CEE films bow at Berlin: Hungarian Top Prize Winner Rolls into Berlin

    Czech director Jan Hřebejk's movie Kawasaki's Rose opens the Panorama section of the Berlinale (Feb. 11-21), with another six Czech films being presented at the European Film Market.

    Riding high after winning both the Main prize at the Hungarian Film Week and the coveted Gene Moskowitz international critics prize Bibliotheque Pascal a debut by Szabolcs Hajdu which will screen in the Berlin Forum and is already one of the most highly aniticipated films from CEE. The film is produced by Filmpartners (www.filmpartners.hu) and Katapult Film (www.katapultfilm.hu).

    In addition, the Czech-Slovak project My Dog, K iller from director Mira Fornay will be seeking potential partners at the coproduction market, and Czech Shooting Star 2010 Kryštof Hádek will be introduced to the international film industry and media.

    The Czech Film Center (CFC, www.filmcenter.cz) will represent Czech film and the country's film industry at this year's EFM with film institutions from Slovenia, Poland and Slovakia at a joint Central European Cinema stand.

    CFC's official partners at EFM are Barrandov Studio (www.barrandov.com), Zlín IFF (www.zlinfest.cz) and Karlovy Vary IFF (www.kviff.com).

    A total of seven Czech films, six of which premiered in Czech cinemas last year and J. Hřebejk's Shameless from the year before, will appear at the EFM, which is an integral part of Berlinale. Besides its official festival screening, Kawasaki's Rose will also be shown at the market (sales: Menemsha Films, U.S. www.menemshafilms.com). The others are: Protektor (sales: High Point Media Group, GB www.highpointfilms.co.uk), Milos Forman: What Doesn't Kill You... (represented by: Bio Illusion), Hell With Princess (represented by: Bio Illusion www.bioillusion.com), Foxes (sales: Film Europe, CZ www.filmeurope.eu), Twosome (sales: Film Europe, CZ) and Shameless (sales: Menemsha Films, US).

    Lithuania is represented by leading filmmaker Sharunas Bartas, who directs and appears in Eastern Drift, a French/Lithuanian/Russian coproduction which screens in the Forum. The film was produced by Lazennec (France), Studio Kinema (Lithuania, www.kinema.lt), and Kino Bez Granic (Russia). International sales are handled by Umedia (www.umedia.fr). Bartas will be in Berlin February 11-21. The press screening is Thursday. Feb. 11 at 19:00 in CinemaxX 5.

    Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu finds a spot in the Competition with Bal (Honey), a highly anticipated film from the director's trilogy. The Turkish/Greek coproduction features young Bora Atlas in the story of a small boy who stops speaking when his bee-keeper father disappears. The films's first screening is Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 9:00 am at the Berlinale Palast.