June 11 - 14 Vincent Konings and myself, both hailing from Kingswood Filmproductions, were fortunate enough to be selected as the Dutch participant for the Screen Talent Europe Pitching Forum and contest at the Kortfilmfestivalen Grimstad. CineSud is partner of Screen Talent Europe and the Dutch gatekeeper for this inspiring Pitching Forum.
Officially, the program didn’t start until Wednesday morning. As we had gotten in early in the afternoon on Tuesday this allotted us with some free time. We took that time to make a hike along the mountains in the Norwegian coastal town of Grimstad. During this we bounced ideas off of each other for the project that we entered the contest with.
On Wednesday morning we started off with an introduction of our coaches, Anniken Fjesme and Guro Ekornholmen, and of the other pitch contestants. This was a diverse group of ten people from all kinds of disciplines – producers, writers and directors – from countries all over Europe. The workshop took a different approach to perfecting a pitch.
Rather than going the conventional route of straight-forward thinking about the story and the pitch, the coaches gave us different exercises. These ranged from putting ourselves in the shoes of our characters, to talking about what we don’t like about our project and even pitching someone else’s project. Ample opportunity arose from that evaluate our story and characters from a new angle and anticipate potential questions we would get during the pitch.
On Thursday we had a last opportunity for feedback from our coaches and in the afternoon, we pitched our project, Amygdala, a short horror and suspense film. When all participants finished their pitches and with that pressure gone, we had some well-deserved time to relax. The festival organised a boat trip around the Fjords – complete with fresh shrimp and some drinks! Afterwards, we had a networking session with all the Screen Talent Europe Partners, which gave us some valuable insight into filmmaking in different countries. That evening also allowed us some time to watch a block of Norwegian shorts, which I very much enjoyed.
Unfortunately, we did not end up winning the pitch contest, but I am sure that I speak for both Vincent and I when I say that we still feel like won. We came home with an expansion to our network, a kick-ass pitch and the memory of an overall wonderful trip thanks to CineSud, Screen Talent Europe and the festival!