FNE IDF Doc Bloc: East Doc Launches 20 Doc Projects

    Project Market 2014 Project Market 2014 Photo by Eliska Sarkova

    The Institute of Documentary Film’s most important activity and the largest documentary industry event in the region, the East Doc Platform, drew over 300 film professionals to Prague to network, pitch, consult and offer upcoming documentary projects to international decision makers.

    The East Doc Platform Open programme open to the public offered lectures, case studies, screenings and masterclasses held by leading professionals including Paul Pauwels, Cynthia Lopez, Simone Baumann, Emma Davie, Terry Stevens, Sara Božanić, Florian Thalhofer, and Rada Šešić.

    The event, which was held in association with the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, presented 20 projects in development and production from documentary filmmakers from  Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Russia and Italy. Both the representatives of eight documentary projects selected for East European Forum and twelve participants of Ex Oriente Film who fine-tuned their projects during the previous year within this workshop, presented their work to an audience consisting of commissioning editors, sales agents, buyers and film fund representatives.

    The new programme, Doc Tank laboratory, brought together cross-media projects with an activist approach and a potential for social campaigns. Seven filmmakers trying to push the boundaries of the documentary genre and connect their films with a sophisticated campaign, mobile application, interactive map, and exhibition were invited  to consult their cross-media projects and introduce them to both professional and broad audience.

    The fifth edition of Project Market – two days of prearranged one-to-one meetings of the filmmakers with the commisioning editors, distributors, sales representatives, funders and festival programmers -- took place within East Doc Platform. For the first time, it was open not only to former participants of Institute of Documentary Film activities, but also to projects selected from an open call. A total of 400 meetings was arranged for 30 projects resulting in several promising cooperation, coproduction and distributional support offers. 

    After the public presentation of East European Forum, the international jury handed out awards to three projects from the pitching:

    The 2014 Golden Funnel winner and an award of 600 EUR went to is the project by Lithuanian directors Jurate Samulionyte and Vilma Samulionyte Liebe Tante, Guten Tag! produced by Ieva Norviliene (Tremora, www.tremora.com). This creative documentary with a premiere planned for April, 2015, tells the story of fatal decisions made under the uneasy conditions of the World War II, when the protagonist had to choose between the family bonds and love.  

    Director Alexandru Belc from Romania and his team, representing  the project  Cinema, Mon Amour, won the prize of an invitation to IDFA. Of the 400 cinemas that existed in Romania in the 1990’s, less than 30 are still active today. The faded glory of the cinematography is shown not only via the genius loci of the abandoned cinema buildings, but also through the stories of the former projectionists, technicians, hosts and other workers essential to every cinema. 

    The Docs Barcelona Award, which will enable the filmmakers to introduce their project on a pitching forum in Barcelona at the end of May, was given to Marius Iacob and Corina Gliga for the upcoming film The Wellness Process. This documentary, whose premiere is planned for the end of this year, introduces a time-honoured spa town in Romania, Baile Herculane, which definitely has seen better days of balneotherapy, and whose inhabitants are trying to revitalize the city and treat themselves.

    The Institute of Documentary Film has been supporting documentary films in the region for more than 13 years, which rates the organization among the oldest and most stable ones in the region. During its existence, over 180 documentary films have been developed, produced and successfully completed within IDF activities. In addition, almost 1,000 completed documentary films have been distributed internationally thanks to distributional support. These activities are here to help the filmmakers to keep calm and focus on their work, while IDF secures opportunities for international co-production and distribution. That is one of the reasons the motto of this year’s 2014 East Doc Platform was Keep Calm and Shoot.