New films by Krzysztof Zanussi, Merab Kokochashvili and Jan Cvitkovic are among the projects from Eastern Europe being presented at platforms in Warsaw, Brindisi and Cottbus in the coming weeks.

The CentEast Warsaw-Moscow initiative will be presenting nine ‘works in progress’ from Eastern Europe on October 18 as part of Warsaw Film Festival’s CentEast Market.

The showcase will then be repeated two days later on October 20 in Moscow as part of Project For Tomorrow and, in a new development, during the Beijing Film Market next April. 

The nine ‘works in progress’ include:

  • veteran Polish film-maker Krzysztof Zanussi’s new feature the Polish-Italian-Russian co-production Foreign Body;

  • Ukrainian Oles Sanin’s $2m historical drama The Guide, previously presented at Odessa’s industry platform in July;

  • Alexander Mitta’s art film Chagall-Malevich, which is being handled internationally by Intercinema and was given a special promo-reel screening in Venice;

  • Romanian Dan Chisu’s sixth feature Bucharest Nonstop about four interconnected stories around one central character during the course of one night.

The presentation will be attended by sales agents, distributors and festival programmers who can arrange one-to-one meetings with the producers and directors of the selected projects during CentEast.

In addition, there will be closed screenings of Romanian Nae Caranfil’s English language dark comedy Closer To The Moon, starring Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong, and local film-maker Wojcech Smarzowski’s The Mighty Angel, an adaptation of Jerzy Pilch’s eponymous novel, which had been presented as a ‘work in progress’ at the Polish Days in Wroclaw in July.  

Now in its fifth edition, CentEast Warsaw-Moscow’s line-up of ‘works in progress’ last year had included Alexei Uchitel’s Breaking Loose, Smarzowski’s previous feature Traffic Department, veteran documentary film-maker Vitaly Manskiy’s Pipeline, and Volodymyr Tykhyy’s The Green Jacket which has been selected for Warsaw’s International Competition.

Projects from Croatia, Georgia and Czech Republic in Brindisi

Projects from Croatia, Georgia and the Czech Republic are among 20 titles selected for the fourth edition of the Euro-Mediterranean Co-Production Forum (EMCF), held in Italy’s Brindisi (October 24-26) and organised by the Apulia Film Commission.

The selection criteria required that the projects at the development stage have a connection with the Mediterranean region and at least 20% of the financing in place.

Director-producer Damir Teresak of Zagreb-based Maxima Film will be coming to Brindisi with Eight Commissioner, while Georgia’s Nikoloz Abramashvili of Cinetech Film Production will be pitching Merab Kokochashvili’s Terzo Mondo, which had participated in the EAVE On Demand course in Tbilisi in July.

Czech producer Mikulas Novotny of Background Films will be looking for partners for Tomas Mielnik’s Journey To Rome.

Other international producers looking for production partners will include the UK’s Mark Forstater Productions (The Devil’s Banker), Luxembourg’s Juliette Films (Initio), the US’s Ronalds Brothers Films (To Fall) and Spain’s Astronauta Producciones (God’s Leg).

In addtion, EMCF director Alberto La Monica has three projects selected as part of partnerships with the Sofia Meetings and Euromed Audiovisual, respectively.

They are:

  • UK production outfit Junco Films’ drama set in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden, The Donation, which had been pitched at the Sofia Meetings in March.

  • Producers Pascal Diot and Dima Hamdan’s Jordanian project The Kidnap.

  • Tunisia’s Cinetelefilms’ A Full Moon Night, to be produced by Habib Attia.

Connecting Cottbus celebrates 15th anniversary

New feature projects from Slovenia’s Jan Cvitkovic (Siska Deluxe), Azerbaijan’s Asif Rustamov (Pipeline) and Lithuania’s Giedre Beinoriute (Breathing Into Marble) are among 13 projects from 11 Eastern Europe countries selected for the 15th anniversary edition of the Connecting Cottbus East-West co-production market (November 7-8).

One slot in the public pitching sessions had already been automatically reserved for Polish director Maria Sadowska after her Women’s Day won the FilmFestival Cottbus’ Main Prize last year. This entitled her to the Special Pitch Award which will see her pitching her new feature project Silence Of The Scream in Cottbus.

Other projects selected for the anniversary edition include:

  • Kosovar director Blerta Zeqiri’s Marriage, which dares to tackle the subject of homosexuality, still largely a taboo in her home country;

  • Greek-born Stelios Kammitsis’ The Man With The Answers, whose screenplay has been developed during his stay in Berlin as part of the Nipkow Programme and the Mediterranean Film Institute Script 2 workshop;

and two films from Turkey

  • Kivanc Sezer’s Blood Money and Details Of A Dream by Orhan Eskiköy and Özgür Dogan.

This year will see Connecting Cottbus collaborating with two new partners for the first time. The Torino Film Lab will host a workshop on audience design and examine how producers can adapt their projects at an early stage to meet the needs of their target audience.

And the Producers’ Network from Cannes will offer an in-kind prize of accreditation for the event at next year’s Marché du Film as part of the Cottbus co-production market’s Best Pitch Award.

The 15th anniversary will also be celebrated at the parallel FilmFestival Cottbus (Nov 5-10) with a sidebar screening three previous Connecting Cottbus projects: Sergei Loznitsa’s My Joy, Srdan Golubovic’s The Trap, and Zaza Urushadze’s Estonian-Georgian co-production Tangerines which will have its world premiere in Warsaw Film Festival’s international competition (Oct 11-20).