Participant profile: Stefano Rulli

We jaunt over to Italy, to say ciao to Stefano Rulli.

Stefano Rulli

Stefano Rulli

Stefano was born in Rome, and after graduating in Literature with a thesis on ‘Neorealism and the Cinema Critic’ in 1974, he organised the conference on Neorealism at the Mostra del Nuovo Cinema in Pesaro.  He wrote the book Polanski and began to contribute to the magazines Ombre rosse, Scena, Quaderni Piacentini, Essai, and Cinemasessanta, with articles about emerging cinematographies: Schlondorff and the New German Cinema; Bacso and the Hungarian Cinema;  Wajda and the third Polish generation.

With the essay ‘Perrault: alla ricerca del paese perduto’ on Canadian Direct Cinema he developed a theoretical reflection which lead him to direct documentaries.

He has worked as a script developer at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia and for European MEDIA programs.

Stefano has written many movies, among them: Meri per sempre, Il Portaborse, Muro di Gomma. Ladro di bambini, Arriva la bufera, Il toro, La scuola, Pasolini: un delitto italiano, La tregua,  I piccoli maestri, La meglio gioventù, Romanzo Criminale, and Mio fratello è figlio unico.

For television, he has written the series La piovra (seasons 3, 4, 5, 6), Don Milani, La vita che verràCome l’America, Perlasca, and Cefalonia.

He has directed a number of documentaries, including Matti da slegare, La macchina cinema, Il pane e le mele, Settecamini a Roma, Lunario d’inverno, and Un silenzio particolare.


Participant profile: Eylem Kaftan

It’s over to Turkey now to meet screenwriter Eylem Kaftan.

Eylem Kaftan

Eylem Kaftan

Eylem was born in Turkey, she completed a B.A. in Philosophy at Bogazici University in Istanbul and a Masters degree in Cinema at York University in 2002. At York University, she worked as a teaching assistant and wrote her thesis on the identity crisis in post-1980 Turkish cinema.

Her first short fiction film called ‘A Swan Story’ was featured at the International Women’s Film Festival in Ankara in 1999. Her first documentary, Faultlines (2002), investigates the aftermath of the earthquake which hit Turkey in 1999. It won Best Short Film and the Jury Prize at the Planet Indie Film Festival in Toronto in that year.

Eylem then wrote and directed Vendetta Song (2005) produced with  DLI Productions in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada. This gripping hour long documentary about her personal journey into the honour-killing of her aunt in a small Kurdish village in Turkey was broadcast on Vision TV and Télé-Québec in Canada and has received several awards including CIDA Prize for Best Canadian Documentary on International Development at Hot Docs; the Quebec Film Critics Association Award for Best Medium Length Documentary; Best Documentary, Calgary International festival and Best Documentary, Female Eye Film Festival. The film also won the 3rd prize at the International Women’s film festival in Torino, Italy.

Her third documentary Bledi, This is Our Home (2006) tells the story of the non-status Algerians and their struggle to remain in Canada. The film is made for the Quebec broadcaster Télé-Québec and premiered at the International documentary festival in Istanbul.

Eylem has contributed to several documentaries on social and political issues ranging from immigration and women’s rights to mental illness and culture shock. She also collaborated on the award winning short fiction films of Turtle Productions. Eylem is presently working on her new documentary on Kurdish youth and developing a script for a feature length fiction film called My Secret Heart.

Participant profile: Jeff Gross

We swing by Paris this evening, where we sit down with novelist and screenwriter Jeff Gross.

Jeff Gross

Jeff Gross

Jeff was born in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. He moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the age of four and lived there until the age of six, while his father was South American Editor of Look Magazine.

After moving between New York, Paris, Boulder, and Los Angeles for high school, Jeff went to university at UC Santa Cruz, and UCLA, where he did a B.A. in History (with specialisation in Intellectual History and Languages). He also played soccer at both places, and went on to Sweden after graduation to try to play professionally. He played for three months with Djürgården, Swedish First Division, then two months with Tennis Borussia Berlin, German Second Division, before he decided that he wasn’t cut out to be a football player. He moved to a tiny Greek island called Astypalea for a year and half, before settling down in Paris.

He is the author of seven novels and over 40 screenplays including three collaborations with Roman Polanski, two of which were produced (Frantic and Bitter Moon).

After directing a number of short films and documentaries, he is in the process of setting up his feature directing début, including one film set in Paris, and another set on the island of Astypalea.

He currently lives in Paris with two wonderful children, and a lot of films.

Participant profile: Daniel Schwarz

It’s another call in Germany to find out about screenwriter Daniel Schwarz.

Daniel Schwarz

Daniel Schwarz

Daniel made his first film in 1989, a documentary short about the art of hunting with falcons in Northeastern Turkey, for German Television (ARD/BR). After studies in Turkology, Literature and Film in Florence and Istanbul, he obtained his M.A. at the University of Hamburg in 1995. Subsequently, he studied screenplay writing at the AFI.

He has written, among other screenplays, Süperseks (2004), an ethno-comedy released to great success in German cinemas. Vater Morgana, another comedy, is in post-production and will be released by Warner Bros. in 2010.

He has written several television films, including two 90-minute episodes of the crime series Unter anderen Umständen (ZDF).

In 2004, he was a participant of the European “North By Northwest” screenplay programme. His script Rio Rita (written for the Finnish Director Aki Kaurismäki) was selected and promoted in the European Script Market in Cannes 2005.

Participant profile: Stanislav Semerdjiev

It’s late in Bulgaria, but not too late to meet Prof. Dr. Stanislav Semerdjiev.

Stanislav Semerdjiev

Stanislav Semerdjiev

Stanislav is Rector of the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA) – Sofia, Bulgaria. He is also President of the Bulgarian Association of Film, TV and Radio Scriptwriters (BAFTRS), Vice-President of the World Association of Film and TV Schools (CILECT) and Treasurer of the European Federation of Screenwriters (FSE).

He founded the Screenwriting Graduate Program at NATFA (1991) and created the first Bulgarian prime-time serial Hotel Bulgaria (2004, Nova TV). He is the writer and producer of the spiritual documentary The Hamlet Adventure (2008, dir. Ivaylo Dikanski and Greg Roach). He is the script analyst of more than 40 European full-length feature film productions for the European Script Development Program SOURCES-2 (its Board Member since 2004).

He has written articles in all specialised Bulgarian newspapers and magazines, including the monography A Short History of the World Screenwriting, vol.1: USA (1994). He has served as Jury Member or President for prestigious international film/TV festivals and has been а core participant at festivals, workshops, conferences and symposia in more than 40 countries.

Currently he is member of the Public Advisory Council at the Bulgarian National TV (BNT), member of the National Film Council (NFC) and member of the Expert Advisory Council on Culture at the Sofia Municipality.

Participant profile: Dinos Giotis

It’s to Greece, before the conference, to meet screenwriter Dinos Giotis.

Dinos Giotis

Dinos Giotis

Currently Dinos is the President of ΕΝΩΣΗ ΣΕΝΑΡΙΟΓΡΑΦΩΝ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ – ESE (the Scriptwriters’ Guild of Greece). He has also served as Vice President (2007-09) and as General Secretary (2005-07) of the Guild.  Since 1992 he’s been a member of the Periodical Electronic Press Union.

He studied Journalism, and Screenwriting at the Athens University (BA) and Direction at Colleges in Athens.

He had been writing articles in newspapers and magazines since 1986, and in 2005 he began editing the free press magazine Arta Press.

Dinos has written two novels, E-mail, Patakis Publishing house, 2001 and The recognition of Maximus Rodomanos, Metaixmio Publishing house, 2004, as well as a collection of short stories, Coctail Molotof, Kochlias Publishing house, 2002.

He’s written the script of Love Knot (Eleftheri Katadissi), an original feature film directed by G. Panoussopoulos, 1995, as well as E-mail, which is an adaptation of his novel, directed by Markos Holevas, 2001. In 2003 he wrote and directed the short film ‘The little ship’. He’s also worked as the researcher and scriptwriter of the SKAI TV documentary Eleftherios Venizelos (2009)

Dinos had been teaching screenwriting at the School of Film Studies in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2008-09),  as well as at the college IEK DOMI (2006-09), Athens.

Participant profile: Pravda Kirova

It’s dawn in Bulgaria, where we discover Pravda Kirova.

Pravda KirovaPravda is a graduate from the Film Institute in Moscow (Department: Scriptwriting and Criticism for Film and TV), and went on to do postgraduate work in ‘Essential Problems of Dramatic Composition’.

From 1975 – 1991 Pravda was the story editor, commissioning producer and scriptwriter at the Boyana Film Studio, and since 1986 she’s been a scriptwriting reader at the National Academy  for Film and Theatre Arts.

She’s the producer of the television feature films Without family likeness (2004), the documentary film Nikolai Maistorov (2006), and the animation feature Hallo, taxi! (2007).

She’s been the scriptwriter for the following films: Vincit qui patitur (documentary, 2000),  Adventure in the attic (feature film,1987), Slow time (documentary, 1986), Roudolfio (feature film, 1984), Revelation (documentary, 1982), and Talisman (feature film, 1979).

Pravda has been a story editor and drama consultant on more than twenty feature films: The Journey (2004), The Other Possible Life of ours (2003), The Destiny as a Rat (2001), Looking for an extrasensory man (2000), Starting from Zero (1997), Burn, Burn Little fire (1994), Margarit & Margarita (1989), Ivan and Alexandra (1988), Which way now? (1987), Where to do you travel, (1986), 19 m of the Wind (1985), Steppe People (1985), Hotel Central (1982). Many of the films were selected and received awards at prestigious national and international film festivals.

Since 2004 Pravda has been associate professor in Drama Forms for Film and TV at the New Bulgarian University.