Producer-director Andrey Silvestrov’s The Ice Hole was named the winner of the first Screen International Best Pitch Award at the Moscow Business Square (MBS).

The €400,000 comedy by Silvestrov’s new company Cooperation Propub is based on characters who are typical to the modern world: an artist, an oligarch, the Russian president and an alcoholic.

The ironic and tragic view of modern Russia also received an award sponsored by the Russian company Cosmosfilm.

In addition, the Finnish post-production house Post Control offered production services as a prize to Elizaveta Stishova’s Suleiman Mountain by Trikita Entertainment, which is being developed as part of the B’EST training programme.

The MGAP entertainment legal practice donated a prize of legal advice to the documentary project BAUBXY about the Bauhaus and VKHUTEMAS movements by Sergei Shanovich.

Valeriy Polienko’s 1990s-set drama Kosa was selected by the Russian crowdfunding platform to receive professional advice on its production.

The award-winning documentary filmmaker Tatyana Soboleva and her producer Vlad Ketkovich received Canon equipment for their mockumentary Carroll Through The Russian Looking Glass, inspired by the English writer Lewis Carroll’s journey to Russia in a mixture of video diary and animated sequences.

Carnaby mounts Kincsem

During the public pitches, producer-actress Svetlana Levicheva revealed that UK-based Carnaby International Film Sales & Distribution will serve as the sales agent for the Norwegian film director Morten Tyldum’s $18.6m English-language period drama Invincible.Kincsem about the record-breaking racehorse Kincsem, which is being structured as a co-production between Austria, Hungary, Russia and Slovakia and already has $15m in place.

In addition, producers Anastasia Perova and Vincent Cespedes said that the UK sales company Amadeus Entertainment is attached to their French-Russian drama The Other Cheek.

Apart from organising panels on legal aspects of production, issues and perespectives of Jewish cinema distribution in Russia, and the results of co-production between Germany and Russia over the past four years, MBS also used the 2015 edition to launch its guide for independent producers in association with the Russian Documentary Guild.

The first Russian publication giving the low-down on the nuts and bolts of independent filmmaking and the international film scene includes contributions with such producers as Artem Vasiliev, Riina Sildos, Evgeny Gindilis, Simone Baumann, Karsten Stöter, Guillaume de Seille, Heino Deckert, script consultant Clare Downs, pitch supremo Sibylle Kurz, Eurimages’ Roberto Olla and sales agent Diana Karklin of Rise & Shine.

This year’s MBS edition hosted such international guests as producers Denis Vaslin, Ilkka Matila, Ray McCormack, Guillaume de Seille, Juan Gordon, Michael Seeber, film funders Brigitta Manthey (Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg), Katriel Schory (Israel Film Fund) Jaana Puskala (Finnish Film Foundation), among others.


Russia and Finland

The MBS Focus on Finland with leading Finnish producers and funders also drew attention to a two-day conference on August 13-14 in Vyborg - during the Russian town’s ¨Window on Europe¨ film festival - and in the Finnish town of Kotka to discuss the potential for co-productions and other collaboration between Finland and Russia.

Dutch Focus

The Netherlands will be the focus country at the 2015 edition of Tallinn’s Baltic Event (November 16-18). The Dutch Film Fund will serve as a partner for a showcase of the co-production possibilities and an initial assessment of the Netherlands Film Production Incentive which was presented at the Baltic Event last year.

A former Baltic Event project, Klaus Harö’s The Fencer will have its German premiere at next week’s Filmfest München where it will receive the ¨Bernhard Wicki ‘The Bridge’ Film Prize¨ ata ceremony held in the historical Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich.

The co-production between Finland’s Making Movies, Estonia’s Allfilm and Jörg Bundschuh’s Munich-based Kick Film was released in Finland this spring and will open in German cinemas in October.

Kleiman joins VOICES jury            

Esteemed Russian film historian Naum Kleiman has joined the jury for the sixth edition of the VOICES festival (July 3-6) dedicated to young European cinema in the provincial town of Vologda, halfway between St Petersburg and Moscow.

This year’s jury president Marco Müller will also be deciding on the prize-winners with  Georgian filmmaker Nana Djordjadze and film critic Sergei Sholokhov.

heading international jury includes French actress Nadia Fares, Russian cinema historian Naum Kleiman,

Competition line-up includes the Lola-winner We Are Young. We Are Strong by Burhan Qurbani, Monument To Michael Jackson by Darko Lungulov, 14+ by Russia’s Andrey Zaitsev and Carmen y Amén by Paco Leon.

Odessa retro for Sheridan

This year’s Odessa International Film Festival (July 10-18) will present a retrospective in honour of the six-time Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan with screenings of such films as My Left Foot and The Field in the director’s presence.

In addition, the festival’s guest of honour, Michael Nyman, will be awarded the Golden Duke Lifetime Achievement Award on  July 10, 2015 at the OIFF opening ceremony.

Nyman will present, together with the Michael Nyman Band, his musical arrangement for the film The Man with the Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov at the Potemkin stairs for the traditional open-air screening.

This year’s out-of-competition programme of Gala Premieres will include the Oscar-winning Birdman and Mia Madre.

OIFF’s International Competition jury headed by the French film director, screenwriter and producer Jeanne Labrune and including Polish producer/director  Dariusz Jablonski, Serbian film director Srdjan Dragojevic and local documentary filmmaker Sergiy Bukovsky will judge from 12 titles including the Ukrainian films, Captum by Anatoliy Mateshko and Song of Songs by Ukrainian-German director Eva Neymann, as well as The High Sun by Dalibor Matanić, Evgeny Ruman’s psychological thriller The Man in the Wall, and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut Mustang. (ends)