JIHLAVA: Seven documentaries with Balkan stories were presented at the Balkan Documentary Center’s pitching platform at the 22nd Jihlava IDFF, running through 30 October 2018 as part of the BDC Discoveries programme.
BDC Project manager Neda Milanova introduced the projects, which included teams that spanned Europe. All of the productions are in development and all are now seeking funding and potential coproduction partners.
Slovenia was represented by two productions, while Montenegro and Croatia partnered on a production about an Oscar-winning and later forgotten animation director.
From Sevnica to the White House, produced by Tanja Gruden for the Slovenian company AVI Film and directed by Jurij Gruden, is a comedic documentary set in the small home town of USA First Lady Melania Trump. The film, with a projected budget of 250,000 EUR, looks at the somewhat unrealistic hopes and plans of the locals, who want to build their future on Melania’s celebrity.
Vud, produced by Mareta Grginovic for Croatia’s Sekvenca Production with Montenegrin director Senad Sahmanovic, is the tale of Dusan Vukotic, the Montenegro-born director who was the first non-American to win the Oscar for best animated short film, in 1961, but was later banned from entering the Zagreb Film studios and died in relative obscurity in 1998. The film, with a projected budget of 200,000 EUR, received 10,000 EUR for development from the Montenegrin Ministry of Culture and 12,000 EUR for development from the Croatian Audiovisual Fund.
Slovenia was also represented by the international documentary project Red produced by Anja Vrdlovec of Staragara through Tramal Films, with Miha Mohoric directing along with four female co-directors. The project, which will consist of four 25-minute TV episodes and a full-length cinema version, looks at the topic of menstruation in four countries.
Bulgarian director Petya Hristova has teamed up with French producer F. Emmanuel Bastien of Manuproductions for her film Gold Rush. The 230,000 EUR production about fortune hunters looking for buried gold, will have both a broadcast and a festival version.
Flotacija is a Serbian/UK/Romanian project from director Eluned Zoe Aiano and producer Greta Rauleac for Wild Pear. The film, which will be produced in Serbia, takes a humorous look at a family claiming to be dragon hunters in an environmentally toxic town.
Max Milhahn, a Jihlava 2017 Emerging Producer from Germany, is partnering with Trieste-born director Otto Reuschel on Drajcici, a film set in a tiny village in Kosovo.
The final project, Landing, comes from Moldovan director Ksennia Ciuvaseva and German producer Natalia Imaz of Parabellum Film. The central character is the director’s father, who flies cargo routes on old Soviet planes, leaving the daughter to worry that one day he might not return.