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FkN Newsletter

April #2 2011

FkN News

Nordic Delegation at Hot Docs
It will be hard to miss the Nordics at Hot Docs, North America's premier documentary festival, market and conference, taking place in Toronto, Canada, in the beginning of May.

Filmkontakt Nord has coordinated a delegation of close to 30 documentary professionals from the five Nordic countries who will be there attending different parts of the event. On top of that 17 Nordic films represented by the filmmakers will be screened in the official selections, and approx. 20 decision-makers from the region will attend the event. Thus, there should be a good chance of meeting some of us at either the screenings, the International Co-Production Day, the Hot Docs Forum or during the Interdoc and docXchange programmes.

docXchange is FkNs new initiative in cooperation with Hot Docs fostering professional development and offering potential financing opportunities for interactive documentary projects. The first part of the two-step programme is taking place with a three-day workshop 1-3 May during Hot Docs. The second part will take place during Nordisk Panorama with a one-day financing forum on 28 September. The programme is supported by MEDIA Mundus and The Nordic Council of Ministers.

Interdoc helps ambitious filmmakers and producers with a feature doc in development to strategise their finance plans, meet commissioning executives and co-production partners, and increase their chances of successfully funding their documentaries. Interdoc 2011 is backed by Danish Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Finnish Film Foundation and Creative Scotland and has a special focus on the North American market. It is run in partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute.

On Monday 2 May, 5.30 - 7 pm at Burwash Hall, Victoria College, FkN is inviting all Hot Docs delegates for a drink to celebrate the Nordic presence at Hot Docs. Don't miss it! We warmly welcome you and are looking forward to meet old and new friends alike.

See the Nordic Delegation here and check out the Nordic films in the Official Selection here.

Call For Nordisk Panorama   
The final deadline for submission to this year's Nordisk Panorama - 5 Cities Film Festival, taking place in Aarhus, Denmark, is 15 May.

If you haven't already submitted your film, now's the time to do it!

And remember, that as of this year, Nordisk Panorama - 5 Cities Film Festival is a qualifying festival for the ACADEMY AWARDS® short film category.

Check out Nordisk Panorama's website and submit your film here.

New Nordic and International Initiatives

New Award to Political Children and Youth Documentaries 
Grosse Klappe is a new award introduced by doxs!, one of the oldest German film festivals exclusively presenting documentaries for children and youths aged 6-18.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of doxs! this November, the Grosse Klappe of Euro 3.500 will be awarded to a European film that promotes an aesthetical approach to documentary culture and the political consciousness of children and youths. A youth jury will select the winner and hand over the prize at doxs!

doxs! is part of the documentary film festival Duisburger Filmwoche that takes place in Duisburg 7 – 13 November 2011. doxs! presents a three-category programme for children and youths including a category of experimental documentaries.

The festival is open to European documentary film and TV productions in German language or with English subtitles.

More about the programme, deadlines and submission here.


Web Community for Aspiring Nordic Filmmakers
The two new Nordic online film communities and launched this April in replacement of the film platform dvoted that closed down in the beginning of 2011. was launched at the Norwegian Amandus Film Festival earlier this April as a pilot project and the Finnish Kelaamo also runs as a beta version. Both platforms operate in their national languages.
Like dvoted, the new platforms serve as a developing tool for young film talents, organisations and resource centres that are interested in communicating with young filmmakers.
The online features on both platforms include discussion forums where filmmakers can show their films and share their experiences and get advice and guidance in film production from professionals within the industry as well as possibilities to create new networks and groups.
Both Kelaamo and Filmport will be closely linked to regional film centres and resource centres working with talent development.
On the Norwegian site, each region will have its own page to promote its activities. The goal of Filmport is that all regions in Norway should be represented within one year. Professional filmmakers and others from the film industry will be available as mentors for Filmport is divided into four sections addressing filmmakers, film schools, film festivals/organisations and film educators, teachers and workshop leaders.
At the Norwegian Amandus Film Festival a Filmport Award will be given for best cinematography. The prize consists of consultancy from a professional film photographer. A lounge will be set up at the festival where people can get information about Filmport and get to know the website.

Filmport is supported by the Norwegian Film Institute and is a joint project between Filmkraft Rogaland, Filmverkstedet in Oppland, Tvibit, Midtnorsk Filmsenter, Mediefabrikken i Akershus, and the Norwegian Amandus Festival.
Kelaamo is supported by the Ministry of Culture Education and managed by Koulukino - Skolbio, which has been the operating partner with dvoted as well.

Norwegian Web-Doc Series to Launch Online
The Norwegian web-documentary series 300 Seconds of Truth produced by Indie Film will launch at the web-TV channel VG-TV later this fall. The series of six episodes each of five minutes is the first Norwegian doc series conceived for the web that has received development and production support from the Norwegian Film Institute, NFI. But it probably won't be the last, according to documentary film consultant, Stig Andersen.
"In the future, we'll most likely see many more single documentaries as well as series, not to mention short films that aim at distribution on the Internet. The Norwegian Film Institute wants to be part of this development and we look forward to explore the new challenges of form, length and content of films intended primarily for the Internet."

The 300 Seconds of Truth series will deal with contemporary topics that enhance our understading of our time and promote debate. Each episode will be directed by a Norwegian director: Even Benestad, Erling Borgen, Tommy Gulliksen, Thor Bekkavik, Kenneth Elvebakk and a sixth person who hasn't been chosen yet.
The producer Carsten Aanonsen's choice to seek alternative distribution for the web-doc series was made in response to the general lack of possibilities of TV-distribution for documentaries on Norwegian TV channels.

Stig Andersen acknowledges that documentary filmmakers in Norway have a hard time finding TV-financing and TV-slots for their documentaries and he greets VG-TV's initiative to invest in 300 Seconds of Truth. He also thinks that the NFI should encourage and support Internet distribution of films, and even though NFI might need to impose certain regulations on films NFI has supported, such as the requirements of fixed broadcasting slots, this would not make sense when it comes to films made for the Internet.
"In my opinion it would be antiquated to go by such rules", says Andersen. "There are no reasons why NFI should not support one-off documentaries or doc series produced for the Internet as long as we respect the requirements of quality that apply for theatrical, festivals and TV distribution".
A bigger problem that Stig Andersen foresees is the fact, that Internet users are used to getting everything for free.
"Presumably the biggest hurdle in the future will be how to finance films aimed at the Internet. Without funding, nothing can be made".

Distribution of documentaries is a field in development, and Stig Andersen is certain it holds a lot of potential.
"I see it as a challenge for the NFI to explore and take part in that development.
TV will remain the main window for documentaries for a long time to come, but the Internet will be an additional distribution channel and that is very positive.
We see young people get a large part of their entertainment and information from the Internet. This is why documentary films should also be found here", he stresses.

Changes at FilmFyn
The Danish regional film fund, FilmFyn will be closing down their training department as of 1 August as part of a restructuring process. The training department has been focusing on new talents and plans are to place the training unit with a FilmFyn partner.
The changes will make it possible for FilmFyn to release funds to strengthen the continuing process of developing a strong regional film environment. The goal is to establish a budget of DKK 20 mio. to fund activities that can create around 200 jobs within the next few years and to stimulate new film industry activities in the region of Funen in order to attract new investments, create international activities as well as local and regional film events.

FilmFyn is a regional fund, covering South Funen, in Denmark. FilmFyn invests primarily in feature films shot on location in the area and is also involved in international films, from the development stage and onwards.

Tribeca supports New Media 
Tribeca Film Institute has announced the launch of a USD 750.000 fund in partnership with the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms.
The TFI New Media Fund will be geared towards funding and support of non-fiction and social issue media projects with a transmedia approach.
TFI is looking for projects that focus on social change and justice and that integrate film with cross-platform content like video games, mobile apps etc.
In the first year, projects accepted into the Media Fund will each receive USD 50.000 to USD 100.000 in funding in support of cross-platform storytelling and engaging unique user experience.
The New Media Fund programme also aims to be a service to independent filmmakers and technologists to learn about best practices in the transmedia field.
From 2012, JustFilms will increase its support of TFI by contributing USD 1 mio. a year over five years to support TFI New Media Fund projects.
The fund is open to international applicants, and submission deadline is 25 May. The grant recipients will be announced in September 2011.
More about rules and regulations click here.

BFI and Film London Take over from UK Film Council

After the abolishment of the UK Film Council in July 2010, the UK government has announced that the activities carried out by the Film Council will now be transferred to the British Film Institute (BFI) and Film London.

Since 1 April 2011, the British Film Institute (BFI) has become the UK Government's lead body for film. Most of the UK Film Council's core functions have transferred to the BFI - including the distribution of National Lottery funding for the development and production of new British films, as well as audience development activity through supporting film distribution and exhibition.

Film London will take over the responsibilities of developing and managing a national strategy for investments in film production in collaboration with public-private partnerships with key industry bodies. The UK Film Council’s role in encouraging inward investment into the UK has moved across to Film London in a public/private partnership with Warner Bros., Pinewood Studios Group, the Production Guild, UK Screen Association and others.
Read more about the new structure here.