Geoffrey Macnab highlights some handpicked projects at the co-production market.

This year’s CineMart presents 33 projects from 24 countries, selected from more than 400 entries.

“Producers are more realistic,” says Marit van den Elshout, head of CineMart & Industry (pictured), of the large number of CineMart projects budgeted in the modest $720,000-$1.4m (€500,000-€1m) range. “It’s getting more difficult even to raise financing nationally.

With the projects they have here, they all have quite realistic budgets and realistic expectations of what they can achieve. I don’t know if it’s a bad thing that films are getting more difficult to finance because it also brings up the quality.”

The selection includes titles from two heavyweight Russian auteurs. Alexei Balabanov will present his $3.3m (€2.3m) project Kozha, a drama set during the Perestroika period about a Russian man who grows rich as the country embraces capitalism. More than half the budget is already in place.

Venice Golden Lion winner Andrei Zvyagintsev (The Return) is in pre-production on Elena, about two elderly people brought together in a marriage of convenience but one of whose thoughts turn to murder.

There are three UK titles in the selection. Simon Pummell (whose Bodysong screened in Rotterdam) is presenting Brand New-U. The $720,000 feature will have a multi-platform release, with each stage of release tailored to the specific platform. The producers are Hot Property Films, Illuminations and Submarine.

Also from the UK is Scott Graham’s Shell, about a teenage girl living with her father in a remote part of Scotland. It is being produced through Glasgow-based Broken Spectre. Meanwhile, Alexis Dos Santos will present his new feature project, Another World, produced by UK-based The Bureau.