CIVIL SOCIETY PITCH is a unique initiative at East-European level, which aims to bring in contact filmmakers willing to expose a facet of the regional social, economic or political situation through art and activists immersed in this same reality. The goal of our program is to join these different experiences and sensibilities in view of long-term collaborations between professionals from Romania, Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria and Hungary.
The 4th edition of the international program includes five phases and it will be held between March 2020 and March 2021 according to the following agenda:
1. pitching session, match-making and acceleration phase (July 2020)
2. research and development (April-October 2020)
3. follow-up workshop (November 2020)
4. development and production (December 2020-February 2021)
5. public pitching session and development award (March 2021).
We will select aprox. 15 NGOs and 20 filmmakers from the four aforementioned countries. They will be matched into mixed teams (filmmaker + NGO) that will research and develop film ideas for several months with mentorship from One World Romania. In March 2021 we will invite the best 5 teams to take part at the final Pitching Session. The 4000 euro prize for development will be awarded to one of the filmmakers, in order to support the production of the project that was developed with the help of the partner NGO.
Participants can register via an open call/ online form. The registration period for the 2020/2021 edition has closed on February 20th, 2020. The selection of participants was carried out by the organising teams from all four partner countries.
The first pitching session, match-making and acceleration phase will be held between June - July 2020, in Bucharest. During the three days of work, the participants will have the opportunity to learn the secrets of a convincing scripted pitch, adapted to the target audience (HOW TO PITCH SEMINAR). Afterwards, the civil society members will present ideas and topics for documentary films to local and foreign directors, producers, artists and experts. The filmmaker-activist teams thus formed will receive the first pieces of advice on how to approach the desired projects.
The tutors for the workshop in June-July 2020 are:
ALEXANDRU SOLOMON is the President of the One World Romania Association and until 2018 was the director of the documentary and human rights festival organized by the association. Alexandru is one of the most active and award-winning Romanian documentarians, directing and producing documentaries since 1993. The list of documentaries directed by Alexandru include: "The Great Communist Robbery" (2004), “War on the Waves” (2007), “Capitalism - Our Secret Recipe” (2010) and “Tarzan's Eggs” (2017). In 2017, he published the volume "Representations of memory in documentary film". He teaches at UNArte, Photography and Dynamic Image department.
MONICA LĂZUREAN-GORGAN is a producer and director. She has produced or co-produced several feature films or documentaries that have won awards at the Berlinale, Sundance, Locarno etc. ("Acasa, My Home", "Chuck Norris vs. Communism", "Just a Breath", "Timebox", "Colivia", "Free Dacians", etc.).
"Just a Breath" documentary directed by Monica was awarded at the Sarajevo IFF 2016 with the Best Documentary Award, received the GOPO Award in 2017; Award for Best Documentary Film at the EEA Vienna International Film Festival, Austria, 2017; Award for the best Romanian documentary film at ASTRA, 2016; online could be seen on Mubi and Amazon.
Recently, the documentary produced by Monica "Acasă", directed by Radu Ciorniciuc, was awarded at Sundance with the Prize for the best image, at Krakow IFF with the Prize for the best film, at Dok Fest Munich with the Prize for the best film and in Thessaloniki with the Jury Prize 2020. Also in 2020 Monica had her international premiere with the film "Lemn" / "Wood" at the HotDocs and CPH: Dox Film Festival.
MONA NICOARĂ –started working in film in 1997 as an Associate Producer for Children Undeground, which received the Special Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. Her directorial debut, Our School, premiered in the US at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, went on to over 70 festivals worldwide, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best US Feature at AFI SilverDocs, was nominated for Best Eastern European Documentary at the Silver Eye Awards and for Best Romanian Documentary at the Gopo Awards. Her latest film, The Distance between Me and Me, won the audience award at Films de Cannes ŕ Bucarest and played in Romanian cinemas for over 18 weeks. Nicoară ahas taught film, writing, and literature at Columbia University, the Cooper Union, New York University, and Rutgers.
CIVIL SOCIETY PITCH AWARDS – PREVIOUS EDITIONS:
51 filmmakers and 36 NGOs participated in the three previous editions and the Civil Society Awards went to the following teams: director Iulia Stoian & Centrul FILIA and Funky Citizens for the film THE INVISIBLE (2016), director Eliza Zdru & Teach for Romania for the film LEARNING TEACHING (2017), director Laurențiu Garofeanu & Center for Legal Resources for the film LOST AND FOUND (2019).
The CIVIL SOCIETY PITCH program is initiated and coordinated by One World Romania Association, in partnerships with Balkan Documentary Center (Bulgaria), Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (Hungary) and MOLDOX Community Association (Republic of Moldova).
The program is part of a cultural project co-funded by the National Cultural Fund Administration, with support from the Romanian Cultural Institute.
The project does not necessarily reflect the position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. AFCN is not liable for the content of the project or for the way in which the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the beneficiary’s responsibility.
I have been working in Television for over 25 years, mostly as Producer and Journalist. For the last 3 years I have been focusing more on producing and directing documentaries. I am in my last year of a Master Program for Documentary Filmmakers, held at Romanian National Film and Theatre University ”I.L. Caragiale”, Bucharest, Romania. During my studies I made three short films, documentaries. Filmography: 2019 “OLIMPIA”; 2018 "ON MY WAY"; 2017 "The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery"; 2016 “The Filipovans and Nekrasov’s Cossacks”.
I am an editor and documentary maker, currently pursuing an MFA in Film Directing at Edinburgh College or Art. Previously, I have been studying at Ion Luca Caragiale National University of Theatre and Film in Bucharest in the department of Multimedia: Motion Picture and Sound Editing. Having the starting background as an editor has been a trigger for deepening my passion for documentary film. I aim to tell forgotten stories from Eastern Europe while moving beyond common representations and understandings of the East. In documentary, I am most interested in the instances where exploring the past reveals new meanings and insight into ourselves and our surroundings.
Andrada is a Romanian filmmaker and User Experience designer. She is particularly interested in social documentaries; she's made films about various topics, from cemeteries and the love of cinema, to LGBTQ issues and ageing.
As a young Romanian documentary filmmaker, I have a keen interest in human rights issues. Social inequality and injustice have been at the center of most my shortfilms so far. I documented subjects and worked as a director and editor in Slovenia, France and Romania. "Like the Mountain", my debut documentary short, tells the story of Ahmad Shamieh, a middle-aged Syrian refugee who lives in Ljubljana and is stuck in the local bureaucracy. Currently, I’m working on the development of new documentary projects, all while distributing my recent shorts and maintaining a full-time job in video production in Bucharest.
Graduate of the Department of Cinematography and Media within the Faculty of Theatre and Film, Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca with a BA in Film studies. She furthers her cinema, humanities and art related education during a 5-month Erasmus mobility program at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. Her diploma essay titled “Wenders and Camus.The Absurd of a Trilogy on the Road." reflects an ever-present interest in interpreting cinema first as a school of thought type of artistic medium.
As a director she creates the short documentary experimental diary film Hellen. Archival footage from her childhood as well as shots taken during the first 2 years spent in Cluj-Napoca compose a visual exercise meant to help the protagonist contemplate existential questions, an introspection strongly mediated by personal experience. She participates in August 2019 as an editor in the International Documentary Film Workshop Aristoteles (AW). Currently she collaborates with an NGO on the early development stages of a project aimed at gaining more visibility for the community of Romanian young adults with physical disabilities and their families.
Claudiu Cobilanschi works at the boundary between art and the press (mass-media), using, as a journalist, various media of expression applied to the unfolding and debate of socio-political themes, and is interested, as an artist, in the analysis and aesthetics of the influences of those themes. He approached favorite topics, like thinking stereotypes, mass media and ego-casting, immigration and poverty, a.s.o., by using techniques and methods such as video, photography & performance, installations and sculpture, super-8 cine-experiments, guerilla publishing & poster bombing a.s.o.
Cristina Jacot was born in 1999 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. She was involved in various projects with ecological and social profile of the EcoVisio organization, within which she founded a Horse Shelter. In 2019 she began to become actively involved in the film community, participating in the documentary film workshop with social impact "Exploration Lab" - MOLDOX, in the courses organized by the Oberliht Association and the film school MADS, and participated in the International Film Festival "Queer Voices”.
Bulgarian/Greek filmmaker Elma Neykova has graduated from the University of Kent with a BA in Film Studies. She has also graduated from the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” with an MA in Producing and the Creative Industries. Her first short documentary “Moustafa the Imam of Lesvos” observes the difficult duty that Moustafa Dawa has undertaken in the island of Lesvos - the Muslim burials of the refugees that are crossing the sea. Her second film “Marry me in Delhi” deals with the concept of arranged marriage in India and its rituals, narrated through the experience of the young bride. While working as a filmmaker she has also been occupied with event organization (Kabir Film Festival in Belgrade) and writing (Urban Wilderness magazine). Her main aspiration is to explore the cultural stigma, atmosphere, and the essence of different people, societies and places through the camera lens, as a form of artistic expression. The concept she serves is marked under the term of “transnational cinema”, dealing with the local but reaching audiences far beyond. Her latest documentary project depicts the “mysteries” of the Rhodope mountains and particularly the Pomak culture and its peculiarities.
I was born in Chisinau in 1982. I graduated from the Faculty of Letters in Bucharest and Film Directing in Chisinau. I became fond of the documentary film during my studies, and, later, while working as an insider of an international documentary film festival. For a considerable period of time, I was an audiovisual creator, producing social advertising and publicity materials, as well as introspective shorts. All along, I engaged in documentary filmmaking as a director and assistant director. What I appreciate most in a documentary film is the authenticity of the subject, as well as the honesty and ethics of the authors.
Born in Chişinău, Republic of Moldova. Obtains bachelor degree in human rights. During his student years actively involves in an amount of projects of documentary film. From 2010 studies film directing at the National University of Theatre and Film I.L. Caragiale (UNATC), Bucharest.
Irina Thiery is a Romanian documentary filmmaker and blogger. She took her BA in the US in Broadcast Jurnalism and TV/Film Production. She started her carrier as a corporate video producer in Boston, MA. Among her clients were: Boston Stock Exchange, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, Fidelity Investment, and many more. In 2007 she produced her first TV series “From the States”, describing the life of Romanian emigrants in the US, before and after the revolution of 1989. In 2008 Irina produced the documentary “Out Here” and “Once upon a time, America”. After living the American Dream, she returned to Romania where she founded Lion Mentor Association, an NGO fighting for the rights of parents and children to unbiased/proper information. Within the association, Irina produced the first Romanian documentaries about natural birth, breastfeeding and baby nutrition, as well as many short videos on various topics about parenthood!
Kalojan Nikolov has BA in “Film and TV editing” at National Academy for theatre and Film Arts (Sofia, Bulgaria) and in 2016 opens his own production company – Rubecula ltd. Works mainly on documentaries as editor, producer or director. Later on he finishes his master “Screen Arts Producing” researching new media and edge technologies with main focus on virtual reality and interactive experiences. This leads him to the project “Conglomerate” where Rubecula is producing the virtual reality experiences for the BGatPQ19 project. The company is in the process of producing the first wild life documentary financed by the National Film Center (Bulgaria).
Orsolya Vida was born in Békéscsaba, Hungary in 1989. She is living in Budapest, where she studied film theory and history (BA) at Eötvös Lóránd University, then she graduated (MA) from Metropolitan University as a writer-dramaturg. She started as a dramaturg, her first short film was Wartburg, then she wrote her first script for their diploma film: Sightseeing. Her last short film, The bus driver, was premiered last year. Currently she is working on a web-series, she is developing the story and the script, and she is also working on two documentaries which are also in the phase of developing.
Paul Chirilă was born on the 19th of June, 1984. He graduated the University of Theatre and Film “I.L. Caragiale”, Cinematography. He shot "Kurganoblast" in 2012, a short film that won the best documentary award at the "Cinemaiubit" film festival in Bucharest. He directed a mid-size documentary in 2020, while studying Documentary Filmmaking at UNATC in Bucharest. "A Letter From Romania" is the portrait of an energetic pensioner that acts as an activist and has a nationalistic way of seing. He started work on a project this year. It's a film on moral issues concerning the Ditrău conflict.
Radu Popovici was born in 1991 in the Republic of Moldova. In 2019, he got his BA in Graphics from West University Timisoara. His first projects were related to theatre, working as an assistant set designer and video-concept artist. During the last years, he focused on animation projects, working with various Romanian animation studios, but also as an independent animator. Among his most important projects are Marona’s Fantastic Tale (dir. Anca Damian) and music video MTV is My Friend (dir. Radu Popovici). He is currently developing his own animated short.
Raluca Răcean Gorgos is a Romanian film director original from Cluj Napoca. She graduated from the National University of Theatrical Arts and Cinematography in Bucharest. Later she continued her education through various international film workshops or specialized masterclasses and also by studying philosophy and psychology. She is interested to identify and debate social issues in a patriarchal society through the cinematic language. Her portfolio spans fiction films, documentaries, dance videos and photography. Her work was exhibited and appreciated in various international film festivals like IDFA Amsterdam, Jihlava International Film Festival in Check Republic, One World Romania, Kerala International Film Festival in India and others. She is currently continuing her professional development in anthropological and visual research as a MA student in Visual Studies and Society at SNSPA in Bucharest.
The Association “MOTIVATION” from Moldova (AMM) is a nongovernmental, independent and apolitical NGO, founded in October 2000, with the mission to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and achieve social equality through inclusion. Starting with January 2013, the AMM has started promoting and piloting the the supported employment program (SE). To date, more than 400 people with disabilities have been involved in the program, at least 30 young people with disabilities have been assisted to enroll in courses and have obtained a profession. For 7 years, through the supported employment program, we provided employment support for at least 175 people with disabilities from Moldova, who became financially independent.
Asociația Informală a Vocilor pentru Incluziune (AIVI) is currently active in Bucharest, Cluj, and other communities we collaborate with. Our main fields of interest are communication, positive & community journalism, non-formal education, as well as fighting against discrimination, hate speech, and gender gaps. We created a small number of programs and platforms that we are constantly striving to improve, and our latest soul children are AIVImedia.hub (a platform for positive journalism documented and made by youth in their communities) and Școala de comentatoare (a non-formal education-based program that encourages young women to try out their writing skills in sports).
Another constant of our identity are activities related to books: book clubs such as the two (and one book exchange) we currently organize in Cluj, but also the newest addition, called Politicoteca, thought as part of a future optional of civic education and political theory for high schools.
Promo-LEX Association was established as a human rights and advocacy organization in 2002 by a group of lawyers.
Promo-LEX Association is one of the most active and visible human rights organizations from Moldova;
Promo-LEX Association has gained public recognition and awards, including the UN prize for its initiatives to promote and defend human rights in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova;
Promo-LEX Association has established numerous national and international partnerships and is a member of important networks and national, regional and international coalitions.
About 16,000 people have benefited from the services provided by the Promo-LEX Association (legal aid, training, etc.)
Promo-LEX Association is a non-government organization that aims to develop democracy in the Republic of Moldova, including in the Transnistrian region, by promoting and defending human rights, monitoring the democratic process and strengthening civil society.
Promo-LEX Association operates on the basis of two programs:
• Human Rights Program;
• Monitoring Democratic Processes Program.
Human Rights Program
The overall goal of the Human Rights Program is to promote and implement international human rights standards in the Republic of Moldova. Under this program Promo-LEX Association is monitoring and defending human rights and implementing advocacy initiatives.
Working methods: free legal aid in the Association’s priority areas; strategic litigation before domestic and international Courts; monitoring and reporting; drafting studies and thematic reports; opinions on draft laws and regulations on human rights; human rights training for various groups of beneficiaries; information and awareness raising campaigns, other activities.
Monitoring Democratic Processes Program
The overall aim of the Program is to improve the quality of and to increase citizen’s trust in democratic processes in the Republic of Moldova. Under this Program, Promo-LEX observes and monitors electoral processes, sectorial reforms and decision-making processes in Association’s priority areas.
Promo-LEX’s monitoring experience includes such methods as long term observation; E-day observation that includes: quick count of votes, parallel voting tabulation, SMS reporting and observation through mobile teams; monitoring court hearings; monitoring the activity of public institutions and monitoring of democratic reforms.
For five years, Climb Again organisation has fundamentally changed the lives of children and young people with special needs – more than 600 open their doors each year to win the fight for independent living skills and to increase their confidence. Climbing is one of the sports that generates the easiest the flow state – meaning to live in the present and to focus 100% on what you are doing at the moment. For children with disabilities, it is a moment of detachment from all problems and overcoming fears, including fear of judgment and the perception of others. With the opening of the first climbing therapy center in Europe, Climb Again team organize free sessions of indoor climbing therapy for children and young people with various types of deficiencies, especially those with visual impairments.
Also, they coordinate and train the National Paraclimbing Team, which obtained medals at international competitions and brought the climbing and the Team’s performances on the public agenda.
With young people with special needs, we find that those around them have always said, "you cannot". These barriers remain rooted and they grow with the conviction that they will be dependent all their lives on those around them, an aspect that we, the Climb Again team, firmly believe it must be changed.
At Climb Again we are exceeding every day our limits as our motto is “Overcome the impossible”.
Climb Again is a non-governmental organization affiliated with the Romanian Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (FRAE), founded in 2014 and led by Claudiu Miu, former Balkan climbing champion.
The National Coalition "Life without violence" is a network consisting of 21 non-governmental and public institutions in the Republic of Moldova, who joined forces in order to promote women's and children's rights, victims of domestic abuse, and to reduce the occurrence of domestic and societal violence. The mission of the Coalition is to promote the human rights of the domestic abuse victims, to contribute to the eradication of violence against women and children at the personal and societal levels, in order to create a violence free society.
The Auróra Community and Cultural Center is a social enterprise which was opened in 2014 in the 8th district of Budapest to connect cultural programs, civil and activist organizations work, community building and fun in an open community. Auróra is committed to forming a stable base, where individuals, groups, non-profit organizations could meet, share their ideas and collaborate with each other on new initiatives.
Terre des hommes Foundation has been protecting children`s rights in Romania for more than 25 years. Through our strategic projects, we strengthen the child protection system and improve opportunities for underprivileged children and their families. We are specialised in community integrated services, child and youth participation, social inclusion, and psychosocial support. Our main intervention areas are Child protection, Children and youth affected by Migration, and Access to Justice, and each year thousands of children are benefiting from our programs. In 2019, for example, over 16.000 children have benefited from them, while 1.000 professionals have been trained.
Terre des hommes takes a coherent set of actions to protect children against abuse, neglect, and exploitation. We mobilise communities to prevent risk situations and train social workers, teachers and other professionals to better protect children. Building the resilience of children and youth, and ensuring their participation in decision-making are key elements of our work. To improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Romania, we invest in education, health, and social services and infrastructure.
Terre des hommes actively pleads for an efficient juvenile justice system, where young people are not deprived of their liberty. Tdh’s juvenile justice programme in Romania is developing specific methodologies and tools for professionals who work with children in conflict with the law. The goal is to develop friendly practices for children and to offer them programmes with an emphasis on improved mental health and resilience. We raise awareness in order to prevent and combat public misconceptions about youth and children in conflict with the law.
Identity.Education is the only LGBTQI+ NGO in Timisoara. Identity.Education was born in 2018 out of the need for a formal representation of the LGBTQI+ community and out of the wish to work together with other NGOs with a similar mission to promote human rights through cultural activism.
Our vision is the inclusion and recognition of the LGBTQI+ community as an integral and active part of a healthy diverse community of the city.
23 years after its establishment Karin Dom is an organization with a leading role in providing professional services for children with special needs and their families. Over the years, Karin Dom develops and grows as a therapeutic center for children with special needs, which employs highly qualified specialists: physiotherapists, rehabilitators, speech therapists, psychologists, special teachers, social workers.
The main activities are realized by:
* Center for providing services for children with special needs and their families (for children aged 3-8),
* Center for Early Intervention (for children aged 0-3) and by a
* Resource and training center (qualified training for organizations and professionals).
Karin Dom annually supports over 300 children and families and trains over 1200 specialists.
Currently, we are working on the project for a new therapeutic center that will be built and established in the next 3 years.