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ESP 2017 – The Confessions

ESP 2017 – The Confessions

by May 31, 2017

We are pleased to present the ESP 2017 participant confessions Part 1.  To find more information about the films, check out our Book of Projects.


Luka Popadic ­– The Shift:

 ESP 2017 was a very important step for the development of my project. I really appreciate to have had an opportunity to get an outside point of view with the help of dedicated tutors, fellow participants and potential producers from all over Europe. That is why I would always recommend this workshop to every short film maker.

Stephanie Sant – Aya:

ESP has been a nurturing space for development of our project Aya. In general it is an excellent platform to start networking within the short film industry in Europe, and I am very happy to have participated in this year’s edition. I have gained volumes from the scriptwriting workshop with the help of the tutors, and the pitching session in Poznan. I met some amazing passionate people along the way.

Jan Vejnar – The Figurant:

I guess every author more or less struggles with a lack of feedback or at least the discussion about the story he’s working on and the writing process itself. And that is probably the greatest thing that ESP can offer – you stay in a permanent dialogue with people who really cares, because here they’re engaged in your story too (as you’re in theirs). This shared experience was a reason why the fellow participants became close friends of mine. I miss our interaction every day.

Stefka Mancheva – Vesela loves chocolate:

ESP 2017 was a challenging and a very valuable experience for me. It gave me the chance to see how my story communicates (or not) with different people. This process is not only interesting at the very moment, it also prepares you for any doubts you may encounter in the future. The team of the workshop put a lot of effort and heart into organizing the event.  I`m glad I was part of it! Thank you all!

Lizete Upite – Rigas Lilac:

It all started from an inspirational letter sent by the organisers of the event: you’ve been selected for a reason, we believe in your project, have your project reach its full potential – it said. While at that very moment these words felt like almost too cheerful, this was exactly what got me through the whole workshop. After many discussions and intense work load this was what reminded me not to give up, because I was there for a reason – to get better.

Most of the time we don’t see or think about the process behind a great script or a beautiful film. While this is normal, this may be a very important factor why sometimes we don’t have the results we want. This is where ESP comes in. It does not only give you a chance to improve with the help of others, but also invites you to join this shared experience where every participant is going through the same frustration while trying to do his best. For that we had a great team of tutors who made sure we’d never take an easy way out. For me personally, this experience ended up having a great script I couldn’t be happier about and meeting fantastic people who I call my friends now. All in all, this process was amazing. However, there’s one thing missing – a meeting of ESP 2017 alumni. It was so interesting to follow the progress of each project during this whole time. Imagine how mesmerizing it would be meeting again and watching the shorts we worked so hard on?

Balazs Simonyi – Banalities

Being one of the founders of the organisation and an activist when it comes to its projects, workshops etc., it was heart warming to meet NISI MASA crew again after so many years. With so much time having passed, I can clearly feel the same spirit  emerging young talents, fresh and thoughtful ideas which creates a very vibrant atmosphere.

Hani Domazet – Tina & Sandy:

ESP 2017 was a turning point for my project. I met so many potential producers, future colleagues and good friends during this process. It was very rewarding both creative and network wise.

Rand Beiruty – Encountering Samir:

ESP was a wonderful experience that has helped me push my project further in terms of script development as well as teaming up with a producer. What was extra special about it was meeting all the lovely participants and hearing their stories, can’t wait to watch the final films!

Mitja Mlakar – I’ll probably never see you again:

The European Short Pitch section Works in Progress is a great initiative for short films. It was a very important step in the path of our short film as well.

Claudia Bottino – Hunt:

European Short Pitch provides the support you need to raise your project to the next level, so it makes through production. The organizers are great and the tutors are extremely professional, dedicated and encouraging. I had a chance to meet amazing directors from all over Europe and become a part of their projects. I am so grateful to ESP family for this fantastic experience!

Ronan Posnic – Hospitalities:

ESP brought me so much in many ways.

– Writing: the workshop was entirely dedicated to writing, so I had a chance to improve my story.  Following the others’ scripts evolution was also very interesting. We were together in this process. In addition, the fact that we were somewhere in Europe – Malta in this case, sheltered from the rest of the world helped us focus on our work. We were in a bubble, protected by NISI MASA family from everything that could slow us down.

– Pitching is a very scary exercise. After a scriptwriting workshop, the pitching forum follows where we are out there to convince an audience of producers from all over Europe that our project is the best. It helped having a professional tutor us beforehand.

– Meeting talented writers and directors, with the feeling that some of them are going to do truly great things.

One regret though, I was very focused on the pitch. After that I felt exhausted and was not really ready for the “one on one” meetings with the producers and their questions. Which is a very important, second step to really find a producer. Maybe tell the next participants a little more about this second step, and help them prepare for this part as well… But all in all it’s been a fantastic, stimulating experience. I’m immensely grateful to all the NISI MASA people for their commitment and the great work they achieve.

Sameh Morsy – Under the volcano there is always a man sleeping:

Being part of ESP was a wonderful experience, very well organized. There is a lot of positive things in ESP I want to share briefly…

  1. I had a chance to visit two new countries it being Malta and Poland.
  2. During the workshop I rewrote the script three times.
  3. I made new friends.
  4. I had many useful discussions and exciting drinks.
  5. I learned about pitching techniques.
  6. I found a co-producer who is now attached to my project.

Thank you Wim, Marija, Jerome, Maša.

(And all the hidden people behind ESP)