During the Message2Man International Film Festival (se below) I had the pleasure to run a small doxpro workshop for around 10 young and younger Russian filmmakers. Through three hot mornings (July 17-19) the group discussed four projects that had been selected and all had a written proposal and visual material to present. Several others joined with projects they wanted to bring to the table for sharing and discussion. With the four projects as starting point information was given on the European documentary landscape, that is far too closed for the many Russian talented filmmakers. This is precisely why Ludmila Nazaruk and Viktor Skubey has initiated the website www.miradox.ru and the doxpro international program for documentary professionals. Let me repeat what Nazaruk said when the first edition of doxpro was organised in November 2009:
”Every year in Russia more than 3000 non-fiction films are produced, more than 400 of them have state financial support, but only 5-7 films end up on the international market. For Russia it is disastrously low. Real co-productions, that bring together broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, distributors, cable channels, IT-platforms (Video-on-demand, Pay per view), we do not see.
DOXPRO intends to become a business platform for the interaction of Russian and foreign documentary, to form long-term international cultural and economic ties, and create favorable conditions for realization of joint projects in the field of documentary filmmaking. Analogues of such programs to date in Russia do not exist.”
After these two sessions it is easy for me to say that there is talent and projects with international potential. DoxPro is the right forum and the participants like the openness, and to have their projects focused. Production skills are needed, writing and presentation skills as well, but the most obvious missing link is the language. Too few of the filmmakers speak the international documentary community language: English.