Baltic Event Awards for Georgia, Hungary, Finland

By Anna Franklin

    The Baltic Event Co-Production Market presented three awards at the closing ceremony, at the conclusion of its 10th anniversary edition, which ran from 30 November - 2 December 2011. The Baltic Event (www.be.poff.ee) is sponsored by MEDIA and the Estonian Film Foundation (www.efsa.ee).Two Cannes Marché du film Producer's Network prizes went to up-and-coming producers who will receive free accreditation at the network in May 2012.

    The first, Levan Koguashvili, is a Georgian director/producer from the company Ori Bu with the 800,000 EUR project Teacher in Love. Koguashvili was in Tallin as part of the Co-Production Market's special focus on Georgia. The second Producer's Network prize was taken by Ferenc Pusztai, who helms the Budapest based KHM Film (www.khmfilm.com), with the project Godly Shift directed by Mark Bodzsar. Pusztai is a former winner of the FNE Visegrad Prix for best international coproduction for his work as producer of Pal Adrienne.

    The Co-Production Market also gave the 3rd Screen International Best Pitch Award to Finnish producer Ilkka Matila's project Never Alone. Directed by Klaus Härö and produced by Matila Röhr Productions (www.matilarohrnordisk.fi), the film is a historical drama that grabbed the attention of the sales agents, distributors, and other guests of the market.

    The biggest buzz at the Baltic Event originated from its Coming Soon section which offered participants the opportunity to catch up with Estonia's hottest director Ilmar Raag, whose Estonian French Belgian coproduction One More Croissant is in post production. The buzz is that Raag is being courted by both Berlin and Cannes for a possible competition slot. According to Raag ( who speaks fluent French) his first experience directing outside Estonia broadened his horizons and was a valuable learning experience. The film is a coproduction between Amiron (www.amiron.ee) and TS Productions in France together with LA Parti Production (Belgium.)

    Another buzz item was Lotte and the Moonstone Secret directed by Janno Poldma and Heiki Emits which was in the special screening section. The animated family film scored more than 68,000 admissions at the Estonian box office putting it in the top 10 for 2011. It looks as fi it is going to be just as hot an international seller as the first Lotte From Gadgetville. The film is produced by Eesti Joonis film (www.joonisfilm.ee) and Rija Films (www.rijafilms.lv). The Estonian Film Foundation, the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia, the Estonian Cultural Endowment, Media 2007, the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, and the Estonian Broadcasting Corporation supported the completion of this film.

    Partners of Baltic Event are EAVE, Cannes Marche du film Producer's Network, Screen International, Sarajevo FF co-production market, Cinelink, Moscow Business Square, the Finnish Film Foundation, the Black Nights Film Festival, Film New Europe. Supporters of the event are the MEDIA Programme, Estonian Film Foundation, National Film Center of Latvia, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Estonian Ministry of Culture, and Nordic Hotel Forum.