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Serbian films shine at Karlovy Vary Works In Progress

Central and Eastern European filmmakers presented 19 projects at various stages of production at Karlovy Vary’s annual Works in Progress initiative.

The popular industry programme at KVIFF is in its ninth year, and past films shown as Works In Progress include I Am, Lunacy, Katyn, Tricks, Alois Nebel and My Dog Killer, among many others.

This year’s selection included a standout pitch for The Disobedient [pictured], a Serbian coming-of-age road movie about two 24-year-olds from Tilva Ros producers Mina Djukic (who will direct) and Nikola Lezaic.The film is now in post for autumn delivery after wrapping its shoot in September 2012.

Another promising Serbian title, of a very different flavour, was the crowdpleasing dark comedy Monument to Michael Jackson (working title). The film will be ready to launch this autumn and the footage shown got the day’s only laughs out of the industry-heavy crowd. The film is a co-production with Macedonia and Germany.

Among the Czech projects, Wings of Christmas looks poised to offer commercial appeal during the holiday season with its “optimistic and fun” story of workers in a shopping center at Christmas. It already has local distribution via Falcon starting November 11. The key cast features Richard Krajco, Vica Kerekes, David Novotny, and Jakub Prachan.

The art world will want to pay attention to Performer, starring Polish artist Oskar Dawicki in a hybrid project that is part fiction, part documentary and part video art.

For the second year, a jury will award a prize to the best pitch; the jury is comprised of Alpha Violet’s Keiko Funato, Sofia International Film Festival’s Mira Staleva and Negativ’s Pavel Strnad. It is worth €10,000  in services from Barrandov Studios.

Saint Nicholas (Aghios Nikolaos)
dir Loukianos Moshonas, prod Paul Conquet
Greece/France
This documentary-fiction hybrid is about two very different men, a bourgeois young man and an older Albanian builder, whose lives intertwine during a house renovation.

Blind dates (Brma Paemnebi)
dir Levan Koguashvili, prods Olena Yershova, Levan Koguashvili, Suliko Tsulukidze
Georgia
This comedy-drama is about two 40-year-old guys looking for love, and is about “Georgia in transition,” producer Olena Yershova said.

Circle (Daire)
dir Atil Inac, prod Derya Tarim
Turkey
The project is described as an “untimely naïve romance” set against the ongoing protests in Turkey.

Wings of Christmas (Křídla Vánoc)
dir Karin Babinská, prod Veronika Schwarczova
Czech Republic
This “optimistic” film is the parallel stories of four characters working in a shopping center during the Christmas holidays. Falcon will release locally on Nov 11.

Maria Stock
dir Jan Březina, prod Marek Novak
Czech Republic
This FAMU graduation film is described as a “poetic and downtempo with strong atmosphere.”

Modris
dir Juris Kursietis, prods Vicky Miha, Juris Kursietis, Ingmar Trost
Latvia/Greece/Germany
This intimate drama is about a Latvian teenage boy with a gambling addiction who is in conflict with his mother.

The Disobedient (Neposlushni)
dir Mina Djukić, prods Djukic, Nikola Lezaic
Serbia
Two childhood friends reunite after years apart in their hometown and go on a road trip to see the sights they remember from childhood.

Norway (Norviyia)
dir Yiannis Veslemes, prods Yorgos Tsourgiannis, Christos V Konstantakopoulos
Greece
This stylised fantasy is about a vampire in 1984 Athens.

Totally talking (Parádně pokecal)
dir Tomáš Pavlíček, prod Tomas Michalek
Czech Republic
This film is described as a positive, optimistic story about today’s generation of young people who don’t know what to do with their lives. An aimless call-center worker falls in love after hearing a woman’s voice on the phone.

Performer
dir Maciej Sobieszczański, Łukasz Ronduda, prod Kuba Kosma
Poland
Contemporary artist Oskar Dawicki plays himself in this blend of fact, fiction and performance. Wajda Studio produces and supporters include Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, National Museum and Raster Gallery.

Schmitke
dir Štěpán Altrichter, prods Tomas Vach, Radim Prochazka, Jorg Trentmann
Germany / Czech Republic
This “mysterious comedy” is about a grumpy old man who “thinks he has the most fucked up life in the world.”

Roxanne
dir Vali Hotea, prod Ada Solomon
Romania
The producer of Child’s Pose offers this story of a man who, 20 years after the Romanian Revolution, finds out that he might have fathered a child he didn’t know about. The filmmakers have cleared rights for The Police song of the title.

Delight (Rozkoš)
dir Jitka Rudolfová, prod Viktor Schwarcz
Czech Republic
This film about obsession is described as a melodramatic comedy. A local distribution deal is being signed now.

The Judgment (Sadilishteto)
Dir/prod Stephan Komandarev
Bulgaria
The filmmaker follows several documentaries in the mountains of Bulgaria near the Turkish and Greek borders with this father-son story set in the area.

Monument to Michael Jackson (Spomenik Majklu Dzeksonu)
dir Darko Lungulov; prod Snezana Penev
Serbia
The director of festival hit Here and There returns with this dark comedy about a man who wants to save his marriage and his dying small town by erecting a statue of Michael Jackson.

The Scary Tale (Tarorinak mi hekiat)
dir Maria Saakyan, prods Saakyyan and Jeff Kalousdian
Armenia/Russia
A young boy escapes his overbearing father and enters into a magical kingdom of dance. The director’s credits include I’m Going To Change My Name and The Lighthouse.

Toloka
dir Mykhailo Illienko, prod Philip Illienko and Andriy Rizol
Ukraine
This $3.5m historical epic/fantasy/romance is about a woman witnessing 400 years of history.

Owners (Ukili Kamshat)
Dir Adilkhan Yerzhanov, prods Serik Abishev, Olga Khlasheva
Kazakhstan
A young man tries to protect his ill little sister while the authorities try to take away the family’s house. France’s Arizona Productions is on board as co-producer.

Zero
dir Gyula Nemes, prod Nemes, Ivan Angelusz, Jiri Konecny, Eike Goreczka
Hungary/Czech Republic/Germany
A comedy about a beekeeper who becomes a terrorist to save the planet’s bees. The style is described as ‘burlesque’ with very little dialogue. Nemes previously directed My One And Onlies and Lost World.

Six new films in development, touted under the strand Future Features, were: Viktor Chouchkov Jr’s 18% Gray, Tanno Mee’s 30 Days With Isebel, Igor Cobileanski’s Eastern Business, Radim Spacek’s Place, Vaclav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird, and Valeri Yordanov’s Shakespeare As A Street Name.

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