New CEE Projects Showcased at Young Horizons Industry 2023

    New CEE Projects Showcased at Young Horizons Industry 2023 photo by Michał Mroczkowski

    WARSAW: The pitching session hosted at the 7th edition of the Young Horizons Industry saw the presentation of 33 captivating international film projects. Notably, 14 of these projects emerged from Central Eastern European countries like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

    The 7th edition of the Young Horizons Industry co-production forum in Warsaw's Kinoteka ran 4 – 6 October 2023 as an industry part of the Young Horizons International Film Festival, featuring panel discussions, project pitches, and more for 300+ industry professionals.

    photo by Michał MroczkowskiDuring the recent pitching session, a remarkable array of 33 international film projects garnered attention from industry professionals and enthusiasts alike. Notably, 14 of these compelling proposals hailed from Central Eastern European countries including Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

    “We would like to congratulate all those presenting their projects for the high level and exceptional diversity of presented ideas for films and series for young audiences”, Maciej Jakubczyk, Department Director for Young Horizons and Young Horizons Festival Strategic Director told FNE.

    Among the presented projects was Alienation (Hungary) written and directed by Zoltán Nagy, an engaging 90-minute live-action film currently in development by Hungarian production company Filmfabriq. With a budget of 4.8 m EUR (28% confirmed), Alienation seamlessly blends science fiction elements with a captivating coming-of-age narrative, making it suitable for a diverse audience, from children and teenagers to young adults.

    One of Poland’s contributions was Being a pART, a 15-minute documentary designed for children aged 7-9, directed by Aleksandra Bielska. This innovative project aspires to combine documentary and comedy genres while exploring the artistic passion and dreams of 10-year-old Jędrzej. The planned budget is 20,000 EUR, and the director is looking for a production company.

    Another noteworthy Polish project is Crazy Inventions. Written and directed by Tomek Niedźwiedź, produced by Badi Badi, this animated series spans 52 episodes and targets children aged 7-9 and pre-teens. With an estimated budget of 2,561,012 EUR (10% confirmed funding), the show blends education, adventure and comedy. It stars 14-year-old vlogger Johnny, who humorously unravels the inner workings of everyday objects and inventions. The narrative is enriched with historical anecdotes and jokes, supported by co-financing from the Polish Film Institute.

    Polish company Under Ski Tower presented Doggy Brawl, a heartwarming 90-100 minute live-action film tailored for children aged 7-9, written by Klaudiusz Kuś and Andrzej Duda, and directed by Andrzej Duda. Combining elements of comedy, family, and adventure genres, this project carries an estimated budget of 2 m EUR (10% confirmed). Doggy Brawl narrates the friendship between Max Migdalek, a lonely boy, and 'Kosmyk,' a dog with the remarkable ability to transform into a human boy.

    photo by Michał MroczkowskiThe Czech Republic offers a compelling live-action film, Electric Wonder written by Barbora Chalupová. Produced by Helium Film, this family-oriented historical adventure unfolds with a budget of 3 m EUR (12.8% confirmed). The story follows Thaddeas, a resourceful orphan, as he collaborates with inventor Divisch to thwart lightning storm fires in an 18th-century village.

    The collaborative project Finding Home, an animated documentary series, engages multiple production companies - Animadocs (Bulgaria, USA) and Iliade Films (France), and it is written and directed by Maria Stanisheva. This initiative unveils 12 six-minute episodes, also available in a four 22-minute broadcast version. Targeting teenagers and young adults, Finding Home explores global climate refugee stories through emotive animation, shedding light on the impacts of climate change. The project has a budget of 960,000 EUR, with 11% already confirmed.

    Poland's The Grimmsons is an animated series written by Konrad K. Mrozik  produced by Laniakea Pictures and comprising 13 episodes, each with a 22-minute duration, spanning two seasons. Tailored for children aged 10-12, this fantasy-adventure chronicles the Grimmson family's quest to capture runaway fairytale creatures. Along the way, they tackle challenges, family conflicts, and formidable villains, all supported by a 20% confirmed budget from an estimated 4,625,000 EUR.

    Julian (Poland) written and directed by Laura Sonik, a 75-minute documentary by UNI-SOLO Studio, follows the coming-of-age and transitioning journey of Julian, a young trans man. While the estimated budget ranges from 120,000 to 150,000 EUR , no confirmed budget is available. The documentary captures Julian's transformation, self-discovery, and his quest for acceptance from his father.

    The Polish documentary A Layup directed by Olga Papacz, coproduced by Dynamo Film and the New Horizons Association, spotlights fifteen-year-old girls in the intense world of basketball National Team selection camps. This 20-minute film has a 17,000 EUR estimated budget, with 30% confirmed funding.

    For preschool audiences, Poland presented Mami Fatale and The Great Cookbook, a 70-minute animated culinary adventure by GS Animation and Grupa Smacznego. With 2.7% confirmed funding from the estimated 2,639,964 EUR budget, this whimsical tale follows Mami Fatale's quest to reclaim her cherished cookbook, stop the mischievous Doctor Von Klops, and restore her self-confidence.

    Patterns of Being (Poland) directed by Małgorzata Wabińska and produced by Entertain Pictures is an 82-minute and 52’ TV version creative documentary exploring the profound influence of childhood on adulthood. With a confirmed budget of 5% from an estimated 190,000 EUR, the film blends intimate narratives with insightful discussions led by scientists, psychologists and thinkers, offering interaction and a thought-provoking exploration of personal change.

    photo by Michał MroczkowskiFrom the Czech Republic, Princess Goldenhair is a live-action fairy tale directed by Jan Těšitel and produced by Three Brothers Production. With a 50% confirmed budget from an estimated 2 m EUR, the film narrates the courageous journey of royal esquire Georgie as he embarks on a perilous quest to rescue Princess Goldenhair, accompanied by devoted friends.

    Pucio, another project from Poland, written by Rafał Skarżycki, is an educational animated series produced by EGoFILM, sparking endless preschool adventures with a 66.5% confirmed budget from an estimated 264,356 EUR. Pucio, along with his family, embarks on delightful journeys that mirror real-life experiences, engaging young viewers in fun and educational escapades.

    Finally, Rainbow in Hell (Poland) written and directed by Tessa Moult-Milewska is an 85-minute animated adventure for children aged 7-12, produced by Animoon. Supported by a 15% confirmed budget from an estimated 2.2 m EUR, the film follows Rainbow and her melancholic brother Alek on a daring quest to Hell City to rescue their estranged father.

    For a full list of pitched projects check out the Young Horizons Industry catalogue and the full list of pitching winners can be found HERE.

    Young Horizons Industry is co-financed by: the Polish Film Institute, Creative Europe MEDIA sub-programme, the City of Warsaw and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Poland

    Sponsors: The Pack, Cinestash

    Partners: ORKA, FIXAFILM, Audiovisual Technology Center, No Problemo Music, Mazovia Warsaw Film Commission, Łódź Film Commission, Silesian Film Fund, Lower Silesia Film Centre (Wrocław Film Commission), Gdańsk Film Fund, Podkarpackie Film Commission, Polish Producers Alliance (KIPA), Polish Animation Producers Association (SPPA), Crew United, Kids REGIO, German Children’s Film Association (Förderverein Deutscher Kinderfilme.V), m:brane, CEEA Forum, Animarkt Stop Motion Forum, Animation Production Days, BrLab.

    Film New Europe is a media patron of the event.