The conference kicked off with Veiko Vaatmann looking back at where the project was born – universities and film organizations need to provide up-to-date film courses and train much needed professionals for a rapidly growing and changing industry. This created a four-step agenda that was realized into the Erasmus K220 project for strategic partnerships in higher education, bringing together Baltic Film, Media and Arts School of Tallinn University, Latvian Academy of Culture, Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy, Lithuanian Shorts and Estonian Filmmakers Association.
In two years of tight cooperation, the team analyzed the current trends and influences which were reflected by BFM’s researcher Vejune Zemaitites presentation of international connections of Baltic film industries. It was followed by the presentation by Davis Simanis’ (Latvian Academy of Culture), reflecting on the phenomena of post-cinema. Simanis posed a challenge that the film industry and professionals are facing on the basis: the changes in the modes of production and technology are taking place at such a fast pace, how is it possible to keep up as a professional? Also, what kind of challenge it poses to researchers to capture a moment that is already gone?
Birgit Rosenberg from BFM and Rimante Daugeliate from Lithuanian Shorts took a closer look and introduced the FilmSkills project results, occupation descriptions, certification principles and webiste to the full hall audience. The outcome of the project was a success - a team of around 12 researchers modeled Baltic film industries and created 30 job descriptions for below-the-line professions, videos and a website. Still, the question of how to assure or test someone’s readiness to work is and has remained a challenge to be tackled. Crew United representative Romanas Matulis gave an insight into recruitment company's practices and view of Baltic below-the-line film jobs, stating that even they do not have a secret of assessing someone’s contribution to a collective art.
The event was wrapped up by Vytaustas Dambrauskas who led a panel discussion with film professionals from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Panelists spoke of their experiences as teachers, film professionals, and students. Even though a career in film industry offers diverse opportunities, fulfillment and job like no other, there are no shortcuts to success and it requires skills and competencies that the jobs demand.
On the next day, project partners continued the discussion at BFM. Though it was mutually agreed that the two-year project has been a success and much has been achieved, there are also many gaps still to be filled. It is a common wish to proceed working on the project and hope that the industry will be inspired and assisted with the FilmSkills outcome - that the templates and results will be picked up and, as the occupations change, so will the job descriptions that were created during the project.
For further information and FilmSkills results, visit the webpage https://balticfilmskills.com/
Watch the full conference:
FilmSkills is a joint project of Baltic Film, Media and Arts School of Tallinn University, Latvian Academy of Culture, Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy, Lithuanian Shorts, and Estonian Filmmakers Association. FilmSkills project is financed by the European Union (Contract no. 2021-KA220-HED-03)
Photos: Janis Kokk (PÖFF)