Project selection started – Receptions in Karlovy Vary and Sarajevo – New award for postproduction

Berlin, July 1 2011-
November 3 and 4 will see the 13th edition of the East- West-Co-production market Connecting Cottbus in the context of FilmFestival Cottbus. 13 East European feature film productions will be presented with the goal of initiating co-productions between East and Western Europe. The market that has launched films such as MY JOY (Cannes 2010), TILVA ROSH (Sarajevo 2010), THE TRAP (Berlinale 2008) or PIGGIES (Karlovy Vary 2009) will also be a forum for discussions about current trends in the European film industry. 150 guests from East and Western Europe are expected for the event.

Since the beginning of 2011, Connecting Cottbus has a new director. Bernd Buder, who will leverage his intimate knowledge of the industry acquired as curator, festival scout, and film journalist with a focus on Eastern Europe, succeeded Gabriele Brunnenmeyer who had been the artistic director until 2010. "To take over from Gabriele Brunnenmeyer who developed Connecting Cottbus into a focal meeting point for the industry is an exciting challenge that I am looking very much forward to", says Buder.

Another new addition to the Connecting Cottbus team is Martina Bleis, who can look back on 15 years of working for various film festivals and has vast experiences especially regarding co-production markets.

Buder and Bleis intend to strengthen the program offerings of Connecting Cottbus this year, using panel discussions and workshops to more thoroughly discuss the structural and immediate challenges for European films in the market and lay the foundation for developing future market strategies. The core of the event will still be project pitches, opening on November 3 with the winner of the Special Pitch Awards 2010, the current project of Serbian director Oleg Novković. With his internationally successful feature WHITE, WHITE WORLD, pitched at Connecting Cottbus in 2007, Novković won the Grand Prize of the Jury at the FilmFestival Cottbus for the second time last year. The additional twelve projects will be selected in September by a jury consisting of eight members including Kirsten Niehuus (Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg), Susanne Schmitt (MEDIAAntenne Berlin-Brandenburg) and Franka Bauer (MDR television). The application deadline is July 15, 2011.

Internationally, Connecting Cottbus extends its outreach this year by participating in receptions at the festivals in Karlovy Vary and Sarajevo, organized in collaboration with the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the FilmFestival Cottbus.

Another first for the coming fall is the new "Post Pitch Award". The Berlinbased post production company "The Post Republic" is donating color correction services and the production of a DCP for a suitable project. The winner is chosen by a jury of three film professionals. "The Post Republic" will also run a workshop on processes and budgeting for digital film productions for participants in the pitch.

Connecting Cottbus takes place parallel to the 21st FilmFestival Cottbus - Festival of East European Cinema. The festival, which runs from 1st till 6th of November 2011, will show around 100 films from more than 30 countries, thus providing a unique overview of the current Central- and East European cinema scene. This year's Focus “Eastern Europe by Regions” concentrates on the regional diversity in our Eastern neighbouring countries, with particular emphasis on Poland and the Ukraine, who will be co-hosting the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. In parallel to Poland taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2011, an additional separate film series set in the context of the Weimarer Dreieck will investigate the cinematic cultural relationship between Poland, France and Germany. Because of its huge success, the previous year's Focus “globalEAST” now will constitute an independent section within the festival and continue its tracing of East European influences in cinema production around the world. The Retrospective titled “Location Lusatia” will present film locations in Brandenburg and thus will bring its landscape, people and mentalities to life and thereby raise awareness for these in others. Film Submission will be open till the 1st of August 2011.

Connecting Cottbus is supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and MDM/Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung. Connecting Cottbus is organized by pool production GmbH. The partners of Connecting Cottbus are MEDIA Antenne Berlin- Brandenburg, CineLink, EAVE, Moscow Business Square, the Nipkow

Programm Berlin and Sofia Meetings.


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