TRIESTE: One of the key events of the 9th edition of When East Meets West was the Co-production Forum pitching session showcasing 22 upcoming projects, including 11 long documentaries and 11 feature films, which had been selected from out of 299 submissions from 49 different countries. WEMW took place within the 30th Trieste Film Festival, which wrapped on 25 January 2019.
Alessandro Gropplero, Head of WEMW told FNE: “This year’s selection was very diverse in terms of directors' profiles and producers behind the projects. For the first time we got many female directors with long feature films. We had a very difficult selection to make, as we had hard topics reflecting the society (the emigration stories, for example), but also family topics. This year I think it was a combination between small and big stories”.
PROJECTS FROM CEE COUNTRIES:
Her/His / Ona/On (Poland)
Warsaw, late 80s. Irena and Jacek are a sporty couple. Irena, a former figure skater is coaching the Polish representation for the Calgary Olympic Games. Jacek is a sports journalist at the Polish broadcaster. The opposing forces of Irena’s desire for freedom and Jacek’s faith have caused a serious crisis in their marriage.
“Living in a time of post-truth and relativism of values, I have been wondering how to tell a story today. Her/His is the result of a research in this area. [...] I want to create a story which is divided into two directions – hers and his, and those two voices are equal. I also want to make a link to the current situation in Poland, where people live in two tribes”, co-director Anna Kazejak told FNE.
The film is produced by Mariusz Włodarski through Lava Films with a planned budget of 1.8 m EUR, of which 50,000 EUR is already in place. The film is currently in development with the production planned for 2020.
The producers are looking for coproducers, financing and sales agents.
Irina (43) is an immigrant, a single mother living in a small Czech border town. One night her teenage son claims he was assaulted by three young Roma. Irina demands justice and she is met with great solidarity by her new society, until she spots inconsistencies in her son’s account.
“Both storylines, that is, the mother-son storyline and the individual-society storyline, are intimately connected and they feed off each other. By painting a detailed emotional portrait of Irina I would like to expose the society for which she becomes a temporary mascot, until eventually ending up as its caricature”, director Michal Blasko said in his statement.
The producers of the film are Jakub Medvecky and Tomas Hruby through Nutprodukcia. The budget is 1,175,000 EUR (with 374,051 EUR in place). The project is supported by Creative Europe MEDIA, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Czech Film Fund.
At the moment the film is entering the preproduction stage, with shooting planned for the end of 2019. The producers are looking for coproducers, financing, festivals and sales agents.
The Last Nomad (Serbia)
Vanja leads his sheep herd and his fellow shepherd Rade towards the highland of Montenegro. There, he inherited a cottage belonging to his ancestors’ tribe, but rumours are spreading that their land would become a NATO military polygon.
“When I met Vladan Vanja Vuletic, I immediately knew that I wanted to make a film with him as the main protagonist. I have recognised Isaac, the hero of Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun, in Vanja. I realised that his life has similar beauty, drama and poetics. This is a story of archaic people, who are trying to get along in a new age of turbulences”, director Petar Glomazic said in a statement.
The film is produced by Biljana Tutorov through Serbia’s Wake Up Films and Veliša Popović through Montenegro’s Cut-up. The budget is 203,000 EUR (56.000 EUR in place). Film Centre of Montenegro is supporting so far.
The producers are looking for coproducers, sales agents and financing.
Year of a Widow (Czech Republic)
After the sudden death of her husband, Petra (42) has to find her own way through the labyrinth of bureaucracy, conventions and emotional struggles. The film is based on a true story.
“The essential part of the story is the support that exists between the human and the nature. The changing of the seasons underlines the nature. The images of Petra and her body will be the key aspect of the film. These images will be in contrast with the city, which is anonymous, less organic. This film is about how we are alive, how our lives are overcomplicated”, director Veronika Liskova told FNE.
The producers are Petra Oplatkova through Artcam Films and Artemio Benki through Sirena Film. The budget is 909,440 EUR (with 198,440 EUR in place). The film has support from Creative Europe MEDIA and the Czech Film Fund.
The film is in development and the producers are looking for coproducers, financing, sales agents and festivals.
The Miracle (Poland)
The Father (78) is a well-known Polish anti-clericalist, who has been writing books attacking the Church and religions for many years. The Son (35) converted a few years ago and joined a convent for lay people in 2018. When the Father had taken his son on a journey around all the amusement parks in Europe 25 years ago, they recorded seven hours of VHS material from the trip. Today, the Son decides to take his Father on a journey around his "amusement parks". It will be a journey into the world of his faith and the Son is hoping for his Father's conversion before death.
“My father has criticised me for all my life, whatever I did was wrong. We didn’t have a close relationship either and I think that the main character of my film is in a similar situation. His father has always criticised him and they have never got to know each other really closely. I hope the journey they have together in this film lets our characters learn a little more about each other”, director Bartłomiej Żmuda told FNE.
The producers of the film are Paweł Jóźwiak-Rodan and Marta Pielasz through Projekcja Identyfikacja. The film is in the preproduction stage and it has support from the Polish Film Institute and the Polish National Television.
Kondrat-Media will release the film in Poland.
Bigger Than Trauma (Croatia)
The film is a documentary essay with animated elements set in a post-war period. Raped women are getting their power back by riding the wave of recent events in the world. Eight raped women and four unconventional therapists embark on a strictly confidential and intimate inner journey to recovery.
“Our women, who watched their loved ones being killed, were all raped, but survived the Croatian war for independence. Guilt and shame kept them quiet for 25 years. Today they are getting their power back. This is a story about the process of reconstruction of each woman's personality for their successful every day functioning”, director Verdana Pribacic told FNE.
The film is produced by Mirta Puchlovski through Metar60&Slavica film with a planned budget of 1.89 m EUR (with 81,000 EUR in place). The film is in its final shooting stage.
The producer is looking for coproducers, financing, sales agents, sound and image postproduction, music and also animation.
A Serbian farmer with a 6 year old refugee girl go on a journey across Europe in search of the girl's mother.
“For me it was actually crucial to reveal the complexity of the problem and a very important point is to force the audience to engage and to really think about what their responsibility is in the current state and what they can do to make a difference”, director Vuk Ršumovic told FNE.
The film is produced by Mirko Bojovic and Miroslav Mogorovic through BaBoon Production and Art&Popcorn. The budget is 1,002,931 EUR (with 329,931 EUR in place).
The producers are looking for coproducers (mostly for postproduction services), national distributors in the coproduction countries, financing and sales agents.
Brotherhood (Czech Republic, Italy)
In a small village in the middle of the Bosnian mountains, three adolescent sons of a radical Salafi preacher face their father's sentence for terrorism by questioning their beliefs and seeking different paths for their future. In an intimate portrayal of contemporary Bosnia and its insular Salafi community, Brotherhood is an anthropological exploration of youth, brotherhood, religion and extremism in the most radicalised region of Europe.
“The protagonists are developing their own ideas about who they want to become and who they want to be. [...] I want to understand and represent perfectly their choices in this special environment. I do not want to judge the boys, but rather portray them in a humanist and quite intimate, personal way”, director Francesco Montagner told FNE.
Pavla Janouskova Kubeckova is producing through Nutprodukce in coproduction with Italy’s Nefertiti Films. The budget is 370,460 EUR. The film is still in the shooting phase. Postproduction is planned for the end of 2019 and the film is expected to be finished in the first half of 2020. The Czech Film Fund and FAMU are supporting the project.
The producers are looking for broadcasters, sales agents, coproducers, financing and festivals.
Click HERE for the list of all projects selected for the WEMW Co-production Forum