15 film projects seek 33M euros of funding at CentEast Market

By Jorn Rossing Jensen

    Warsaw (CentEast Daily News) -- Although the CentEast Market of the Warsaw International Film Festival focuses on finished product, the organisers have received an increasing number of projects in early stages of production to be included in the pitching sessions at the Sofitel Victoria.

    "If we had accepted them all we would have been sitting there for several days," explained market co-ordinator Aleksandra Klanowska. "Especially the Polish industry has been very active, after we promoted the market at the recent national film festival in Gdynia."

    "However," she added, "it is remarkable that the submitted projects have been presented very professionally; they are far better developed than before. The producers have realised they have to be well prepared and work hard when they try to package a production."

    Polish producers have five entries in the main selection, which also includes projects from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia and Romania. Because of the demand, market director Rik Vermeulen has added a special Polish session with five new films.

    While the 10 titles in the CentEast section have budgets totalling €19.6 million, the five Polish contributions stall at €13.7 million (mainly thanks to Polish director Agnieszka Holland's €10 million Christine - War My Love). Some €5.7 million financing is reportedly in place.

    Romanian producer Oana Giurgio is trying to raise €400,000 for Titus Monteanu's The Kino Karavan (Caravana Cinematografica), the story of a travelling cinema in an old truck arriving at a Transylvanian village in the early 1960s to show a propaganda film.

    Not much has changed, with most of Romania's theatres concentrated in Bucharest. This week (Oct. 17) Romanian director Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days ended a 30-day tour in the provinces, after screenings in the local Houses of Culture.

    Armenian producer Armine Anda is touting Mikayel Vatinyan's Joan and the Voices (Jaznnan ev dzainere), the story of a young woman who leaves family and friends to find her own voice. The Armenian Film Centre is attached to the project.

    Represented in the Warsaw festival by an animated short, Bojo, Vatinyan won further support at the recent Pusan International Film Festival, where Joan and the Voices received the Gothenburg International Film Festival's award in the Pusan Promotion Plan programme.