New films by Mira Fornay, Radu Jude and Stephan Komandarev are among the projects to be pitched at this year’s Sofia Meetings (March 13-16).
The Plus Minus One line-up of eight projects includes the third feature from Slovakian filmmaker Mira Fornay. Cook, F**k, Kill (Frogs With No-Tongues) is an absurdist drama about domestic violence.
It follows her 2009 feature debut Little Foxes and 2013’s My Dog Killer, which won a Tiger Award at last year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam and was Slovakia’s submission for for the Best Foreign-Language Oscar.
Romanian Radu Jude’s Scarred Hearts, inspired by author Max Blecher’s eponymous novel and other writings, will be produced by his regular collaborator Ada Solomon of HiFilm Productions.
Greek director Rinio Dragassaki’s coming of age film Cosmic Candy is also in the line-up. Her short, Schoolyard, screened in the Generation 14plus at this year’s Berlinale.
In addition, Petar Ristovski’s first feature film as a director and screenwriter, God Is Returning Home, which will focus on the conflict between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, will be pitched for the first time in Sofia.
His father, Serbian actor Lazar Ristovski, will be one of the producers of the Zillion Film production.
Screen Future Leaders
The 11th edition of the Sofia Meetings will also feature projects by two producers selected as Screen Future Leaders at last year’s Cannes Film Festival: Germany’s Sol Bondy and Bulgaria’s Konstantin Bojanov.
Berlin-based Bondy’s One Two Films will present Jan Speckenbach’s €5m second feature The Sound Of Stones (Das Klopfen der Steine), which is set in post-war Berlin immediately after the end of the Second World War as the “rubble women” (Trümmerfrauen) helped to rebuild the nation.
The project won the “Made in Germany” development prize last year after Speckenbach showed his feature debut Reported Missing (Die Vermissten) in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebar of the Berlinale in 2012.
Meanwhile, Bojanov wil be coming to Sofia with I Want To Be Like You, which he had presented at Berlinale Co-Production Market this month and will now pitch in the Second Film Projects section.
The €1.33m co-production by the director’s own company KB Projects East and Mila Voinikova’s Multfilm with France’s KinoElektron, UK’s F&ME, Belgium’s Left Field Ventures and The Netherlands’ Lemming Film is described by Bojanov as “a freewheeling film, full of lightness and optimism … aimed at predominantly younger audiences”.
Negoescu and Komandarev
Other second features looking for partners in Sofia will include Lithuanian film-maker Ignas Jonynas’ Dancers Without Defects, a thriller about a blind dancer taking part in a TV dance contest, coming after his award-winning The Gambler; and Romanian director Paul Negoescu’s Never Let It Go, after his FIPRESCI Prize-winning debut A Month in Thailand.
In addition, the Projects In Bank section present seven titles, ranging from Stephan Komanderev’s The Other Man, based on Miroslav Petkov’s short story from the bestselling collection East of the West to Chicago-based Serbian director Zeljko Djukic Stateside-set story Joe’s Cake, which is to be produced by Emigres Entertainment and Belgrade-based production house Dakar.
A full list of the projects being pitched in Sofia can be found at www.siff.bg/sofiameetings
Past Sofia Meetings projects since realised include Tom Shoval’s Youth, Stéphane Robelin’s All Together, Srdjan Koljevic’s The Woman With A Broken Nose, and Hüseyin Karabey’s Come To My Voice which had its world premiere in the Berlinale’s Generation earlier this month.
The Judgement opens SIFF
The Sofia Meetings are held parallel to the 18th Sofia International Film Festival (March 6-16) with an exclusive screening of Stephan Komandarev’s new film The Judgement on March 6.
Festival director Stefan “Kita” Kitanov and his team have compiled a programme that includes gala premieres of The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Great Beauty, The Book Thief and Nymphomaniac as well as a retrospective dedicated to Lars von Trier.
A focus on Serbia will be staged with directors Goran Paskaljevic and Goran Markovic as well as Serbia’s most famous actors Predrag Manojlovic (Miki) and Lazar Ristovski among 15 guests coming from neighbouring country.
The International Competition Jury, headed by Ukrainian-born producer Alexander Rodnyansky and including producers Alexander Ris and Cedomir Kolar, will decide its winners from a line-up featuring titles from such countries as the UK (The Fold), Germany (Lose My Self), Russia (Dubrovsky), US (Menthol) and Palestine (Giraffada).
Meanwhile, the 10-film Balkan Competition includes the Croatian box-office hit The Priest’s Children, the Bulgarian documentary The Last Black Sea Pirates, Goran Markovic’s Falsifier and Igor Ivanov-Itsi’s The Piano Room.
Special awards will be presented to Goran Paskaljevic and local film-maker Georgi Dyulgerov during the festival in recognition of their contributions to world cinema. (ends)