Aligned with our aim to improve the quality of films selected at In-Docs’ programs and to diversify the talent pools, this year In-Docs has a special guest that will accompany us along the journey. Starting from February, we will have Mikael Opstrup onboard as In-Docs’ Capacity Building and Development Advisor.
Opstrup will be conducting development sessions for In-Docs’ team and grow their skill in assessing films. It is expected that each of team members has the ability to judge which films needed to be championed for competition and receive appropriate support to get done. The staff is also expected to give advice to filmmakers on which pathways are possible for the films to achieve completion, to be successful in festivals, and to be connected to more partners.
Opstrup has 40 years of experience working in the film industry. He is a specialist in international project development, trailer consultancy, co-productions, workshop planning and tutoring. As Head of Studies at European Documentary Network (EDN) in 2011–19, among other things he created and edited the EDN Co-production Guide and worked as a tutor and moderator for IDFA, Hot Docs, Nordisk Panorama, the Institute of Documentary Film, Baltic Sea Docs, Docs Barcelona, and Dox Box.
Opstrup says he was impressed when he first worked with In-Docs to support the program called Dare to Dream in 2016.
He said, “I come from a very privileged part of the world – Denmark – with strong funding institutions and ditto public broadcasters. I’m not saying it’s easy to make documentaries in my region but compared to the conditions in many SEA countries, it is. The task that In-Docs has taken on it is tremendous – and so are the people doing it.”
So far, Opstrup has developed a number of international workshops and worked for more than 40 documentary events all over the world.
“Walking on two legs when working with documentaries I find very important: one leg developing film teams and their projects and another leg building structures that reach beyond the individual film projects,” said Opstrup.
Opstrup feels drawn to this project because he thinks that this is exactly what he, as the former Head of Studies at EDN, European Documentary Network, and In-Docs have done for a decade.
“The one leg doesn’t really make sense without the other. That’s why I happily accepted the offer to work as Development Advisor with In-Docs,” he adds.
Aside from mentoring the staff to advance their knowledge on reviewing projects, assessing proposals, evaluating projects and sharing basic knowledge on documentary filmmaking, Opstrup will be giving consultancy to support documentary projects developed by In-Docs. He also will become a speaker in several webinars, mentoring Open Table program for Indonesian documentary projects and gets involved in curating and selecting projects for Docs By The Sea Incubator 2021. In 2021, In-Docs is designing small development labs together with different film communities in Indonesia to invite emerging filmmakers to see how story development works. In-Docs’ team are excited to welcome him aboard.