MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schlwesig-Holstein

At the beginning of April, the Euopean Writers Club held its first "Boosting Impact Camp" in Hamburg. Six teams spent a week working on their series ideas on the Reeperbahn. In collaboration with the European initiative Le Groupe Ouest and supported by the EU and 25 financial contributors from all over Europe, broadcasters, sales executives and emerging writers were also included in the camp itself. We visited them for a day.

Nine o'clock in the morning. Hamburg's Reeperbahn. Somewhere between the Molotow and the Astra Stube, gentle meditation sounds float across the tarmac that don't seem to fit here at all. We zoom in. Above the Astra Stube is the event location "Hamburger Ding", where around 50 People of different ages walk through a room filled with colourful sofas. Slowly, many with their eyes closed, arms snaking through the air to the music. In the centre: Mourad Bouayad, trained dancer, choreographer - and tutor at the first Boosting Impact Camp 2024 in Hamburg. The people around him: some of the most creative film minds from all over Europe.

Die Teilnehmer des Camps auf dem Dach vom "Hamburger Ding"
Great atmosphere on the rooftops of the Reeperbahn: the participants of the first Boosting Impact Camp in Hamburg

Under the motto "From Facts to Fiction", six teams of authors and producers have come together to work intensively on series based on true events. The initiator is the European Writers Club based in Denmark: "With this event format, we are trying to promote stories that have an impact on our society and are relevant. During the application process, we made sure that the six teams covered different topics," says Thomas Gammeltoft, CEO of the European Writers Club.  For example, the Norwegian project "Strictly Confidential" by authors Anna Bache-Wiig and Siv Rajendram is about the attack on a Libyan dictator and the diplomatic efforts behind the scenes. The German series "The Cloud" by author Sophie Linnenbaum (The Ordinaries) depicts a future scenario in which humanity is able to upload feelings, physical sensations and memories to a cloud storage system. The Swiss production "Gold" by authors Christian Wehrlin and Pascal Glatz, on the other hand, places illegal gold smuggling at the centre of the plot.

Das Team der Serie "Gold" sitzt um einen Tisch und diskutiert angeregt.
Part of the "Gold" team: Muriel Côte (left), Christian Wehrlin and Miriam Suad Bühler brainstorming

A Hamburg-based script writer is also on board with "Gold": Hamburg Media School graduate Miriam Suad Bühler is supporting the project as an "Emerging Writer". "The Emerging Writers - who were selected by the "La Cité européenne des scénaristes" initiative - should bring a fresh perspective to the projects," says Thomas Gammeltoft. And the view really couldn't be more fresh: "I only knew the logline of the project before I came here. It was like jumping in at the deep end," says Miriam Suad Bühler. She is joined by five other emerging writers, who are each assigned to one of the projects. "The group work phases are similar to working in a writers' room - we are fully integrated and actively involved. Yesterday, for example, we approached the project with graphic associations and I drew. What will happen in the next few days? I'm curious!" says Suad Bühler.

During the five-day camp in Hamburg, the participants will work according to a concept developed by the European initiative Le Groupe Ouest, which sees itself as a creative writing space and cooperates with the European Writers Club for Boosting Impact. "The special thing about Le Groupe Ouest is that orality is extremely important. We hardly ever write anything down. It's more about speaking, storytelling and improvisation. When we write down thoughts, we usually cling to them later. But we want to remain flexible with the participants and create a creative space for new and unconventional ideas," reveals tutor Laura Piani. The screenwriter from Paris and three other tutors are there to provide new impetus within the groups and guide the participants during the group work phases - which can sometimes be quite challenging.

For example, when Gold author Christian Wehrlin has to fire keywords about his story into the room like a shotgun blast. "Don't think, just say the first thing that comes into your head," Piani encourages the Swiss author and notes down on a whiteboard: "Responsibility", "Relations", "System", "Fear". Next, he has to build word clouds around the words just mentioned. Now the group, which also includes producer Stefan Eichenberger (Contrast Film), looks at which word combinations are the most exciting or perhaps the most absurd at first glance - and starts again here.

But what good is the best idea if it doesn't find its way to the audience later on? For this reason, Boosting Impact involves broadcasters and sales executives from all over Europe in the group work right from the start: "It's super important that they are involved right from the start and give their input. They have a good feel for which content will have a good chance on the market later on," says Laura Piani.

Another special feature are the so-called "content-providers" within the groups - experts in a very specific field. They ensure that the stories are as authentic as possible and that the facts are correct. Muriel Côte, for example, is a lecturer at Lund University, where she heads the "Fair gold?" research project.  Or Michele Farisco, who is active in the International Neuroethics Society and the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, among others, and specialises in consciousness research, neuroethics and philosophy of mind - making him a perfect sparring partner for "The Cloud" project.

The first Boosting Impact Camp in Hamburg runs for a total of five days. Five days packed with group work, presentations and networking meetings. The next stop will be Santiago de Compostela in Spain in June 2024 - a third camp will take place in Copenhagen in September. "This is where the projects will be presented once again after they have been continuously worked on in the meantime - because there are also deadlines between the camps by which the participants have to send us new ideas and drafts," says Thomas Gammeltoft. So there is a lot to do before a successful series project is created that is brought to life by the broadcasters involved.

Vier Leute sitzen auf einem Stuhl auf einer Bühne
Open Club event for the Hamburg industry: discussion with moderator Helge Albers (MOIN Filmförderung), director Sarah Blaßkiewitz, Benjamina Mirnik-Voges (Walt Disney Company Germany) and Jörg Winger (Big Window Productions)

And to give the mind a break in between, the European Writers Club has hired Mourad Bouayad to run a relaxing but also warm-up programme twice a day with all participants. Dancing, shouting, pausing, laughing - anything is possible. The main thing is that it feels good. Almost like a normal evening on the Reeperbahn.

Who is on board?

Boosting Impact is financed by the European Union together with The Estonian Film Institute, AGADIC/Xunta de Galicia, NTA/Screen Ireland, SGAE/Spain, Vision Denmark, The Danish Film School, MOIN Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein with support from The Danish Film Institute, Nordic Film & TV Fund/tbc, The Danish Producers Rights Fund, The Danish Producers Association, and the Danish Writers Guild.

Credits: bbouilot
Share post
This article was translated automatically. It can contain errors.