ON THE BLOG: Find inspiration from these European filmmakers

The Sources 2 Script Development Workshop is funded by Creative Europe’s MEDIA sub-programme through the Training scheme.

The workshops focus on training in the craft of screenwriting, storytelling, script analysis, genres and styles, development of structure, characters and re-writing skills. Participants are coached in development their projects, considering the evolution from page to screen, visual style, acting, target audiences, production aspects, financing and distribution strategies, cross-platform possibilities and positioning and presenting the project within the industry.

Each year Sources 2 publish a booklet of inspirational lectures from workshops with filmmakers from across Europe, snippets of which can be read below. And keep scrolling to find out how you could be in with a chance of winning a bundle of the booklets in their enlightening entirety...

Agnieszka Holland

“When making fictional films about important political and historical events, especially tragic ones, we are often faced with the challenge of describing evil. I believe the mystery of evil is impossible to capture. But I also feel some kind of urgency or duty to try...I believe that one needs to have deep personal reasons and a special kind of involvement to touch upon this kind of subject. This does not mean it has to be based on one’s own experience...I think that in order to make something powerful and universal, you need to filter it through your own pain...I just hope to reach the audience through emotional channels that enable the feeling of empathy.”

Agnieszka's latest film Mr. Jonesa co-production between Poland, Ukraine and the UK, tells the story of a Welsh reporter, who at great personal risk broke the story of the early 1930s Soviet Ukrainian Famine. The film premiered In Competition at Berlinale 2019 and received Automatic Distribution support. 

Learn more about her craft with her lecture from IFFR 2019:

Catherine Breillat

“When I write a script, I never know what I want to write beforehand. Never. I only have the idea, a sort of an idea of what I want to tell, and write, but I don’t plan things out. I can’t, no, that’s not how I’m inspired. I’m not afraid of the blank page. I just write and I have a sort of vertigo, a dizziness of words. The words inspire me. I write and write and write. The characters appear for the dialogue I have in my head. I speak the dialogue in my head. And I can write a draft in two weeks. I don’t eat, or sleep, I just write. But then afterwards…I have to wait and wait and wait a long time before going back to the script and reading it again.”

Several of Breillat's films have received MEDIA funding through previous programmes, including Fat Girl, Abuse of Weakness and The Last Mistress.

Cristian Mungiu

“The first impulse you have as a young filmmaker is to show that you can do as well as the filmmakers before you. Later though you learn that what’s the most difficult is to create your own style, to have a personal vision, a point of view. While making shorts, I was trying to learn how to control the flow of information in the film, the character development, how to manage time, how to create the right rhythm, how to train the actors to deliver the lines the way I wanted. One of the most important things you can learn in cinema is to master your craft, your means. If you do, you will tell the story you wished to tell from the beginning.”

Romanian filmmaker Mungiu won the Palme d'Or in 2007 for his film 4 Months, 3 Week and 2 Days, for which Curzon Film World received a grant through the Selective Distribution scheme for its release in the UK. His latest feature Graduation, likewise received both Selective and Automatic Distribution funding. 

Learn what some of his favourite films are with the Criterion Collection's Closet Picks:

Jessica Hausner

“Sources of inspiration are, somehow, very well hidden - at least from me. For me, it is not a very easy process to find out what film I want to make, and what is really inspiring enough that it’s worth making a film about it. Normally, I work three or four years on a film. I love this time because it’s sort of an investigation...So what do I start with? Normally, it’s an idea and the idea is very short, sometimes only a world or a sentence that comes to my mind...So how do I find out if the idea holds out? I do research...I do interviews; I go to institutions; I read case studies. I read books and newspapers and try to find some inspiration, some true stories, something in reality that makes it a little clearer to me what I will actually make the film about.”

Hausner's most recent film Little Joe, is a co-production between Austria, Germany and the UK and premiered In Competition at this year's Cannes. The film, starring Emily Beecham and Ben Whishaw, received support through Creative Europe's Sales Agents scheme.

Watch her speaking about the production process at a recent panel at the UK Film Centre in Cannes. 

Enter our competition

We’re giving away three bundles of these booklets, packed to the rafters with sage advice and inspirational stories from directors such as Agnieszka Holland, Margarethe von Trotta, Ildiko Enyedi, Isaki Lacuesta, Jessica Hausner, Cristina Mungiu, Catherine Breillat and Marcus Vetter. To be in with a chance of winning, simply email us with 'Sources of Inspiration' in the subject line telling us which European director you find most inspirational. We'll be in touch with the winners by Friday 28 June.

Read the full terms and conditions here.

 ***

To find all upcoming application deadlines for Sources 2 workshops, visit their website

To see full listings of which filmmakers are profiled in each booklet, visit the Sources 2 website. The editions included in our giveaway are: 2017/8, 2016, 2015, 2013/14, 2012.