New projects by the producers of Ida and Crulic are among 13 selected from Albania to Ukraine to be pitched at this year’s Connecting Cottbus East-West co-production market (November 6-7).

Poland’s Opus Film, which produced Pawel Pawlikowski’s multi-award winner Ida and co-produced Fatih Akin’s Venice competition title The Cut, and production partner Teamwork Production will be presenting leading Polish stage director Grzegorz Jarzyna’s Owl, The Baker’s Daughter, first pitched in public at the Polish Days in Wroclaw in July.

Romanian producer-director Anca Damian’s (Crulic) Aparte Film will be in Cottbus with In Perfect Health about the son of a judge looking for the reason for his father’s unexpected death and the rest of his life.

Other projects selected for the 16th edition include:

  • Alexander Kviria’s The Button, which is being produced by Ablabuda Film, the company set up last year by Tamara Tatishvili, the former head of the Georgian National Film Center

  • Russian Anton Bilzko’s feature debut The Dream Fish, to be produced by Ethnofund and Marx Film, and debutant Anna Sarukhanova’s Inner City, to be produced by Julia Mishkiniene of Vita Aktiva and to shoot in Tbilisi in 2015, which were both awarded development support by the St Petersburg-based P.O.V. Fund last year

  • Milos Radovic’s Piazza dell Unita, co-produced by Serbia’s West End Productions with Trieste-based Pilgrim Film, has already received backing from Film Center Serbia and Fondo Audiovisivo FVG

  • Ukrainian project Aleksandr Dovzhenko. Odessa Debut by Konstantin Konovalov was pitched early this year at the Moscow Business Square’s co-production forum and the Odessa Film Industry Office

  • Berlin-based One Two Films’ production of the political thriller project set in Central Asia, The Vegetable Lamb by Thomas Sieben, will be pitched as the winner of Connecting Cottbus’ Special Pitch Award.

Two projects which were presented at Sarajevo’s CineLink co-production meeting in August:

  • Albania’s Gentian Koci’s The Daybreak, produced by ARTALB FILM and 90 Production

  • Turkey’s Kenan Kavit’s political refugee story The Escape to produced by producer-director Yesim Ustaoglu’s company

Other projects selected to be presented to potential partners in Cottbus are:

  • A Coat of Gold, prod co: Mindwax (Hungary)

  • Spiral, prod co: Argo Audiovisual Association (Romania)

  • The Five Skyscrapers, prod co: This and That Productions (Serbia)

White God to openCottbus

The parallel Filmfestival Cottbus (Nov 4-9) will open with the German premiere of the German version of Kornél Mundruczó’s Cannes competition film White God.

140 films from 30 countries will be presented at the festival of East European cinema in three competitive sections and 10 sidebars.

This year’s Focus section is dedicated to queerEAST on the portrayal of homosexuality in East European cinema, curated by the Georgian director Zaza Rusadze, while globalEAST will now look at the influence of East European cinema on Italian film production with the screening of such films as Alberto Fasulo’s TIR and Iris Elezi’s Bota.

The organisers have been prompted by the current events in Ukraine to devote one of the festival’s Specials to films from Ukraine including the world premiere of Once Upon A Time In Ukraine and a screening of the 2012 film Gaamer by the film-maker Oleg Sentsov who has been detained by Russian authorities since May.

Apart from the traditional showcases of Russian and Polish cinema, Cottbus will also be introducing a new sidebar – Home (Domownja) – dedicated to films made in or by film-makers from the city’s local region of Lusatia (Lausitz). (ends)