Ex Oriente Film, a renowned international project-based film training programme from The Institute of Documentary Film, has recently expanded its scope to include documentary series projects. The workshop, well-regarded for its support of documentarists from Central and Eastern Europe, conducted its inaugural session in collaboration with Sunny Side of the Doc in La Rochelle, France.
During the workshop, 12 feature films and, for the first time, 5 documentary series projects participated in an intensive session, receiving valuable guidance from international experts. Topics covered included storytelling, character development, narrative structure, production logistics, and co-production opportunities.
The involvement of the American Film Showcase further enriched the Ex Oriente Film workshop, with contributions from lecturers like Nanfu Wang, Victoria Bruce, and Matthew Syrett from the United States. Nanfu Wang, a Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, shared insights into her HBO documentary series Mind Over Murder, while Matthew Syrett discussed the production of the popular Netflix series MerPeople. Diana El Jeiroudi, an acclaimed documentary filmmaker, also contributed her knowledge and experience to the workshop.
The upcoming sessions of the Ex Oriente Film workshop are scheduled to be held in Germany during DOK Leipzig in October and at the East Doc Platform in Prague in March 2024. Nadja Tennstedt, the director of DOK Industry at DOK Leipzig, expressed enthusiasm for this collaboration and praised the program’s high-quality project selections.