MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schlwesig-Holstein

Stories grow here

22.03.2024 | First NEST Space week in Schleswig-Holstein

In March, 14 authors came together for the first time in Schleswig-Holstein for the new NEST Space organised by MOIN Film Fund. Together with two tutors from the Le Group Ouest initiative, they spent five days working intensively on their ideas and characters. We took a look behind the scenes for you.

What's the best way to get to know the characters in your own story? Exactly, you simply do a therapy session with them. "We slipped into the two main characters of our series 'Alaska and Canada' and did a fictional couples therapy session. This made us realise the fears of our characters much more clearly. It sounds crazy, but it's a great experience," reveal Script Writers Bineta Hansen and Kerstin Polte. Together with 12 other participants, they took part in the MOIN Film Fund's first NEST Space in mid-March. Five days of creative work at the rural Werkgut estate in Meezen, Schleswig-Holstein.

No one in the group knew exactly what to expect from the Script Writers on site until day 1: "Everyone knew the approximate schedule for the day - but how we would approach the stories only became clear bit by bit during the working process. We want to create new perspectives and encourage the participants to pursue new and unconventional ideas and not discard them straight away," says Bohdan Piasecki, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Together with filmmaker and Locarno winner Ralitza Petrova from Bulgaria, he formed the team of tutors for the five working days. Both work for the European initiative Le Group Ouest, which sees itself as a creative writing workshop and cooperates with MOIN for the NEST Space.

Die Teilnehmer*innen des NEST Space sitzen und stehen auf einer Treppe vor einem Haus
The participants and tutors of the NEST Space in Meezen

The working days roughly consisted of two parts: A working session in the morning followed by a second session in the afternoon. This alternated between working in large groups and group or individual sessions. There was a surprise right at the beginning: "I would have thought that we would have to write a lot more. There were so many exercises in which we simply had to tell our stories in a different way every time," says Script Writer and actress Bineta Hansen and laughs.  For example, the participants were given the task of telling their story in different time spans. So what if the story takes place in just one night? Or ten days? Or a year? A challenge that brings out certain aspects of a story in particular. "We use various oral storytelling techniques during the workshop. At some point, you start to improvise and completely new ideas come out of it," says tutor Piasecki.

Die Teilnehmer*innen des NEST Space arbeiten mit der Hilfe von Pinboards an ihren Geschichten.
The two authors Kerstin Polte (left) and Marian Freistühler in a creative exchange

But in addition to storytelling, the group also approached their characters and stories visually: "One day we were out in nature and took photos of the landscape. We then had to pick the photo that we felt the greatest connection to - and see how we could integrate it into our story," says author Nastia Korkia, who is currently writing the experimental documentary "Bering Strait". Mindmaps, storyboards and other drawings were also part of the portfolio with which the group worked on their films and series. "We got really deep into our stories and a lot of exciting questions came out of the group. My script is now clearer and more precise," says Hamburg Media School graduate Malika Musaeva, whose feature film project is about a Chechen family on the run.

The stories and ideas that the participants brought with them to Meezen were at very different stages: "Some had been working on their story on and off for several years, others just brought a few exciting characters to our working week," says Bohdan Piasecki. The range of projects also extends from feature films to documentaries and series to a VR project. "It's about getting to the core of the story - and that works the same for all formats," continues Piasecki.

Stehende und sitzende Gruppenmitglieder in einem weißen Raum, die dem Tutor zuhören
Tutor Bohdan Piasecki (left) discusses the next steps with the group

After five busy days, the participants presented the latest status of their story and characters. The highlight: no one presented their own project, but a partner project. "It can be a real eye-opener when you see your own project through the eyes of another person. We didn't want a pitch or competition. And if you can explain your project well to another person, you usually understand it well yourself," says Piasecki.

Drei Teilnehmer stehen und sitzen um ein buntes Pinboard und diskutieren
Discussing the projects for the final presentation: (from left) Wiktor Filip Gacparski, Markus Mayr and Momo Sinner

And what is the conclusion after five days of NEST Space? "I'm actually always a bit sceptical about events like this and really didn't think it would work out so well. I just came here with an idea and now have some initial characters that I will continue to work on over the next few weeks," says Nastia Korkia from Hamburg. Malika Musaeva is also convinced by the concept: "For me, it was a completely new way of working creatively. With lots of practice and unconventional approaches. The five days really exceeded my expectations."  Filmmaker Wiktor Filip Gacparski, who worked on his VR Documentary, adds: "It was great to work with so many talented writers. We influenced each other and made our stories better."

And that was exactly the goal.

You can still apply for the upcoming NEST Fundings and the NEST Space until 15 April. More info.

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