Filming in the Amazon
Jun.18th—28th 2022

Introduction

We enter the thickness of the Amazon Forest, cradle of multiple myths and legends of ancient cultures that still inhabit the territory and protect it as guardians. Immersed in a territory that operates as a whole, as an organism, wedive in to in the dreamlike universe of Apichatpong. Exploring between dreams, past lives, parallel universes, ancestors and spirits the world we live in.

We discover that we can explore beyond what we see, that, just as we travel on the surface, we can go through multiple layers, also look into the inner universe of our characters, their territories, their memories. Apichatpong opens up an infinite world of possibilities for us, of ways of seeing and feeling the world, it brings out our senses and takes us to unknown places.

“I always think of a film as a body. What one as a filmmaker wants to do with all the parts —with that collection of images and sounds that make up a film, which are its organs— is to give life to that body, turn it into a living organism.”

— Apichatpong Weerasethakul

The Master

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Winner of the highest award of the film academy, the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival with Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives in 2010, Weerasethakul is located in the most privileged place in contemporary cinema. His works, always applauded on film circuits and festivals, make him one of the most important figures on the world film scene. In a career spanning more than 20 years, he has participated in numerous festivals and has won important awards, including three more prizes from the Cannes Festival: a Certain Regard for Blissfully Yours in 2002, the Jury Prize for Tropical Malady in 2004 and, again, in 2021 he won the Jury Prize for his latest film Memoria, made in Colombia.

Apichatpong approaches the creative universe from cinema and contemporary art, addressing the social and personal spheres from an honest and special perspective. He is not satisfied with conventional structures, which is why his work is ethereal and non-linear, it is situated in non-time. However, he relies on the stroke of light, on the intangible that he manages to represent in a fresh and natural way. He does not need complex special effects to immerse us and make us part of this dance between the tangible and the intangible, the real and the dreamlike.

“Perhaps the cinema is one of the best spaces that allows us to think of a deep immersion in others and the immersion of others in one. Cinema does allow us to open up to the world in other ways.”

— Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Description

Playlab Films presents its workshop Apicharpong Weerasethakul Lab: filming in the Amazon, which seeks to bring together emerging talents from around the world, so that together with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, one of the most original voices in contemporary cinema, they can explore and boost their creativity, developing a short film, through practical workshops. For ten days, fifty creative directors of various nationalities and contexts will share the experience of creating fifty short films, under a wonderful methodology created by Master Abbas Kiarostami, adapted by Werner Herzog and now revisited by Apichatpong. This methodology will be implemented in an environment thought out and carefully designed by the PlayLab Films team, for the creation of synergies and both collective and individual learning that will transform the trajectory of all the participants.

The idea of the workshop is to get out of one’s comfort zone, face a strange and unknown territory, observe it from curiosity and respect and co-create from different ways of seeing and understanding the world. Creating from a different place than the one we live in every day, allows us to see the territory as a blank canvas and each of the elements that make it up, the people who inhabit it, the rivers, the paths we travel through the thick and humid jungle, each plant, each animal, the culture that embraces and welcomes us, like brushes and paints that allow us to create and tell stories from another place.

During the workshop, participants will explore all the phases that make up the development, production and post-production of a film. From the Idea, which will originate from the theme proposed by Apichatpong on the first day of the LAB, through shooting and editing, to the screening of the finished short film on the last day. Each of these phases will be accompanied individually and in groups by Weerasethakul, through workshops, talks, exchanges and consulting. Each participant must have their own equipment (camera, sound, computer, etc.), as they will have to be able to assume all the processes and roles of their film.

With the aim of bringing all emerging directors closer to the current industry, the fifty short films will be hosted on the Playlab Films VOD platform for distribution and exhibition, creating a space to view all the works made from anywhere in the world.

Furthermore, as we want to continue making movies together, we want to produce your next projects!! PlayLab Films opens an annual call, for all the members of the workshop, where 2 feature film projects will be selected for production.

“ When I traveled to Colombia I had to rethink the way I approach memory and, in parallel, the cinema. In Thailand, where I have made all my other films, I used my own memory or the memory of my acquaintances to think of a story, to create an audiovisual narrative. Here I had to operate in another way. My memory was insufficient; That's why I had to absorb the memories of others. Those who keep the memory of this territory are others.”

— Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Program *

Day 1

Morning

Lab opening: Introduction and explanation of Apichatpong’s working method and presentation of the laboratory and its dynamics.

Delivery of materials: accreditations, production dossier and map of the work territory.

Presentation of the central theme of the short films that will be made throughout the laboratory.

Presentation of the directors.

Afternoon

Reconnaissance of the territory (part 1):
First exploration of the work areas previously selected by Apichatpong

Evening

Night Exchange:
The place where ideas come from. Personal experience as a starting point.

Day 2

Morning

Reconnaissance of the territory (part 2):
All the directors, led by Apichatpong, finish touring the main locations previously selected by Apichatpong.

Afternoon

Creation Lab 1.
Personalized advice where all participants share ideas for their short film stories.

Evening

Night Exchange:
The exercise of observation. How to interpret the multiple layers and realities of the territory to adapt them to our stories.

“Since the movie was filmed in Khon Kaen, we had a casting session in the city. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many talents. There are also several young and enthusiastic filmmakers. For me, making this film was like making a first film. I tried to get rid of some of my restrictions on film styles and embrace the energy of the city. Working with non-professionals helped me find the rhythm.”

Day 3

Morning

Approach to the characters:
First meeting between actors and creators. Each participant will select who will be the actors of their short.

Afternoon

Creation Lab 2.
Personalized advice where all participants share ideas for their short film stories.

Evening

Night Exchange:
The characters as the engine. Discussion around the construction of the characters and how to select the casting of your film.

“The film was made like a ghost that absorbs lights and sounds. I think it’s a beautiful tribute to a territory from a foreigner’s perspective. I contemplated a lot the wounds and scars of Colombia. But my approach was limited to observing and being aware of them. I think for local viewers, those wounds will be revealed hidden in every frame.”

Day 4

Morning

Session 3:
Actor Direction Exercise guided by Apichatpong.

Afternoon

Filming of the projects already approved by Apichatpong.

Evening

Night Exchange:
How to capture the stories of a territory through light and sound.

Day 5

Morning and afternoon

Filming.
Apichatpong will visit each of the shoots to give individualized advice.

Evening

Night Exchange:
How to convey your ideas to the team and work in harmony to tell the story.

“I love that my films operate as a stream of consciousness, moving from one memory to another. I think it is important to accentuate this drift when the root of the film is about reincarnation, about wandering spirits.”

Day 6

Morning and afternoon

Filming of all projects in parallel.

Evening

Rest day for Apichatpong.

“As with my other films, the development of Cemetery of Splendor was very organic. I looked at my dreams and thought they were quite narrative, more so than my own movies. I give the same importance to my dream as to my waking experience. In hindsight, Cemetery… may be a waking dream or a dream-like reality.”

Day 7

Morning

Filming of all projects in parallel. Apichatpong will visit each of the shoots to give individualized advice.

Afternoon

Review of audiovisual material and assembly scripts of the projects together with Apichatpong.

Evening

Night Exchange:
The Detachment. To what extent should an idea be defended?

“That volume of time has been the starting point from which I have always worked as a filmmaker: condensing prehistory and the future in a flash, the ghosts of other times with living bodies. Over the years, that exploration, which is also a rhythmic exploration, has intensified. Coming to Colombia radicalized me and led me to realize the diversity and complexity of the temporal layers that make up the present. Here I felt other times, other rhythms, other flows. One of the internal movements that one always pursues in one’s relationship with the world is to synchronize. But there is never a perfect timing; much less when one surrenders to a territory that is not familiar to him. For example, between my time —between my internal rhythm— and Colombian time there was a mismatch. And it was from that disagreement that I wanted to think about temporality in Memory.”

Day 8

Morning and afternoon

Apichatpong reviews projects in an advanced stage of assembly and advises them. It is time to see the evolution of stories.

Evening

Night Exchange:
Time, linearity and narratives.

“Seeing the material, editing, it was when we were already confronted more vividly with the question of how to make sense of those scattered times, how to order something that is inherently messy like memory —or memories—, how to frame in the timeline of editing a trip impossible to frame. It was a tug of war. He showed that this personal attempt to tune in with time and the memory of a particular landscape could work on a universal level.”

Day 9

Morning and afternoon

“I see films not so much as a narrative but as layers of moments”

Personalized review of the advances in assembly, by Apichatpong.

Evening

Night Exchanges:
The world of sound as a whole for Apichatpong

“An unexpected combination in the same space of things that at first seem dissimilar: personal memories and social memories, present and past, different voices and bodies, overlapping landscapes, bones and technological tools, remains of the intimate and the national. That, for example, is what the body of Memoria is made of.”

Day 10

Morning

Completion of projects, final assembly advice.

Afternoon

Projection of completed projects.

Evening

Night Exchanges:
Knowing how to stop: When do we know that our film is finished?

* Details to be adjusted on site, the master, Apichatpong would like to operate with the spirit of the place and participant.

Side Events

Memoria—Preruvian Premiere

15th of June, 3pm. Centro Cultural PUCP
Memoria, the Palme d’Or-winning Apitchatpong Weerasethakul’s latest feature film is going to have it peruvian premiere on the 15th of June followed by a Q&A.

Masterclass

15th of June, 10am. Centro Cultural PUCP
Apichatpong will dedicate two hours to talk about topics relevant to his work, followed by a round of questions, where attendees will be able to expand a dialogue and inquire about his approach to cinema.

The jungle is a primary space. As in Tropical Malady, the jungle is a return to the roots, to a place where there are no rules. I think that it is very close to the cinema because the cinema is a place without laws and since I am very shy it is where I can release all my instincts freely.

— Apichatpong Weerasethakul

The Lab’s Base Camp

Location

The Amazon jungle, the largest tropical forest on the planet, will be the setting for our workshop. With a total extension of 7 million square kilometers, distributed in nine countries, we are facing one of the most biodiverse and multicultural regions in the world.

The base of the workshop will be Inkaterra Guides Field Station, an Eco-center, flora and fauna research laboratory for scientists, students, volunteers and nature-loving travelers who want to explore and learn about the Peruvian Amazon at this mega-diverse forest. It is located at the 17th km of the left bank of the Madre de Dios River, within the Tambopata-Candamo National Reserve, one of the last easily accessible virgin tropical rain forests in the world, which has 274,690 hectares of immense biodiversity and impressive landscapes. Puerto Maldonado, in the southern jungle of Peru near the border with Bolivia and Brazil, known as the “Capital of Biodiversity”, is the main city of the region and the most important city in the tropical jungle of southern Peru.

``It's about how time works in our minds and how film can reflect that. It has to do with the relationship of yourself to life, which is made up of time. I really like meditation because it puts you in touch with all that. My work goes in that direction, how cinema can express time.``

— Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Call For Entries

Registration

Dates

  • Release of call for entries: 11th March 2022
  • Closing: 26 April 2022 (11:59pm CET)
  • Publication of list of participants: 10 May 2022
  • Deadline for payment of tuition: 20 May 2022
  • Start of workshop:18 June 2022
  • End of workshop: 28 June 2022

Duration and Payment

  • Duration: 10 days
  • Cost: 5.200€ *

* Once the fee is paid there will be NO refunds. If the selected participant has not paid his/her registration fee by the deadline, his/her spot will automatically go to the next participant on the waiting list.

*Includes: Workshop Fee, Accommodation and food for 12 days in Inkaterra Field Station

List of selected 50 participants

Aline Fischer France
Anastasia Kirillova Sweden
Anne Thieme Germany
Antonio La Camera Italy
Arturo Joaquín Maciel Flecha Paraguay
Barbara  Cunha Brazil
Brett Allen Smith USA
Catherine Dauphin UK
Chang (Mei) Liu China
Charlotte Mungomery Australia
Dani Huda Indonesia
David Hansen  Australia
Derek  Howard USA
Dwight Fagbamila Netherlands
Dylan Pailes-Friedman USA
Flora Dias Brazil
Gabriel Gonzalez Acosta Mexico
Hadar Morag Israel
Hiona Henare  New Zealand
Jeff Reichert USA
Jelmer Wristers Netherlands
Jesse Van der Kolk Netherlands
Jon (Ioannis) Symvonis Greece
Jose Miguel Jimenez Gonzalez Chile
Julio César Padilla Ecuador/ USA

Kate Vinen Australia
Kenia Guillen Ortega USA
Lorran Dias Brazil
Luca Zentilin Italy
Marina Hufnagel Argentina
Mika Altskan  USA
Dylan Trupiano USA
Naomi Pacifique Swiss-Dutch
Nemil Shah India
Olivier Guerpillon France/Sweden
Orion Eshel USA
Orly Nurany Netherlands
Pablo Briones  Switzerland
Robert Mentov Canadian
Roberto Drilea USA
Simon Becks Netherlands
Scott Glassman Canada
Sofía Landgrave Barbosa  Mexico
Taha Long Malasia
Tahiel Jimenez Medina Colombia/USA
Talia Shea Levin USA
Tomas Posse Argentina
Vittoria Campaner Italy
Zachary Yap Singapore
Zeyu Wang China

Our Career

PlayLab Films
— The Production House

For more than a decade, Estephania Bonnett, film producer and creative mind behind PLAYLAB FILMS , has explored the different paths where creativity is expressed, embracing different initiatives. In 2018, she was recognized by Werner Herzog as the prominent artist of the year. She fervently believes that creativity generates more creativity, and for this reason she has been the pioneer in creating experiential workshops for emerging directors hand in hand with great filmmakers.

Co-creator of the famous “Filming with…” practical workshops that have provided a creative space where authors from all over the world make a short film under the guidance of a film maser. The workshops have been held in 4 different countries, with the participation of Werner Herzog and Abbas Kiarostami. As a result of these workshops, more than 250 short films have been produced and distributed in different international festivals. Her desire to continue with those emerging creative minds has led her to produce several feature films that have won international awards and have been selected at the best international festivals.

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Sponsored by
In collaboration with

Credits

Producer and director
Estephania Bonnett Alonso

Content and Community Manager
Laura Otálora

Production Manager
Berta García-Lacht

Design and Graphics
Juan Felipe Mejía

Social Media Communication
Sunamers.com

Contact

For more information
please contact us at:
creatorslab@playlabfilms.com

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