New Horizons Studio’s Best Pitch prize has been awarded to Aleksandra Terpinska for documentary comedy project Czech Swan.

Terpinska  is a student of directing at the University of Silesia in Katowice. A special mention was made by the jury of La Femis graduate Sylvain Coisne for his feature debut Cockfest.

Terpinska and Coisne were among the participants of the fourth edition of the Wroclaw’s training programme, which included workshops on pitching, production, distribution and promotion.

It comprised 18 young Polish film-makers and nine from countries including Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and France.

Studio line-up

This year’s Studio line-up included Romania’s Iulia Rugina, whose debut feature - the low budget Love Building - premiered at the Transilvania International Film Festival last month and will open in Romanian cinemas on September 13.

Also included was Polish producer Maria Golos ,who is now in final preparations for Michal Rogalski’s Summer Solstice (Sommerwende), structured as a Polish-German co-production with Berlin’s Mafilm, German broadcaster RBB and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg onboard,  to shoot this August.


The workshops were attended by director Ola Jankowska, who has Paris-based Kometa Films as a production partner for her London-set psychological thriller Harry, the Observer, which is being planned as a French-British-Polish co-production.

Also in attendance was producer Ewa Karpiel who is currently working at Mental Disorder 4 (MD4) on two debuts being presented in the Polish Days’ ‘works in progress’ showcase: documentary film-maker Marcin Koszalka’s fiction feature debut Red Spider inspired by the story of two legendary serial killers active during the Communist times in Poland, and Grzegorz Jaroszuk’s absurd comedy Kebab And Horoscope.

The four-day programme of workshops featured an international roster of speakers including UK director David Pope, producers Alex Boden, Amra Baksic Camo, Raymond Phathanavirangoon, and Guillaume de Seille, distributor Jakub Duszynski, film marketing specialist Mathias Noschis, and Matthieu Darras, Head of Programmes at the Torino Film Lab.

It was staged in collaboration with the London Film Academy and Media Desk Poland.

Aktis launches production arm

German sales agent Aktis Film International (AFI) has revealed exclusively to ScreenDaily that it has set up a production arm.

Aktis Film Production already has two projects on its slate, which were pitched at the Odessa International Film Festival’s Industry Programme.

The Leipzig-based production outfit will serve as a co-producer and sales agent for Georgian writer-director Otar Shamatava’s drama Ursus - The Caucasian Bear (Ursus), based on a screenplay by Zaza Buadze, which was pitched in Odessa last year.

The co-production with Ukraine’s Fresh Production, Georgia’s O-Studio and Aktis Film Production centres on three outcasts: an unemployed Georgian film director; a Ukrainian ex-stuntman; and a US animal rights campaigner. Set in 1992, the three make a desperate journey from Tbilisi to Berlin. 

Production funding has come so far from the Ukrainian State Film Agency and the Georgian National Film Centre as well as Georgian investors.

Shooting at locations in Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria and Germany are set to begin this October. Nika Tavadze, Bogdan Benyuk and German actor-director-producer Detlev Buck are being lined up for the leads.

Aktis Film’s Stelios Ziannis is on-board Constantin Werner’s Snow In The Carpathians as co-producer and sales company, following its pitch in Odessa last week.

A third project, The Boarding School (Mein Heim - working title) is being developed with German director Peter Kahane as a German-French-Indian co-production.

Ziannis explained that the aim of his foray into production is ¨to initiate high quality international projects and support the financing process as a co-production partner.”

He added: “I will be drawing here on my international network which I have built up over the past 20 years as well as on producers where we are friends and want to finance projects together.

“Depending on the project, Aktis Film Production will be serving as a partner for film packaging, consulting, or as an executive producer or co-producer.”

Ziannis’ previous production experience was gathered during his stints at Filmverlag der Autoren (1989-1999) and Kinowelt (1999-2008).