Financing Documentaries in Europe

16 November 2020 - 6:00PM to 7:00PM

Making a film is a huge endeavor, and definitely not for the faint of heart. A major part of the work is the process of generating funds. Funding institutions are the oldest and most widespread tool of public support for film and audiovisual sectors in Europe. We have invited representatives from various European countries to tell us how documentary financing works in their respective countries in order to share knowledge and exchange ideas.
Moderator: Noémi Szakonyi

The discussion is in English. 

Christopher Petar Marcich
Croatian Audiovisual Center

Christopher Petar Marcich was appointed CEO of the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC) on 1 May 2019. He has been President of the Board of AGICOA, the association of audiovisual producers and their collective rights management groups, since 2013. In January 2015, he became responsible for coordination of the Motion Picture Association (MPA)’s international offices (EMEA, Asia-Pacific, Canada, Brazil & Mexico). Prior to that he was in charge of MPA’s regional office for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and oversaw legislative and regulatory issues related to the media sector at European and national levels. He has also spent sixteen years working in the U.S. Government on international trade issues as a negotiator shaping U.S. trade policy.

Vitezslav Chovanec
Festival Relations - Documentary & Short Films at the Czech Film Center / Czech Film Fund

Vítězslav Chovanec graduated from Film and Audiovisual Culture Studies at Masaryk University in Brno. During his studies he worked at the Czech Television as an assistant dramaturge. Since 2010, he worked for several film festivals including Karlovy Vary IFF and Ji.hlava IDFF. He is a member of programming team of One World Human Rights Film Festival in Prague. At the Czech Film Fund, Vítězslav is responsible for promotion of Czech documentary and short films abroad and consults festival strategies of upcoming films as well. In addition, he prepares the annual Czech Shorts Films collection and takes care of the presentation of Czech cinema at Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market.

Ferenc Varsányi
President of the Selection Committee, Hungarian National Film Institute

Ferenc Varsányi has won multiple awards over his 35-year career, including a daytime Emmy for directing the first season of Klasky Csupo’s Rugrats. Born and raised in Hungary, he has been writing and directing live action, animated, and mixed genre films since the late 1970’s. From 2011–2019, Varsányi was the president of the Animation Committee/Media Support and Asset Management Fund. He is currently an advisor for the Hungarian Media Council, and president of two committees of the National Film Institute. He also teaches at MOME University, and works as a screenwriter/film director and co-producer on his own projects.

Ravn Wikhaug
International Relations Manager, short and documentary films at the Norwegian Film Institute

Ravn Wikhaug is a senior advisor on short film and documentaries at the Norwegian Film Institute. He also oversees documentary coproduction at NFI.

Maria Gradowska-Tomow
Festivals & International Projects Manager in the International Relations Department at the Polish Film Institute

Maria Gradowska-Tomow has worked for the Polish Film Institute for more than a decade. Serving as a Festivals & International Projects Manager in the International Relations Department for several years, she was responsible for promoting Polish documentaries and animation abroad. She has been heading the International Relations Department since July 2019.

Anna Weitz
Documentary Film Commissioner at the Swedish Film Institute

Anna Weitz studied documentary filmmaking at Stockholm University of the Arts. She also attended the EAVE Producers Workshop and trained at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Art. In 2015 she produced Detained, which was nominated for the Prix Europa and won the Swedish Guldbagge Award for Best Documentary. Since 2012 she has worked at Mantaray Film, one of Sweden’s most prominent production companies, as the associate producer on Ingrid Bergman, In Her Own Words (2015) which premiered in Cannes, and co-producer of Silvana (2017), which won the Guldbagge Award for Best Documentary. Her latest production, Josefin & Florin (2018) was nominated for three Guldbagge Awards (including Best Documentary) and won one award.