Projects & Participants

The 5th edition of SOFA – School of Film Agents has invited seven participants from
seven different countries having seven great projects in tow! Scroll down and click on the nameslist below to learn more about the class of 2017 / 2018!

Nikolai Lavreniuk | Belarus | Belarusian Film Promotion Centre

Nikolai Lavreniuk

Project: Belarusian Film Promotion Centre

The main goal of the Promotion Centre is to empower Belarusian film industry creatives to go international with their talented projects, gain transborder cooperation experience and, finally, put Belarusian film industry on the global cinema map. This Centre would unite Belarusian filmmakers and industry, both “official” and independent, that now seem to be separate and uncoordinated. The Centre will serve international promotion of Belarusian films, organize Belarusian stands at the biggest film markets and develop distribution of Belarusian films and other promotion activities. The Centre will be the main institution for international festivals to learn about Belarussian film industry, influencing the local government to make final steps into the co-production integration. Belarusian Film Promotion Centre is an organization we lack in our country to connect our film industry to the world.

Nikolai Lavreniuk was born in Minsk, Belarus in 1989. Producer (Film Company “lllusion”), festival programmer (Minsk International Film Festival “Listapad” – Documentary film program director), scriptwriter (ScripTeast Jury Special Mention in Cannes, project “Solomon’s Mountain”). He graduated from Minsk Private Film School “Cinema” (2008), Minsk State Linguistic University (2012), International Film School in Belye Stolby (2009, Russia). Lavreniuk produced several independent films including the family feature film “Timur and His Squad” (2014), that took part in film festivals in Germany, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and won several awards. He is the producer and co-writer on a feature film “Solomon’s Mountain” (director – Siarhei Kalasouski), producer of two documentary films by Liubou Ziamtsova: “Ordinary Film” (presented at Vilnius IFF Industry in 2017, takes part in Ex Oriente in 2017) and “Artyom’s Upbringing” (supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund in 2017).

Gitit Wainer | Israel | Cine-Reflection – Films as a Reflection of Life

Gitit Wainer

Project: Cine-Reflection – Films as a Reflection of Life

The main goal of this project is to create a way in which films and cinema become a central means to reflect on one's life. The project aims at introducing youth, ages 12-16, to films and cinema as spectators and as creators. To create various educational tools/ tracks that will unravel the magic of the big screen to this particular age group. In a rapid changing world like today, cinema, on the one hand has to reinvent itself all the time in order to keep pace with the younger audience, on the other hand, the younger audience need to learn how to think deeper and see beyond the immediate. Herzliya Cinematheque will provide the arena in which this project will take place. The idea is to have a "holistic" approach that will accompany a teenager throughout the week. A class in school, special hands-on courses such-as photography, script writing, editing as extracurricular activities, and a "film club" at the cinematheque during the weekends. The main idea is that through watching and making films one can go through a deep personal journey. To learn that particular films can be life changing at times, that filmmaking is about teamwork and friendship, that in order to make a good film, one has to plan. However, the most important message is that films are a way of self-reflection and expression.

Gitit is currently the CEO of Herzliya Cinematheque, located in a coastline city in Israel. She is a cultural entrepreneur with firm International background. Gitit has an extensive knowledge and familiarity with Israel's film industry through working on various leading film related events in Israel. She is a creative producer specializing on the business side of Art and Culture. Her personal vision and mission is to make art accessible to as many people possible. Trying to explore a way in which as many possible people can experience art. Gitit conceptualizes plans and executes art projects and cultural co-operations in various fields of the arts, between Israel Europe, the USA and Mexico. She is involved and in close contact with many of Israel's leading cultural institutions, especially film and contemporary art related, but not only. Gitit has strong background and knowledge of art management in public bodies, such as municipalities and public funds. Vast experience in development and nurturing of strategic relationships with relevant partners such as cultural institutes, NGO's governmental offices etc. She has high command of English and Hebrew.

Angelos Tsaousis | Greece | DocRepublic

Angelos Tsaousis

Project: DocRepublic

DocRepublic will be a documentary centre where documentary and digital (cross media applications) storytelling with great social impact will be celebrated. It will be a cultural space and a social impact organisation which will utilise storytelling with various forms to achieve meaningful objectives, such as mobilising people to take action and rise a purpose to their everyday life. Through various activities and the creation of compelling stories we intent to capture people’s attention and imagination - and inspire them to take action, dream and be active citizens. Our main aim is to communicate documentary stories in the wider public but also educate people of any age on how to tell their stories by using the form of documentary. Effective stories inspire people for social causes by creating human connection and emotional resonance.

Angelos Tsaousis holds a postgraduate degree on Communication Studies (University of Leeds) with a specialisation on documentary filmmaking. Being a nomad himself, travelling around the world and exploring human stories is his motivation for creating cinematic narratives that speaks of social issues. His main objective is to explore the potential of using documentary form as a social impact and educational tool. His focus is mainly on producing/directing creative documentaries with an international co-production potential. With the support from the Fulbright Artist Scholarship (2016-2017), he is currently working on his latest documentary project Far.Go.Bots as a Filmhouse resident at the San Fransisco Film Society. He is exploring further the documentary funding potentials in US film market as well as the educational capabilities of documentary storytelling. One of his major aims is to initiate a documentary centre in Greece.

Tara Karajica | Serbia | Fade to Her – Center for Women in Film

Tara Karajica

Project: Fade to Her – Center for Women in Film

The “Fade to Her” Center for Women in Film is an institution whose aim is to support women in the Serbian film industry. Its primary mission will be to be a safe-house and stronghold for both emerging and established Serbian women working in Film, regardless of their respective specialized fields; to promote the visibility of female- driven cinematic content and to back women through networking, funding and production opportunities, trainings, pitching sessions, festival strategy, curation, consultancy, sales, and research programs, as well as to encourage the professional development of women in the Serbian film industry. The center will raise awareness, promote gender equality with respect to opportunities of employment and funding and their subsequent access to them, and help women in the Serbian film industry get recognized and their stories be told. It will also assist them in getting international attention and co-productions and will, at a later stage, reward outstanding projects with awards and further opportunities and enhance their orientation on the international film market. The project also has a regional ambition aiming to become a hub for women storytellers and film industry professionals in Eastern Europe.

Tara Karajica is a Belgrade-based film critic and journalist. Her writings have appeared in "Indiewire", "Screen International", "Variety", "Festivalists", "SydneysBuzz" and "Film New Europe", among many other media outlets. She was a participant of the 2013 Locarno Critics Academy, the 2014 Talents Sarajevo and the 2016 Berlinale Talents – Talent Press and a number of other film criticism workshops. Tara is a film programmer at the World of Film International Festival in Glasgow, Scotland and a board member of NISI MASA. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society and the Women Film Critics Circle as well as the recipient of the 2014 Best Critic Award at the Altcine Action! Film Festival. In September 2016, she founded “Yellow Bread”, a magazine dedicated entirely to short film, ranked among the 25 Top Short Film Blogs and Websites on the Planet in 2017.

Nino Chichua | Georgia | Film/TV Production Cost Calculator for Georgia

Nino Chichua

Project: Film/TV Production Cost Calculator for Georgia

Georgia has been slowly but steadily attracting more and more international producers who are eager to shoot in our country in order to cut costs and make most out of their film production budgets. However, figuring out what the fair costs in Georgia really are and finding the actual information about the rates can become a long and troublesome experience for foreign professionals. Production Cost Calculator is an online tool offered by our agency to be used by foreign producers seeking production services in Georgia. By collecting information through a detailed set of questions, the calculator automatically analyzes and provides an instant estimated quote with no hidden fees (with a small margin of error). The online tool is attached to a production service agency which takes the process further, and once the estimate is discussed and tweaked according to the specifics of the project, provides all inclusive production service experience covering each stage from writing the budget to shoot and wrap. The ease of using the online tool provides a trustworthy and transparent beginning to a collaboration and creates an even more amicable environment for international productions to work in Georgia.

Hailing from the Republic of Georgia, Nino Chichua graduated from the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, with a degree in Film & TV Production and Producing. Determined to bring the best of western practices to her home country’s newly revived film industry, Nino moved back to Georgia and worked as a freelance producer on various projects, including Line Producing an award-winning Georgian director George Ovashvili’s film Khibula (Karlovy Vary FF 2017). As a result of discovering the untapped opportunities for film production in Georgia, Nino, together with a partner Anna Khazaradze, founded 1991 Productions, a service company which caters to international productions and aims to become a leader in the region through providing flawless all inclusive experience.

Agnieszka Sękowska | Poland | Producer’s MAP (Mentoring Action Plan)

Agnieszka Sękowska

Project: Producer’s MAP (Mentoring Action Plan)

Producer’s MAP (Mentoring Action Plan) is a first of its kind one-year mentoring programme for young emerging producers which leads them through film festivals and trainings fitted to their career profile and projects. The Przestrzeń Filmowa Foundation takes pleasure in inviting filmmakers to participate in an international educational programme. We will be on the lookout for producers who have conceived a project of their first full-length film at the development stage which they would like to develop and finalise in the next years. To achieve international success, apart from undoubted talent and knowledge in the field they’ve received their education and work in, every author should get the chance to acquire theoretical and practical skills to find their way in the international world of co-producers, distributors, and sales agents. 4 participants of the Producer’s MAP, selected by the professional commission, will be given the opportunity to take part in international film festivals, training and workshops. Our mentors together with producers will prepare an individual career and project path and will walk the participants through the secrets of successful production.

Agnieszka Sękowska is the producer, director, president of Przestrzeń Filmowa Foundation. Started with Psychology Studies at the University of Warsaw, ended with Programme for Creative Producers at Wajda School and both polish and international workshops, e.g. MAIA. In the meantime, she worked as a production manager for TVN, then producer of creative short films, documentaries and art director for Agencja Filmowa. What really turns her on? Directing (she directed a couple of TVC, promotional films and music video) and running project of the foundation. She produces 48 Hour Film Project in main polish cities: Warsaw, Wroclaw (as a project of European Capital of Culture), Katowice, Krakow that gathered over 6 000 polish filmmakers, implemented Polish Cinema for Beginners in Warsaw, organized polish group for Kinoctambule – an international film lab in France, created Late Film Breakfasts and the latest educational project: Film Lab Warszawa-Berlin which took place during 67. IFF Berlinale.

Liina Maria Lepik | Estonia | Tallinn Film Wonderland

Liina Maria Lepik

Project: Tallinn Film Wonderland

Tallinn Film Wonderland is established by Estonian main production companies and the goal of Tallinn Film Wonderland is to build a modern film industry hub on the territory of historical cotton factory (Kopli 35 in Tallinn, Estonia). The Hub would be a home for the biggest studio complex in the Baltic Sea area as well as different local audiovisual service companies. TFW is responsible for both creating and building the studio complex as well as operating it in the future. Three variously sized studios (1200, 800 and 500 m2 with max 14 meters of height) will provide the opportunity to shoot at different sets at the same time and give flexibility. The Hub corporates various industry service providers to ensure cooperation and offers full set of services needed during filming and production. The studios are also suitable for TV production as well as hosting events and concerts.

After 12 years working in different positions as manager in a fast-growing bank Liina Maria decided to build-up something different and persuade new challenges in her long admired creative sector. She’s been the CEO of Tallinn Film Wonderland for a year now - a year full of learning, discovering, overcoming obstacles and meeting a lot of inspiring people. The enthusiasm for being part in film sector is growing in minutes.

Nikolaj Nikitin Director & Founder,

Organizer Fundacja Filmplus, CEO: Radoslaw Drabik & Nikolaj Nikitin
Filmplus gemeinnützige UG, CEO: Nikolaj Nikitin & Oliver Baumgarten
Design & Photo Oktober Kommunikationsdesign GmbH,

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