The Idea

Ten young filmmakers from all parts of Europe meet with several prolific members of the European Film Academy over a weekend. The private atmosphere guarantees a platform for inspiration and for an open-minded encounter. It is an exchange between different generations of filmmakers from various cultural backgrounds – most important for the future of rising talents and the future of European film. A Sunday in the Country was initiated in 1995 and is organised in co-operation with different local partners.

The Aim

The idea is to learn from each other through the exchange of experience and to build border-crossing personal networks. The subjects that are intensively discussed vary from financing and production conditions in the home countries of the young filmmakers who are curious to learn about their colleagues’ personal conditions, their cultural backgrounds, their different ways of storytelling (local heroes – European audiences) and technical questions. The programme includes screenings of films of the participants and the attending EFA members.

Documentation and Publicity

The events are documented in the EFA Newsletter as well as on the EFA Website.

Some comments on A Sunday in the Country

“Three intense days, without a real timetable, without anything academic, three days of just allowing things to come up in a natural way that then transformed into some magical encounters … There was plenty of optimism in the air. This was an entirely new experience for both, us and the senior participants, who were discovering us and our films.” (Maria Illiou, Greece, about A Sunday … at Ebeltoft, Denmark)

“It was a great weekend. Starting to forge links with filmmakers from other countries and trying to understand your work by listening to how they deal with theirs is a fantastic opportunity – one that I really cherish.” (Trine Piil Christensen, Denmark, about A Sunday … at Bassano del Grappa, Italy)

“The initial purpose of the scheme, i.e. an exchange of information, above all of experience and views on some basic issues of the contemporary European cinema,….were continued outside the meetings and beyond the limited discussion time. Since the people who met on this occasion were not only of the same profession but also had similar creative experience, it was possible to forge fruitful links and hold a beneficial exchange of views …. It was interesting then to understand the present state and position of European cinema as a whole and to become aware of being a part of it, face to face with its future representatives.” (Sasa Gedeon, Czech Republic, about A Sunday … at Bassano del Grappa, Italy)

Young filmmakers from 11 European countries met with experienced European Film Academy members to exchange experiences, present their works, future projects, discuss film project funding in countries of origin, different technical matters and how each of them tells a story and travels through film art. The young filmmakers were hosted by the EFA member and director of Avvantura Film Festival Sergej Stanojkovski, this summer meeting joined by another host, writer and director Ognjen Sviličić, and experienced EFA lecturers and members Cristophe Leparc, director of the renowned side programme of the Cannes Film Festival Director’s Fortnight), and Helena Danielsson, the Swedish producer and 2012 prestigious Prix Eurimages award winner. The EFA programme representative was Nicola Joetze from Berlin.

A Sunday — on The Island

Early in June, the Croatian island of Ugljan became the place to take in a group of filmmakers escaping everyday life, curiously waiting to meet with their new (film) family members. Under the first beams of a hot summer sun, surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, it was easy to leave everything behind on the mainland and get new inspiration from each other’s company.

Housed in Stocco Castle with meals served outside under a vine-covered pergola, the participants, among them former and current nominees, had the chance to watch each other’s films, discuss, cook and eat together. The highlights included a fresh seafood dinner on the berth as the sun set, a swim in the Mediterranean, a boat tour on an old fishing boat and a visit of a monastery.

PARTICIPANTS: Alexander Nanau (Germany / Romania), Anita Andreis (Croatia), Carlos Marqués-Marcet (Spain), Ester Amrami (Israel / Germany), Germinal Roaux (Switzerland), Guy Lichtenstein (Israel / Austria), Ivan Kelava (Croatia), Mark Noonan (Ireland), Marta Lewandowska (Poland), Sonja Prosenc (Slovenia), Vanya Rainova (Bulgaria), Victor Lindgren (Sweden)

EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY – MEMBERS & EXPERTS: Christophe Leparc (Managing Director, Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, France), Helena Danielsson (producer, Sweden), Ognjen Sviličić (director, Croatia)


Nikola Joetze (Event Management & TV Sales European Film Awards)

AVVANTURA – CREATIVE PRODUCTION COMPANY: Sergej Stanojkovski (director / festival director)


"What a wonderful mish mash of beautiful people. A time and people never to forget! Thank you EFA for this new family!"

– Alexander Nanau –

"To talk about cinema with such an amazing group of diverse and beautiful people from all over Europe and beyond has been a life-changing experience. The swimming, the talking, the drinking, the eating, the viewing of everyone’s films – I will never forget."

– Mark Noonan –

"Here’s what I want from life: Conversations that neither tire nor bore me; delicious food (thank you, Ester and Carlos); good wine; and films that move me. So, ask, and you shall be granted."

– Vanya Rainova –

"I wish life was always this pleasant as this weekend has been. I guess we would miss suffering in real life a bit more, but for a weekend it really made me appreciate the time being."

– Carlos Marqués-Marcet –

Photos by Germinal Roaux.


This edition of A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY was organised in co-operation with Avvantura Creative Production Company and with the support of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH.