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RIGA: A total of 25 projects take part in the new edition of Baltic Sea Docs, the co-financing forum of international documentary projects held in Riga from 3 to 7 September 2019.


Deadlines for co-production projects and scripts for films, TV and drama series have been extended

The submissions are pouring in, but luckily we still have room for more! Appreciating the strong interest, we decided to prolong the deadlines for submitting projects for Co-Production Market and Script Pool Tallinn until the 10th of September.

Baltic Event Co-Production Market is a perfect opportunity to find financiers, co-producers and sales agents for a project during an intensive two days of pre-arranged one-on-one meetings. The event also presents the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award of 20 000 Euros. 

An international script competition Script Pool Tallinn invites talented scriptwriters (with producers attached) to submit scripts for film, TV or drama series. In addition, the competition aims to support the writers and the producers enhancing the script and maximizing its production and distribution potential. The main award of 5000 Euros, provided by our partner, one of the leading international sales & distribution companies Global Screen GmbH, is given to one of the five writer-producer teams invited to Tallinn. 

Read more


This week, from Sept. 3 – 8, the 23rd Baltic Sea Documentary Film Forum (Baltic Sea Docs), organized by the National Film Centre is taking place in Latvia. The Forum will give audiences on the ground in Riga, Cēsis, Valmiera, Rēzekne, Jēkabpils and Liepāja, as well as through the Straume LMT app, a chance to view an internationally-renowned film programme. At the same time, some 100 documentary film professionals from more than 20 countries will meet in Riga to work on developing film projects and to create new opportunities for collaboration.

The Forum Film Programme in Riga, Latvia’s Regions and on the Straume LMT App

The Forum will offer a high-quality documentary film programme in Riga film theatre K.Suns and in five regional cities in Latvia. A selection of three films will be screened in Cēsis (Vidzeme concert hall Cēsis), Jēkabpils (Jēkabpils hall Kino mītne), Liepāja (film theatre Balle), Rēzekne (Latgale embassy Gors) and Valmiera (film theatre Gaisma).

Film descriptions: http://nkc.gov.lv/bsd/baltijas-juras-dokumentalo-filmu-foruma-filmu-programma/

The films will be screened in their original language with translation in Latvian and English. Admission will be free for school children, students, pensioners and film professionals upon showing documentation and picking up free film passes in theatre box offices ahead of time. Ticket sales for screenings in Riga at: www.bezrindas.lv

BSD Riga screenings: http://nkc.gov.lv/bsd/baltijas-juras-dokumentalo-filmu-foruma-seansu-plans-riga/

BSD regional screenings: http://nkc.gov.lv/bsd/baltijas-juras-dokumentalo-filmu-foruma-seansu-plans-regionos/

In co-operation with the Straume LMT app, Baltic Sea Documentary Film Forum viewers throughout Latvia will be able to watch two of the most popular films from previous years. 

Baltic Sea Docs films on the Straume LMT app: http://straume.lmt.lv/lv/video-saraksts/dok-forums 

Special Forum Events

Tuesday, September 3, 18:30 – Forum opening at film theatre K. Suns. Prior to the film The Greenaway Alphabet (2017, Netherlands, dir. Saskia Boddeke) film theoretician Dita Rietuma together with film theoretician Viktors Freibergs will help familiarize viewers with the world of legendary film director Peter Greenaway. 

Wednesday, September 4, 18:00 – film theatre K. Suns. Screening of Finnish director Reetta Huhtanen’s film Gods Of Molenbeek (2019, Finland, Belgium, Germany) – a touching portrait of two boys growing up in a multi-cultural environment in Brussels that challenges the biases of adults on limits imposed by political and religious systems. After the screening, Riga International Film Festival programme curator, film critic Kristīne Simsone will hold a talk with director R. Huhtanen.

Thursday, September 5, 18:00 – film theatre K.Suns. Screening of North Macedonian film Honeyland (2019, dir. Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska). The pictorially-opulent story of a virgin mountain landscape and ascetic beekeeper Hatidze has gained international audience and film professional recognition, receiving a string of awards in prestigious festivals. After the screening, viewers will have the chance to delve into the film’s valuable message – journalist Elīna Kolāte will talk to outstanding Latvian cinematographer Gints Bērziņs, well-known organic beekeeping specialist Andrejs Briedis, and biology professor, insect scientist Voldemārs Spuņģis.

Thursday, September 5, 21:00 – film theatre K.Suns. Hungarian director Bernadeta Tuza-Ritter’s virtuoso documentary exploration of modern-day slavery in Europe – A Woman Captured (89 min, 2017, Hungary, Germany). After the screening – meet in person with the film’s director.

Forum Industry Events

Within the framework of the 23rd Baltic Sea Documentary Film Forum, 25 developing film project participants (producers and directors) from more than 20 countries – some 100 documentary film professionals in all – will meet in Riga this year. Joining them will be 19 international TV programme creators and film distributors, among whom will be experts from well-known organizations such as Al Jazeera, BBC, Current Time TV, IDFA Bertha Fund, MDR, CAT&Docs and others, representing not only a wide spectrum of European countries, but also the USA, Canada, Japan and Qatar. Also, for the first time in Forum history, in cooperation with the Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, BB Post House and film editing expert Phil Jandaly (Sweden), three awards will be presented.

This year’s Forum will also feature four emerging films from Latvia: director Kaspars Goba’s Price of Meat (Ruska Art Foundation), Ivars Zviedris’ Prison Unlocked (Ego Media), Riga Palace from director Armands Začs (SKUBA Films), as well as Italy-Argentina co-production Tango of Life from directors Erika Lifredo and Krista Burāne (VFS Films, B&B Film, Nativa Conenidos).

See here for a full list of participating projects: http://balticseadocs.lv/industry/selected-projects-2019/

Wednesday, September 4 a seminar on film distribution at Monika Centrum Hotel (Elizabetes ielā 21) – all those interested are welcome, free admission (in English). Danish producer Ove Rishøj Jensen will discuss strategies for reaching new viewers, film marketing campaign tendencies and defining target audiences. Aleksandar Govedarica, head of well-known Canadian distribution company Syndicado, in a discussion with producer/director Gints Grūbe, will reveal the most topical distribution challenges and possible solutions.

The Forum is organized by the National Film Centre. Financial support for events by EU audio-visual sector programme Creative Europe/MEDIA, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the Riga City Council.

More information:

http://balticseadocs.lv/  www.nkc.gov.lv/bsd



Antoneta Kastrati´s feature film debut ZANA has been selected for this year's Discovery section at Toronto International Film Festival. 

It was developed at MIDPOINT Feature Launch in 2017. 

Writer and director Antoneta Kastrati and producer Casey Cooper Johnson(Crossing Bridges Films), who attended our Feature Launch program, recount their experience: 
With our first feature, there’s such a big learning curve to overcome and the stakes feel so high. Feature Launch was essential in helping us get our script ready to shoot. The guidance we got on our script was geared toward helping us figure out what story we wanted to tell and then helping us find our way through to that goal. In addition, it was a great place to network and meet not only talented fellow filmmakers and expert advisers but also potential collaborators and partners for our movie."

In 2017, the project was awarded the MIDPOINT Development Award (8. 000 EUR) for the best project and also won the opportunity to be presented at connecting cottbus co-production market. 
Moreover, Antoneta attended our special MIDPOINT Editing Room program for projects in rough-cut stage designed to continuously help MIDPOINT graduates. 

Read more about ZANA´s journey at MIDPOINT here. 

“Haunted by her long-suppressed past and pressured by family to seek treatment from mystical healers for her infertility, a Kosovar woman struggles to reconcile the expectations of motherhood with a legacy of wartime brutality, in documentarian Antoneta Kastrati’s deeply personal feature debut.” 

Toronto International Film Festival / Discovery 
Kosovo, Albania, 2019, 97 minutes

September 7 / TIFF Bell Lightbox / 21.30 
September 9 / TIFF Bell Lightbox / 22:00 
September 11 / TIFF Bell Lightbox / 21.30 

MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2020 is open for applications till September 13, 2019! 

Check the program here and start your own journey with us!


Minos Nikolakakis´ feature debut ENTWINED will also premiere in Toronto International Film Festival´s Discovery section. 
The project was developed within MIDPOINT program in 2013

Writer and director Minos Nikolakakis says about the MIDPOINT experience: 
The MIDPOINT sessions helped me considerably to craft the screenplay in a more audience oriented direction, and reshuffle the structure in order for the pace of the film and the story to be one step ahead of the audience, hence maintaining the mystery and tension. It also helped me to balance the supernatural and realistic element in order to have the perfect blend of a 'grounded' mythical story, something that feels like it could happen to you or me in the real world.” 

“City doctor Panos relocates to a remote village in order to offer his services to the community. It’s love at first sight when he sets eyes on Danae, who lives in isolation, with a rare condition that causes her skin to resemble tree bark. Determined to cure her, Panos will soon discover Danae is not the helpless princess he thought she was and time is of the essence for both of them.” 

Toronto International Film Festival / Discovery 
Greece 2019, 89 minutes 

September 8 / Scotiabank Theatre / 18:15 
September 10 / Scotiabank Theatre / 17:15 
September 14 / Scotiabank Theatre / 17:45

MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2017 was realized with the support of Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Czech Film Fund, International Visegrad Fund, and Macedonian Film Agency. It was presented in cooperation with Audiovisual Producers' Association (APA), Creative Europe Desk CZ/MEDIA, connecting cottbus and CineMart. 
MIDPOINT 2013 was realized with the support of MEDIA Programme, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Slovak Audiovisual Fund and International Visegrad Fund. 
MIDPOINT operates under the auspices of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague


CONSTANȚA: Back 2 Back directed by Kader Ayd is currently shooting in Constanța, on the Black Sea coast. According to Romanian media, this action film is an original Netflix production. This the first film produced by founder of the Superkombat Fight Championship Eduard Irimia through Superfilm, a company he established together with Moshe Diamant and Christopher Milburn in 2018.

TIMIȘOARA: Romanian minority coproduction Donbass directed by Sergei Loznitsa was awarded the Grand Prix of the 9th edition of the Timișoara Central European Film Festival, running from 28 August to 1 September 2019.

TBILISI: Georgian director Nika Tsiklauri is in postproduction with The Other Neighbors, an observational documentary filmed in the capital of Georgia and commissioned by The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) for non-commercial use.

WARSAW: Paweł Pawlikowski's Cold War is among the 12 films nominated for the EFA People’s Choice Award. The vote has started and film fans can win a trip to the 32nd European Film Awards in Berlin on 7 December 2019.

Czech Film Center is heading to the Toronto International Film Festival 2019. We’ll be based at the EFP Europe! Umbrella No. 24 at TIFF Industry Centre at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

If you would like to meet with us and get some information about Czech film industry, please come and say hello during the working hours of the Czech Film Center at the EFP Europe! Umbrella stand:

SAT 09/07 | 15:00 - 17:00
SUN 09/08 | 11:00 - 13:00
MON 09/09 | 13:30 - 15:30

Looking forward to meeting you!

Czech films at Toronto IFF 2019


Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovakia 2019 / 169 min
Directed by: Václav Marhoul
Produced by: Václav Marhoul / Silver Screen (CZ)
Co-produced by: Directory Films (UA), PubRes (SK), Czech Television (CZ), Radio and Television Slovakia (SK), Jaroslav & Milada Kučerovi (CZ), Innogy (CZ), Richard Kaucký (CZ)
Cast: Petr Kotlár, Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgaard, Udo Kier, Julian Sands, Barry Pepper, Jitka Čvančarová... (full list)

The film follows the journey of The Boy, entrusted by his persecuted parents to an elderly foster mother. The old woman soon dies and the Boy is on his own, wandering through the country-side, from village to farmhouse. As he struggles for survival, The Boy suffers through extraordinary brutality meted out by the ignorant, superstitious peasants and he witnesses the terrifying violence of the efficient, ruthless soldiers, both Russian and German.

When the war ends, The Boy has been changed, forever.


SCREENINGS (Press & Industry)
SUN 09/08 | 13:15 | Scotiabank Theatre
TUE 09/10 | 11:45 | Scotiabank Theatre

WED 09/11 | 21:30 | TIFF Bell Lightbox
FRI 09/13 | 17:00 | Scotiabank Theatre
SAT 09/14 | 21:00 | Scotiabank Theatre

Hengameh Panahi / Celluloid Dreams
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Charlotte Mickie / Celluloid Dreams
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François-Nicolas Descombes / Celluloid Dreams
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Pascale Ramonda
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Soho Hotel, 318 Wellington St W, #305


Czech Republic 2019 / 15 min
Directed by: Daria Kashcheeva
Produced by: Zuzana Roháčová / FAMU (CZ)
Co-produced by: MAUR film (CZ)
(full crew)

A girl was hurt as a child and keeps alive the memory of it. She lacked love and empathy from her father and now she is not able to share her feelings with him. She can’t get rid of the painful memories taking her back to when she brought home a little dead bird and her father didn’t support her. Sometimes it's too hard to open your feelings and share it with a close one. Sometimes it's too late. Let your painful memory fly away like a free little bird.


SCREENINGS (Press & Industry)
MON 09/09 | 09:15 | Scotiabank Theatre

SUN 09/08 | 18:30 | Scotiabank Theatre
SAT 09/14 | 18:30 | Scotiabank Theatr

Alexandra Hroncová / FAMU
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CZ 2019 / 120 min
Directed by: Ivan Zachariáš
Produced by: Tereza Polachová, Steve Matthews, Antony Root / HBO Europe

London, October 1989: Married couple Marie and Viktor, who defected from Czechoslovakia under dramatic circumstances 12 years ago, are on their way to Prague. Professional violinist Marie longs to see her family again, Viktor’s motives are less clear. But both anticipate that after the political turmoil in East Germany, Hungary and Poland the winds of change will soon  sweep across Czechoslovakia as well. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that the time hasn’t arrived yet. After an unexpected twist of events, Marie lies unconscious in a hospital, and Viktor has disappeared without a trace. Is he still alive, even? Marie, worried and distressed, ends up alone, in a country she doesn’t understand anymore, and which doesn’t understand her. Gradually she begins to discover that Viktor is still considered an enemy of the state by the communist regime and is caught between competing interests of not one, but several secret services.


SCREENING (Press & Industry)
THU 09/12 | 09:00 | Scotiabank Theatre

FRI 09/13 | 17:30 | TIFF Bell Lightbox



NL, LT, CZ 2019 / 135 min
Directed by: Sergei Loznitsa
Produced by: Sergei Loznitsa, Maria Baker-Choustova / Atoms & Void (NL)
Co-produced by: Studio Uljana Kim (LT), nutprodukce (CZ)

Unique, mostly unseen before, archive footage from March 1953, presents the funeral of Joseph Stalin as the culmination of the dictator’s personality cult. The news of Stalin’s death on March 5, 1953, shocked the entire Soviet Union. The burial ceremony was attended by tens of thousands of mourners. We observe every stage of the funeral spectacle, described by Pravda newspaper, as the Great Farewell, and receive an unprecedented access to the dramatic and absurd experience of life and death under Stalin’s reign. The film addresses the issue of Stalin’s personality cult as a form of terror-induced delusion. It gives an insight into the nature of the regime and its legacy, still haunting the contemporary world.

SCREENINGS (Press & Industry)
MON 09/09 | 14:45 | Scotiabank Theatre
FRI 09/13 | 15:00 | Scotiabank Theatre

FRI 09/13 | 18:15 | Jackman Hall (AGO)
SAT 09/14 | 12:00 | Jackman Hall (AGO)
SUN 09/15 | 17:30 | Jackman Hall (AGO)

Czechs also participated on another two film that will premiere at TIFF 2019.

Taika Watiti's anti-war satire Jojo Rabbit (World Premiere in Special Presentations), starring Scarlett Johansson and Acadamey Award winner Sam Rockwell, was shot in the Czech Republic in 2018 and was backed by the production incentives programme of the Czech Film Fund with EUR 1,370,498.

In addition, Mahnaz Mohammadi's Iranian drama Son-Mother (World Premiere inDiscovery) was post-produced in the Czech Republic.

CZECH FILM / Fall 2019

In the fall issue of CZECH FILM, we speak with director, scriptwriter and producer Václav Marhoul about his long-awaited feature, The Painted Bird, selected for the main competition of the Venice FF. We also focus on other Czech films in Venice's Official Selection: SH_T HAPPENS and Extase. Then we introduce Petr Zelenka’s new film, a contemporary drama The Pilot, which is currently in production. And we also look at the world-wide success of animated short Daughter.

Czech Film Center operates as a division of the Czech Film Fund

It is obvious what Baltic Wave audiences love best

Now we know what Baltic Wave audiences love best

Baltic Wave audiences have decided on their favorites

Baltic Wave audience made their favorites clear

The traditional international Baltic Wave film festival in Neringa dedicated to promotion of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian films ended on Thursday.

For a second summer in the row, the audiences were invited to vote for the films they liked best. This year documentary Acid Forest (dir. Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė) received the most votes and received Vėtrungė (eng. weathervane) prize founded by Neringa Municipality Council. In the centre of director’s attention – an observation area in Juodkrantė for the breeding grounds of cormorants, to which people flood to observe the dead forest. In the meantime, the people are observed by thousands of birds. The film premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival, and the creator was awarded First Feature Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award. At the Zinebi International Festival of Documentary and Short Film in Spain, the film received the main prize for a full-length debut. Acid Forest was shown at the international film festivals in Italy, Iceland, Greece, Czech Republic, Latvia, Georgia, Germany, Finland, Estonia, various states in the USA, Australia, etc.

Two Lithuanian Filmmakers Union diplomas and prizes will be awarded to another two films that gathered many votes from the audiences  - feature film Summer Survivors directed by Marija Kavtaradzė and a new documentary Animus animalis (A Story about People, Animals and Things) directed by Aistė Žegulytė which will begin its journey in cinemas from 13th September this year.

The directors will receive their prizes in Vilnius, at the opening of the Lithuanian Filmmakers Union Film Club, in the middle of September at the beginning of the film cycle Echoes of the Baltic Wave. The cycle will be begun by a poetic documentary programme Tiny Masterpieces which garnered much interest and compliments in this year’s festival.

From 25th to 29th August, 26 documentary and feature films of varying lengths from all three Baltic states were shown at the Baltic Wave festival; two short films Two of Us dir. Elena Kairytė and Last Day of School dir. Gabrielė Urbonaitė premiered at the festival.

For a decade the festival took place in Nida, but this year due to closing down of the “Agila” centre building, for the first time it took place in Juodkrantė, a couple of sessions took place at Nida community house.

“The atmosphere of Juodkrantė perfecly matched the spirit of our festival. We rejoice, that we were welcomed here, we could share information about new projects with our festival guests from Latvia, Estonia, as well as our impressions about are collaborative creative projects, the number of which is increasing. We hope to continue the Baltic Wave film festival traditions in Nida and in Juodkrantė in the future“, - spoke the director of the Lithuanian Filmmakers union, producer Ieva Norvilienė.

The organisers of the festival - Lithuanian Filmmakers union, Nida culture and tourism centre Agila, the main sponsors of the festival – Lithuanian Film Centre, Lithuanian Council for Culture, Neriga Municipality Council, Liudvikas Rėza Culture Centre, Švyturys, Rokiškio sūris, “Ąžuolynas“ holiday home.