EXCLUSIVE: The Battle of Sevastopol among 11 projects being presented next week.

Sergei Mokritsky’s biopic-war drama The Battle of Sevastopol (working title) is among 11 projects being presented as ‘works in progress’ at next week’s Film Industry Office programme (July 14-17), taking place during the fifth Odessa International Film Festival (July 11-19).

The €3.6m Ukrainian-Russian co-production between Kiev-based Kinorob and Russia’s New People had been pitched during last year’s Industry Office programme in Odessa, and has been shooting in Kiev and Odessa after an initial shoot on the Crimea at the end of the last year.

The historical drama centres on the life of Lyudmila Pavlichenko who killed over 300 Nazis during the Second World War as a highly decorated sniper.

Yulia Peresild has been cast as Pavlichenko, who enjoyed a 16-year friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt (played here by UK actress Joan Blackham) and inspired a song written by the legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie.

The feature film - which will also be shown on TV as a four-part mini-series - will be released in May 2015 to coincide with the 70th anniversary celebrations of the end of the Second World War.

This year’s line-up also includes Ukrainian national productions and projects where Ukraine is a major or minor co-producing partner.

Footage will be shown of Otar Shamatova’s drama Ursus. The Caucasian Brown Bear which has been structured as a Ukrainian-Georgian-German-Bulgarian co-production and as the Leipzig-based sales company Aktis Film International serving as co-producer as well as handling international sales.

In addition, there will be presentations of 

  • Ivan Orlenko’s detective social conceptual drama Red Dot, produced as a Russian-Ukrainian co-production by St Petersburg-based Deboshir Films Studio

  • Ukrainian director Volodmyr Lert’s new take on the Fiddler On The Roof story in his tragicomedy Tevye-Tevl

  • Ukrainian-Moldovan-Romanian historical drama Occupation, set in Ukraine of the 1920s, by Valeriu Jereghi

  • Semen Mozgovy micro-budget mockumentary Pilgrims

  • Alyona Demyanenko’s melodrama My Grandmother Fanni Kaplan about a love affair between Kaplan and Lenin’s younger brother Dmitry Ulyanov

  • Austrian-Ukrainian co-production of Yuri Rechinsky’s drama Ugly, featuring Michael Haneke’s DoP Wolfgang Thaler and Maria Hofstätter from Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy

  • Ukrainian-Italian co-production of Taras Tkachenko’s The Nest of the Turtle Dove of a woman travelling to Italy to make money to support her family at home in Ukraine

  • US-Ukrainian hybrid documentary Vagrich and the Black Square by director-producer Andrey Zagdansky about the true heir of Russian-Ukrainian avantgarde Vagrich Bakhchanian

A jury comprising sales agents Laurent Danielou (Rezo Films), Keiko Funato (Alpha Violet) and Eye On Films project coordinator Nawid Sarem will decide on the winner of the best ‘work in progress’ award.

Pitching forum

In addition, Odessa’s industry strand will offer visiting producers, sales agents and festival programmers the chance to see pitches of 10 new feature projects.

This year’s line-up includes:

  • A film elegy on the French writer Marguerite Duras, Duras: They Say, by Anna Mielikova with Jeanne Moreau, Fanny Ardant and Isabelle Huppert

  • Georgian director Nana Djorjadze’s new feature Red Angels, set in the post-war years in the Soviet Union and planned as a co-production between Ukraine, Germany and Russia

  • Maryna Kondratieva’s Great Kateryna, a love story spanning 40 years from a German concentration camp in 1943, planned as co-production between Ukraine, Russia, Italy and Germany

  • Konstantin Konovalov’s Oleksandr Dovzhenko. Odessa-Debut, which was pitched at last month’s Moscow Business Square co-production forum and will be produced by Volodmyr Filippov’s Kiev-based InsightMedia Producing Centre.

A jury of Russian producer Yevgeny Gindilis of TV Indie, Stefan Laudyn, Warsaw Film Festival director, and Bernd Buder, Connecting Cottbus artistic director and head of the programme department at the FilmFestival Cottbus, will award the UAH 50,000 award for the best pitch.