So, in retrospect…when emotions have settled and the analytical mind has kicked in: what the program has offered me personally was a totally unique and wonderful experience! As my project is intimately connected to the island of Mallorca…the practical contact with and observation of facts connected to the life on the island, local community and all the ingredients for a great storytelling opportunity were just perfect! For an author in a search of a cinematic story – that whole adventure was simply immense and most gratifying. Discovering all the nuances and specificity of the region is almost impossible to describe...until the first draft of the script, of course.
The location of the Writer Retreat segment was just great for marinating ideas and thoughts about the project; calm & peaceful with wonderful nature and motivating vibes. Rooms, writing spaces and common areas - along with the staff from every and each person just exemplary. Food prepared with love and care - and in abundance.
Every mentor brought a unique look at the project. For me personally, Eva helped me clear any doubts in approaching the adaptation of literary work into screenplay. But each mentor added some special spice into the mix. I would definitely like to emphasize the talks with Eva, Chiara and Amy. Concerning the masterclasses…Álvaro Vega was wonderful! Although I am a professional from advertising field..I still enjoyed his approach which was quite humane, logical and stimulating.
As I have participated in a quite a few script developing residencies, I must admit that this script development program has a special place in my heart. All the fellow residents became a new cinematic family of mine, and I will cherish a few new friendships until my last breath. Also, I must say – that all of the storytellers chosen for Islands of Fiction deserve to tell their stories! For sure! On the topic of increasing my skills – I am a firm believer in constant learning and permanent chance to grow as a creative mind and an author...so this program was absolutely wonderfully curated. If a writer has a good self-discipline and work ethics - the whole experience offers just an ideal stimulating surroundings and energy.
Possibly it would be great to have always at least two one-on-one sessions with the same mentor - with a day in between to rethink, but also a group session as it is quite helpful to talk and share with your peers the story you wish to tell.
As I was not present at Ibiza - it is hard for me to say, but talking to my fellow residents (and based from many pics) there was too much emphasis on wine & dine part of the trip with not enough time to actually have some time to be alone and ponder on the project and actually write.
For future reference, I would recommend some more in-depth location scouting with the group – at least in two trips. Also, some more masterclasses like the one with Ruben Östlund would be great! During my residency at Sarajevo Film Festival…there were quite a few: with directors, actors, directors of photography and producers of international calibre…and it is really a great and stimulating opportunity for fellow filmmakers to enjoy those kinds of panels. The whole Menorca Fim Market should be conceptualized in more detail…with a stronger structure, and assurance that all the producers/sales agent present have received the project dossier, and of course – to plan it ahead and share with the participants the contact info in case they cannot be present for the pitch in person. And most definitely, all the chosen residents should get badges for free entrance to all the Evolution Film Festival events and screenings – before the festival. Possibly the whole IoF program could be segmented in online and on-location parts during a longer period of time – similar to Torino ScriptLab. Last but not least, I would like to thank all the involved for this unique and authentic adventure in order to tell the story I would like the audience to enjoy and be immersed in.