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COTTBUS: Mellow Mud from debuting Latvian director Remars Vimba and producers Aija Berzina and Alise Gelze of Tasse Film (www.tasse.lv) emerged as one of the strongest contenders at the Connecting Cottbus pitching forum (www.connecting-cottbus.de), generating a full slate of meetings.

COTTBUS: Georgian director Rusudan Glurjidze and her coproducer Zurab Magalashvili of Cinetech Production (www.cinetech.ge) pitched a Cuacasus post-war drama, House of Others, at the 14th edition of Connecting Cottbus (www.connecting-cottbus.de).

BRATISLAVA: Slovak documentary producer Tomas Kaminsky tackled the controversial subject of minority issues in his first full-length film, The Gypsy Vote directed by Jaro Vojtek, while infusing it with liberal doses of the human comedy.

COTTBUS: A strong Polish presence at the 22nd Film Festival Cottbus (www.filmfestivalcottbus.de) was validated with three of the festival’s top awards, including the main best film award with a prize of 20,000 EUR for Women’s Day, going to Polish films at the closing night ceremony on 10 November 2012.

COTTBUS: Projects from Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Kyrgyzstan generated strong interest at the 14th edition of Connecting Cottbus, also known informally as CoCo (www.connecting-cottbus.de).

COTTBUS: Lost in Munich directedy by Petr Zelenka, the Czech film which won the 2011 Connecting Cottbus (www.connecting-cottbus.de) Best Pitch Award, is in preproduction for a June 2013 shoot.

COTTBUS: New film funding opportunities for filmmakers in Central and Eastern Europe are emerging across the region, including backing for minority coproductions which is crucial especially in smaller countries.

COTTBUS: Three Windows and a Hanging, the first project from Kosovo to be presented at Connecting Cottbus (www.connecting-cottbus.de), won the coco Best Pitch Award voted on by the attendees of the forum.

COTTBUS: Malta’s fledgling local film industry needs a dynamic professional to pull the small island country’s film production onto the world stage. Meet Pierre Ellul. Ellul is providing a short film for the European Film Academy’s awards taking place in Malta in December, when the country brings filmmakers from across Europe to see the Malta miracle first hand.

PRAGUE: The Czech National Film Archives will become the parent organization of the Czech Film Center (www.filmcenter.cz), the Czech MEDIA Desk (www.mediadesk.cz), and the Czech Film Commission (www.filmcommission.cz) as of 1 January 2013, assuring annual government funding for the individual institutions.