Trieste, January 15th, 2019 – The ninth edition of When East Meets West kicks off in less than one 1 week, on January 20th with an exciting double focus on the Benelux countries and Central Eastern Europe. After having revealed the pitching forum project selection, WEMW is proud to announce that Lorenzo Esposito (KVIFF and CINÉMA DU RÉEL programmer), Georges Goldernstern (CINÉFONDATION), Peter Kerekes, Simon Ofenloch (ZDF) and Jacobine van der Vloed (ACE) will be the 2019 jury members and will assign all WEMW awards. Alongside the last details about the co-production forum WEMW is happy to finally unveil the complete line-up of the three side sections targeting films in post-production stage.
Now in its fifth edition, Last Stop Trieste, the work in progress section run together with the Trieste Film Festival, will present 5 creative documentaries to an exclusive panel of 40 international sales agents, festival programmers and TV commissioning editors. All films will be in the running for the HBO Europe Award, Flow Digital Cinema Award but also for the brand new Film Centre Serbia LST Award (a cash prize of 2.500 EUR) and the Dox Consulting Award (consisting in two rounds of rough cut feedback, plus a basic release strategy). The LST 2019 international jury will feature Aleksandar Govedarica (SYNDICADO), Dorota Lech (HOT DOCS) and Jenny Westergård (YLE FINNISH BROADCASTING).
After the successful past edition, When East Meets West and Trieste Film Festival will renew the partnership with Milano Film Network for the section exclusively dedicated to long feature fiction films ad hybrid works produced or co-produced by Italian producers. This is IT will present 8 films ready for festival premiere/international distribution and a jury composed by Graziella Bildesheim (MAIA WORKSHOPS/EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY), Ilaria Gomarasca (PYRAMIDE INTERNATIONAL) and Angela Prudenzi (VENICE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL) will deliver the prestigious Laser Film Award.
Last but not least, First Cut Lab, the workshop for films in editing phase, has selected 3 long feature fiction films from Russia/United Kingdom, Georgia and Latvia with the main goal of fostering their artistic, sales and festival potential. To this aim, the producer/director teams invited to the lab will receive tailor-made advices from a consulting editor and international experts.
Alongside the pitching forum and the three side sections, WEMW will feature a rich programme including “In the Spotlight”, where fund representatives from this year's spotlight territories will give a comprehensive insight into current trends in their film industries; the panel “One Image to Rule Them All: the Art of Film Poster”, in cooperation with Asterisk, will try to shed light on the way a poster can accompany a film through its different stages, from development to distribution, and how this one image highlights the communication strategy. EAVE will lead the session “2019: Another Year of Major Change in Media Economics”, a plenary for film professionals interested in how the competition between the sVoD platforms is increasing, and how it will likely affect their business model.
Finally, MIDPOINT will host the session “Two Worlds of Storytelling – The Difference Between Series and Movies”, where an overview on the basic differences between the storytelling in series and movies will be provided. This session represents an extension of the ongoing cooperation with MIDPOINT that also this year will bring to Trieste 13 teams from Central Eastern Europe to best develop their long feature and short projects. But for the very first time the collaboration will also feature a series of tailor made individual meetings organized in cooperation with the Torino Short Film Market between the 4 shorts selected for the workshop and few top-notch film experts ready to advise all selected teams on the next steps of their artistic and production development process.
The 5 documentaries presented at Last Stop Trieste, the 8 Italian films selected for This is IT and the 3 long feature fiction films chosen for First Cut Lab are:
LAST STOP TRIESTE
GENTLE WARRIORS director: Marija Stonyte producer: Giedre Zickyte country: Lituania / Lithuania
HEATH SINGERS (formerly known as 18°c) director: Nadia Parfan producer: Illia Gladshtein country: Ucraina / Ukraine
INTO THE BANK director: Eva Hillström, Oscar Hedin producer: Åsa Ekman country: Svezia / Sweden, Norvegia / Norway
NEVER WHISTLE ALONE director: Marco Ferrari producer: Priscilla Robledo country: Italia / Italy
THE WIND. A DOCUMENTARY THRILLER director: Michał Bielawski producer: Maciej Kubicki country: Polonia / Poland, Slovacchia / Slovakia
This is IT
director: Maša Nešković
producer: Ines Vasiljevic
country: Italia / Italy, Serbia, Slovenia
DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE
director: Martin Turk
producer: Ida Weiss
Slovenia, Italia / Italy, Croazia / Croatia
FANGO ROSSO (Fango rosso - Chronicle of a post industrial paradise)
director: Alberto Diana
producer: Manuela Buono
country: Italia / Italy, Francia / France
IL VARCO (Once More Unto The Beach)
director: Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini
producer: Claudio Giapponesi
country: Italia / Italy
director: Davide Maldi
producer: Davide Maldi, Micol Roubini, Fabio Scamoni, Gabriella Manfré
PARADISE - Tutta un'altra vita
director: Davide Del Degan
producer: Andrea Magnani, Stefano Basso, Gianpaolo Smiraglia, Branislav Srdic
director: Carlo Sironi
producer: Giovanni Pompili, Agnieszka Wasiak
country: Italia / Italy, Polonia / Poland
TONY DRIVER - UN DEPORTATO AL CONTRARIO
director: Ascanio Petrini
producer: Giulia Achilli, Marco Alessi, Giorgio Blasi, Lucia Ferrante, Ascanio Petrini
country: Italia / Italy, Messico / Mexico
FIRST CUT LAB
Director: Juris Poskus
Producer: Madara Melberga
Director: Maxim Dashkin
Producer: Denis Kovalevskiy, Maxim Dashkin, Boris Frumin, Anna von Dziembowska
Director: Dito Tsintsadze
Producer: Nadezhda Gorshkova / Rusudan Glurjidze
Country: Russia, Georgia
WEMW is organized by the FVG Audiovisual Fund and the Trieste Film Festival in collaboration with EAVE, Maia Workshops, Creative Europe Desk Italy, EURIMAGES and the support of Creative Europe/MEDIA Programme, MiBACT - Direzione Generale per il Cinema, CEI - Central European Initiative and the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The 2019 East & West focus is in cooperation and with the support of Czech Film Fund, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Film Industry Association of Ukraine, Flanders Audiovisual Fund-VAF, Luxembourg Film Fund, Netherlands Film Fund-Filmfonds, Polish Film Institute, Screen Bruxelles, Screen Flanders, Slovak Film Commission, Slovak Film Institute, Ukrainian State Film Agency, Wallimages.
The year 2018 did not yield any box office hit in the field of Czech animation, yet festival showings and achievements abroad imply that our creators are not resting on their laurels. There are a number of interesting feature films, series, and TV bedtime-story animations in development or production. They will also include this year's anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 50th birthday of Lucky Four or one hundred years since the death of historical Czech figure Rastislav Štefánik.
And How Did Czech Animated Production Do Last Year?
Four feature films by Czech filmmakers came to cinemas. One of them made it among the top 50 most visited: Pat & Mat: Winter Adventure, directed by Marek Beneš, attracted nearly 88,000 viewers, while the American animated Hotel Transylvania 3: Monster Vacation brought in nearly half a million. The highly anticipated and latest film by Jan Švankmajer Insects was released after seven years of production and nominated for the Film Critics’ Awards. In December, cinema-goers had a chance to see the Christmas story of Mimi & Lisa: Christmas Lights Mystery (directed by Ivana Šebestová and Katarína Kerekesová). Famous personalities such as Dagmar Pecková, Arnošt Goldflam, Linda Rybová or David Prachař supported its creation via voice over.
The feature film Harvie and the Magic Museum, which was attended by more than 200,000 spectators in our cinemas, drew attention abroad and last year became the best-selling Czech animated film of modern history. "In Czech standards, Harvie is doing great in the world. We have made sales to 90 countries, and although it is mainly a popular-audience film, it has been selected for the main competition at 26 festivals. Perhaps the biggest surprise for us is the success of the film in the US, where it made it to seven festivals and even won the Best Animated Feature Film award in San Diego", says the producer Martin Kotík from Rolling Pictures.
"The feature film category is extremely demanding for the producers. At present there are not enough funds in the Czech Republic to cover proper development and production; the only solution are international co-productions. The aim of the Association of Czech Animation Film (ASAF) is to promote and develop animation as an important part of the creative industry. I believe that 2019 will be a turning a point and Czech animation will regain its reputation abroad again," Martin Hovorka, Chairman of ASAF, sums up the five-year activity of the association.
Short Film Scores Big Points
The 12-minute puppet Charlie the Snowman's Christmas Wedding by Petr Vodička produced by the Anima Studio won the Audience Award at the Biennial of Animation Bratislava and was released in France, Belgium and Luxembourg in November.
The category of short films is traditionally the domain of students, who have long been collecting various awards. Let us mention last year's unparalleled success of the lovely Fruits of Clouds by director Kateřina Karhánková, nominated for the Emile European Animation Awards. The film was broadcast by Czech Television before Christmas. With more than a hundred festival releases, it is one of the world's most successful Czech films in recent years.
An interesting novelty is the combination of the animation and documentary genres. The talented Czech-Vietnamese illustrator and Film Academy of Performing Arts student Diana Cam Van Nguyen drew attention with her animated documentary The Little One, and last year she presented her next work, Apart, using the techniques of feature and animated films to address the theme of life after losing a loved one in a captivating way. The film has already carried off the award for the Best Czech Experimental Documentary at the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival and was selected for the prestigious International Film Festival in Rotterdam this year.
Last year also marked the appearance of the first Czech queer animated film – Days Off by director Filip Blažek, awarded at Famufest and the only Czech representative at the Queer Lisboa Festival in Portugal.
Animated Short and Feature Films in Preparation
Currently, the final work is taking place on the student co-production project Trojhlas, which is being made in parallel at three Czech art schools – the Film Academy of Performing Arts, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design and Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art at the University of West Bohemia. The project is supported by the Czech Film Fund and produced by the MAUR film studio. Its release will be accompanied by an exhibition of puppets and sets used in the film, which was co-financed by crowdfunding.
The short grotesque The World's End directed by Martin Kukal, a representative of the emerging generation of promising graduates from the Animation department at Tomas Bata University in Zlín, is going into production at the Zlín based studio Kouzelná animace.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of communist regimes in Central Europe, the feature film Fritzi Miraculous Revolutionary Tale is to be released in cinemas, a story about a childhood friendship that can knock down Walls. A German film in international co-production (studio MAUR film for the Czech Republic) describes the political events of autumn 1989 in Leipzig from the point of view of a 12-year-old heroine.
This year is marked by yet another jubilee – 50 years of the legendary comic book Lucky Four. A celebratory release of the Great Adventures of the Lucky Four, directed by Michal Žabka, is scheduled for April 2019. The Great Adventures will consist of four short films based on the newer themes by the “spiritual father” of Lucky Four Jaroslav Němec.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Rastislav Štefánik, director Noro Držiak is preparing a feature film with animated elements The Impossible Voyage for this spring, which deals with the life and tragic death of one of the founders of our country.
TVMiniUni and the Thief of Questions by director and screenwriter Jan Jirka, which combines puppets, actors and animation, is to come to cinemas this summer. The film, made entirely in Zlín, builds upon 144 parts of the TvMiniUni programme of Czech TV’s children’s channel ČT: D.
Directors Denisa Grimmová and Jan Bubeníček are making a feature based on the bestselling book Even Mice Belong in Heaven, in which they combine puppet and computer animation. Alice Nellis and Richard Malatinski were involved in the screenplay work. The main producers are the Czech companies Fresh Films and Hausboot Production; the film is made in a Czech-French-Polish-Slovak co-production. The premiere is scheduled for 2020.
Next year, another co-production feature film The Crossing by French director Florence Miailhe will set out into the world. The film is being created with a remarkable technique of oil painting in the MAUR film studio in Prague.
The upcoming film by Filip Pošivač Tonda, Slavka & Genius (nutprodukce), awarded by Eurimage for Best Development at the Cinekid festival, and Martina Duda’s Rosa & Dara (Bionaut in co-production with Czech Television), will surely also be worth our attention. Both films were supported by the Czech Film Fund and should be finished in the upcoming years.
Czech Animation for Child Audiences
Production of TV bed time stories is a special category. Hungry Bear Tales (dir. Alexandra Májová and Kateřina Karhánková), whose pilot episode Blueberry Hunt was awarded the Golden Slipper for the best animated film at the Zlín Film Festival 2018, is now being created. The Prague Eallin Studio continues the production of new parts of the Smallest Elephant in the World tale. At Film Node Zlín, film director Pavel Ondrašík is working on the animated children's series Barney the Piglet, which is to be finished in less than two years.
Education for Czech Filmmakers
A unique opportunity for local artists are the Anomalia summer workshops, where filmmakers can develop their animation projects in the presence of foreign professionals from studios like Disney and Pixar. Last year offered participants a chance to try out a new technique of film animatic development using virtual reality, which turns out to be one of the directions of contemporary animation. The Anomalia Incubator to support the development of new project stories and visuals will be held again in Litomyšl in July and August 2019.
SARAJEVO: A German/Bosnian short film directed by Clarissa Thieme will compete for the Golden Bear, while a film from 2000 by Jasmila Žbanić will screen out of competition in Berlinale Shorts.
TRIESTE: Nine films from Central and Eastern Europe will vie in the Feature Film Competition of the 30th edition of Trieste Film Festival. The festival will run from 18 till 25 January 2019.
WARSAW: Two Polish coproductions have been chosen for the Official Selection of the Berlinale Co-Production Market 2019 and for Rotterdam-Berlinale Express. The 16th edition of the Berlinale Co-Production Market will be held from 9 to 13 February 2019.
SKOPJE: God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija by Teona Strugar Mitevska and Mr. Jones by Agnieszka Holland have been selected for the Competition of the 69th Berlin International Film Festival. Both films will have their world premieres at the festival.
VALLETTA: The Maltese film director Winston Azzopardi has been nominated with The Boat for the best director award at the UK National Film Awards 2019, while the Bulgarian film Revolution X: The Movie by Dimitar Gochev and the Polish film Women of Mafia by Patryk Vega have been nominated in the best foreign language film category.
Here are the projects selected for the 8th edition of East Doc Platform, the largest coproduction, funding and distribution platform tailor-made for Central and East European documentaries, which will take place in Prague from 9 to 15 March 2019.
These grants were announced by Film Center Serbia in the final round of its grants for 2018.
WARSAW: Cold War by Paweł Pawlikowski landed four nominations for the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2019. The nominations were announced on 9 January 2019.
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