27 projects pitched at Sofia Meetings

By Pavlina Jeleva

    SOFIA: Bulgaria's leading industry event, held during the Sofia International Festival (www.siff.bg) the 2012 Sofia Meetings included 27 projects pitched for the first time or selected in partnership with EAVE, the Moscow co-production forum, Crossroads and the Mediterranean Film Institute.

    The Bulgarian projects showed a wide variety of styles dominated by younger filmmakers.

    The director of Zift Javor Gardev presented Contra, a "global drama" about the transfer of conscious from one person to another. Gardev has established own production company Compania Ecstatica (www.compania-ecstatica.com) to raise the nearly €M1.8 budget.

    Pancho and Alice is the feature debut of actor/musician/director Stefan Valdobrev, whose documentary My Mate Manchester United had a successful festival career.. The young production company Activist38 (www.activist38.com) belonging to actress Vessela Kazakova (Prima Primavera) and animator Mina Mileva will produce Valdobrev's touching story of two elderly people, one from Germany and one from Bulgaria, who deeply fall in love during the Cold War period.

    Supported by Eurimages in 2010 Boris Despodov's Arthouse Blockbusters (www.facebook.com/pages/Arthouse-Blockbusters-Ltd/111232398962857) is now looking for a sale agent for his original docu-fiction on East European immigrants in Western Europe The Polish Plumber (written by Andrei Paunov, Vania Rainova and Despodov).

    DoP and producer Dimitar Gotchev, owner of Camera (www.camera.bg) will direct the €M2.2 film Red Gold based on Ludmila Filipova's novel of the same title. The film interweaves international personalities with an AIDS epidemic at a Benghazi hospital.

    Pawn Shop produced by Mono Collective (www.monoco.eu) is an untypical project from eight young Balkan scriptwriters: Alexander ‘Sancho’ Marinov (BG), Andrey Getov (BG), Christos Zacharakis (GR), Filip Vasić (RS), Jordan Bankov (BG), Juri Staikov (BG). The omnibus projects is seeking Balkan partners to finance the nearly €M1 budget.

    The Sinking of Sozopol produced by Borough Film (www.bouroughfilm.com) will be directed by Kostadin Bonev. The intriguing metaphor about the sinking of a town on the Black Sea has received a grant of €600 000 from the Bulgarian National Film Center (www.nfc.bg) but still needs some additional funding.

    Dimitar Kotzev (Lora from morning Till Evening) wrote Sisters with Galina Markova and focused it on the life's maturation of two sisters with two mothers but one father. Bulgarian Spotlight plans to produce the film for €300,000.

    Hristian Nochev's Filmarc is producing Out of Breath, a story about kickboxing by actor/writer/director Niki Iliev.

    Welcome to Heaven which mixes sex and TV shows was written by TV performer Krastyo-Kutsy Vaptsarov (www.premierstudio.eu).

    For the first time Sofia Meetings organized a UNESCO Forum assisted by Francesco Bandarin, Assistant-Director General for Culture.


    BEST PROJECT AWARD in the Second Films section: RHINOCEROS by OLEGENTSOV (director) and OLGA ZHURZHENKO (producer), Ukraine. Production company CRYCINEMA

    BEST PROJECT AWARD in the Plus Minus One section: PANCHO AND ALICE by STEFAN VALDOBREV (director) and MINA MILEVA, VESELA KAZAKOVA (producers), Bulgaria.

    Production company Activist38 (www.activist38.com)

    Scholarship of the Mediterranean Film Institute: PANCHO AND ALICE by STEFAN VALDOBREV (director) and MINA MILEVA, VESELA KAZAKOVA (producers), Bulgaria.