The Directors Across Borders (DAB) Project held the Project’s closing press conference on 19 November, 2014 at the Tekeyan Centre, Yerevan, to present the Project’s achieved results.
The speakers of the conference were Director of the DAB Project and General Director of the GOLDEN APRICOT Yerevan International Film Festival – Harutyun Khachatryan, EU Delegation to Armenia representative, DAB Project Manager and Artistic Director of the GOLDEN APRICOT Yerevan International Film Festival – Susanna Harutyunyan, DAB Project Coordinator – Lusine Martirosyan, DAB Project Communications Coordinator – Sona Shahbazyan.
Launched in October 2011 with the EU assistance, the DAB project was designed to bring together cinema professionals from the Eastern Partnership countries and unite them into one hub. During the conference DAB project team summarized the 3 years' work of, and presented the activities conducted during the project implementation period.
From November 2011 up to date the DAB project successfully implemented all of its 7 activities, namely Cinema Across Borders Online Network, Film Workshops, DAB Regional Co-Production Forum, Armenia-Turkey Cinema Platform, Cinema Journalism Across Borders, Films Across Borders and the Harmonizing Regional Co-production.
The www.dabhub.com website was launched in March 2012, serving as a communication platform for film professionals from Eastern Partnership region and beyond. Useful information about the project and concerning the film industry of the EU Eastern Partnership countries has been compiled and placed on the website.
The www.dabhub.com website has 692 registered users, 625 of which are also subscribed for the DAB newsletter. More than 1538 people receive the DAB newsletter. 40894 page views were registered.
Two Story Development Workshops and two Producers’ Workshop were conducted during 2012-2013 in Yerevan, Tbilisi and Kiev under the Film Workshops activity. In addition, 2 preparatory workshops were organized to prepare prospective applicants for the main workshops. Thus, 89 emerging script-writers, producers, film-directors from EaP countries were trained under this programme component. Projects of DAB Film Workshop participants have been selected for different co-production forums and markets all around the world.
A special section entitled E-learning options was created in frames of the FILM WORKSHOPS component. Online Story Development Workshop and Online Feature Film Producing Workshop introduces key aspects of film producing and script-writing for filmmakers working on their first feature or interested in developing their first international co-production or those who develop stories and try to get them to the screen. The online workshops are composed of video excerpts, links and documents from two producers’ workshops and two story development workshops organized by Directors Across Borders project in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2012, Kiev, Ukraine in 2013 and in Yerevan, Armenia in 2012 and 2014 in collaboration with MAIA WORKSHOPS.
The DAB Co-Production Forum is a key annual industry event in the region aimed at promoting talents and film production/co-production in the Eastern Partnership countries; providing a networking platform for regional filmmakers, cinema support organizations and industry experts from around the world; improving the capacities of emerging filmmakers; and launching promising film projects through seed grants.
Three DAB Co-production Forums took place in Yerevan. The first Forum took place on 10-12 July, 2012 with 13 selected film-projects; for the second Forum (9-11 July, 2013) had also been selected 13 film-projects; and the third one was held on 15-17 July with 14 film-projects.
10 film-projects, among the presented 40, were awarded with development grants, including Ukrainian “The Tribe” by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy – the winner of Cannes Critics' Week (Semaine de la Critique) and Golden Apricot IFF in 2014. 60 emerging script-writers, producers, film-directors from EaP countries were trained in frames of this programme component.
Four project development workshops took place in Istanbul and Yerevan within the Armenia-Turkey Cinema Platform (ATCP) programme component during 2012-2013. In total about 50 producers and film-directors from Armenia and Turkey participated in the ATCP workshops and got involved in co-production activities between Armenia and Turkey. The ATCP success stories include SaroyanLand by Lusin Dink, Diyar by Devrim Akkaya, Ziazan by Derya Durmaz and other films initiated by ATCP.
Most of the film-projects presented and developed during the ATCP workshops became very successful films. These films won numerous prizes at many world famous film festivals.
Two Cinema Journalism Across Borders (CJAB) training programmes were conducted in Yerevan during the Golden Apricot IFF in 2012 and 2013. The first training was held on 5-14 July, 2012 with 10 participants. The second one took place on 4-14 July, 2013 with 11 participants. In addition, Anton Dolin’s Master Class was held in the frames of the CJAB in November, 2012 in Yerevan with 30 participants and 21 issues of Golden Apricot Daily were produced within CJAB component.
DAB created a wide network that connects film industry professionals from EaP countries and Europe.
In total 250 filmmakers and cinema journalists underwent trainings organized by the DAB Project.
During 2012-2014 eight Films Across Borders (FAB) programmes have been presented within the Eastern Partnership countries’ festival network - in the frames of festivals in Yerevan (Golden Apricot IFF, July 2012-2014), Kiev (Molodist IFF, October 2012-2013), Minsk (Listapad IFF, November 2012) and Tbilisi IFF (December 2012-2013).
50 recent films produced in EaP countries were screened regionally within the mentioned FAB programmes and more than 18 000 people in total watched the films.
100 FAB DVD sets were burnt containing 6 films produced in the EaP countries.
The 6 films are: “Border” by Harutyun Khachatryan (Armenia), “Joan and Voices” by Mikayel Vatinyan (Armenia), “Keep Smiling” by Rusudan Chkonia (Georgia), “Panihida” by Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu (Moldova), “The Role” by Konstantin Lopushansky (Belarus) and “Love Me” by Maryna Gorbach and Mehmet Bahadir Er (Ukraine/Turkey).
The presentation of the FAB DVD set took place during the press conference.
An extensive research of audiovisual legislation of all the Eastern Partnership countries was conducted by a team of local experts led by the international expert Terrence Sandell aiming to harmonize the audiovisual legislation among these countries and with the European Union. 6 country reports and one overarching regional report containing findings and recommendations have been produced. The reports are available on www.dabhub.com website. Simultaneously, a Report Book composed of the overarching regional report and 6 country reports containing findings and recommendations on harmonising the audiovisual legislation among the EaP countries and with the EU was published.
Taking into account the abovementioned, it becomes evident that the DAB initiatives prepared the basis for radical change towards acquiring positive working models in Armenia’s audiovisual sector.
The DAB project is funded by the European Union through the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme and implemented by the GOLDEN APRICOT Fund for Cinema Development in Armenia and its partners: INTERNEWS (Ukraine), Cinema Art Centre Prometheus (Georgia), and Media Initiatives Center (Armenia).