Martina Blais and Sirkka Möller are the two trainers of the fourth edition of Transilvania Talent Lab (TTL), the TIFF program designed for young directors, writers and producers to develop their creative projects.
What do you think about this year’s TTL and the 8 participants?
Martina Blais: It’s the first edition I’m working at, and it’s a very nice selection of young aspiring Romanian and Moldavian filmmakers. It’s really interesting to work with them, to hear where they are at with their projects, and it is really interesting to see what their ideas are, what they like, and what they don’t like.
Sirkka Möller: We have a really nice group and they are very attentive and keen to work with each other. Most of them are in the early stages of their projects, which is nice because there is all this potential in there and it’s very nice to work with the group on these proposals, because everybody contributes, so it’s a very collegial atmosphere.
What is the role of this program for young filmmakers?
M.B.: It’s a good program. And I say that coming from the Berlinale, where you have all different kinds of programs in the festival. TIFF has introduced different kinds of programs, for different kinds of audiences, and all kinds of industry, and I think it’s a very good thing because it becomes a great international festival and has always brought really great international guests here, so why not make the young people benefit a little bit from having all these people around and meet them.
S.M.: I think that it’s very helpful for young filmmakers and producers because in film schools you can learn many things, but they don’t necessarily prepare you for the industry. The nice thing about the Lab is that they can talk with the trainers who come from outside of Romania, for some it’s the first time they do this. I think that it is also helpful for them to see their work in a bigger context.
Because you’re working in the film market and industry I have to ask you how hard is it for a young film producer or director to pitch projects in other countries?
M.B.: It is hard, because, you see, in Germany we also have young aspiring filmmakers, and if you ask local funds there if they want to support a young foreign filmmaker or a German one to make his first feature, of course the main aim is always to support the local industry. So, if you’re coming from abroad, they must understand that you have to make something in your country first. Because you need to show something. The young filmmakers I met in the Talent Lab are up to making their first features and it’s interesting to watch them and to see where they’re headed.
S.M.: I think it’s difficult everywhere to start in the film industry and to work in film and the media, because the competition is very strong, and I think that the Lab can help them to build their network within the country, because only if you have a strong network within your country you can go abroad, and conquer the rest of the world.
What are you looking forward to at TIFF this year?
M.B.: I’m a big fan of TIFF, and I’ve always been advertising it to friends to come here, because it’s a great atmosphere, a great summer festival. I can hardly wait to see Corneliu Porumboiu’s The treasure, here, at the open-door cinema at Vlaha.
S.M.: I love the spirit about TIFF and it’s definitely my favorite summer festival. It’s the hospitality, it’s so wonderful. I always feel so well taken care of, so no matter whether I go to see films or whether I go to parties, all the festival is offering is very nice and I’m always happy to be here. And this year I’m hoping I will find the chance to try the varza á la Cluj.
A consemnat Daniel Iftene
Article published in AperiTIFF.