2017-2018 Program

The second seminar of the 2017/18 Greenhouse Program concluded six days of intensive work in Essaouira, Morocco. 

17 participants from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey worked with mentors, John Appel, Hans Robert Eisenhauer, Nino Kirtadze and Petra Lataster-Czisch on their written proposals and the first cuts of the trailers in preparation for the final seminar and pitching forum, scheduled for May 29th – June 4th, 2018.

During the seminar, the participants watched two feature-length documentaries - 'The Three Rooms of Melancholia' and 'Atman' - by renowned Finnish filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo. The screenings were followed by Honkasalo's master class, during which she spoke about her filmmaking process as a director and cinematographer, and discussed her approach towards research, writing, shooting and editing. Honkasalo also spoke about her personal involvement in her protagonists' lives, which continues beyond the filming period itself, and how she achieves intimacy with her protagonists, a highly distinguishable feature of her filmmaking style.

In addition, during the seminar, Hans Robert Eisenhauer gave a lecture about Documentaries in the International Market, which included both a discussion about the budget of a documentary film and co-productions. Eisenhauer also gave a lecture about what makes a great trailer, during which he screened examples of trailers made by Greenhouse graduates. Finally, Greenhouse partner and mentor John Appel, gave a lecture on storytelling approaches in different genres of documentary films. In his lecture, Appel showed excerpts of outstanding documentary films and discussed the various styles and storytelling techniques used in these films, including GH film 'Five Broken Cameras', which he acted as mentor to during the program. Appel discussed the process of finding the dramatic focal point of the film and how to structure the narrative and the layout of the story

Following the screenings, the Greenhouse team and mentors held a discussion with the participants on ethics in filmmaking and how it is reflected in the films that were screened so far in both the first and second seminars. The filmmakers also talked about the ethical issues they've encountered in their own projects.

At the end of the seminar, the filmmakers received individual assignments, which they will have to complete within the next three months before the final seminar, scheduled for the end of May 2018, near Marrakech, Morocco. In the time leading up to the third seminar, the filmmakers will continue to receive feedback on their works-in-progress, both from their mentors and from the Greenhouse team.

On the final day of the seminar, the filmmakers presented their projects to the whole group in a pitching simulation and received feedback from the Greenhouse team, mentors and filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo.