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BRATISLAVA: Slovak director Iveta Grofova, whose debut feature film Made in Ash was selected as Slovakia 2012 Oscar candidate, will follow up with a fiction film cast with amateur actors and based on a prize winning book, Fifth Boat.

BRATISLAVA: The young Slovak production house MPhilms (www.mphilms.sk) is completing postproduction on its first feature film Fine, Thanks ahead of a 31 January 2013 premiere, while handling an ambitious and varied slate of three upcoming feature films.

COTTBUS: Hungarian producer Judit Stalter of Lakoon Film (www.lakoonfilm.com) and writer/director Attila Till are in development with Kills on Wheels, the first coproduction between Hungary and Denmark

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.