The Stuttgart Animation Co-Production Forum and the Baltic Bridge East by West (B’EST) are two initiatives being launched this year to bring film professionals together from Eastern and Western Europe for collaboration on film projects.

The Stuttgart Animation Co-Production Forum is being organised by the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (IFTS) and the Georgian National Film Center and will be held from May 10-11.

Around ten animated short film projects will be selected from the Caucasus region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) to come to Stuttgart tolook for a producer or co-producer from Germany with the goal of subsequently making a joint application to the Robert Bosch Co-Production Prize which awards up to €70,000 to an animation project (and the same amount in the categories of short fiction and documentary).

Applicants for the Animation Co-Production Forum (deadline: April 9), which will include various workshops, training modules and pitching sessions,.should have made at least two completed works such as video art or a clip and must be aged 35 or younger.

Meanwhile, Tallinn’s Baltic Event and the Moscow Business Square have teamed up with the MEDIA Programme’s producers training initiative EAVE and with support from MEDIA Mundus to launch the Baltic Bridge East by West (B’EST) initiative this summer.

B’EST consists of two producers’ workshops, which will be held from June 23-27 during the Moscow Co-Production Forum and fromNovember 25-28 in Tallinn during the Baltic Event.

Ten producers with feature film projects selected from the European Union and the CIS countries, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine will initially have five days of workshops in Moscow on such issues as script development, financing in Eastern and Western Europe, legal aspects of co-production, and marketing strategies, as well as individual meetings with script, pitching and finance/marketing consultants.

The ten projects will then be presented at the Moscow Co-Production Market and the producers will have the opportunity to arrange meetings with those decision makers and potential co-production partners who have come to Moscow for the co-production event.

After Moscow, it is planned for online sessions between the producers and tutors on the development of the scripts and the projects in the six months between the Moscow and Tallinn workshops.

The participants will then be invited to Tallinn at the end of November for a two-day follow-up session on the development of the projects and final preparation for pitching at the Baltic Event where the producers of the B’EST projects will again have a chance to meet with potential financiers, co-producers, sales agents, and distributors.

According to B’EST’s organisers, the new initiative is aimed at “experienced feature film producers wishing to work on an international scale and create long-term creative and business relationships between Western and Eastern Europe.”

Interested producers are asked to apply by April 30 with a feature film project in development stage which is suitable for an international co-production and preferably has national support in place.