connecting cottbus project line-up 2019: politics, lovers in space and a killer bunny

East-West co-production market connecting cottbus, taking place during FilmFestival Cottbus in November, presents its selection of 13 projects in development and 6 works in progress for its upcoming edition. 

From 6-8 November 2019, the 21st edition of connecting cottbus (coco) presents fresh feature film projects to a select audience of co-producers, sales agents and other potential partners. In total, 13 cocoPITCH and 6 cocoWIP projects from 14 countries in broader Eastern Europe will be pitched. In alignment with the FilmFestival Cottbus section Spotlight: Montenegro, coco is pleased to present its first Montenegrin project. All projects compete for a variety of awards. Their producers and directors also take part in in-depth feedback sessions with industry experts in the cocoLAB, while all industry participants can join networking events and a framework programme focusing on current production trends. 

This year saw the completion of a number of coco alumni projects: CAT IN THE WALL (Bulgaria/UK/ France) by Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, winner of the coco Best Pitch Award 2017, had its world premiere in competition at the Locarno Film Festival, Ines Tanović’s THE SON (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia/Romania/Slovenia/Montenegro) opened this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival. Alumni projects of the cocoWIP section include Antonio Lukich’s MY THOUGHTS ARE SILENT (Ukraine), winner of the Special Jury Prize in Karlovy Vary's East of the West competition as well as the Audience Award and Fipresci Prize for Best Ukrainian Film at Odessa International Film Festival, and ZANA (Kosovo/Albania) by Antoneta Kastrati, which just premiered in the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival. 

The cocoPITCH selection for this year comprises a large range of filmic styles and genres, from political thriller and road movie to dramas about war trauma or modern slavery, next to apocalyptic sci-fi and a romantic comedy set in outer space. The majority of the projects again have a strong female protagonist. Stories about immigration and exile are set alongside personal quests for moral integrity and struggles for autonomy or a sense of one’s own history. Seven exciting debut feature projects join new work by award-winning filmmakers like Ruxandra Zenide, Ivan Marinović and Sergey Dvortsevoy, who received the Special Pitch Award FilmFestival Cottbus 2018 to present his new project THREE, SEVEN, ACE. Pre-selected by coco at partnering events were Ion Borș’ CARBON, winner of the Transilvania Pitch Stop - coco Award at TIFF 2019, and RATTLESNAKES by Nikola Ljuca, which took the Midpoint - coco Award (Midpoint Feature Launch) at Karlovy Vary 2019. 

The 2019 line-up of cocoWIP also has a variety in tone, including a slacker dramedy and a darkly comic revenge story, as well as psychological family dramas set against the backdrop of pressing socio-political realities. Impressive feature debuts dominate the roster in 2019, among them those by acclaimed Romanian theatre director Eugen Jebeleanu and Serbian director Milica Tomović, whose short film work screened in Toronto, Locarno and Sarajevo. 

This year’s edition of connecting cottbus takes place on 6-8 November 2019

Producers, sales agents, commissioning editors and other industry representatives active in East- West European co-production can apply to attend without a project by 7 October 2019. 

Selected cocoPITCH Projects 2019 

ABOUT A GIRL | Switzerland / Romania | dir: Ruxandra Zenide | prod: Alexander Iordachescu | Elefant Films 

ATHLETE | Turkey | dir: Semih Gülen & Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun | prod: Arda Çiltepe | Vigo Film 

Transilvania Pitch Stop - coco Award CARBON | Moldova | dir: Ion Borș | prod: Ion Borș, Sergiu Cumatrenco Jr. | Kantora Film Production, YOUBESC 

CONVENIENCE STORE | Russia | dir: Mikhail Borodin | prod: Artem Vassiliev | Metrafilms 

FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE | Montenegro, Serbia | dir: Ivan Marinović | prod: Marija Stojanović, Ivan Marinović | Adriatic Western, SENSE Production 

NO LAND FOR ME | Israel | dir: Ram Nehari | prod: Yifat Prestelnik | Yifat Prestelnik Films 

Midpoint - coco Award (Midpoint Feature Launch) RATTLESNAKES | Serbia | dir: Nikola Ljuca | prod: Nikolina Vučetić-Zečević, Maja Ilić | Biberche 

SPAS | Ukraine | dir: Maksym Nakonechnyi | prod: Yelizaveta Smith, Darya Bassel | Tabor Production 

Special Pitch Award FilmFestival Cottbus THREE, SEVEN, ACE | Russia | dir: Sergey Dvortsevoy | prod: Sergey Dvortsevoy | Kinodvor 

TRACES | Croatia | dir: Dubravka Turić | prod: Ira Cecić | Kinorama 

VESPER SEEDS | Lithuania | dir: Kristina Buožytė & Bruno Samper | prod: Asta Liukaityte, Daiva Jovaišiene, Kristina Buožytė | Natrix Natrix 

WET MONDAY | Poland | dir: Justyna Mytnik | prod: Marta Gmosińska | Lava Films 

YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE | Ukraine | dir: Pavlo Ostrikov | prod: Vladimir Yatsenko, Anna Sobolevska | LimeLite 

Selected cocoWIP Projects 2019 

BETWEEN TWO DAWNS | Turkey / Romania | dir: Selman Nacar | prod: Burak Çevik, Diloy Gülün, Oana Giurgiu | Kuyu Film, Karma Film, Hai Hui Entertainment 

BLINDFOLD | Ukraine | dir: Taras Dron | prod: Valeria Sochyvets | Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema 

CELTS | Serbia | dir: Milica Tomović | prod: Vladimir Vasiljevic | EED Productions 

MIA MISSES HER REVENGE | Romania | dir: Bogdan Theodor Olteanu | prod: Anamaria Antoci, Anda Ionescu | Tangaj Production 

POPPY FIELD | Romania | dir: Eugen Jebeleanu | prod: Velvet Moraru | Icon Production 

THE THRILLSEEKERS | Belarus | dir: Vlada Senkova | prod: Larisa Oleinik, Viktar Labkovich | DOKA, Pervaja Kinovideo Company 

connecting cottbus is supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Creative Europe/MEDIA and MDM Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Ministerium der Justiz und für Europa und Verbraucherschutz Brandenburg (MdJEV) 

Thanks to our partners: Avanpost, D-Facto Motion, Producers Network, eave, Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival, Filmarket Hub, Midpoint, Stadt Cottbus and Transilvania Pitch Stop 

More information: http://www.connecting-cottbus.de | https://www.facebook.com/connecting.cottbushttps://www.instagram.com/connectingcottbus/