May 5, an educational and industrial forum will be held in St. Petersburg “Cinema Day”, Potential, in the framework of which lectures, master-classes of famous filmmakers for the creation of video and film content, speech technology and others, as well as pitching a scenario competition of finalists projects of various TV, film and web formats. On the eve of this intensive event, we talked with the founder of Kino.Platforma Potential Boris Latkin and the creative producer of Kino.Platformy and the head of the selection committee of the Scenario contest Irina Obidova about how and for what this project was created, about the variety of scenario applications and about what prizes winners will receive.
How did Kino.Platforma come about and for what purpose it was created?
B: Kino.Platforma appeared from the festival of short films. The process was quite long and interesting. For five years we searched for our format and niche, earned the trust of the audience and shot the debut film. Initially, we set ourselves the goal of finding talents, helping them to unlock creativity and be realized in the industry. As a result, by the present moment we have become an aggregator that collects ideas and authors and helps them to find producers and investments for the further development of projects.
What are the most notable results achieved during this time?
B: First of all, it’s people – both participants, and experts, and representatives of the film industry, who support the project. During the existence of Kino.Platforms through us, “passed” more than 8,000 participants and nearly 3,000 scenarios. But the most important result for today is the loyalty and trust of our audience, which is ready to experiment, grow and develop together with us. And, of course, these are the works of our participants, in particular the short film Irina Bass “The Former” from Igor Yasulovich and Larisa Malevan starring. The film is awarded several festival prizes and is now continuing its festival procession.
How many applications did you receive, and by what criteria were you selected for the competition?
AND: This year there were 713 applications in the categories “short”, “full-length film”, “TV series”, “web series”. The main criteria are the originality of the idea and the quality of the script.
Can you single out the trends among the sent works? Are there common themes that excite authors, genre similarities? How strong was the selection of the participants?
AND: Every year a lot of anti-utopias come to the competition about our near future. This year, a large number of detective stories with a mystical bias came, and, incidentally, not only in the television series, where a representative of the TV3 channel is present on the jury. Mysticism and investigation clearly do not give rest to our participants. As for the quality of the selection and its level, it will be easier to say after pitching, but for now the most interesting categories are the full meter and TV series. The short meter is stronger than last year. But we expected more applications for web series. Perhaps the format itself is quite new for the participants. Although those that went to the finals, have a good spectator potential.
Why do you think authors often want to create genre pictures – horror films, thrillers, mysticism, science fiction, and so little is the picture about the modern life of citizens? Various urban stories, in the scenery of real megacities, plots in which people do what we ourselves do every day? Is it really not interesting?
AND: It is very interesting. Together with Natalia Drozd (comment: producer of the film company “STV”), we set out to find such projects, especially in the category of the full meter. Let’s look at pitching, as far as we managed to do it. As for horrors, thrillers and fantasy, there is an opinion that it is easier to write, since there is less chance that someone will say that this is not true. Genre implies this untruth. But with real life, everything is somewhat more complicated.
What is the peculiarity of the competition this year?
B: For us, the main feature and a new stage is that now we accept applications not only for a short meter. We are growing, our participants are growing and, in my opinion, this is a natural stage of development. We did not abandon the short meter, but we set our priorities differently.
Why this year it was decided to supplement the contest with a full meter and series?
B: Partially I already answered. Our main task for today is to become a “bridge” between young authors and the film industry. We want to open new names and help create an interesting product for the audience. This requires young and talented. And we have them.
From your point of view, serials and web series are replacing the feature film? I’m not only about viewers, but also about creators of content. A lot of famous directors go massively into serial business.
B: Of course there is such a trend now. Series of the process is often more profitable, and as for qualitative series, no less fascinating than creating a feature film. A web series today – this is a great opportunity for experiments, and the viewer is pleased. In our rhythm it’s harder to find time to watch a full-fledged artistic film, but on the series before bedtime and the strength and time will suffice. The main thing is that it does not get too tight.
What are the real opportunities for the finalists and the winner of the competition?
B: There will be several prizes. Our main prize of 500 thousand rubles. we plan to allocate for the development of one of the projects. 100 thousand rubles. and producer support will receive the winner of the category of web series from our partners – the company Red Carpet Studio. If any full-length project is interested in “STV”, then they will take the project for implementation. TV3 is also interested in new ideas and will be looking for a project that will suit them. There are also several options for supporting projects that we can voice, directly summarizing the results of the pitches. It all depends on the participants themselves. When people come with burning eyes, believe in their projects and professionally protect them – I want to find an opportunity to help them realize. Therefore, everything is in the hands of our finalists.
Do you follow the fate of projects that have passed through Kino.Platformu? Are there any of them held?
AND: Of course, we follow. We support many relations with many. Evelina Barseghyan and her film “Bravist“, Which began with us at the contest – the teaser was shot and the team was assembled – on the result of the work received many awards, including the winner of the Manhattan Short Film Festival. Anton Mamykin continues to make films and advertisements. With his advertising project, he received a prize at the Cannes Lions, and with a new film he actively participates in international festivals. Ira Bass and all of her creative team that created the “Ex” are working in the industry, and we very much hope that in the not too distant future Ira will withdraw her first feature film. Now we have finished work on a short film “Fire” Maria Shulgina, winner together with the co-author of the script Elizaveta Tikhonova in the competition last year. We hope for the successful festival fate of this picture. In addition to filming a short meter, Masha and Lisa work together with Anna Parmas over its projects.
What are your immediate plans? Where would you like to move further?
B: We want to place more emphasis on the educational part of the Film.Platform, increase the number of competitions and in general become a convenient platform for interaction of young talents from all over Russia and film companies and producers. At the same time, we plan to continue to actively promote projects that will win at pitching, and participate in their production. We believe that we can become the “bridge” that will help young writers and directors to get into the big cinema. And we together with them will create good films and serials.