DAB Regional Co-production Forum (DAB Forum) is a film development program initiated in 2007 during GOLDEN APRICOT Yerevan International Film Festival (GAIFF) in Yerevan, Armenia. The main concept of the DAB Forum is to facilitate cross-border cultural and economic collaboration between countries specifically within the Eastern Partnership Region and the EU by providing a networking platform for regional filmmakers and cinema support organizations and industry experts from around the world; improving the capacities of emerging filmmakers; launching promising film projects through seed grants; development of independent film production in Armenia and in the region and supporting the young producers and the emerging production companies to rehabilitate a new system and to start working independently on the international film market.


Emerging filmmakers from the countries of the Eastern Partnership with films projects at the development stage are invited on a competitive basis to participate in the three-day DAB Forum. It will provide young filmmakers a comprehensive program of capacity development workshops, networking opportunities to industry professionals and the opportunity to compete for small development grants.

 

  • Workshops: Forum participants attend a series of seminars and one-to-one meetings with international cinema experts. These workshops provide filmmakers invaluable feedback about their films still in the development stage, and help them refine the narrative quality and production value of their films. Ultimately the workshops will help the participants make more effective presentations to financing agencies they apply to in the future and to the Grant Committee on the final day of the Forum.
  • Film Development GrantsOn the final day of the forum, participants "pitch" their film projects to the Grant Committee composed of representatives from film festivals and film financing organizations from around the world.  There are money prizes provided to the best projects as small grants.
  • Networking: The DAB Forum provides excellent opportunities for all the participants to promote their films to donors/investors and industry professionals attending GAIFF, receive regional and international production support, and their films screened at a number of acclaimed international festivals. In previous years, participants have included representatives from Hubert Bals Fund of Rotterdam International Film Festival, Göteborg Film Fund, Eurimages of Council of Europe (Strasbourg), Robert Bosch Sctiftung (Fund), Pusan Film Festival, CNC and others.

 

“Meeting with the scriptwriters, directors and producers was such a highlight after reading their scripts: it is really rewarding to meet with the faces which correspond to what was previously an abstraction!”- mentioned Phyllis Mollet, the trainer for the project development.

 

A vital component of the networking is the publication of the DAB Co-Production Forum Project Book, which is distributed to at least 150 of the international guests and cinema experts attending GOLDEN APRICOT Yerevan International Film Festival each year. The Project Book contains descriptions of all the film projects and contact information of the participants, trainers and the Grant Committee members. In addition, the Project Book will be distributed to other international workshops and forums.

For the first time DAB Forum was held in Yerevan on July 10-12, 2007 in the frames of 4th Golden Apricot IFF. The DAB Forum consisted of workshops, pitching sessions, one-to-one meetings and a film program.

 

Thirty (30) projects were submitted. The DAB Executive Commission that was composed of GAIFF and National Film Centre’s experts and international consultants selected twelve (12) projects. They were from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Serbia and were included into the first DAB Project Book. The project book was distributed among international representatives of film industry present at the Forum and Festival and provided via e-mail.

 

The board of jurors totaled to twenty (20) among them were: Gevorg Gevorgyan – Head of Armenian National Cinema Centre, Mr. Kim Dong-Ho – President of PUSAN International Film Festival (South Korea), Bianca Taal – Director of Hubert Bals Film Fund (The Netherlands), Mr. Jan Vandierendonck - Executive Secretary of Eurimages of the Council of Europe (Strasbourg); Nikolaj Nikitin – Head of World Cinema Fund (Germany), Charlotte AppelgrenRepresentative of Göuteborg Film Festival Fund and Secretary-General of Cine-Regio (a network of 28 European film funds) (Göuteborg), Martin Blaney – Journalist of Screen International (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Gaga Chkheidze - Head of Georgian National Cinema Center, Christa Saredi – a salesperson from Switzerland, Behrooz Hashemian – producer and director from France, and others. Among the honorable guests were Jan Vandierendonck – Executive Secretary of Eurimages (Strasbourg), Mr. Guillaume Pierre – Regional Audiovisual Attaché of French Embassy to Turkey and South Caucasus, and others.

 

The 1st DAB Forum beneficiaries are as follows:

 

Project “Susa” by Giorgi Chalauri, Producers Rusudan Pirveli and Nino Gamrekeli (Georgia) - received the Hubert Bals Fund (The Netherlands) grant of 5.000 EURO for project development.

Project “The Last Two Tightrope Dancers in Armenia” by Inna Sahakyan, Producer Vardan Hovhannisyan (Armenia) - was awarded with the 5.000 EURO grant of Golden Apricot IFF in cooperation with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia.
Project “Black Sea” project by Artchil Khetagouri, Producer Ileana Stanculesku (Georgia-Romania) - received cooperation proposal from Nurdan Arca, producer from Turkey.
Project “Home from Home” by Seda Muradyan (Armenia) - was proposed cooperation with Genia Film Arts by Razmik Melkomyan Director (Germany).
Project “Joan and the Voices” by Mikayel Vatinyan, Producer Armine Ande (Armenia) - was selected for pitching session that will take place within PPP program during the Pusan IFF on 4th October 2007.

 

The 2nd DAB Regional Co-Production Forum was held in Yerevan on July 15-17, 2008, in the framework of the 5th GOLDEN APRICOT Yerevan International Film Festival. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided the venue for DAB Forum. Thirty three (33) projects were submitted. Applications from Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey and Germany (with Armenian co-production) were received. The DAB Selection Committee selected twelve (12) projects to participate in the DAB Regional Co-Production Forum that were included in the second DAB Project Book. All the project packages have been sent to Pusan Promotion Plan of Pusan International Film Festival.

 

The award granted projects were:

  • Project WASHINGTON by Andro Sakvarelidze and Giga Chkheidze, producer Giga Chkheidze (Georgia),
  • Project I AM GOING TO CHANGE MY NAME by Maria Saakyan, Producer Victoria Lupik (Armenia/France/Russia),
  • Project ALPINE VIOLET by David Matevossian (Armenia)
  • Project SHEPHERD’S SONG by Vahram Mkhitaryan, producers Arzuman Harutyunyan and Araz Artinian (Armenia),

 

During 2009 DAB 3rd Regional Co-production forum together with already established Armenia-Turkey Cinema Platform received more than 40 projects.  In the frames of co-production forum, two main events took place - Directors Across Borders co-production workshop, which invited 10 projects from the countries of the region (namely: Armenia, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and Estonia) and Armenia-Turkey Cinema Platform Documentary Development Workshop, for 6 documentary projects aimed to be co-produced between Armenia and Turkey. By the end of the workshop a Pitch in front of representatives of funds and producers was organized. The program of the forum included presentations of European film trainings and funds, case studies and discussions. 

 

In 2010 the 4th DAB Regional Co-Production Forum was held and two main events took place within its framework:

-         DAB Script and Project Development Workshop (13-15 July, 2010), which invited 10 projects from the countries of the region (namely: Armenia, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Spain) and

-         2nd Armenia-Turkey Short and Documentary Workshop (12-14 July, 2010) - for projects aimed at co-production between Armenia and Turkey.


Over 40 projects were submitted for the both above mentioned events. 10 feature projects from Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Kazakhstan were selected for the DAB forum and 6 shorts and documentaries from Armenia and Turkey were selected for the ATCP workshop. Around 20 cinema experts from the most prestigious cinema funds and workshops were hosted by the forum as trainers and guest speakers. The three -day forum agenda included more than 20 individual meetings with the script and project development trainers, around 10 presentations on the various film funds and workshops, as well as a number of guest lectures.

The project FAMILY TREE by Harut Kbeyan from Armenia was awarded a development grant of 3000 USD and PUPPET THEATRE by Canay Ozden from Turkey and the Armenian/Lebanese project A TOUR IN THE STREETS OF ISTANBUL by Nigol Bezjian were granted 2000 USD each for development.


A development grant of 5000 USD was granted to the young Turkish filmmaker Baris Hancigullari for his project LEILA, ONCE AGAIN. The project MISFIRE by David Matevossian and Arthur Sargsyan was chosen to be given the opportunity to attend the MAIA Workshop in Italy.

 

The 2011 5th edition of DAB Co-Production Forum was basically organized in cooperation with Robert Bosch Stiftung - one of the most renowned German film funds, and was focused on short, documentary and animation film projects. The core of the Forum was the trainings’ program held by Robert Bosch Stiftung. Ideas of the importance of the international co-production in the modern film industry were emphasized in the frames of the two full days training sessions by the German film experts. Projects successful pitching essentials were also presented by international professionals and producers to the young talents invited to participate at the DAB Workshop.


The Forum provided directors and producers of selected projects with innovative opportunities for collaboration and developing careers.


The Forum Agenda also included two guest lectures: one entitled as “Audio Visual Expression Around the Court and the Documentary Film”, held by a renowned French filmmaker Mr. Cornel Gheorghita, and another one held by US director Mr. Braden King, who shared his ideas on international film project implementation in Armenia based on his experience from his recently released feature “Here”.


This Forum also hosted Ms. Bianca Taal who introduced Binger Filmlab, a Dutch Film Fund, Ms. Olena Fetisova, who presented Boat Meeting Co-Production Market in Ukraine and Mr. Sergey Zemlyanukhin, who introduced the Competition for the Best Joint Feature Film Project of the Member States of the CIS in the frames of Kinoshok Festival. The Georgian National Film Center and the National Cinema Center of Armenia were also presented at the DAB Forum by Ms. Tamara Tatishvili and Mr. Gevorg Gevorgyan.