TESTIMONY OF THE WEEK

Tamer El Said, director, Cairo (Egypt)

I met her Isabelle Fauvel 2006 in Paris and I was at the very early stage of my film. We exchanged few emails and I recall her very enthusiastic tone that touched me deeply by then. Since the film is finished, I'm very happy to show it to her as I truly measure the importance of meeting professionals along the way who give you hope and strength to believe in your film when so many tend to discourage you.

 Tamer El Said, Director of In the last days of the city, Cairo

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Alexis Kardaras, director (Greece)

When Isabelle Fauvel awarded a script consultancy for my project “Fantasia” at the 2016 Thessaloniki IFF’s Crossroads Co-production Forum, I had no idea how helpful that would be for the project. Isabelle x-rayed the script, came up with some outstanding suggestions, she literally pulled the focus on things and helped me answer cardinal questions about the story and the characters. So, I’m very grateful for your help Isabelle and I look forward to asking for your mentoring again. Alexis Kardaras, film director - writer, Greece

Alexis Kardaras, director - writer, Greece


Morgan Simon (director)

"Isabelle knows how to see, understand and convince. She supported me with all the trust and goodwill a writer and his project require. She defended my vision because she passionately believed in it, even at times where I couldn’t do it myself. I felt confortable to such an extent that I could show her my fear. You don’t get to meet many honest and clear-sighted people like her, people who don’t change their mind overnight. Isabelle knew how to be the breeze and the tornado I needed."

Morgan Simon, director of A taste of Ink, released in France on January 25th, 2017

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Testimony of the week : Ivan Marinović

If you don't come from a country that has a strong industry and strong cinematography you probably won't have an initial network of people that helps your growth. And the film circuit is a tough thing to break through on your own.

Being from Montenegro, a country whose cinematography is still making its first steps, I was more than lucky to meet Isabelle Fauvel at the right time. She got to know me through a pitching event in Thessaloniki, and for reasons only known to her she believed in my talent and supported me in a number of occasions. The major thing was the scouting process for Jerusalem Film Lab. First time that we tried to get in, I was rejected. But Isabel insisted to try again two years later and I was accepted.

The lab was a fundamental experience for both developments of my feature film debut "The Black Pin" and of my own development as an auteur. Over there I met a mentor (Koby Gal-Raday) who perfectly understood my sensibility, and who gave me guidance when I needed it, and confidence when I lacked it. But he never tried to change or shape the poetics that I was going for and that was the core of my project.

Not only that the three phases of the lab (with a lot of heavy work involved) improved the project, but also I was given the opportunity to present the project in front of the highly prestigious jury, and to win an award that financially helped the production. But even if it wasn't for the award, the fact that the jury knew the project and myself, allowed me to build further my network. Suddenly I had the contacts who I could ask for advice, who could give me feedback in various stages of it, or who could simply watch the film as selectors of festivals. Basically JFL boosted my credibility, the visibility of my project, and its appeal in latter stages of production.

None of that would happen if it weren’t for Initiative films. Since so much of the filmmaking process depends on your own mental strength, confidence and faith you must find the people who will help you build those qualities. Isabelle Fauvel is exactly that - one of those rare, kind, supportive and extremely knowledgeable people who will push you in the right direction, and who will make your goals achievable.

Ivan Marinović, Writer/Director/Producer, Montenegro


Testimony of the week : Joseph Incardona

As the new edition of the Forum of Namur is about to start, here are the precious words of one of the talents we met last year, with whom we've started a compelling collaboration.

"I met Isabelle Fauvel at the Forum of Namur last year, where I was pitching a feature film project. Her knowledge of the film industry and her charisma caught my attention on the spot. And quite naturally, I’d almost say logically, we started collaborating together.

Isabelle is just like her « creature », Initiative Film: she brings people together, a precious web in this complex and often autistic film world. In this egocentric universe, where communication technologies provide us with an illusion of « real contact », she takes a valuable look at the people, the world, the cinema of all over the world. She fosters indispensable convergences and encounters between its key players.

Thank to her social skills and her human qualities, we feel less solitary in this place where meetings and team work are the most valuable items. 

Because cinema is the result of encounters."

Joseph Incardona, novelist, screenwriter and director, Switzerland


If you don't come from a country that has a strong industry and strong cinematography you probably won't have an initial network of people that helps your growth. And the film circuit is a tough thing to break through on your own.
Being from Montenegro, a country whose cinematography is still making its first steps, I was more than lucky to meet Isabelle Fauvel at the right time. She got to know me through a pitching event in Thessaloniki, and for reasons only known to her she believed in my talent and supported me in a number of occasions. The major thing was the scouting process for Jerusalem Film Lab.  First time that we tried to get in, I was rejected. But Isabel insisted to try again two years later and I was accepted.
None of that would happen if it weren’t for Initiative films. Since so much of the filmmaking process depends on your own mental strength, confidence and faith you must find the people who will help you build those qualities. Isabelle Fauvel is exactly that - one of those rare, kind, supportive and extremely knowledgeable people who will push you in the right direction, and who will make your goals achievable.

Ivan Marinovic, writer, director, producer Montenegro
Winner of the 2nd prize at the Jerusalem International Film Lab Pitching Event 2014 


A few words that cross my mind about Initiative Film : passion, books, encounters, sharing, engagement, seriousness, liability , prevision, vision, generosity, empathy, ability to walk in someone else’s shoe... and I would add : Ubiquity !
Olivier Ciechelski, scénariste et consultant, France, Adapt Lab 2013 


I have worked many times with Initiative Films for various projects and I have always been amazed by Isabelle’s unique ability to unlock the creative forces of our talent. It is like a little piece of magic that somehow always works !
Konstantinos Kontovrakis, Producer, Greece 


I met Isabelle in 2010 during the 7th Forum de Namur - Expertise workshop through the FIFF.
We haven't left each other since. Through Initiative Film, we kept on asking Isabelle and her team for advice. Script analysis, advices and development counsel for my frist feature film KEEPER. Then, an early-stage accompaniment for my second feature NOS BATAILLES, which is currently approaching the end of writing. Making a film is always a struggle, a battle, full of doubts and questions. The kind of counsel that Initiative Film offered me was a real relief, it was nearly necessary for the feasibility of the film but also for the well-being of those who try to make it... Long live Initiative Film !
Guillaume Senez, Writer and Director, Belgium 


Here is what I think makes Initiative Film a unique company:
First, the family feeling around Isabelle, her flat and her team. Straight away, one feels that the company is about people who like each other as much as they like what they do. That puts you in a comfortable position. You have the impression that a family welcomes you and wants to share with you as much as they want you to open yourself.
Another important element – particularly important for me because I’m young – is the level and the high quality of listening. Every thought that crosses your mind, every idea that you suggest, every comment that you make is taken into consideration, analysed and adapted to your project.
It’s a fundamental difference in an industry where ego and sensitivity are so often at stake.            The third important force that Initiative Film possesses is its capacity to have a global understanding of a project, or a talent. Isabelle’s litterary and film experience  - combined with her knowledge of production - allows her to grasp your project with a level of expertise almost impossible to find nowadays.
You are not only guided through the technical process of creation and improvement of your script, but you also get precious advice about what effect a decision or another could have on your finished film.
Here is a short way of describing what makes Initiative Film for me. I would need many more pages and much more time, but the best way to understand it is to try it!

Louis Lagayette, Director, London


We have been working with Isabelle and Initiative Film for 4 years. Isabelle has provided us with script analyses on several feature film script versions. Since then, two have been produces and one is in shooting. Her feedback on themes, characters and dramatic structure are clear and never opinionated, detailed and above all encouraging for a screenwriter, producer and director. Everybody saves time. After Isabelle’s consultancies, we have often found a new impulse to – within our capacities – improve or perfect a beautiful project.
Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem, writer & producer, A Private View, Flandres


No matter what I produce or write, i have an immoderate taste for singularity. Isabelle Fauvel, it looks, has an andless potential for singularity, thanks to years and years of hard work. She invented her own science, and we couldn't do without it. She has a piercing eye on cinema from all nationalities, an energetic and contemporary knowledge of the scripts, and of course a transnational network. When we write/direct/produce, which means you go forward clueless, or blinded by too many bright sources, sometimes under a storm and against the wind, sometimes petrified at a crossroads where there are too many choices, we are lucky to know that we can find Isabelle Fauvel and the team of Initiative Film.
This chance, i took it, and i'm glad i did. 

An enlightened opinion, a very good taste, a fresh vision, a bright idea, our intuitions to clarify, and any other signs "known or unknown to this day" : all of these can very easily slip away from us in the heat of the moment, and it is exactly what Isabelle is here to propose. We could also summarize this by the ability to have the right distance to a project.

Agathe Berman, producer, writer, Legato films


I met Isabelle Fauvel two years ago when I started the Torino Film Lab’s Adapt Lab program. Developing  with her guidance my film adaptation of the Italian novel “Savana Padana” has been a unique and rewarding experience. Her insight on the project has been spot on and I have found very valuable both her creative and producing notes. Not only has Isabelle been professional and always present - a very good and accessible mentor - she also always showed how much she cares about directors finding their own voices. She really encouraged me in pursuing my vision and I will never thank her enough. 

Paolo Borraccetti, writer and director, AdaptLa 2014 , Sofia Meetings 2016, Italy


The first time I met Isabelle Fauvel and Initiative film was in Cannes in a workshop of the European union back in 2007. It was a great workshop and what made it so great was Isabelle.
After this week I announced Isabelle that I want to work with her at least for the next 10 years. Almost 10 years have passed, we became friends, but for many reasons most of those, not because of us, we didn't manage to really work together until this year 2015 in the Torino film lab.
Finally, starting working together professionally, I'm so sorry for the wasted time of those years. I feel that what Isabelle is bringing to "the court" is the best a scriptwriter/ director can get. It is wisdom and experience, it is way of thinking and way of looking at things that not many people if any are capable of. It is 2015 now, and I want to announce publicly that I'll be keeping working with Isabelle and Initiative films at least for the next 10 years or until Isabelle tell me to go home…

Uri Bar-On, screenwriter and director, AdaptLab 2015, Israel


La première fois que j’ai rencontré Isabelle Fauvel et Initiative Film, c’était en 2007, à Cannes, lors d’un Workshop de l’Union Européenne.
Ce fut un formidable moment et ceci grâce à Isabelle.
Après cette rencontre, j’ai annoncé à Isabelle que je voulais travailler avec elle pour les 10 prochaines années au moins. Presque 10 ans sont maintenant passés, nous sommes devenus amis, mais pour beaucoup de raisons - la plupart indépendantes de notre volonté - nous n’avions pas réellement lancé de projets communs, jusqu’à cette année, au AdaptLab.
Enfin, nous avons commencé à travailler ensemble, et je regrette le temps perdu jusqu’ici. Je pense que ce qu’Isabelle a apporté dans « le court » est la meilleure chose que puisse recevoir un scénariste ou un réalisateur. Isabelle fait preuve d’une sagesse et d’une expérience, d’une manière de voir et de penser les choses dont beaucoup de personnes sont incapables.
Nous sommes en 2015 aujourd’hui, et je veux annoncer publiquement que je continuerai à travailler encore une fois avec Isabelle et Initiative Film pour au moins 10 années supplémentaires, ou bien jusqu’à ce qu’Isabelle me demande de la laisser tranquille !

Uri Bar-On, Scénariste et réalisateur, AdaptLab 2015, Israël


Since the early stages of developing the new script by Yahya Alabdallah " Me Myself and Murdoch" we got the chance to collaborate with Initiative Film, as we wanted to make sure we were on the right track. We had a lovely idea that has to be developed the right way , its has its own purity and originality that is quite sensitive to be placed internationally for its political and cultural perspective.
With Initiative Film , we were never alone, we had a caring companion at all times, and we had the logical brain that analyses our words and action , the most important, they were an outside voices that asks all the WHYS and kept reminding us of following the right track.
Rula Nasser, Producer, Jordan


As a continuity person, the sharing of experiences transmitted by Isabelle Fauvel and her team helped me to improve my reading skills, my understanding of scenarios in order to appreciate the personal world of an author and to adapt my participation on a shooting.
Accurate analyses, clever advices to highlight the potential of a story and to expose the unexpected qualities of a screenplay, a vibrant and delightful whirlwind way to think the adaptation context and economic restrictions, it is what I had the chance to learn thanks to the several discussion I had with Initiative Film.

Estelle Bault, continuity person, France


I firstly met Isabelle Fauvel in MFI Workshop 2011, when she offered me precious advice for the development of my feature film. Then she became my tutor in Torino Adapt Lab 2012. The adaptation of a demanding book under her guidance was a lifetime experience, as Isabelle manages to plunge into the heart of the story in order to keep the essence, always proposing breakthrough and dynamic ideas. While her tutorials deliver her great passion for cinema and fresh storytelling, I also appreciate the fact that her guidance continues to echo today, many years after the workshops.

Elizampetta Ilia-Georgiadou, screenwriter-director, Participant of AdaptLab 2012, Greece


If there is someone I artistically grew up with, it's definitely Isabelle Fauvel. She always helped me cross bridges, jump obstacles, pass through the desert inherent to the creation’s world, while enjoying its pleasures. Neither author, nor producer, she has the best listening skills, sower of ideas and concept. She is like a forager bee, still standing by your side when others have left.
I admire her perseverance, her strength, her will to keep her spot without ever failing at the goal that she knows her own : serve creation through her little company Initiative Film.

Martin provost, director, France


Producing a feature film is, sometimes long for a producer too ;-). Therefore, having someone as helpful as Isabelle, whose expertise and experience about developing are determining, by your side, is relieving.

Isabelle Truc, producer, Iota production, Producer 


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I have known Isabelle for only a couple years now. But already at our first meeting she had a great impact on me as a filmmaker: I was starting to develop my 2nd feature film „We are young. We are strong.“ and I was nervous and not sure about the core of the story. Isabelle took me and shook me said to me, that we as filmmakers have a great responsibility. That our job is to make people feel - to tell stories that matter. Stories that make people feel concerned about what actually is concerning their everyday life. This idea of film stayed with me and is still a compass for me, when I choose stories, when I develop scripts and when I actually shoot movies.
Burhan Qurbani, Director,  AdaptLab 2015 Alumni, Berlin


As part of of my different missions, I have invited Isabelle Fauvel to work with Greek writers, directors, and producers at the Thessaloniki Film Festival. I particularly appreciate the quality of her approach to the projects from quite various and different cultures. It's an apporached based on the knowledge of these countries and cultures, and not on a ready-made technique. It's from the cultural heart of a project that Isabelle unfurls a script analysis, and the strategies adapted to each project. The results she gets are always encouraging and convincing, and they are the reason our collaboration carries on after many years.

Marie-Pierre Macia, Producer, MPM Film , Artistic Director, Crossroads, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, France


The advice and the expertise of Isabelle Fauvel have been of a great help while developping the adaptation of Fegato e Cuore, written by Alessandro Marchi (Book Salad, 2012). Without ever imposing one point of view among others, Isabelle knows how to point out the questions you have to answer to improve, both structurally and personnally speaking. Thanks to her, I have been able to make big decisions that gave my work more strength without weakening my link to the story.

Luc Walpoth, Writer-director, Geneva 


My producer offered me the opportunity to meet with Isabelle Fauvel. At first I couldn't help but wonder « what is Initiative Film ? Development ? A walkthrough ? » I was mistrusting of the hot wind inherent to the process of crafting a story, a feature film. I was misguided. My first meeting with Isabelle Fauvel made me realize that I had it completely wrong.

The standards, the good-will, the innate capacity of making every project hers yet always keeping the latter at acceptable distance, the experience within project monitoring, the remarkable flair for « the truth » that I have and I can't pinpoint myself when I'm in the creation process... I was given all the tools to move forward with confidence, to face my doubts and question my certainties. Furthermore, I'd like to stress the constancy of our relationship, which grows with time and with cooperation.

Philippe de Pierpont, Writer Director, Belgium


Isabelle FAUVEL and Initiative FILM are a precious help and an unique support for any producer, scriptwriters, writer or film-director in the on-going development of their project.
The skills of Isabelle and her team are multiple :
- A writing expertise : When running a project, one needs to find the outside eyes that can say whether it is working or not, speaking about dramaturgic aspect, structure, characters or about the writing of the dialogues. Thanks to their hindsight and their capacity of spring back, Isabelle and her many co-workers manage to give one a fully detailed diagnostic about one’s script and how it can be imorived. They discuss it frankly in a constructive dialogue.
- A human expertise :Initiative Film put scripters, producers and film directors in touch with each other. It is of the first importance to make the link between the different profiles. In France, as far as I am concerned, there is no other places as fruitful for a project as this one.
- A cinematographic expertise : Instead of accumulating the sacrosanct principles you find in a script writing book, the Initiative FILM team gives you the specific answers your work needs by refining its own specificities.
Moreover, you can call Isabelle FAUVEL a terrific pedagogue. I realized it when she first came to teach the students of the scriptwriting degree I direct at Paris I Sorbonne University.
The students spoke with one voice : her lessons are clear, concretes and respectful of the artistic issues. To make a long story short, Isabelle’s passion for the process of making a film is contagious, and there is nothing more important than transmitting the desire of making a film.

Frederic Sojcher, College professor and film maker, France


A producer often feels alone while developing a film. When you are a producer, you can easily end up talking to yourself. My encounter with Isabelle Fauvel filled this great need of communication, sharing ideas and dialogue.
We have been working together for two years and I will always keep on sharing my ideas, my projects and my fears with her as with my script writers or directors.
It is definitely a happy « marriage » without any risk of divorce. I am so lucky to have met her and to work with Initiative Film, her generosity et concentration on every single project are unique and her team is caring and reactive.
She is the guardian angel of my projects, even though developing them is difficult as I come from Greece, a country where there is not much funding.
She and her team are always there with solutions and proposals that improve the projects, which enables me to put them on the market with confidence and a security feeling.

Fenia Cosovitsa, Producer, Blonde Production, Greece


Something very appealing about working with Isabelle and her team is that they genuinely want to help you find the right story for yourself to tell. You set off together on a journey and try to understand what & why you want to tell. Isabelle & her team provided me with plenty of books to read. Everytime there was a book I liked, I talked with Isabelle about it in an honest way. One day I bumped into a book, which was not presented by Isabelle, and yet I felt the urge to adapt it for the screen. What I learned from the initiative-journey is that the whole concept is not about the necessity of finding the right book but about the necessity of the journey to the right story.

Kadir Balci, director, Belgium Flanders


When I first met Isabelle Fauvel, she had just founded Initiative Film. This meeting was a turning point as she intrusted me with my first scriptwriting work – I believe she knew I was a scriptwriter before I became aware of it. Since then, we have often worked together – and we still do. Running into such a person, a person you can trust and rely on, melting professionalism and simplicity, happens once in a lifetime. Isabelle and her team are of that kind and I hope to keep on working with them.

 Stéphane Cabel, Scriptwriter, France


The development of a feature film project is a fragile stage. In order to better explore the potential of my script "Le chalet du Tunis" (The blade of Tunis), I have - along with my producers - appealed to the professionals of Initiative Film. Their contribution allowed me, during several work sessions with Isabelle Fauvel, to explore different narrative options, to deepen my characters and improve my film's structure.

Kaouther Ben Hania, Director of Challat of Tunis, Tunisia



The first time I met Isabelle was in Tenerife, during a pitch session a bit unlikely. I called her five years latter to ask her to read the first draft of my screenplay RUN, and then we started to work together. We went to the Jerusalem Film Lab and we developed strategies, avoided traps, spent hours on the phone... Then, we went to Cannes together, in the section «Un certain regard », in 2014.Isabelle and Initiative Film always helped me to ask myself the right questions.

Philippe Lacôte, director-producer, Ivory Coast, Winner of the First Prize at the Jerusalem International Film Lab 2012


During the development of the adaptation for the screen of Fegato e Cuore by Alessandro Marchi (Book Salad, 2012), the advice and expertise of Isabelle Fauvel have been a precious help. Without ever favoring a unique direction, Isabelle knows how to ask the essential questions which have guided me on a structural level as much as on a personal one to make the right choices, strengthening the narrative while keeping my connection to the story.

Luc Walpoth, Screenwriter - Director, Switzerland


I have met Isabelle Fauvel in Nisyros, where I attended one of her lectures in development. Since then we have worked together on various projects and occasions, and I always consult her and seek her advice.

She has an extensive network of international contacts and vast experience in the film industry  and particularly the development process, which she approaches with deep insight and intuition, and fruitful analytical skills.

In my mind she understands thoroughly  the subtle intricacies of the development process, in its multi aspects and that is not only script editing and project development but also the creative team interpersonal dynamics and how they evolve over time, and how they influence the project itself,  during this long and painful process.  This is a rare talent, and what makes her approach and her company  so unique.

Yorgos Tsourgiannis, Producer, Greece

 


The great quality of Initiative Film is it's reactivity. Whether it's at the stage of the first idea of a movie or at the screening during the ongoing editing, I always appreciate my conversations with Isabelle Fauvel. The advice and ressources proposed have always been useful to me to move forward witha  project.

Xavier Grin, ¨Producer, Switzerland


"During the early stages of developing the new script by Yahya Alabdallah "Me Myself and Murdoch" we got a chance to cooperate with Initiative Film, we wanted to make sure that we were on the right track , we had a lovely idea that had to be developed right,  it has its own purity and originality that is so sensitive to be placed internationally for its political and cultural perspective .
With Initiative Film, we were not alone, we had a shadow that cares about us all the time, we had the logical brain that analyzed our words and action, the most important, there was an outsider voice that asked all the WHYS and kept reminding us to stay on track "

Rula Nasser, Producer, Jordan


Iniative Film renewed my trust in my own writing and film making abilities. I had come to a state of despondency which was almost definitive. Thanks to my collaboration with Isabelle Fauvel, I was able to get my different projects back on tracks. The strength of her company is the care and time dedicated to development, a time much often neglected, but which takes its full value here.

Christian Volckman, director, France


I met Isabelle Fauvel when she was Chief Executive at Flach Film, during the first showing of Mahabaharata that I have produced.

She congratulated me and then disappeared from the film industry, until one day when I saw an intern come out of the kitchen of the restaurant I used to have lunch at : Isabelle Fauvel had quit Flash Film and decided to learn how to cook, 20 years before Top Chef !

We became food buddies and naturally, I became one of her first clients, and it never stopped as we are still working together.
The way of working is tailor-made according to the projects or producers, it can go from a simple conversation to books and directors scouting. Isabelle is a psychologist who helps giving birth to ideas, always with wisely.

Michel Propper, producer, France, one of the first clients of Initiative Film


« Initiative Film is Ali Baba’s cave in which the forty thieves are willing to share their invaluable treasure with you. »
Claude Waringo, Producer, Samsa Films, Luxemburg


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