TETA Association has launched the 5th edition of Pustnik Screenwriters Residency, which will take place 2–10 September 2019, at Port Cetate, Romania. Pustnik is the only Romanian initiative of this sort, dedicated to young and emerging filmmakers from all over the world.
During this nine-day retreat, eight screenwriters – three from Romania and five internationals – will develop their first or second feature-length screenplays. Besides dedicated writing time, Pustnik also offers participants the opportunity of meeting established European producers who will provide feedback on their projects.
Residents and invited experts will participate in roundtable discussions, masterclasses, and one-on-one talks. A local guest panel will also provide an overview of co-production opportunities in Romania.
Applicants are required to have previously written at least one short or feature-length film which has screened at a notable international film festival. The working language of the residency is English, so fluency in English is mandatory.
The deadline for applications is 22nd of April and filmmakers can apply online here. There are no application or participation fees, and the organisers cover the costs of accommodation and meals, as well as transport within Romania.
Residents will be selected by Andreea Borțun (writer/director, Romania) and Bryn Chainey (writer/director, UK/Australia), co-founders of Pustnik.
One of the first confirmed special guests of the 2019 residency is Syrian filmmaker Soudade Kaadan. Her first feature fiction film, The Day I Lost My Shadow, was awarded The Lion of the Future award for best debut in Venice Film Festival 2018 and has been screened in several major festivals including TIFF (Toronto), BFI (London), Busan and IFFR (Rotterdam). Only a few months later, her short fiction film Aziza won the 2019 Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Soudade will share professional and creative insights with this year’s residents, particularly on transitioning from short film to features.
Our key words for this year’s residency are patience and perseverance. Writing a screenplay can take time – a really long time. Not always, but often. Especially if you’re juggling work, family and other commitments, then the original thrill of writing can get crushed by the pressure of getting it done. Our aim with Pustnik is to strip back pressures and distractions so we can get back to the basics: thoughts, feelings, dreams, stories, trees.
Besides spending quality alone time with your screenplay, you’ll hear from special guests on how they persevered through the process of writing and producing their films. We encourage our residents to not only take time to work, but to give time by listening to each other’s stories, ideas, obstacles, and goals. We might be stepping back from society and going hermit, but we’re going hermit together.
The residency is hosted at Cultural Port Cetate, a late-19th century site with an incredible history of its own, located on the Romanian shore of the Danube.
Pustnik is the first international screenwriters residency to take place in Romania. It aims to create an environment dedicated to clarity of thought, away from modern pressures. Pustnik is also a growing network of film professionals and a community whose aim is to ease and encourage collaboration across the international cinema industry.