SOFA Tbilisi Training Program Goes Online Again

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The School of Film Advancement’s (SOFA) workshop — usually held physically in Tbilisi, Georgia — will go online for a second consecutive year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

SOFA is a program of workshops that focuses on cultural managers and film entrepreneurs rather than producers and directors.

The 2021 workshop will focus on the marketing and finance strategies of the projects involved. The participants include Victoria Aleksanyan (Armenia), Elkjana Gjipali (Albania), Stefanie Gödicke (Germany), Rufat Hasanov (Azerbaijan), Leonid Kalitenya (Belarus), Jasna Pintarič (Slovenia), Janka Pozsonyi (Hungary), Philipp Maurice Raube (Germany), Willy Rollé (Germany/France) and Rita Stanelytė (Lithuania).

The participants will benefit from the experience of a panel of experts that includes Renaud Redien-Collot (professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Léonard de Vinci business school, Paris), Peter Rommel, (Rommel Film, Berlin) Sabine Schmitt (social media marketing consultant, Berlin), Tamara Tatishvili (MEDICI head of training, Georgia/Belgium), Levan Nanobashvili (international media lawyer, Georgia), Carolina Jochheim (German federal foreign office, Berlin) and Wato Tsereteli (artist, curator, Georgia).

Nikolaj Nikitin, SOFA director, said: “SOFA and Georgia will remain a perfect match [online]. We are very happy to cooperate with our precious Georgian partners whose spirit and professional perspective constantly proves to be a huge benefit for projects and participants.”

“Now it is more important than ever to organize the SOFA marketing workshop in Georgia, even if it is online,” added Tamara Tatishvili, SOFA’s regional coordinator and mentor. “Eastern partnership countries face severe realities as a result of the global health crisis. It unfolds on political, social and cultural levels and endangers fragile local film structures and their functioning. Due to this, individual cultural practitioners are at risk and need greater support. With the SOFA workshop, we will signal that established international partnerships are there for all participants, we will bring new speakers to the region and we will demonstrate solidarity which is lacking locally.”

The workshop will take place March 22-26.

SOFA is a project of Filmplus gUG (Berlin), funded by German Federal Foreign Office and Creative Europe – MEDIA Program of the European Union. The workshops are aimed at strengthening national film industries across Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Caucuses, Germany, Greece and Israel.