New Europe Film Sales launches a talent initiative

Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales – the company behind the international success of such films as Grimur Hakonarsson’s Rams, Carla Simon’s Summer 1993, Hlynur Palmason’s Winter Brothers and Tomasz Wasilewski’s United States of Love – starts an annual talent initiative in its home town. The event will introduce talents from Poland and abroad to a leading film executives.

New Europe Warsaw Sessions (24-27 Sep) is an exclusive, closed workshop set in an original location outside Warsaw where six talents, hand-picked by New Europe’s team will mix with top film decision-makers. The participants, mentors and experts were chosen with a focus on filmmakers with success in the foreign-language space, who have the potential to make the step into an English language film as well as experts that could guide them through this process.

This year’s participating talents are Jan P. Matuszyński (Poland, The Last Family), Agnieszka Smoczyńska (Poland, The Lure, Fugue), Paweł Maślona (Poland, Panic Attack), Laura Moss (USA, Fry Day), Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson (Iceland, Under the Tree) and Jeppe Ronde (Denmark, Bridgend). They will be mentored by Mike Goodridge (UK, Screen International, Protagonist, Macao FF) and Julia Godzinskaya (UK, Rooks Nest, The Witch). The experts coming to Warsaw for the workshop are Dylan Leiner (USA, Sony Pictures Classics), Baltasar Kormakur (Iceland, director, Everest, 2 Guns, 101 Reykjavik), Sibila Diaz-Plaja (UK, Focus Features), Ben Giladi (UK, AI-Film), Julia Oh (UK, Film4), Vanja Kaludjercic (UK, Mubi) and Kim Magnusson (Denmark, M&M Productions).

“We are very happy to create this new platform. It’s a great opportunity for decision makers to meet new talents and spend time together in a creative environment through a series of relaxed masterclasses and meals and get to know each other in a safe, intimate environment away from big festivals and markets.” says New Europe’s CEO Jan Naszewski.

Dylan Leiner, Senior Executive Vice President, Acquisitions & Production at Sony Pictures Classics added “Two years ago, Jan Naszewski was our guest at the first Bloom/Spiegel Partnership, a small filmmaker workshop in NY that grew out of a decade of The Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film. Jan came away saying he wanted to spearhead a similar event in Poland and two years laterI’m excited to be joining this group that Jan has put together to introduce new filmmaking talent. I feel strongly that as our media landscape gets more consolidated and moves faster, these  kinds of initiatives that promote more personal interaction between talent and the industry in a slow moving environment are more important than ever. And it’s in these arenas that often long lasting relationships are formed.”

Mike Goodridge, artistic director of International Film Festival & Awards Macao added “I am very excited to participate in this new workshop concept where six film-makers can interact with the industry in a candid and meaningful discussions. And where the select industry participants can be inspired by these brilliant young directors. I feel it will become a fixture on the annual calendar.”

Institutions supporting the event as partners are The Polish Film Institute, Mazovia/Warsaw Film Commission and Adam Mickewicz Institute. Private partners include Chimney Poland, Film Produkcja, Platige Image, Gigant Films, Forum Film, while other supporters are Monolith Film and Gutek Film.

New Europe has recently set up a new production company NEM Corp together with Ewa Puszczyńska (producer of Ida and Cold War) and Klaudia Śmieja (producer of Claire Denis’ High Life and Agnieszka Holland’s upcoming $8.5m Gareth Jones).