by Vittoria Scarpa, Cineuropa.org
"The occupation of a writer is a solitary one, but sharing that moment of the creative process, without any judgements or financial pressures, is possible and is a great act of generosity." Twenty-two years ago in Paris, Noëlle Deschamps
founded one of the first European screenwriting labs based on this very idea; it was conceived as a space where people could meet up and write together. Today, éQuinoxe
is pushing that idea of sharing even further, with the creation of an international online platform that will enable writers to submit their own screenplays more easily, come into contact with the most highly regarded scriptwriters from around the world and work in close contact with them, even from places on opposite sides of the globe.
Since 1993, 110 films hailing from the éQuinoxe workshop have been produced, completed and distributed. "We get around 500 scripts per session," explained Deschamps at the launch of the platform today in Venice, as part of the Venice Days, "and they are not only first or second works." A committee of 12 people selects between 10 and 12 screenplays per session. The selected authors are then invited to take part in a week-long workshop, where they receive help from five or six industry professionals. From today onwards, all of this will also be possible online: the selected screenwriters (ten in total) will benefit from five one-to-one meetings with the expert mentors via Skype, lasting between one and two hours.
The final pitching session will again take place over Skype, in the presence of all the mentors. Then, it will be decided whether to move forward with the project or abandon it. "One of the basic principles is that the mentor must respect the work of the screenwriter and not alter it," Deschamps stresses. "Our aim is to help the writers to fine-tune their script and to make the best film possible."
The selection process to take part in the first online éQuinoxe workshop is open from today until 31 October 2015. To submit your screenplay, click here