Forum also announces that German-speaking countries – Austria, Germany and Switzerland – will be the guest focus region for the third edition of the WEMW forum.

Trieste’s When East Meets West (WEMW) co-production forum is planning a showcase of new Italian films at its next edition to be held from Jan 21-23, 2013.

Speaking exclusively to Screen Daily during this year’s Industry Days in Locarno, Alessandro Gropplero [pictured], responsible for international relations at WEMW organiser Fondo Audiovisivo FVG, said: “We decided to open up this new section because we need this kind of showcase event in Italy. It will be open to both documentaries as well as fiction feature films because, as recent  developments have shown, there have been some real surprises from Italian documentaries.”

He explained that talks are underway with the national film promotion body Film Italia and other Italian festivals for them to collaborate in the screenings showcase in Trieste. 

“I think it would be a success for the first year if we had five ‘works in progress’ and five completed films to present,” Gropplero continued. “The projects which are looking to fill the gap [in completion finance] would be able to take advantage of the funds and sales agents coming to Trieste for When East Meets West.”

He revealed that the German-speaking countries – Austria, Germany and Switzerland – will be the guest focus region for the third edition of the WEMW forum for feature films and documentaries coming from Eastern Europe and Italy.

“We are expecting to have a lot of applications from Eastern Europe  because they will be aiming to find a partner in Germany. But there are also more and more German producers interested in co-producing with Eastern Europe. In fact, we already received two emails from German producers a couple of weeks ago to ask how they could apply, even though the call for submissions doesn’t begin until September 1,” Gropplero said.

The second edition of WEMW last January presented 18 feature and documentary projects from 13 European countries, with the Nordic countries as the guest region. New films by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Gyorgy Palfi, Jan Cvitkovic, Tinatin Kajrishvili, Vladislav Ketkovich and Kaarle Aho were among the projects pitched in the public forum.

The lineup covered several genres from social drama and claymation through Nordic comedy and investigative docu-fiction to creative music documentary.

Meanwhile, Gropplero announced that Fabrizio Grosoli, a buyer sales consultant at Milan-based Officine UBU, has now become a co-artistic director of the Trieste Film Festival (Jan 17-23, 2013) with the Annamaria Percavassi.