Industry (at) Tallinn & Baltic Event - Works in Progress 2021 selection revealed

     Works in Progress screenings take place in Tallinn Coca-Cola cinema hall as well as online Works in Progress screenings take place in Tallinn Coca-Cola cinema hall as well as online photo: POFF

    Altogether 19 films in production or post-production, looking for sales agents or festivals for international premiers, will be presented at three Works In Progress showcases during Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event in 2021. The films include new projects from award-winning directors as well as debuts from different genres.

    The projects taking part in Works in Progress will be presented on 23-24 November 2021 at Coca Cola Plaza cinema hall, the presentations can be followed on the industry.poff.ee website. 

    Baltic Event Works in Progress, taking place for the 19th time, will present eight projects.  According to Maria Ulfsak, the Programme Manager of Baltic Event Works in Progress, the selection gives an interesting overview of the region's current state of cinema. "We have veteran directors and debuts, comedies and historic dramas on difficult topics, so there are a lot of very different projects from different genres this year. But we are very proud of the fact that five out of eight films in the Baltic Event Works in Progress are directed by talented female directors," says Ulfsak.

    The Baltic Event Works in Progress includes three projects from Estonia this year - Triin Ruumet's Dark Paradise, Rain Rannu's Child Machine and Mart Kivastik's Stairway to Heaven. From Finland, there is Light Light Light - a new drama by Inari Niemi. Also, Latvia is represented with three projects this year - Sisters (a co-production with Italy) by Linda Olte, the historic drama Soviet Milk by Ināra Kolmane and a debut film by Elza Gauja - a road-movie Keep Smiling, Mom!. From Lithuania, the showcase includes Parade, a new dramedy by Titas Laucius that is produced by Klementina Remeikaite who's previous film Pilgrims just won Orizzonti prize in Venice.

    The 7th international Works in Progress includes six projects by award-winning directors. Georgia is represented with a co-production drama with Turkey and France, Beautiful Helen, directed by George Ovashvili. Bethlehem Light, a co-production by Czech Republic and United Kingdom, is directed by the Academy Award nominee Jan Sverak, whose works have turned into box office hits in his home territory. From Russia there is a drama Intensive Care, directed and written by Pyotr Todorovskiy, grandson of Pyotr Todorovsky, the grand old man of Russian film. Lithuania and the United States are presented with a co-production drama Solidarity, directed by Dustin Brown. Germany is represented by an absurd drama We Might as Well Be Dead, directed by Natalia Sinelnikova. Another debut comes from  Spain, drama Cork, a feature film debut by young writer-director Mikel Gurrea and produced by Lastor Media. The company’s record includes 10 000 km and Libertad which premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2021. The film, currently in post-production, has been awarded at the San Sebastian Film Festival and developed at Ikusmira Berriak, Sources2 and the Jerusalem Film Lab. 

    The jury of Baltic Event and international Works in Progress consisted of Charles Bin, partner and sales manager at Brussels based international sales company Best Friends Forever, Torsten Frehse CEO and buyer for Neue Visionen an independent films distributor from Germany and founder of  Pluto Film, a world sales and festival distribution company and Alena Shumakova, programmer for Cannes Directors' Fortnight.

    Works in Progress sponsor Asymmetric Studios will award the Asymmetric Studios Best Visual Effects Award to the best project in either Baltic Event or International Works in Progress showcase, as chosen by the jury. It will consist of a 5000 EUR cash prize, as well as up to 10,000 EUR of in-kind services from this leading international visual effects and 3D animation studio.

    Just Film Works in Progress focuses on children and youth film projects, with five projects competing for the award this year. Latvia is represented with BOOM! Directed by Marta Selecka and Andra Dorss. From Russia, the showcase includes Devka-Baba by Aglaya Nabatnikova and a co-production with Kazakhstan Summer Ends Soon directed by Yana Skopina. Italy is represented with the film Paula, directed by Florencia Wehbe. Argentina, Spain, France and Guatemala are represented with a co-production Felipe directed and written by Federico Schmukler. 

    The jury of Just Film Works in Progress will include Gloria Morano, Head of the Young Audiences Programme at the Luxembourg City Film Festival (Luxembourg), Joe Ursell, Curation Manager at Into Film (intofilm.org), the UK's national film education charity (UK) and  Alasdair Satchel, a film and theatre maker, film educationalist (Scotland). 

    The award-winner of Just Film Works in Progress receives a 1 000 EUR monetary prize to help the film gain visibility by covering promotion and publicity costs. Youth and Children’s Film Festival Just Film is the biggest sub-festival of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

    Titles taking part of Works in Progress Baltic Event showcase:

    1. Child Machine

    Country: Estonia
    Genre: science fiction
    Director: Rain Rannu
    Producer: Tõnu Hiielaid, Rain Rannu
    Production company: Tallifornia

    2. Dark Paradise

    Countries: Estonia, France
    Genre: drama
    Director: Triin Ruumet
    Producer: Elina Litvinova
    Co-producer: Jeremy Forni
    Production companies: Three Brothers, Chevaldextrois

    3. Keep Smiling, Mom!

    Country: LatviaGenre: road-movie, dramedy
    Director: Elza Gauja
    Producer: Andris Gauja, Elza Gauja, Marta Bite
    Production companies: Riverbed

    4. Light Light Light

    Country: Finland
    Genre: drama
    Director: Inari Niemi
    Producer: Oskari HuttuProduction company: Lucy Loves Drama Oy


    Country: Lithuania
    Genre: dramedy
    Director: Titas Laucius
    Producer: Klementina Remeikaite
    Production company: afterschool production

    6. Sisters

    Countries: Latvia, Italy
    Genre: drama, family
    Director: Linda Olte
    Producer: Matiss Kaza, Una Celma, Dace Siatkovska
    Co-producers: Thomas Menghin, Wilfried Gufler, Debora Nischler
    Production companies: Fenixfilm (LV), Albolina Film (ITA)

    7. Soviet Milk
    Country: Latvia
    Genre: drama
    Director: Ināra Kolmane
    Producer: Jānis Juhņēvičs, Marta Romanova-Jēkabsone
    Production companies: Film Studio DEVIŅI

    8. Stairway to Heaven

    Country: Estonia
    Genre: drama
    Director: Mart Kivastik
    Producer: Marju Lepp, Manfred Vainokivi
    Production company: Filmivabrik

    International Works in Progress selection:

    1. Beautiful Helen

    Countries: Georgia, Turkey, France
    Director: George Ovashvili
    Producer: George Ovashvili
    Co-producers: Mesut Ulutaş, Guillaume de Seille
    Production company: Wagonnet Films

    2. Bethlehem Light

    Countries: Czech Republic, United Kingdom
    Director: Jan Sverak
    Producer: Jan Sverak
    Co-producer: Eric Abraham
    Production companies: Biograf Jan Sverak, Portobello Productions, Czech Television

    3. Intensive Care

    Country: Russia
    Director: Pyotr Todorovskiy
    Producers: Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov
    Production company: 1-2-3 Production

    4. Solidarity

    Countries: United States, Lithuania
    Director: Dustin Brown
    Producers: Dustin Brown, Daniel Dreifuss
    Co-producers: Daniel Leighton, Kaiulani Bush, Mantas Valantiejus
    Production companies: Dustin Todd Films, Midnight Lantern Productions

    6. Cork

    Country: Spain
    Director: Mikel Gurrea
    Producers: Laura Rubirola, Sergi Moreno, Tono Folguera, Clàudia Maluenda, Xabi Berzosa
    Production companies: Lastor Media, Malmo Pictures, Irusoin

    6. We Might as Well Be Dead

    Country: Germany
    Director: Natalia Sinelnikova
    Producer: Julia Wagner
    Co-producer: Magdalena Wolff
    Production companies: HEARTWAKE Films, Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf

    Just Film Works in Progress titles:

    1. Boom!

    Countries: Latvia, Estonia
    Director: Marta Selecka / Andra Dorss
    Screenwriter: Lote Eglite
    Producer: Ugis Riekstins / Elina Zazerska
    Production companies: Picture house

    2. Devka-Baba

    Country: Russia
    Director: Aglaya Nabatnikova
    Screenwriter: Andrey Rubanov
    Producer: Victoria Lupik
    Production companies: Anniko Films

    3. Felipe

    Countries: Argentina, Spain, France and Guatemala
    Director: Federico Schmukler
    Screenwriter: Federico Schmukler
    Producer: Julieta Sánchez Sananez- Brujas Producciones
    Production companies: Potenza Producciones-Carlo D’ursi Fortunato. La casa de producción- Jayro Bustamante and Gustavo Matheu Paredes. Les film du volcán- Georges Renand.

    4. Paula

    Countries: Argentina, Italy
    Director: Florencia Wehbe
    Screenwriter: Florencia Wehbe, Daniela De Francesco     
    Producer: Fernanda Rocca, Claudio Esposito
    Production companies: Bombilla Cine (Argentina), The Piranesi Experience (Italy)

    5. Summer Ends Soon

    Countries: Russia, Kazakhstan
    Director: Yana Skopina
    Screenwriter: Yana Skopina, Rodion Golovan
    Producer: Ardak Kassymbek, Yerkezhan Maksut, Tamara Bogdanova
    Production companies: KINOKULT, UVENT Production

    Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event is the one-week summit for film and audiovisual industry professionals held during PÖFF, on November 19-26, 2021. This year’s summit, celebrating its 20th anniversary, takes place in Tallinn but is also mostly accessible online via industry.poff.ee. Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event will take a closer look at the United Kingdom film industry together with the British Film Institute (BFI) including British projects participating in industry programmes and a delegation of producers looking for networking opportunities, as well as presentations, masterclasses and panel discussions featuring British speakers. A side programme of UK films will also screen as part of the 25th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.