Industry figures will discuss a new pitching forum dedicated to films in the thriller and horror genres at the upcoming Film Forum Zadar festival in Croatia.

Cannes Market director Jerome Paillard, sales executives Sasha Wieser and Angela Bosch, and producers Branko Lustig and Jim Stark are among the industry figures participating in Film Forum Zadar SCREAM event, to set the parameters for a new pitching forum dedicated to films in the thriller and horror genres.

The event will be held during the second edition of the Film Forum Zadar festival from August 23-30 in the Croatian port of Zadar on the Adriatic coast.

Film Forum Zadar’s festival director Sergej Stanojkovksi told ScreenDaily that he had spoken with Paillard during this year’s Berlinale about the possibility of creating a new co-production market dedicated specificially to genre movies.

Encouraged by further meetings with such decision-makers as producers, sales agents, film funds and broadcasters, Stanojkovski pursued the idea in Cannes where the festival became an official partner of the Producers Network and entered into a partnership with MELIES/EFFFF European Federation of Fantasy Film Festivals.

According to Stanojkovski, this year will see the SCREAM conference being held on the financing of genre movies attended by ZDF commissioning editor Katharina Dufner, EFFF secretary-general Romain Roll, Producers Network director Julie Bergeron, Eurimages‘ executive director Roberto Olla, producers Tero Kaukoma and Heinrich Ambrosch, and filmmakers Marvin Kren and Bigas Luna, among others.

After this year’s edition of Film Forum Zadar, the festival will launch a call for projects with a deadline of spring 2012. Ten projects selected by decision-makers from around the world would be announced in Cannes and then presented by their talents at the first SCREAM pitching forum in Zadar at the end of August.

As a taster of next year’s event, two genre projects will be presented to the professionals coming to Zadar this week.

UK producer Ashley Horner of Newcastle-based Pinball Films will be pitching Sean Conway’s feature debut Whorses which the writer-director describes as “a film about the possibility and power of love, a film filled with lyrical intensity and metaphysics, rich and dark with comedy and remorse.”

Meanwhile, veteran US producer Jim Stark will be presenting Winter Break, the first script by two young LA-based screenwriters Jacob Stark and Benjy Kaplan, about a group of young attractive university students taking their winter vacation at a remote ski cabin when they are attacked by a monster and all of them (except one) is brutally killed.

“It is a simple, action oriented and very fast paced script aimed at fans of bloody horror films, particularly younger fans,” says Stark who would be making his first foray into producing a horror or genre film with Winter Break, although he has long been a fan of such movies.

In addition, there will be screenings of Marvin Kren’s Rammbock, Bigas Lunas‘ Anguish and David Michod’s Animal Kingdom to get the decision-makers in the mood for horror, and masterclasses by Jim Stark (Co-producing international independent films), Arclights‘ Lina Marrone (Packaging films for the international market) and MUBI’s Julie Ebbinghouse (The future of digital cinema).

The second edition of Film Forum Zadar will open on Tuesday evening with this year’s Palme d’Or winner The Tree Of Life and close on Aug 30 with Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris.

The Main Competition, which will be judged by an international jury headed by Stark and including Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi, Romanian actress Anamaria Marinca and Pnina Blayer, director of the Haifa Film Festival, features 10 titles ranging from Maiwenn’s Poliss and Emilio Aragon’s Paper Birds through Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre and Lisa Aschan’s She Monkeys to Catalin Mitulescu’s Loverboy and Branko Ivanda’s Lea I Darija.

The festival will also have competition sections for documentaries and short films as well as screenings of classics in cooperation with the Bologna Cinematheque and tributes to Bigas Luna and Amos Gitai.