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39 new film projects looking for partners at 9th Berlinale Co-Production Market

New films by such award-winning directors as Russia’s Alexei Popogrebsky, Romania’s Tudor Giurgiu and Finland’s Petri Kotwica [pictured] are among 39 new film projects from 30 countries, which have been selected for the ninth edition of the Berlinale Co-Production Market (Feb 12-14).

Popogrebsky’s 3D feature project Lost Rooms, which will first be pitched at Rotterdam’s CineMart later this month, is one of the trio selected under the Rotterdam-Berlinale Express banner. The other two are the Swedish-German co-production Tourist by Ruben Östlund and Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit which is being structured at this stage as a US-New Zealand co-production.

Giurgiu’s Cristian and Kotwica’s Fleeing Dreams are two of 25 titles being presented in the co-production forum’s official selection which was chosen from a total of 311 entries (compared with 352 in 2011). Giurgiu will be producing the film through his own production outfit Libra Film, while Kotwica’s new feature was pitched by First Floor Productions at last December’s Baltic Event in Tallinn. His latest completed film Rat King, which had been a Screen International Best Pitch Award winner in Tallinn, is due to open in Finnish and Estonian cinemas this week.

In addition, the Co-Production Market’s organisers noted that this section will be having its first project ever from India with the selection of Bobby Bedi’s Kutch to be produced by Paradise Entertainment.

As for previous editions, the main selection’s key entry criteria are that the projects’ producers have some international experience and they must have at least 30% of the financing in place. The budgets of the 2012 range between €1m and €7m.

The lineup includes leading players from the world of co-productions such as Flying Moon Filmproduktion, Les Film d’ici, Opus Film, Element Pictures, and Bavaria Pictures.

At the same time, this year sees eleven projects by newcomers selected from another 247 applications (down from 27 in 2011) for the Talent Project Market which is organised in cooperation with the Berlinale Talent Campus. Incidentally, this third strand of the Co-Production Market features the only project coming from the UK – producer Michelle Eastwood’s Bummer – to the co-production event as a whole.

An innovation for the ninth edition will see a cooperation between the Co-Production Market and the Festival Scope online platform giving participants and other potentially interested partners an opportunity to screen previous films by the directors of the selected projects as preparation for their one-to-one meetings in Berlin.

There are also likely to be some projects from past editions of the Berlinale Co-Production Market coming back to the Berlinale this year to make their premiere as completed films in one of the festival sections. A case in point is Barnaby Southcombe’s I, Anna which will be shown in the Berlinale Special sidebar. Producers Embargo Films and Arsam International found their German partner Michael Eckelt at the Co-Production Market in 2010 and began shooting exactly a year ago at the end of January. Moreover, Olivia Silver’s Arcadia has been selected for Generation Kplus, with more titles set to follow.

A division of the Berlinale’s EFM, Berlinale Co-Production Market received financial backing from its main partners, the German regional fund MDM and the EU’s MEDIA Programme.

Official Project Selection, Berlinale Co-Production Market 2012
(in alphabetical order of production companies):
Odyssea (director: Pascal Deux), Alliance de Production Cinématographique, France
Heirs of the Night (director: Marco Kreuzpaintner, tbc), Bavaria Pictures & Hamster Film, Germany
The Santo Amaro Circus (director: Chico Teixeira), Bossa Nova Films, Brazil
Wasteland (director: Pieter Van Hees), CCCP/Epidemic, Belgium
Embrace of the Serpent (director: Ciro Guerra), Ciudad Lunar Producciones, Colombia
Coiled (director: Amanda Evans), DO Productions, South Africa
Rockpool (director: Sonia Whiteman), Dragonet Films, Australia
Ten Dates with Mad Mary (director: Darren Thornton), Element Pictures, Ireland
Thomas and the Book of Everything (director: Ineke Houtman), Eyeworks Film & TV Drama, Netherlands
Fleeing Dreams (director: Petri Kotwica), First Floor Productions, Finland
The Pope’s Toilet (director: Kasia Adamik), Flying Moon Filmproduktion, Germany & Opus Film, Poland
The Beacon (director: JP Siili), Helsinki Filmi, Finland
The Summer of Flying Fish (director: Marcela Said), Jirafa, Chile
Kutch (director: Bobby Bedi), Kaleidoscope Entertainment, India
L’Hérétique (director: Didier Nion), Les Films d’Ici, France
Cristian (director: Tudor Giurgiu), Libra Film, Romania
Mother Earth (director: Giulio Manfredonia), Lumière&Co, Italy
Doctor Proktor’s Fartpowder (director: Arild Fröhlich), Maipo Film, Norway
The Bible II (director: Hans Petter Moland), Monster Film, Norway
Julia Here (director: Sonya Gildea), Newgrange Pictures, Ireland
The Word (director: Anna Kazejak), Opus Film, Poland
Sunstrokes (director: Gustavo Taretto), Rizoma, Argentina
Naked Eyes (director: Maria Nygren), Sonet Film, Sweden
Pope (director: Stéphanie Weber Biron), Submission Films & straightedge films, Canada
Coconut Hero (director: Florian Cossen), teamWorx Television & Film, Germany
Rotterdam-Berlinale Express:
Lost Rooms (director: Alexei Popogrebsky), Koktebel Film Company, Russia
Tourist (director: Ruben Östlund), Plattform Produktion, Sweden & Essential Film, Germany
Jojo Rabbit (director: Taika Waititi), Unison Films, USA & Defender Films, New Zealand
Talent Project Market
Khsara (director: Suha Araj), Palestine/US
Heat Wave (producer: Sebastien Aubert), France/Israel
Above the Clouds / Alapaap (producer: Bianca Balbuena), Philippines
The Lunchbox / Dabba (director: Ritesh Batra), India
Bummer (producer: Michelle Eastwood), UK
Bridging (director: Sarah Goodman), Canada
Hot Comb (director: Caroline Kamya), Uganda
The Maglev Story (producer: Melissa Lee), Hong Kong
Wasted Dreams / Eisen im Feuer (producer: Maximilian Leo), Germany
Elba (director: Arturo Menéndez), El Salvador
The Boda Boda Thieves (producer: Sarah Muhoho), South Africa/Kenya

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