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PLZEN: The MIDPOINT script development programme is expanding and rebranding during its sixth year in operation. The addition of a TV series development programme saw a tripling of applications in 2016.

PRAGUE: The focus was squarely on increasing audiences for European films at the 19th Europa Cinemas Network Conference in Prague 27-29 November 2015.

PRAGUE: In the spirit of “the show must go on,” on 18 November 2015 the French ambassador to the Czech Republic opened the 18th Festival of French Film with a moment of silence for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

BRATISLAVA: The Colombian film Land and Shade directed by Cesar Augusto Acevedo won the Best Film and the FIPRESCI prizes at the 17th Bratislava IFF closing ceremony on 16 November 2015.

COTTBUS: In the heart of the only remaining Slavic region of Germany lies Cottbus, where for 25 years the Cottbus Film Festival has been keeping its Soviet-era ties alive, much as the city holds on to its Slavic past. This year, after forays into the concept of a “global East,” the festival returned to its Central European roots, with a bevy of award-winners that reflected both the cinematic diversity and the growing cooperation throughout the region.

COTTBUS: Eighteen emerging documentary filmmakers create an omnibus film that presents a story of everyday life in Baku in Baku from Dawn Till Dusk, a coproduction from Azerbaijan and Poland premiering at the Cottbus Film Festival which concluded on 8 November 2015.

SAN SEBASTIAN: Family Film from the Czech Republic, Thirst from Bulgaria, and One of Us from Austria will compete for the Kutxabank-New Directors Award and a prize of 50,000 EUR at the 63rd San Sebastian IFF running 18-26 September 2015.

TALLINN: Estonian writer/director Anu Aun is working on The Polar Boy, the tale of a talented and promising young photographer who fakes bipolar disorder in order to avoid a prison sentence and discovers he must leave his destructive girlfriend.

TALLLINN: Latvian director Janis Nords is writing Survivalist, a drama of a schoolmaster who fakes his own death to escape mounting personal and financial pressures.

BRATISLAVA: Slovak writer/director Martin Repka is completing the third draft of the Slovak/Czech film The Tatooist with cowriter Agda Bavi Pain as the film prepares to move into the financing phase in 2015.