Connecting Cottbus (www.connecting-cottbus.de ), the leading pitching forum for films from Central and Eastern Europe, clicked with producers and film funding bodies at its 4 November 2010 presentation. "There is strong interest in the film projects this year," artistic director Gabrielle Brunnenmeyer told FNE. Georgian producer Tinatin Kajrishvili was especially successful with Flight Tbilisi-Tbilisi, which won the 3,000 euro best pitch prize.
The Czech Republic scored a hit with its pitch for The Christmas Star, a modern fairytale produced by Cinemania and directed by noted actor Ivan Shvedoff. The 2 million euro "American style film with East European taste" plans international casting and hopes to shoot in either German or English. (Contact: www.cinemania.cz )
Another audience favorite Zero, a Hungarian/Czech/Dutch coproduction directed by Gyula Nemes, has nearly half its 1.8 million euro budget in place primarily through Hungarian funding. The quirky story of the frightening decline of the bee population will be filmed "in broken English" and employ documentary and mockumentary effects. (Contact: www.theplaytimefilm.com )
Outside the CEE territories, the Israeli project Paradise and a French film set in Bulgaria, A Frenchman, were lining up interested investors.
Hungarian producer Jeno Habermann has half of the 1.6 million euro budget in place for Muteness, a family drama directed by Jozsef Pacskovszky. (Contact: www.filmart.hu )
Slovakia pitched a 1.5 million story of broken hearts, We Will Meet in our Dreams, directed by Juraj Nvota and produced by Silvia Panakova of Arina. (Contact: www.arina.sk )
The remaining projects included two Serbian films, Worker's Sea (dir/prod Vladimir Perisic)and Withering (dir Milos Pusic); two Russian films, Under Electric Clouds (dir Alexey German jr.) and Not a Simple Story (prod Fedor Popov); and The Happiness for Two (dir Chingiz Rasulzade) from Azerbaijan.
Connecting Cottbus wraps 5 November 2010 with one-to-one meetings and a final farewell to Brunnenmeyer, who concludes her final year as the forum's artistic director.