Philipp Bräuer also announces decision to leave Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival.

Bernd Buder is to step down from the post of artistic director of the East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus in Germany, after his fourth edition this November.

Buder had headed the market as successor to Gabriele Brunnenmeyer since 2011. He will focus in future on his activities at the parallel FilmFestival Cottbus where he has served as head of the programme department since last year.

Buder has worked at the festival in Cottbus in various functions since 1996, most recently as a researcher and curator of the Focus sidebar.

The co-production event is now looking for a successor who would theoretically work in tandem with Buder on the 2014 edition (November 6-7)  before taking over full responsibility from 2015, as he told Screen Daily at this week’s Odessa International Film.

In Odessa, he was serving on the jury along with Russian producer Evgeny Gindilis and Warsaw Film Fest director Stefan Laudyn to decide on the winner of this year’s best pitch at the Industry Office’s pitching forum  on Thursday (July 17).

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Connecting Cottbus announced a partnership with the Odessa Film Industry Office after concluding a similar arrangement with Istanbul’s Meetings on the Bridge in March.

Films which have successfully been completed or are now going into production after being pitched in Cottbus during Buder’s time as artistic director include the Croatian-Serbian box-office hit by Vinko Bresan, The Priest’s Children, and Juris Kursietis’ feature debut, the Latvian-Greek-German co-production Modris.

This summer will have seen shooting beginning on other recently pitched connecting cottbus projects such as Oleg Novkovic’s The Others (pitched in 2011), Jan Cvitkovic’s Siska De Luxe (2013), Dalibor Matanic’s The High Sun (2011) and Radu Muntean’s One Floor Below (2012).

Meanwhile, in Cottbus’ twin town Saarbrücken on the French-German border in the Saarland, Philipp Bräuer has announced his decision to step down as artistic director of the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival.

Bräuer had been head of the programme department since 2004 and shared the responsibility of the artistic direction with Gabriella Bandel since 2007.

During this time as artistic director, he introduced the Industry Days which gave a new practical dimension to the festival for the up-and-coming generation of German language film-makers.

The next edition of the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival (January 19-25, 2015) will be organised by Bandel as the sole artistic director.