Magazine > Silence!
05 Aug 2005


Scriptwriting is in the focus this month with the soon coming deadline for those of you living in a Nisi Masa country and wanted to take part in the script contest. Yes, I repeat in a Nisi Masa country! A territory which has its own map, grouping 14 States (+ the UN administration of Kossovo). Good to know: eleven of these countries are ASEM members.

The Nisi Masa concept is a European - one. The majority of the Nisi Masa citizen are also European. But, a quite important number of them are from Turkey which is one of the fourteen Nisi Masa countries. The Nisi Masa group is growing structure and new members are expected to join in.

Hopefully the success of this young European network can generate similar initiatives within the ASEM Asian members. At the origin, there was just a group of young film enthusiasts, sharing a similar view of Europe. From there on, the group decided to create a European Association whose aims are expressed in their Association statements

The association wants to foster European awareness through cinema, to discover new film talents, to develop cross-cultural cinema projects, to create a platform of discussion and collaboration for young European filmmakers.

Such ambitious plans need powerful means. To ensure that their projects will have solid basement, the young people decided to create a Union between the national associations from their country of origin. Existing associations and others to be created will form The Nisi Masa network.

Running the network projects simultaneously in the different countries, would eventually give the young people a stronger voice to be heard by their now – sponsors: The Youth & MEDIA+ programmes, the Council of Europe, GREC and Foundation de France. Other national institutions and funding bodies are expected to react soon.

On the national level, the Nisi Masa sections are run by young professionals, students and film enthusiasts. They propose different activities to promote the European cinemas. On the European network level, the different sections coordinate a script competition open to the 14 countries

(and Kossovo). The contest is now on its 4 th edition.

For the Nisi Masa scriptwriting competition, the national sections will select the two best scripts that were entered to them in each country. These two scripts will be translated into English and then, given to all the other countries organisers. A delegation of the NISI MASA members across Europe will then meet to discuss the selected scripts and allow the prizes for the three best scripts.

At this 4 th competition, the lucky three young screenwriters will be contacted in November 2005. At the end, the winners will receive a production grant - “Silence 2005” worth 15.700 euros for the best script and the two next will receive 4700 euros. The Nisi Masa association grants are to help bringing their scripts into production.

The 4th Nisi Masa short film script writing contest is open until 31.7.2005 to writers between 18 and 28 years of age. This year, the theme is “The Silence”. The organizers do not advice anything concerning the theme, but they do insist that the participating scripts should be strongly related to this theme.

For the future participants and for those who cannot take part in the contest, one question still remains. What is the meaning of this Nisi Masa? The visitor will not find any comment about these words on the organizer website. But, here is a supposition. Nisi Masa might originally come from a play with word that was “Asa Nisi Masa”.

These words were found in a scene of Fellini's beautiful film 8½. It was during a party where a magician claimed that his female assistant would read in the mind of somebody from the audience. Guido (played by Marcello Mastroianni) didn't believe in the visionary power of the woman but accepted to be the – one for the show.

When the magician asked to Guido if the words written by the woman “Asa Nisi Masa” were the words Guido had in mind, he answered “Si!” These words came from Guido's early childhood. Words formed by adding SA and SI to the syllable A – NI – MA were believed to have some magical power.

ANIMA in Latin means the Soul. As a concept, ANIMA was later used by C.G Jung in analytical psychology to refer to the true Inner of an individual and to the feminine inner personality always present in the unconscious of a male.

The multiple connections between the inner space and the Silence have been also remarkably translated into words and shapes in The Oriental World. These connections continue to be a source of inspiration in Interior design for example as remind us the just ended exhibition “The Elegance of Silence: Contemporary Art from East Asia” at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

In Europe – just weeks ago – a crowd of people jointly expressed the absence of sound. The news reported that thousands of people left their offices and the traffic came to a halt for a two-minute silence across the city of London.


The Nisi Masa Network

Find more about the Nisi Masa national section in the Resource Directories:


About Fellini's film 8 ½ commented by Terry Gilliam

About C.G Jung


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