The programme, which was initiated by France’s Le Groupe Ouest in late 2016 as a three-part annual development workshop with a pitching session held at TIFF, had 300 applications coming from 59 countries. The 16 selected projects come from 15 countries and include films from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland and Romania. The programme accepts films with budgets of up to 500,000 EUR.
Introducing the programme to the TIFF audience of around 50 people, LIM artistic director Antoine Le Bos said, “After a year or two or three years of disaster in financing,” filmmakers lower their budget expectations. He noted that 80 percent of the low budget projects are films that originally expected to find financing for a higher budget. “The idea is to take the opposite approach and to think about it from the beginning.”
The CEE projects include:
Animus by Polish writer/director Tomasz Sliwinski about a couple awaiting the birth of their first child and facing questions of their sexuality and homophobia.
Anselinii by Romanian director/scriptwriter Dan Radu Mihai about a woman seeking revenge on the members of a cult over the death of her sister.
Corcovado Borealis by Lithuanian director Karolis Kaupinis and produced by M-Films, a fictionalised account of the week surrounding the death of the Prime Minister on the eve of WWII. The film has lined up 300,000 EUR of its budget from a special fund to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Lithuania.
Electricity by Bulgarian writer/director Ivalyo Minov and writer Svetozar Georgiev, produced by Vanya Rainova of Portokol, about a vacuum cleaner salesman, whose vacuum cleaners have a magic effect on a comatose young man.
Sister by Macedonian director Dina Duma and produced by Marija Dimitrova of List Production, about jealousies among three teenage girls and the damaging effect of social media. The project won the CoCo Post Pitch Award at connecting cottbus in 2016.