Feb 2013 - ENGAGE Alumni take Berlinale by storm

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Film success for development scheme graduates
ENGAGE alumni show work at prestigious film festival

FOUR graduates of a Europe-wide training programme, set up to support new and emerging film-makers, are to have their work shown as part of the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival (BERLINALE).

Eva Pervolovici, Joseph Atkinson, Jenni Toivoniemi and Lotta-Kaisa Riistakoski will all have films shown at the event, which is one of the world’s leading film festivals.

The group have all benefited from the ENGAGE initiative, a training and development scheme run by Edinburgh Napier University’s Screen Academy Scotland in partnership with three of Europe’s leading film schools, which helps writers, directors and producers get their projects off the ground.

Eva, a graduate of the University’s Screen Academy Scotland’s MFA in Advanced Film Practice, took part in the very first year of ENGAGE back in 2008. She is presenting her first feature film, Marussia, within the festival’s Generation KPlus strand.

Joseph, also a graduate of the Screen Academy Scotland, completed a MA in Screen Project Development before securing a place on ENGAGE in 2011. The animation short Hannah and the Moon, which Joseph produced and for which he also composed the score, will be screened as part of BERLINALE’s Generation KPlus short film programme.

Jenni and Lotta-Kaisa, who both took part in ENGAGE in 2010, will see their short film Treffit (The Date) shown within the Generation 14Plus Programme. The film, which Jenni wrote and directed and Lotta-Kaisa produced, recently won the Short Film Jury Award for International Fiction at Sundance and is destined for further festival success.

ENGAGE will also have a new presence at this year’s BERLINALE. For the first time in the scheme’s six-year history, eleven of its alumni are being invited to the event to take part in a series of special meetings with producers and sales agents.

Each participant will have a chance to talk through their film projects with producer Helge Albers of German-based production company Flying Moon as well as film sales professional Delphyne Besse.

This offer of further support will allow the ENGAGE alumni to negotiate the next steps in their careers while increasing their projects’ chances of being produced and reaching an audience.

Robin MacPherson, Screen Academy Scotland Director said: “ENGAGE works behind the scenes to help emerging European film talent connect with each other and with audiences so it’s extremely gratifying to see four of our alumni honoured by participation in one of the world’s foremost film festivals.  We’re also delighted to be playing a bigger part in the Berlinale, with the first ENGAGE workshop to take place outside of the partner countries, reflecting our goal of reaching further across Europe.”

ENGAGE is funded by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union. It is run in partnership with the National Film School at the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) Ireland, the Baltic Film and Media School at Tallinn University, Estonia and the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University, Finland. The programme also receives support from Creative Scotland, the Irish Film Board and the Estonian and Finnish Film Foundations.

The 63rd Berlin International Film Festival runs from 7th – 17th February.

Notes to Editors

In the last 5 years ENGAGE has brought together over 120 participants from more than 20 European countries to develop new fiction, documentary and animation feature projects.

Delphyne Besse was previously International Sales Manager at French-based distributors/sales companies Celluloid Dreams and Rezo.

For more information on ENGAGE, please visitwww.engage.eu.com and www.facebook.com/engagefilmtraining

For press enquiries please contact Sarah Manning, 0131 455 6251, s [dot] manning [at] napier [dot] ac [dot] uk