Awakening the interest of your counterpart – an interview with Karin Angela Schyle from the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The Robert Bosch Stiftung encourages young and emerging filmmakers: let’s see what the competition programme, called Co-Production Prize, and the Project Market held in Sarajevo can offer.

The Co-Production Prize encourages young filmmakers to cross borders film production-wise by finding German co-producers. How does the selection process happen? Do you consider this “crossing border” attitude is thematic as well?

The Co-Production Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung is a competition programme which encourages young filmmakers from Germany to collaborate with partners from either Eastern Europe or the Arab World. There they get the chance to find a partner and to prepare a common project for a joint application for the following Co-Production Prize and they are given an opportunity to explore the methods and creative styles of their partner country, stressing in particular the aspect of intercultural exchange.

From all the submissions an international and independant selection committee nominates the fifteen projects which compete for the Co-Production Prize. The prize, worth up to 70,000 euros for each selected project, is awarded in the categories of animated film, documentary, and short film. Projects with a professional approach, a well developed project idea, a good story well researched and depicted, an inspiring director’s signature proved by a reference film and a convincing team roster have the best chance of being nominated.

Please tell us about the Project Market you are going to have in Sarajevo!

For the sixth time, the 18th Sarajevo Film Festival organizes a Talent Campus for young filmmakers from July 8-14, 2012. The Talent Campus, being part of the Film Festival is an important platform for young German and Eastern European filmmakers in this region with the support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung as its official partner. In several workshops, seminars and events, international film experts will give important advice to the participants for their future career in the film business.

Since 2007 the Robert Bosch Stiftung sends within the context of the Co-Production Prize up to ten German up and coming producers to the Sarajevo Talent Campus to meet with filmmakers from the region. A special program with “Speed Dating” and ”One-To-One Meetings“ will enhance the teamfinding process for the Co-Production Prize. For many this is the first opportunity to introduce their film ideas and to learn how to present briefly their project idea within a scheduled time and to awaken the interest of their potential counterpart. The young German producers will be important conversation partners for the Eastern European directors for discussing common project ideas. The development of common projects and enhancement of co-productions by German and Eastern European talents is the central focus of the funding at the Talent Campus.

When do you find a project successful? What is success for Bosch Stiftung? Please tell us about a good example!

We are very happy to find each year applications from teams which met each other in one of our organised Project Markets. And we appreciate the opportunity to experience teams who continue their working relationship. For example director Lili Horváth and producer Henning Kamm of the short film SUNSTROKE, a German/Hungarian production and prize winner from 2008, broadcasted on ARTE in 2009, are now working on a long feature project. This underlines the importance of our activities and confirmes the idea of networking. Following the career of the filmmakers or films supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung we are proud to welcome even winners of the Berlinale Golden Bear (Jasmila Zbanic, who was part of the Lost and Found omnibus project which was the pilot project of the Co-Production Prize) or an Oscar nomination (MILAN by Michaela Kezele).

The Berlinale and the Sarajevo Talent Campus are important partners of the Bosch Stiftung. For how long are you “patrons” of these talents? Are there any chances for them to get in touch with Bosch Stiftung later on during their career?

The Berlinale and the Sarajevo Talent Campus are important networking platforms from which the nominees of the Co-Production Prize can benefit as well. Getting the chance to attend the extensive training and lecture programme from the Talent Campus, they meet with experts and professionals from the film and festival business and can exchange ideas with many other up and coming talents. Intense workshops organised within the frame of the Co-Production Prize enable talents to build up long lasting relationships with one other. Besides this, the members of the international jury, film professionals in leading roles, provide a consulting service during the production and post-production.

Can you tell us about some productions or producers who were winners of the Co-Production Prize and who have also achieved festival success recently?

The short film Renovare, a German/Romanian production and Co-Production Prize winner of 2008 (director: Paul Neguescu, producer: David Lindner)  was featured at more than 70 festivals, amongst which was the Berlinale International Film Festival, and it was nominated for the European Film Academy Short Film Award as well as for the Romanian Film Prize.

The animation project Father, a German/Bulgarian/Croation production and Co-Production Prize winner of 2010, is a success story in many aspects. Three countries with three producers and five directors were involved and the team worked very well together and kept the production schedule. Soon after its completion in February 2012 the film immediately began a festival career, being invited to the Sofia International Film Festival (Jameson Short Competition), the Croatian Animated Film Festival in Zagreb, the ITFS, the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and it received a Special Jury Mention  at the Croatian Animated Film Festival.

And we could continue the list, as all prize winner films have embarked on an amazing festival and/or television career.

text: Zoltán Áprily
photo: Mihai Evoiu
post-processing: Cristina Grosan