My Street Films Conquers Central Europe

The amateur film movement keeps growing every day and the unique My Street Films map is a clear proof of that! The enthusiasm of filmmakers who are telling the stories of places they live in through their short films is spreading from London through the Czech Republic to three more European countries; Slovakia, Poland and Hungary thanks to!

The story is getting pretty long, although it is set up of a hundred short film stories; so short that they will fit in 10 minutes. In 2010, the director of the British festival Open City Docs Fest Michael Stewart came up with the idea of creating a platform for sharing amateur and professional films through which people introduce the places they live in. However, there is more to it, as they also show the places that do not exist any longer, places that are only coming into existence now as well as the extraordinary life stories of those who live in ordinary places. This is how the first online My Street Films map emerged, inviting all curious film explorers from the UK to share their short documentary narratives at for five years already.

The enthusiasm the project brought both to its organizers and to all amateur filmmakers infected the Prague team of the portal in the past year as well. What if we tried to tell the stories of magic Prague through its citizens? How much of its medieval beauty lauded by tourist guides would it lose and how many new faces would it suddenly get? The decision to cross the geographical border of London by expanding the border of the film map towards Prague proved to be a successful step. In the course of the first year, over sixty films appeared in Prague’s virtual film travelogue; the filmmakers either submitted a finished film to the competition or used the possibility of sending a documentary film idea which they later consulted with professional filmmakers. An important role in building Prague’s My Street Film community was also played by a series of public screenings and film workshops which made it possible for those who were interested to discuss their own films and to find out more about documentary film.

However, the borders of the My Street Films map are expanding even further in 2015! The amateur film “epidemic” is spreading from Prague across the entire Czech Republic to other key countries of Central Europe – Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. Could it be that the filmmakers will rewrite the map of Central Europe? In Slovakia, the main events will take place in the culture and art centre Stanica in Žilina; a place whose history would definitely deserve its own My Street film. Stanica was established in 1998 as a refuge of creative culture and a platform for art education and public debates. In the space of a former railway station, surrounded by railway tracks on one side until today, something is going on every day. The lively atmosphere is due to the youngest generation attending art workshops as well as artists in residence and gallery visitors.

The first sketches of the Polish My Street Films map have been made by the key local player in the field of cinema; Krakow Film Foundation. Two interactive film workshops will take place under its baton and the selection of the most interesting films will be introduced during the 55th edition of the prestigious Krakow Film Festival. The Hungarian organizers of the My Street Films challenge bet on their close relationship with the young generation of filmmakers and viewers. In the course of mere seven years, – The European Short Film Center managed to become one of the important nodes of the European film network. Their role in discovering and presenting new directing talents in the field of short film through their video on demand services cannot be overlooked while their World of Shorts Magazine published in English shines on the panels of film festivals. My Street filmmakers will have a field day in Hungary as well. They will be able to participate in several educational seminars and those who submit a successful film are promised a festival screening during BuDoKu FF.

Since the year 2015 is dedicated to short film stories from Central European cities, we must not forget the European Capital of Culture Pilsen! Czech filmmakers can look forward to the master class of Veronika Lišková, director of the much discussed debut dealing with the paedophile community Daniel’s World screened at the Panorama section of this year’s Berlinale among others, held already at the end of the month on Tuesday, April 28 in Pilsen.

Every street has its story but not every street has its film. As a matter of fact, each film country should have its My Street Films!


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