Thirteen projects will be pitched to potential production partners during this week's two-day Connecting Cottbus industry forum (November 16-17) at the FilmFestival Cottbus.

They include the Czech production company Brutto Film's black comedy Choking Hazard: The Giant, the English-language sequel to its box office hit Choking Hazard; SEE Film Pro's omnibus film project Some Other Stories; the Chouchkov Brothers' portrait of the Bulgarian young generation, Tilt; medieval thriller The Devil's Work from Warsaw-based AMP Polska; and the minimalist slice-of-life story Principles Of Life by Romania's Hi Films.

Reflecting the Cottbus festival's general focus on Bulgaria and Romania this year, the panel discussions at Connecting Cottbus will centre on the current situation of the audiovisual industries in these countries.

Representatives include Tudor Giurgiu, filmmaker and president of Romanian Television TVR, Mihai Gligor of the Romanian Film Commission, Stefan Kitanov, director of Sofia International Film Festival and the Sofia Meetings, and Gergana Dakovska of the National Film Centre in Sofia.

In addition, broadcasters from Austria, Germany, Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic will speak about their station policies regarding international co-productions and representatives of mdc international, Fortissimo Films, Totocinema, Bavaria Film International and EastWest Distribution have been invited to the examine the relationship between sales agents and producers.

Meanwhile, 10 films from eight East European countries have been nominated for the festival's feature film competition, of which nine will be having their international or German premiere in Cottbus.

They included the Romanian newcomer Corneliu Porumboiu's multiple award-winner 12:08 East Of Bucharest, Ivan Cherlekov and Vassil Shivkov's episodic film Christmas Tree Upside Down, Serbian director Oleg Novkovic's Tomorrow Morning, and Gyorgy Palfi's Taxidermia.