The aim of the Film Workshop, a project launched this year by Kinobuss and Tallinn 2011: European Capital of Culture, is to bring Estonians together to make a film.
Film Workshop is an entertaining and educational project that will take place throughout the year and will involve many people in making a full-length film with a storyline related to Estonia. People have already been able to participate in the development of the film script through the training sessions and on the project’s website at www.filmitalgud.ee. Next, people can participate in the choice of actors, preparation of locations, and shooting. Film Workshop is also a way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Estonian cinema, with 2012 being the official year of Estonian cinema.
After an intense decision-making process, the Film Workshop supervisors and scriptwriters have made a selection from the ideas and stories submitted by people, and they have written the final screenplay for the film, taking them one step closer to the shoot in August.
Mikk Rand (head of the Film Workshop project), who came up with this original idea and how?
It was my idea. I started toying with it a few years ago. When the Tallinn 2011 project was looking for something happening outside of Tallinn, I submitted my idea. The reason why I even had this idea is quite simple: for years, I have taught filmmaking throughout Estonia from the grassroots to teachers, young people as well as adults, and I realised that our need for this “media literacy and knowledge” is much greater than filmmakers can provide for. The basics of filmmaking as a visual language must be introduced at the kindergarten stage.
Was this idea inspired by other similar projects?
No, there has been nothing on the same scale and with the same objectives – to simultaneously train, guide and teach people. We are the first in the world.
In general, it is a crazy idea to make a full-length film in such a democratic manner, what with cinema being a relatively author-centric form of art. No one would undertake it half-heartedly. At the same time, of course we can find projects with some similarities in Estonia and around the world. The idea was not born out of nothing. For example, the Estonian films “Malev” and “Jan Uuspõld läheb Tartusse” were made using some of the same production methods. Internationally, the feature film “Snakes on a plane[ks1]” was based on a concept developed in a web environment that made it to Hollywood. Nothing is created in a vacuum.
To an extent, the Film Workshop format is along the same lines as the Kinobuss (Cinema Bus) project that has organised summer tours and workshops for years. But Film Workshop requires much, much more time and resources.
Last year, Estonian venture capital firms joined forces by founding the Estonian Ventur Capital Association (EstVCA). Who are the players on the market today?
HEI has prepared a short overview which shows that the Estonian venture capital market is expanding – there are several new investors who have transferred from the field of real estate and are now looking for potential growth companies in the Baltic and eastern European countries.
Ambient Sound Investments is the investment firm of Toivo Annus, Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu and Jaan Tallinn, the co-founders of Skype and today’s business angels. Their firm actively searches for early-stage technology firms with excellent growth potential that operate anywhere in the world.
The firm’s portfolio includes several Estonian businesses – such as MarkIT, United Dogs & Cats, Evikon, Oskando, Celecureent – as well as Asian and American companies. There have been no new investments in Estonia in recent years, but the company has been active in China and the UK.
A crime prevention project, launched by the nonprofit Neighborhood Watch and the North-Estonian Regional Rescue Centre, won recognition from the European Union Crime Prevention Network as this year's most innovative preventive initiative.
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