19-10-2009

Warsaw CentEast expands to Moscow

The Warsaw Screenings, held as part of the CentEast market (www.centeast.org), added a second part, the CentEast Warsaw-Moscow Presentation, a careful selection of works-in progress from the East European region.

After two days in Warsaw, CentEast moved to Moscow on October 18, to settle at the 2MORROW Film Festival.

Two locations in just two days is a novelty for CentEast. Established in 2005, the market targeted at professionals from the film industry was based only in Warsaw. "We wanted to double the impact," Stefan Laudyn, the director of Warsaw Film Festival and spiritus movens of the CentEast Market, explained.

Moscow is only four hours away by plane from Warsaw, but the organizers were not worried that they would reach the same group of professionals. Over 200 of them, mainly buyers, sales agents, producers, festival programmers and journalists, were registered in Warsaw. "Only two of them will attend 2MORROW festival as well," said Magdalena Banasik, the CentEast coordinator.

The main objective of the market is to promote Eastern European cinema both locally and globally. It's also an opportunity for the filmmakers to get their films invited to international festivals. This year's guest lists feature programmers from Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Tribeca and Cannes.

It's a chance for a film to get a regular distribution abroad. as well. "Last year we showed Marcin Wrona's feature My Flesh, My Blood at CentEast. After the screening the film was pre-selected for Cannes' Director's Forthnight section" says Łukasz Dzięcioł from Opus Film, one of the biggest production companies in Poland. "Also, the international sales rights to My Flesh, My Blood were acquired by the French company Insomnia World Sales here in Warsaw." The producer explained that the CentEast Market is also a great opportunity for social networking and getting feedback on nearly finished projects from professionals of different nationalities. "They often have very valuable suggestions," says Dzięcioł. This year Opus Film has another film in Warsaw Screenings. Paweł Borowski's Zero. This film also closed the 25th Warsaw Film Festival on Sunday, October 18.

Until 2008, CentEast also presented projects in the development stage, so that the producers could find international partners and co-financing. Now the market presents only films that are either completed or in post-production. "If the project has any visual material, such as trailer or an entire scene that is fit to be displayed, it can apply to the CentEast Warsaw-Moscow Presentation," Banasik said. From over 30 projects submitted, 17 made the selection. They're all were shot and produced in Eastern Europe: Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Stefan Laudyn explains why the CentEast Market focuses now only on completed and nearly finished projects. "We know from our experience that the weakest part of the [film-production] system is the international sales and distribution. That's why the work-in-progress section is so important to us," he said.

In addition, there are a lot of markets in Europe that target international co-productions, including the Baltic Event in Tallin, Mannheim Meetings, Film Market in Sochi. Among them CentEast distinguishes itself with its unique character.

CentEast Market is financed by MEDIA International Programme of the EU and Polish Film Institute.

Last modified on 29-11-2009