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SARAJEVO: The newly expanded DOCU Rough Cut Boutique, organised by the Balkan Documentary Center and the Sarajevo Film Festival, is accepting applications through 1 February 2019.

New edition, new structure of the workshop

The following grants were announced by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre on 13 November 2018.

BUCHAREST: Moromete Family: On the Edge of Time / Morometii 2 by Stere Gulea debuted in the number two spot in Romania, with nearly 71,000 admissions on its opening weekend.

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival announces the lineup of the Baltic Competition programme, brought back to life after a seven year hiatus. Three out of the 11 films announced are having their international premieres in Tallinn.

Estonia will be represented by three films. The feature-length animation Captain Morten and the Spider Queen, an Estonian-Belgian-Irish-UK co-production by director Kaspar Jancis, which premiered at Animafest Zagreb this summer. The film, dubbed by renowned actors such as Brendan Gleeson and Ciarán Hinds, presents a tale of a young boy who learns to take control over his life when he is shrunk to the size of an insect and has to sail his own toy boat through a flooded café.

The feature-length debut by Liina Triškina-Vanhatalo, Take it or Leave it, is Estonia’s candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. The story, striking acutely at several social cords of Estonian society, follows a struggling construction worker who unexpectedly has to take on the role of a single father. The film has been produced by Ivo Felt who received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Tangerines in 2014.

Director Moonika Siimets offers a moving perspective on Stalinist terror through a child’s perspective in The Little Comrade, that was warmly received by local audiences and those at Busan IFF, winning the Public Choice Award.

Latvia’s documentary To be Continued, chronicles three children with different social backgrounds during their first year in school, it is the country’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Another documentary Bridges of Time, co-produced with Lithuania and Estonia, studies the poetical world created by the new wave of documentary filmmakers in the Baltic countries during the 1960’s.

The feature films from Latvia include Bille, set at the end of 1930’s, the childhood years of the writer Vizma Belševica, that will have its international premiere at Black Nights, and Foam at the Mouth, a tale about an ex-cop whose new project involving three service dogs goes awfully wrong.

Lithuania is represented by four films. Making its international premiere, Ashes in the Snow presents a tale of a group of people deported to the Siberian taiga during the Stalinist repressions of 1941. The other titles are Summer Survivors, a tale of an ambitious young psychologist who accepts to transport two patients to a seaside psychiatric unit that premiered at Toronto IFF, Breathing into Marble that arrives from a busy festival run that included Karlovy Vary and Busan IFF, and the documentary 100 Years Together, following several Lithuanians celebrating the country’s centenary. The film won the Public Choice Award at Vilnius IFF.

100 Years Together / 100 metu kartu, Lithuania, Director Edita Kabaraitė  - International Premiere
Ashes in the Snow, Lithuania-USA, Director Marius Markevičius - International Premiere
Bille /Bille, Latvia-Lithuania-Czech Rep, Director Ināra Kolmane  - International Premiere
Breathing into Marble / Kvėpavimas į marmurą, Lithuania-Latvia-Croatia, Director Giedrė Beinoriūtė
Bridges of Time / Laika tilti, Latvia-Lithuania-Estonia, Director Kristīne Briede ja Audrius Stonys
Captain Morten and the Spider Queen / Kapten Morten lollide laeval, Estonia-Belgium-Ireland-UK, Director Kaspar Jancis
Take it or Leave it / Võta või jäta, Estonia, Director Liina Triškina-Vanhatalo
The Little Comrade / Seltsimees laps, Director Moonika Siimets (Eesti)
Foam in the Mouth / Ar putām uz lūpām, Latvia-Poland-Lithuania, Director Jānis Nords
To be Continued / Turpinājums, Latvia, Director Ivars Seleckis
Summer Survivors / Išgyventi vasarą, Director Marija Kavtaradzė (Leedu)

Renamed How To Fake  a War stars Jay  Pharaoh,  Katherine Parkinson and Lily Newmark . First pre-sales to China, Middle East and Switzerland and will screen the very first moving images from the film on the teaser/trailer at the American Film Market from today.


How to Fake a War - the fiction feature film debut of leading international documentary director Rudolph Herzog moves to complete post production in Dublin this month.   Produced by Georgia’s 20 Steps Productions and Film and Music Entertainment the UK/Dublin-based production house, the companies, along with world sales agent Bankside Films has just released the initial moving images from the film on a teaser/trailer. These are currently available for view at the  Bankside office in Santa Monica

Initial pre-sales have been completed to Lemontree in China, Front Row in the Middle East, and Praesens in Switzerand.

The production stars Jay Pharaoh, Katherine Parkinson and face of Chanel Lily Newmark.   Pharoah, the American actor, stand-up comedian, and musician plays rock star Harry Hope.  He most recently played 'Nate Hoffman' opposite Claire Foy in Steven Soderbergh’s ground breaking Berlinale entry Unsane, and will next be seen in Lionsgate/CodeBlack's upcoming feature #Twominutesoffame.  He also starred as the lead of Showtime's White Famous last year and was a cast member on NBC's Saturday Night Live for six seasons beginning in 2010. 

London 2018 – In a few days time, a  global charity concert is due to take place led by the vain and arrogant rock star, Harry Hope and his over-confident PR consultant, Kate. When notorious war monger, Boris the Butcher, decides to call a cease-fire four days before the big event, Kate knows that she absolutely has to make this event happen or her career will be over. She embarks on a mission to Georgia to create a fake news story letting the world know that the war is back on. Assisted by her naïve new intern, Peggy, the two quickly discover that they have taken on more than they can handle and as events spiral out of their control, all hell quickly breaks loose.

How To Fake a War is being handled in Cannes for  worldwide sales by UK sales outfit Bankside Films, and the production stars BAFTA winning Katherine Parkinson (credits include ‘HUMANS’ and ‘THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIEY) in the leading role of Kate and co-stars up-and-coming Lily Newmark as naïve intern/niece Peggy whose five star performance in Pin Cushion scored her a BIFA nomination this year.

The film was developed by Creative England, Film and Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd, Finnish financing house IPR.VC and is being produced by Samantha Taylor, Mike Downey and Vladimer Katharava, via their Dublin-based Film and Music Entertainment (IRE), 20 Steps Productions and Kinomedia in Poland with key financing from the UK’s Quickfire and Helsinki-based IPR.VC. 

“The events of recent weeks in the world, on both sides of the Atlantic, make this film as very much a part of a contemporary zeitgeist that is here to stay for a while,” says producer (and deputy chair of the European Film Academy), Mike Downey, “in brief, is a very funny take on the contemporary idea of Fake News!  This a subject that is going to run and run.”

Rudolph Herzog (director) is an award-winning director, producer and writer. RTS Award-nominated The Paedophile Next Door for Channel 4, is BBC/ARD documentary on humour in Hitler's Third Reich sold widely internationally and his book Dead Funny on the same subject was named a book of the year by THE ATLANTIC. He directed The Heist for channel Four and in 2014, a documentary based on his book A Short History of Nuclear Folly was broadcast in Europe. He helmed a National Geographic special on the mysterious death of polar explorer Roald Amundsen and The Agent on the double agent Werner Stiller who escaped East Germany and became a millionaire at Goldman Sachs. His latest best seller, Teruggestalten, has been picked up by Philipp Kreuzer’s Maze Pictures (The Happy Prince) for production.  He is the son of legendary German director Werner Herzog.

Written by Tim Price (Dr. Who; Secret Diary of a Call Girl) whose National Theatre sell-out production Occupy starred Rhys Ifans and whose The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning won the prestigious James Tait Black prize for drama) he has brought to life an idea by Raid Sabbah which is co-produced in association with Georgia’s 20 Steps Productions, and co-funded by Georgian National Film Centre and the tax credit scheme of Enterprise Georgia.

Other cast includes today include Daryl McCormack (Vikings) soon to be seen in Michael Grandage’s Lieutenant of Inishmore, Ali Cook (Lost in Karastan/Mr Selfridge), Volker Michalowski (Inglorious Basterds) and Samuel Vargu (Pit Stop Mafia/Elvis Walks Home.)

How To Fake a War is a Downey/Taylor production for Film and Music Entertainment (IRE) in co-production with 20 Steps Production and in association with Quickfire Films, Bankside Films, IPR.VC fund and the Georgian National Film Centre.  Developed in association with Creative England, Film and Music Entertainment (UK), and Kinomedia.  The film is produced by Sam Taylor and Mike Downey, co-producers are Vladimer Katcharava and Radoslaw Drabik and executive producers are James Atherton, Jan Pace, James Bierman and Aleksi Bardy.

The film is shot by legendary German lenser Peter Zeitlinger whose work with Herzog senior has included, Grizzly Man, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Rescue Dawn and Cave of Forgotten Dreams as well as Nicole Kidman starrer Queen of the Desert.  The film will be edited by Anne Sopel whose most recent work includes Whisky Galore as well as Mr Selfridge and The White Princess.

Filmed on location in in Georgia and Dublin, casting is handled in the UK by Vicky Wildman. Production services in Georgia have been supplied by Caucasian Film Service, post production services and investment will come from Dublin-based Windmill Lane, where the complete edit and all post will take place.  Local accounting services supplied by Grant Thornton and legal services on behalf of the producers by Mathesons.

Being a kid, who of us dreamt to be a superhero?

Being admired, possesing super powers, flying, rescuing the world and … onself at the math lessons! 

We all dreamt to be unique, loved, popular.

So does Iga, 11 years old, who is, unfortunately, a quite average girl.

Her heroine is Agnes Dopierala, a superhero from the tv series. Iga enrolls herself to a casting, the winner will be a part of the famous tv show together with Agnes.

However world has different plans. Iga’s mother gets seriously ill, suffering from epilepsy. Visiting her at the hospital she meets Olek. They have the common goal, both want to travel to Berlin, where the casting takes place and where Olek’s rich father lives. Olek could see him for the first time ever and possibly get money for a difficult operation and Iga could win the casting. They both run away from Poland to Germany.

BeGood Film, Magdalena Rychła,  is producing, Ewa Martynkien, tv series and books author writes, Maria Sadowska, whose „The Art of Loving” was top 5 highest grossing films in 2017 in Poland, directs .

Female film – one’d say. Yes. At last.

Maria Sadowska, says one of the reasons  she picked the project is its feminine drive. „There’re rarely female child characters in the history of Polish cinema. At last „IGA” will be a  project girls could reffer to”. The female surrounding of the film came naturally and during the long proces. „We never assumpted to do the female project, but we ended up in a team of wonderful women professionals”. – says the producer.

We’re happy to have Maria Sadowska on board, who is not only talented writer/director and singer but also known from „Voice of Poland” show where she was one of the jurors. 

Being a young girl Marysia herself sang in a teenage program at the Polish national television, we’re sure the generation of todays thirty and forty- year- olds still remebers it. „We’re sure many girls watched it and dreamt to be like Marysia.”- Magda Rychła, the producer adds.

Not only the plot makes this film a family project but the whole story around it.

The project has already received the funding for development and participated at Warsaw Kids Forum. Polish Film Institute since 2016 opened a special call for the production of the kids content and that definitely helped financing family/children movies. Producers will attend Riga IFF and Cinekid in Amsterdam in search for partners. The production is scheduled for 2020 and release 2021.

The casting proces will be open and start early next year.

Production company:

BeGood Films

Magdalena Rychła

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Visegrad Animation Forum (VAF) has been the largest platform for the animation industry in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the course of its six-year existence, it has managed to build a strong base of film professionals and welcome over 150 participants from all over Europe in Třeboň every year. The Central and Eastern European region operates on very similar historical, artistic and economic fundaments. That's why it is the organisers' ambition to broaden the platform by including other countries, increase the range of activities, and umbrella all of that under the new CEE Animation brand.

CEE Animation Forum
formerly known as VAF Třeboň

From 6th to 9th May 2019, a traditional pitching competition of animation projects will be held in three categories: short film, series / TV special or feature film. Selected authors will have a unique opportunity to consult projects with invited experts, get valuable feedback and advice on how to improve their presentation, script, or production strategy. Competition participants can secure a chance to find a co-production partner by presenting it in front of more than one hundred film professionals - including producers, TV programmers, festival directors, distributors, investors or representatives of national film funds. They all come to Třeboň to meet new creativity, discuss new visions and opportunities or talk about financing methods and strategies for further development of the field. During those three days, great emphasis is placed on networking in the form of 1: 1 meetings or short presentations of countries and studios. The Forum is organised in collaboration with Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films.

Sign up your project by filling in the online form by 13th January 2019 the latest.

For detailed rules of the competition, go HERE.

CEE Animation Workshop

This year CEE Animation is offering a new opportunity to film professionals: a training programme designed to develop projects and create production networks. The goal is to provide participants with training in the field of development, from the work on script to artistic and production counselling. Particular attention will be paid to the conditions of production in the countries of this region. The CEE Animation Workshop is divided into three six-day modules. The first one will focus on development (Ljubljana, December 2018), the second on production and financing (Budapest, March 2019) and the third one on market access. The last module will take place before the CEE Animation Forum in Třeboň.

CEE Animation Talents
formerly known as VAF New Talents

Every year, animation of the Central and Eastern Europe region brings young gifted creators to global cinematography. It is precisely for these debutants that the CEE Animation Talents selection is made each year to promote exceptional short films at leading animation markets, festivals or with foreign producers. This way, successful titles such as Happy End (Jan Saska, CZ), Farewell (Leon Vidmar, SI), Volcano Island (Anna Katalin Lovrity, HU), Cowboyland (Dávid Štumpf, SK) or The Fruits of Clouds (Kateřina Karhánková, CZ) have appeared in the programmes of European festivals in recent years.

CEE Animation

The joint effort of the CEE Animation platform is to improve the interconnection of Central and Eastern European countries, establish an effective communication network among all players in the animation industry and create suitable conditions for international co-productions. Another piece into the puzzle of success is opening up a discussion with public service televisions and film funds of the region. At present, it's the public service televisions that do not allow standard co-production of new TV series. The set of measures and the design of the strategy for future years are being prepared within a comprehensive document called "Ljubljana Accord", a response to the European Animation Plan. Publication of the text is expected at the end of 2019.

After winning the Latvian National Film Award “Lielais Kristaps” for the Best Feature just yesterday, the compelling family drama BILLE (dir. Ināra Kolmane), a co-production of Film Studio DEVIŅI (Latvia), Masterfilm and Magiclab (Czech Republic), and Studio 2 (Lithuania) is getting ready for its international premiere on November 27 as part of the Baltic Film Competition of the international Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

Having outplayed Hollywood blockbusters after its first weeks in Latvian cinemas and earned nothing but praises from 50 000 viewers so far, family drama “Bille” is ready to hit the screens worldwide. The international premiere on November 27 is a highly anticipated event and it is important to know that the title is up for grabs as the search for the international distributor is still ongoing.

BILLE is a bestselling autobiographical novel reborn as a feature. Its screenplay is based on the first novel of trilogy “Bille” by the famous Latvian author Vizma Belševica, a winner of Tomas Tranströmer Award and candidate for the Nobel Prize. The remarkable success of her autobiographical novel “Bille” in Latvia, Sweden and beyond was the cause of the author being considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Swedish population listing her as a very likely winner. BILLE is a poignant yet very inspiring story. Confronted by the contradictory and confusing adult world and her nervous mother's contempt for her, Bille tries to find an escape in her vivid imagination and look for the Wonderland. Growing up in the late 1930s poor working class family, she has many struggles ahead of her but eventually she finds the right way and proves that dreams may come true. Despite being set in 1930s, the issues addressed in this feature are still relevant nowadays. Through masterful camerawork and intelligent directing technique, the spectator is able to enter the mind of a child and see the world through the innocent child’s eyes. Light (natural and VFX-created) serves as a narrative device that highlights the most transformative moments in life of the protagonist who eventually finds the light in the end of the tunnel full of disappointments and illusions.

Furthermore, BILLE is a story about women made by women. Mother-daughter relationships are very individual yet very relatable for everyone. The first viewers claimed they saw their own childhood episodes flash before their eyes while watching this movie. The touching story is brought to life by the world-renowned director Ināra Kolmane projecting sorrows and excitement of childhood to the big screen in a visually powerful manner. Filmed in the actual apartment the author spent her childhood in, the viewer is teleported back to 1930s and learns about her life in the most authentic way possible. The first-time actress Rūta Kronberga delivers an unforgettable experience admired by numerous experts and screenplay consultants while the experienced actresses in roles of Bille’s Mother and Grandmother form a gritty background fueling the narrative. We can confidently say BILLE falls within the category of modern cinema that contain engaging storyline, detailed and sensitive filmmaking, a strong child lead and a diverse team of women in cast and crew.  

Apart from being selected by the top A class film festival in the region Tallinn Black Nights, BILLE has also won the Best Feature 2018 and earned eight nominations at the Latvian National Film Festival “Lielais Kristaps” (The Great Kristaps).

The core of the film crew consists of Screenplay Writers Evita Sniedze and Arvis Kolmanis, Director Ināra Kolmane, Director of Photography Jurģis Kmins, Producers Jānis Juhņēvičs, Marta Romanova-Jēkabsone, Co-producers Kestutis Petrulis, Arunas Stoskus, Michal Krecek, Dagmar Sedlackova, Executive Producer Marta Mannenbach and Associated Producer Andrea Shaffer, Editor Michal Lansky and Anna Johnson Ryndová, and Sound Director Arturas Pugaciauskas. The author of music is the internationally recognized composer Pēteris Vasks. The leading role of Bille is played by Rūta Kronberga, Elīna Vāne stars as Bille’s Mother; the role of Father is portrayed by Artūrs Skrastiņš while the role of Grandmother is mastered by Lolita Cauka.

The production was financed by the Culture Ministry of the Republic of Latvia, the National Film Center state programme “Latvian films for Latvia’s Centennial”, the Czech Film Fund and the National Film Centre of Lithuania and is dedicated to the Centenary of the Republic of Latvia this year. The local distributor of the film is Forum Cinemas/Uz Kino in Latvia.

Contact person:
Marta Mannenbach
Executive Producer
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+1 415-574-0082

“IRINA” triumphed on the stage of three important international film festivals last week.

The film was included in the 25th Minsk Film Festival main competition. The screening was a huge success, making the film one of the favourites’ for the audience award.

IRINA” received the Grand Prix Golden Owl for Best feature film at the 16th  Tirana Film Festival. The Jury motivation emphasized on the “strong story about survival in unpleasant surroundings through female character that shows how we can forgive and find the hope at the end”. The throfy was presented to producer of the film Stefan Kitanov.

The film also achieved success at the 28th Cottbus Film Festival in Germany and won two more awards - Best actress for Martina Apostolova and Best debut for the director Nadejda Koseva who both in person received the prizes.

“IRINA” tells a story of a young woman who lives in a small mining town. She needs to save her family from the poverty so her decision is to become a surrogate mother, carrying some strangers’ child for money. In time Irina will discover what means to love and to forgive…

Presented as a project at SOFIA MEETINGS, “IRINA” was developed with the support of MEDIA Programme of the EU, SEE Cinema Network, ScripTeast and the Bulgarian National Film Center. The film is an Art Fest Production, in co-production with Front Film, Doli Media Studio and Right Solutions, with the support of Bulgarian National Film Center.

The cast of “IRINA” includes Martina Apostolova, Hristo Ushev, Irini Jambonas, Kasiel Noah Asher, Alexander Kossev, Krassimir Dokov. The script was written by Svetoslav Ovcharov, Bojan Vuletic and Nadejda Koseva. DOP is Kiril Prodanov, art director - Ivelina Mineva, costume designer - Viktor Andreev, make-up artist - Petya Simeonova, editor - Nina Altaparmakova, music - Petar Dundakov, sound recordist and mixer - Momchil Bojkov. Co-producers - Svetla Tsotsorkova, Dobromir Chochov, Todor G. Todorov. Producer - Stefan Kitanov. International sales agent is the French company Alpha Violet. The international promotion is supported by “Mobility” Programme of the National Culture Fund, Bulgaria.