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Hit micro-budget filmmaking training scheme Microschool lands in Malta

Date posted: 11.02.2015

Last week, the team behind the successful Film London Microschool took a new group of mentors to Malta for the next instalment of its flagship Microschool International, building on trips to Croatia, Georgia and Stockholm. A team of experienced Mentors delivered an intensive five days of workshops, individual sessions and panel discussions for local filmmaking teams with micro-budget projects. A member of one of the teams commented, "It is refreshing that we get courses like these that recognise our huge limitations when it comes to budgets".

Keeping the creative energy burning

Working closely with the Malta Film Commission, the Mentors, producer Tristan Goligher (Weekend, The Goob) and the Film London team spent the week developing  each of the projects so that they can viably work within budget, while also developing the different skills of each team member in workshops led by the mentors.

The stellar list of Mentors included:

  • Angeli MacFarlane (Death of a President) - Script Development Mentor
  • Shefali Malhoutra (The Lady) - Script Development Mentor
  • Pierre Haberer (The Square) - Editing Mentor
  • Guy Mahill (The Goob) - Directing Mentor

"Guy's advice to tear away the dialogue and make it a visual experience is totally what I think this should be about," said one of the filmmakers about the mentors. "Making it feasible but keeping the creative energy burning".

Another attendee praised the lasting influence that the Mentors will have on their work: "They asked us to strip down the lines to the bare minimum. It made our scene so much more powerful. I will remember that throughout all my future work".

Malta's Got Talent

Microschool International is based on Film London's highly successful Microschool training programme, which supports the acclaimed Microwave feature film fund.

Although a huge number of films are made in Malta, such as blockbuster hits World War Z, Captain Phillips and Troy, as well as countless other independent film and TV productions, the country had identified a gap in its training provision for emerging filmmakers. Microschool Malta aims to nurture and develop local Maltese filmmaking talent.

Programme

Across the five-days the filmmaking teams were able to take part in training activity that crossed the spectrum of filmmaking; from story, to physical production, audience, and working with actors.

Activity included: the initial pitch, presentations on the fundamentals of scriptwriting, working with a low budget, planning a shoot, working with a short schedule, and various meetings with the Mentors. There were specific exercises laid out for writers, producers, directors and DoPs. They also had time for development and production meetings until the final pitch at the end of the week.

Next steps

In the coming months, the filmmaking teams will use the tools and skills taken from Microschool to develop their projects and pitch them back to the mentors and the Film London team. We will then announce the successful projects going through to the next round.

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