COTTBUS: Germany has discovered Poland, and Polish filmmakers are reaching out to German coproductions partners as a result of the Polish-German Film Fund and the new Polish film incentives. Some 40 German and Polish producers and funders, most of them with German/Polish coproduction experience or plans, attended a 7 November 2019 roundtable discussion at connecting cottbus.
COTTBUS: Rising Lithuanian director Kristina Buozyte teams up with French Bruno Samper as writers/directors of an English language sci-fi/coming-of-age film Vesper Seeds, with plans to shoot the 2 m EUR film in late autumn of 2020. The film was pitched at connecting cottbus (6 – 8 November 2019), where it received a special mention for the Avanpost Pitch Packaging Award.
COTTBUS: Serbia’s Biberche is working on the political thriller Rattlesnakes directed by Nikola Ljuca and produced by Nikolina Vucetic-Zecevic and Maja Ilic, as a coproduction with France and Croatia The film was pitched at connecting cottbus, 6 – 8 November 2019.
COTTBUS: Director Dubravka Turic is working on her debut feature film Traces, a drama with mystical elements that encompasses the four seasons of a single year, which is produced by Ira Cecic and Ankica Juric Tilic. The Croatian/Romanian coproduction was pitched at connecting cottbus, 6 – 8 November 2019.
COTTBUS: Coproductions are at the root of growing local film industries in Croatia, Montenegro and Poland, in the forms of coproductions with neighbouring countries and more distant partners coming in to use film incentives. A panel on the topic of film funding and incentives held on the opening day of connecting cottbus (6 – 8 November 2019) showed how the various stages of the incentives and film funding programmes are affecting production.
JIHLAVA: The 23rd Ji.hlava IDFF, which concludes on 29 October 2019, handed out a plethora of prizes at its award ceremony on 28 October. Romanian documentary Teach directed by Alex Brendea won the Best Film award in the CEE competition section Between the Seas, and the Romanian director Cristi Puiu, the sole juror of the Opus Bonum international competition section, gave the Best Film award to the film Fonja directed by the creative collective of Ravo Henintsoa Andrianatoandro, Lovatiana Desire Santatra, Sitraka Hermann Ramanamokatra, Jean Chrisostome Rakotondrabe, Erick Edwin Andrianamelona, Elani Eric Rakotondrasoa, Todisoa Niaina Sylvano Randrialalaina, Sitrakaniaina Raharisoa, Adriano Raharison Nantenaina, Alpha Adrimamy Fenotoky and Lina Zacher.
JIHLAVA: Marek Hovorka, director of the Ji.hlava IDFF, which is wrapping up its 23rd edition on 29 October 2019, presented a panel of festival directors with statistics revealing the weak showing of documentary films from Eastern Europe at festivals taking place in Western Europe.
RIGA: The sixth annual Riga International Film Festival, which concluded on 27 October 2019, gave its award for best film to Nova Lituania by Karolis Kaupinis. The big winner this year, however, was the festival itself, which drew a record number of visitors with an impressive industry programme and specialised industry events on short films, animated films and VR.
JIHLAVA: Austrian producer Gabriele Kranzelbinder, recipient of the first APA (Czech Producers Association) World Excellence Award presented at the 23rd Ji.hlava IDFF, which runs through 29 October 2019, found herself in demand in a discussion with Slovak and Czech producers on fostering coproductions with Austria.
RIGA: Baltic film companies stressed a need for experienced crews and film stages at the Magnetic Latvia film conference held during the Riga IFF, which runs through 27 October 2019.
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