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FNE at Forum Regiofund 2017: Ten International Projects Selected for Pitching Forum Featured

2017-10-04

KATOWICE: Ten international projects with coproduction potential will be presented at a special pitching session held during the Forum Regiofund 2017, that will take place in Katowice 4-7 October 2017.

The pitching session will take place on 6 October 2017 with producers presenting their projects to international guests including producers, funding institutions, regional film funds, distributors and sales agents. The list of invited guests was completed with input from the participants of the pitching session, who voiced their coproduction needs. The session will be moderated by Karolina Lidin, a representative of the Nordisk Film&TV Fund. The films and TV series presented in Katowice come from Poland, Albania, Romania, Italy, Austria and the UK.\

Also on 5-6 October join FNE for the FNE CEI AV Innovation Days at International Co-Production Forum Regiofund. Click HERE for more information.


Projects for the Pitchings Forum:

A Film Odyssey (Poland)

The debut feature from Polish filmmaker Piotr Stasik follows Jeremy, a twelve-year-old who decides to reconstruct a pleograph, the pioneering device to record and play films. It was invented by a Pole, Kazimierz Prószyński, one year before the Lumière brothers patented the cinematograph. The idea of reconstructing the pleograph is supported by NASA, which will place the films recorded on the device in a time capsule sent into space. The film observes the subsequent stages and tasks conducted by Jeremy and his friends. The picture is a hybrid combining elements of narrative and documentary films with an art and science project.

"Same as with the invention of the light bulb or the radio, a couple of people from around the world, who were fascinated and inspired by the moving pictures, decided to try and construct a projector at the same time. Our story about the beginning of cinema starts in Poland, but leads trough France, Germany and USA to be finalised in the Universe, where our protagonist is sending his time capsule. The reconstruction of the first device to play movies will be a chance not only to time-travel but also to search for the traces of a genius inventor in different countries, which can result in co-production opportunities, " producer Maciej Kubicki told FNE.

The film is currently in development, with shooting planned for 2018 and completion set for the fall of 2019. A Film Odyssey is produced by the Polish company Telemark with a planned budget of 600,000 EUR and 59% of financing in place with 1.5 m PLN from the Polish Film Institute.

Production contact:

Telemark
http://www.telemark.com.pl/
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The Flesh (Poland)

A new project from Poland's acclaimed documentary filmmaker Marcin Koszałka follows Aneta, whom everyone recognises from a 2016 Grand Press Photo of her, a 33 year old journalist, bald, naked and with a cigarette dangling from a vibrant red mouth. Who was this striking, sick girl? In a Newsweek interview, she was blunt: “I have a very rare cancer, incurable, very much advanced. I’m dying”. Unlike other patients, she neither forces herself to have therapy nor seeks a magic cure. When the chemo brings pain, she halts it. “Quality of life is more important to me than quantity”, she says. Aneta’s life is an art. She believes it’s better to seek pleasure than live a life of tremendous suffering. This attracted the attention of Marcin Koszałka, one of Poland’s greatest filmmakers. Koszałka, who often works with controversial subjects such as sickness and death, is drawn to these themes as a form of therapy for his own death fixation. Not just another movie about cancer, this is an encounter between a director terrified of death and a subject who has come to terms with it.

„I got involved in this project directed by Marcin Koszałka, whose documentary films has always moved me with their uncompromising and direct style, because I find that the story of Aneta Żukowska and her approach to her illness, as well as her life, is inspiring and should be immortalised. We are planning to make this film as an international production, which will increase its distribution possibilities outside of Poland,” producer Marta Szarzyńska told FNE.

The project is currently in development, the film is produced by Marta Szarzyńska and her company Szarobiuro Production with a planned budget of 190,000 EUR and 26% already in place. The producers are looking for coproducers and contributors.

Contact during  Forum REGIOFUND:
Marta Szarzyńska
 +48 501 563 624
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Mediterranee/Nausicaa - the other Odyssey (Italy)

An animated TV series directed by Bepi Vigna follows Nausicaa, a young princess eager to travel the world. When she meets Ulisse, the girl becomes captivated by his stories of cyclops, wizards, mermaids and other fantastical beasts. Ulisse effortlessly seduces Nausica, but after stealing the princess’s heart he decides to leave her, driven by a desire to experience an adventure. To avoid seeing her daughter relive the difficult memories of a lost love, Queen Arete encourages the princess to go after the man of her dreams.

"I decided to produce this project because I think it can have a wide international interest. European and Mediterranean history is full of women who have changed their countries. With our work we want to remember and make it known to everyone," producer Massimo Casula told FNE.

The series is produced by the Italian company Zena Film with a planned budget of 650,000 EUR and 40% of financing already in place. Currently the producers are looking for coproducers and contributors.

Contact during Forum REGIOFUND:
Massimo Casula  
+393421262915
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Sirena/Hear the Whisper (Austria, Italy)

This surreal thriller directed by Giorgio Borgazzi follows Paul, who is looking for an inspiration for his graphic novel and visits his newfound love, Gaia, on the island where she used to go on holiday as a child. There, he meets an eccentric old man and becomes entranced by his stories. As the island starts to unveil its disturbing secrets and Paul is unsettled by the appearance of a mysterious girl, Gaia disappears. Drawn into a maelstrom of emotions, the protagonist experiences a blurring of the line between his perception of the reality and the state of delirium.

The film is produced by Angelo D'Agostino and his company Penny Lane Film in coproduction with Topanga Film and Zena Film with a planned budget of 650,000 EUR. "Sirena will be shot in English and presented abroad. A refined, arthouse film, rich with suspense and possessing all the elements necessary to satisfy international tastes and promote Italian and Sardinian culture throughout the world, thanks to its combination of the intoxicating beauty of the Mediterranean, its literary merit and its themes of history and myth. Phoenix Worldwide Entertainment, a sales agency specialising in the sale of independent genre and feature films, has compiled estimates predicting sales in various territories, which could range from $382,000 to $1,280,000 (worst- and best-case scenario) without taking into consideration a cast of known actors. Phoenix estimates are usually 90% accurate and the final figure may vary depending on the final cast," the producers informed FNE.

The producers have 30% of financing in place and are looking for coproducers and sales agents.

Contact during Forum REGIOFUND:
Producer, Fabrizio Bozzetti,
+39 3282811818  
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Squeek / Mice On Strike - working title (Poland)

The new animated adventure/comedy feature is set in an underground mouse city, Squeek, ruled by a despot named Uncle Julius, who has created a perfect totalitarian system. The 12-year-old girl Maya is about to spend her lifetime like every other citizen: building mysterious Machinery, a key project of the tyrant. A forbidden visit to the outside world and a friendship with Alek will start the transformation of Maya, leading her to nailing Julius, and to showing the citizens of Squeek what solidarity and freedom are.

“We believe it’s a super important story to tell to kids not only in Poland but all over the world. Inspiration comes from Polish history and the strikes in Gdansk’s shipyard in 1980. This peaceful resistant led us into freedom and is such an inspiration even today. The story of mice has huge international distribution potential. We have great feedback from international markets so far, sales agent and some potential partners,” producer Robert Jaszczurowski told FNE.

The film is the first feature for director Lukasz Kacprowicz, who’s responsible for the hit Polish animated series for children MAMI FATALE. This is the first animated feature project from animation studio Grupa Smacznego / GS Animation.TV. The film is in development with the budget estimated at 2.5 m EUR. Release is planned for the second half of 2020.

The producers are looking for coproducers and artistic contributors.

Contact during Forum REGIOFUND:
Robert Jaszczurowski - producer
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+48 660 747 226

The Anselins (Romania)

A new thriller drama directed by Dan Radu Mihai follows Bogdana, a cool, composed and determined woman, who wants to avenge her sister’s death. The woman suffered from a terminal sickness but tried to find a cure, thus getting involved with a certain spiritual leader. Unfortunately, following his advice and recommended lifestyle did not alter her state. Bogdana joins a group of six who translate the book written by the spiritual leader. The protagonist wants to expose him as a fraud and fake healer.

"It is a story with many layers, always leading you on unexpected paths, discovering new depths in the characters’ lives and personalities. The Anselins is a labyrinth. In our race to create stories that can speak for large communities we forgot the language of individuals that can speak for each one of us. The Anselins is not a film with easy answers but is a story that takes you from drama to thriller, and keeps you there for the next round.  It’s a film that can speak any language and is not limited to a specific moment in time," producer Ana Maria Pirvan told FNE.

The film is in development, with a shoot planned for 2018 and premiere set for 2019. The Anselins is produced by Ana Maria Pirvan of Anchor Films with a planned budget of 400,000 EUR. The producers have 5 % of financing in place and are currently looking for coproducers and artistic contributors.

Contact during Forum REGIOFUND:
Producer / Ana Maria Pirvan
+40743011360  
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The Deathless Woman (UK)

A fusion of documentary and drama, written and directed by Roz Mortimer, about a Roma woman, who was murdered in a forest in Poland during WWII and returns to haunt us, uncovering the buried history of the Roma in Europe. The Deathless Woman will unearth tales of persecution and resistance from the Roma people from the 1940’s to the present day through an innovative approach to the supernatural, re-enactment and performance. As a spectral presence, she leads us on an emotionally charged journey, revealing true stories of persecution and Roma resistance that have been omitted from the history books

"The haunting story of ‘The Deathless Woman’ had never been told before. At a time when Europe seems to be slipping backwards into a new age of racism and intolerance, shedding light on unknown stories such as this to challenge the perception of the Roma seems critical. More than 10 million Roma live across Europe, and continue to face discrimination and racist attacks. Several stories that are shared in the film are set in Poland and Hungary, but speak more broadly of both the historic and contemporary persecution of the Roma in Europe that has been overlooked throughout history. Through this film we want to challenge people’s perceptions of the Roma and ensure that their stories are heard," producer Abigail Addision told FNE.

The film is produced by Animate Projects Productions with a planned budget of 130,000 EUR with production funding from Film London and Arts Council England. The production is currently in development, with shooting planned for spring 2018 and completion set for autumn 2018. The producers have 74% of financing already in place and are currently looking for coproducers.


Contact during Forum REGIOFUND:
Abigail Addison
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+44 7789 686903

The Gingers (Poland)

The musical comedy The Gingers is set in a charming small town where Maurice and his family (including a weird guy in a cat suit) run a traditional gingerbread shop. Just before Christmas they are visited by Maurice’s sister, Bogacka, who has an evil plan to demolish their house. To stop her, they need a large sum of money, and they need it fast. They decide to bake gingerbread in the “I’ve Got a Christmas Talent” show. However, Maurice’s teenage daughter, Julia, dreams of being a singer and performing solo. She is torn between making her dream come true and helping her family. At one point, everything falls into pieces, but eventually the characters realise what being a family is all about.

"I love musicals because when characters start to dance and sing, anything becomes possible. I find it inspiring how this genre can free the filmmaker's imagination and it was always my ambition to make a musical. The Gingers has everything the audience could ask for: it is spectacular, moving and very funny. If it’s made, I’m certain it will dazzle people all over the world," producer Artur Wyrzykowski told FNE.

The script is written by Emil Płoszajski and Artur Wyrzykowski. The film is produced by the Polish company Artcore with a planned budget of 3 m EUR. The project is currently in the development stage with estimated production launch set for 2020. The producers are looking for development funds for a foreign composer and for shooting a test scene.

Contact during Forum Regiofund:
Producer, Artur Wyrzykowski,
504288855
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The War Has Ended (Poland, Germany, Israel)

The drama from Israeli director and screenwriter Hagar Ben-Ashar is set in 1945, and thirteen-year-old Lily has survived the war. The days following the end of the war were violent and chaotic. Children were either scattered in the woods and villages or wound up in orphanages and convents. Joseph, a marionette puppeteer, rescues Lily when she is on the verge of death. A genius in his field, his puppets seemingly have a life and character of their own. They inspire laughter, joy and excitement where there is precious little. But Joseph’s creations mask the heavy weight he carries in his heart and his secret. Lily won’t allow him to walk away from her, even as he withholds warmth and connection. While trying to discover what he is hiding, Lily persuades him to teach her the art of puppeteering. She’s talented. It gives her purpose, defines her and she slowly falls in love with Joseph. But Joseph is on a mission. Lily and Joseph’s lives become intertwined, through circumstances, the shared sense of loneliness, helplessness and the realisation that the war may never be over

"Lily searches for reason and sense in a world that has none. But Lily is a child – and therefore, she shall find it. Only naive wisdom can reconstruct a broken heart. I believe that hope is essential for our existence and that art can create a new personality in any human being. I find this film to be a reflection of the emotional and political state of today’s world," said director Hagar Ben-Ashar.

The shoot for the film is planned for the spring of 2018. The War Has Ended is produced by Madants (Poland) as a Polish majority coproduction with Pola Pandora Filmproduktions GmbH (Germany) and Transfax (Israel). The film is in the development stage, with a planned budget of 3.5 m EUR and 40,000 EUR of production support from the Polish-German Coproduction Fund.

Contact during Forum Regiofund:
Producer, Beata Rzeźniczek,
+ 48 791 996 984
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Three Lions Heading to Venice (Albania)

A road movie directed by Jonid Jorgij is a story of three middle-aged Albanian filmmakers, Vani, Kaci and Riku, whose film Being Married gets nominated at the Venice Film Festival. The film was a hit in Albania and they plan to attend the ceremony in Venice. Three Lions… starts by showing the characters’ simple and happy married life, though this quickly changes. During their road trip through Italy, the filmmakers meet three actresses of adult movies, Rudi, Irina and Lola. The girls inspire them to behave in a way they never knew was possible.

"I have written this story and now I will make this film like any other film of mine, to hide myself carefully in these Albanian characters. A comic road movie going across Italy is always attractive because Italy is a beautiful place. Now imagine watching the story of three conservative Albanian filmmakers having an affair with three liberal European ex porn stars. For the international audience it will be full of unexpected and absurd situations that only those who know Albanians can justify," director Jonid Jorgij told FNE.

The film is in development with shooting planned for April-May 2018. Three Lions Heading to Venice is produced by Elkjana Gjipali of EJF Production with a planned budget of 200,000 EUR with production funding from Albaninan Cinematoraphy Center and Tring TV. The producers have 30% of the financing already in place and are currently looking for coproducers and artistic contributors.

Contact during Forum REGIOFUND:
Director Jonid Jorgij
+355694063304
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