Workshop on “Feature Films with a very Low Budget”

The Directors Guild of Cyprus annually organises specialised workshops which aim to inform and educate our members. This year we felt that it is important to concentrate on the production of films with a very low budget. Film financing and the difficulties that come with it has always been a very important topic for us. The economic crisis has made the situation even more difficult since it affected the government grant, which has been our main, and sometimes only, source of funding. However, film production has not stopped in recent years; it continues with independent low-budget productions, which is a positive thing. Today’s reality creates the need to adapt production to new information. Our Guild has been informed of the successful low budget feature film financing program that has been applied to Israel and we consider it important to implement something similar in Cyprus. This will enable, in addition to the films funded by the Cinema Advisory Board of Cyprus with a higher budget, the increase in number of funded feature films, so that there is continuous film production, something very important since the employment of professionals in all areas of production will help create more jobs, more skillful crew and to acquire significant experience in production and directing.

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The Directors Guild of Cyprus organised a 3-day workshop on “Feature Films with a very Low Budget” on 5th,6th and 7th December 2014 in Artos Foundation in the Ayioi Omoloyites in Nicosia.

On the 5th and 6th December the Director of the Israel Film Center Katriel Schory presented Israel Film Center’s program concerning low budget feature films.

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Low Budget Filmmaking – A short outline of the workshop (by Katriel Schory)

The low-budget filmmaking takes into account the technological developments which enables filmmakers to make their films with a relatively low budget. One of the most important elements is the script which is written and is feasible for this type of productions.

  • What is a low budget full-length feature film;
  • Why consider low-budget filmmaking and why promote low-budget filmmaking;
  • Idea / story: finding the right story for this type of film / filmmaking;
  • The development process: writing and developing the right story for the scope of low-budget films (depth vis-à-vis expansion);
  • Setting up the production: the structure, the legal entity, the leading team: Producer, Director, Writer;
  • Casting: Engaging the actors who are willing to accept the conditions of this type of production, prep/rehearsals for how long and how;
  • Locations: Cinematic vision / language, the DOP how early the engagement and the involvement;
  • Production: Super careful and precise pre-production – production – balancing between dreams and means of production;
  • Thinking Editing and Post-production when in Pre-Pre-Production;
  • Distributions, Sales and Festivals;

The above mentioned general points, were well demonstrated with scenes from Israeli low-budget films.  During the workshop we screened the film “Room 514” and discussed / analysed the way it was produced.

On December 7th we showcased the Italian film “Spaghetti Story” (2013) by Ciro de Caro, which has had huge festival and commercial success. The director talked to us via Skype, about his film and the extremely interesting and creative way he promoted it!low budget films workshop 03-1

We then hosted the director and producer George Georgopoulos from Greece, who screened his film “Tungsten” (2011), a film which participated in several international festivals. A discussion followed about the conditions of production, the script, the promotion and the progress of the film.


5th December 2014

18:00 – 20:00  Movie screening from Israel

Break / Snacks

20:00 – 22:00   Discussion for Script in low budget films

6th December 2014

10:00 – 13:00   Presentation of the Israel guerrilla film funding program with screenings of paradigms of successful films from Israel.

13:00 – 14:00   Lunch Break

14:00 – 17:00  Presentation of the Israel guerrilla film funding program with screenings of paradigms of successful films from Israel.

7th December 2014

15:00 – 17:00   The successful story of the “Spaghetti Story” – Ciro de Caro

Break / Snacks

17:00 – 19:00   Presentation and Screening of “Tungsten” by Giorgos Georgopoulos

Break / Snacks

19:00 – 21:00   Q&A with the director

*** Participation fee 10 Euro for members of the Directors Guild/ 15 Euro for non-members

The workshop will be held in English.

The workshop is sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus.

Supported by the Artos Foundation.

Media Sponsor CyBC.

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