the world.
The 14th edition of the workshop will take place between 1st and 31 of August, in Belis, Cluj County and it’s financed by the National Council of Cinematography, The Filmmakers Union from Romania and DacinSara.
The technical equipment for editing is provided by NOUMAX.
Media Parners: adio Guerrilla, IQads, Cinemagia, AaRC.ro, Liternet.ro, Films in Frame, ADFR, Cultural Cluj.