The Case of E.E.
ERNA ELTZNER (15) is one of the seven children in a wealthy German factory family living in turn-of-the-century Wrocław/Breslau. While the father is often away on business, the mother and the housekeepers take care of the education of the children, whose life flows smoothly and without major hitches.
That is until one evening, during a family dinner, Erna sees her grandfather’s ghost and faints. When Erna’s mother, MRS. ELTZNER finds out what happened, she believes that Erna has psychic powers and speaks to the occultist WALTER FROMMER to figure out what to do. Together they convince Erna to lead seances in order to communicate with the dead.
Several people are invited to the sessions, and they come with many different goals. Erna’s world changes suddenly. The girl finds herself enmeshed as an intermediary between the living and the dead. But after each session, she is more and more exhausted.
The adults around her, though, just want to exploit her “gift:” Her mother wants to gain popularity. MRS. SCHATZMANN, a friend of her mother, wants to get in touch with her deceased husband to find a lost treasure. ARTHUR, Mrs. Schatzmann’s son, studies the “unusual” girl for his doctoral dissertation. Walter Frommer wants to take her beyond her limits to challenge his competitors, the “laboratory shamans.” And the family doctor, DR. LOWE, uses her to find “the meaning of it all.”
For Erna, the situation becomes dire as the sessions become increasingly exhausting for her. But the adults do not stop and keep pursuing their ambitions through her.
It is Erna’s twin sisters who find the solution, break the spell this community had fallen under, and finally help their sister free herself before it’s too late.
Paweł Grajnert is an award-winning writer and filmmaker whose films have premiered at the Venice Film Festival, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Gdynia National Film Festival in Poland. He holds an MFA in film directing from Columbia University New York, where he was awarded the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation prize for excellence in science-focused screenwriting. His writing has also been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Competition; the Polish International Film Festival; and the State of Illinois – from whom he received the honor of a Literary Arts Award. Recently, a film he directed was awarded the best experimental film award at the Kinomorphia Film Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria. Founder of the Seattle Poetry Slam, his poems, short dramatic works, and stories have been published internationally.
Maja Costa works as a multilingual, freelance writer and director. Her focus is on stories that explore human identity and behavior in more and more complex, multicultural, global societies. In real life as well as in fictional stories, she looks for a comic relief also in the most tragic array of events.
After studying Egyptology / Ancient Near Eastern Studies (M.A.) and Cello in Italy, she studied screenwriting at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin (DFFB) and, as a scholarship holder of SKY Italia, is an alumna of the prestigious TV showrunner incubator SERIAL EYES.
She has worked with several film production companies and TV Studios such as Federation Entertainment, Palomar, Komplizen Film, and Anorak Film.
Since 2014, Maja Costa has also worked as a dramaturgical advisor for feature films, documentaries, and TV series. She has attended numerous training programs with internationally acclaimed script consultants, such as Martin Daniel, Mary Kate O’Callaghan (MIDPOINT Prague), and Linda Aronson (Australia / UK).
In 2017 she received a scholarship from the Mediengründerzentrum NRW and founded the independent production company “Aetnafilm”, with which she is now producing her third short film as a writer/director.
She has worked both in the writers’ room of the Coming-of-Age series “5 VOR 12” and in the writers’ room of the NETFLIX Hip Hop Drama Series “SKYLINES”. Both shows have been awarded the prestigious Grimme-Preis, respectively in the “Children & Youth” and “Fiction” category.
She is currently working in the writers’ room of the Crime/Drama Series “AGAINST PROTOCOL” (Created by Nikolaus Graf/ Bon Voyage Films) and co-developing the Historical Drama Series “OLIVETTI” (Unframed Productions, Producer: Melina Voss).
Furthermore, Maja Costa is writing her first novel, a historical mystery set in 17th century Venice. Her favorite genres include Mystery, Historical Family Drama, and Romantic Sci-Fi.
Sandra Buchta is a screenwriter and story consultant, based in Munich where she studied French and American Literature and Film Criticism. As a story consultant, Sandra has worked on various documentaries, shorts, and feature films, such as the award-winning LUCKY SEVEN by Claudia Heindel (Gold Mikeldi Bilbao).
Since 2019, she is also developing TV series as a story consultant for Bon Voyage Films in Berlin/Hamburg. The show TAGEBUCH EINES UBER-FAHRERS (director: Julian Pörksen) that she consulted premiered this May on the German streamer Joyn.
As a screenwriter, Sandra has a focus on literary adaptations and stories that cross borders. In 2017, she delivered her first screenplay for a feature film: THE LECTURE is a political thriller, based on a short story by Nobel prize-winning novelist Olga Tokarczuk. With this screenplay, that Sandra co-wrote with director Kasia Adamik (SPOOR) she participated in the 2018 edition of Scripteast and received the Special Mention of the Krzysztof Kieślowksi ScripTeast Award. The project received funding from the Polish Film Institute in 2020 and is now in financing as an international co-production between Poland, UK, Germany and Sweden.
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“ScripTeast is the programme all the advisors wish they could have attended at the start of their careers. It would have saved all that stumbling around in the dark looking for the key that stimulates the imagination so much more effectively.”
BAFTA nominated, director of “My Son the Fanatic”, “The Yellow Hankerchief” and ”Opa!”, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, UK
“ScripTeast’s top-notch team of professional advisors, each year’s talented group of participants, and venues in Poland, Germany and France continue to make it the very best development workshop in the world today.”
ScripTeast Head of Studies, Associate Professor – Screenwriting and Production at School of Cinematic Arts, USC, screenwriter and director, author of the script for the Oscar-nominated film “Shoeshine”, USA
“ScripTeast is a fascinating mix of cultures, political ideas, and voices. I learned a lot, and I think the participants learned a lot more. If only they served vodka!”
Golden Globe awarded author of “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Ed Wood” with two Oscars, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, USA