24 projects to participate in Baltic Sea Docs 2023

    How to Talk to Lydia by Rusudan Gaprindashvili How to Talk to Lydia by Rusudan Gaprindashvili publicity photo

    Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries (Baltic Sea Docs) has finalized the project selection for its 27th edition, scheduled to take place on September 3-10. As the leading documentary pitching event in the Baltic countries, Baltic Sea Docs focuses on projects from the wider Baltic Sea region, Eastern Europe, and Caucasus. The selection includes 20 projects to be presented in Riga for the first time and four projects in the forum's new “Coming Soon” session, featuring projects in the post-production stage that have previously been pitched at other Baltic Sea Docs editions. The 24 selected projects represent film studios from 11 countries, including Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, Estonia, and Georgia.

    “This year, Baltic Sea Docs will offer a broader programme of industry activities. We are pleased to follow up on and promote several projects from previous editions that are now approaching their premieres, and to encourage further strengthening of ties between Baltic and other European producers.

    As always, great attention is given to documentaries from the Baltic countries in the selection of Baltic Sea Docs projects. We also note numerous strong submissions from Ukraine this year, reflecting the filmmakers' sensitive approach to current events in the country after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Using different cinematic approaches, these projects explore various topics including direct experiences of war (Another Man's Diary), the impact of warfare on the environment (Divia), imprint on the fate of people (Eros and Thanatos), and the significance of film archives as essential memory institutions (Archive. Box#64). Overall, we are delighted to see both experienced and emerging filmmakers among the selected participants,” comments Zane Balčus, the head of Baltic Sea Docs.

    The Baltic Sea Docs pitching sessions are scheduled for September 7-8. Prior to the pitch, the new project teams will work on their presentations with a team of international industry experts. This year's tutor team includes experienced documentary film consultant Tue Steen Müller and documentary developer Mikael Opstrup (Denmark), film directors Salomé Jashi (Georgia) and Alisa Kovalenko (Ukraine), film editor Phil Jandaly (Sweden), and producer Simon Kilmurry (USA).

    The projects will be presented to a panel of decision-makers representing TV channels, sales and distribution companies such as BBC (UK), YLE (Finland), NHK (Japan), Rise and Shine (Germany), Lightdox (Switzerland), filmdelights (Austria), Cat&Docs (France), and others.

    This year's event will also host Travelling Docs, an initiative organized by Creative Europe MEDIA desks that offers additional industry activities at a different documentary event each year. “Travelling Docs. Share Your Stories” will be a networking activity aimed to facilitate connections between Baltic and other European documentary producers. Additionally, the Creative Europe MEDIA Desk of Latvia will offer a seminar on the phenomenon of a documentary approach in fiction films.

    Among the 20 new projects participating, two have been invited to Baltic Sea Docs as a result of collaboration with other industry platforms. Project “Divia” (director Dmytro Hreshko), which explores the impact of war and Russian aggression on nature and ecology of Ukraine, was invited from the B2B Doc Visegrad Pitch at East Doc Platform in Prague. “Eros and Thanatos” (director Dmytro Tiazhlov), a project about the creative journey of two unconventional Ukrainian musicians, was selected from the CineDOC-Tbilisi mentoring programme.

    Several projects will receive awards presented by the forum and its partners. The forum will continue its collaboration with Current Time TV, a leading broadcaster focusing on the region, which will present a cash award to one project. Over the next two years, the forum will also present IDFA's Spotlight award, which includes participation, travel, and accommodation for the director who will be invited to IDFA's next edition and participate in a tailored program within the IDFA Industry and training activities. The Baltic Sea Docs award will involve mentoring. The complete list of awards will be announced prior to the start of the event.

    The 20 new projects selected for Baltic Sea Docs:

    Another Man's Diary | Ukraine         
    dir. Olexandr Tkachenko | prod. Illia Gladshtein | Phalanstery Films

    Archive. Box#64 | Ukraine
    dir. Eva Dzhyshyashvili | prod. Natalia Libet | 2Brave Productions

    Artworks in Agony | Latvia / Lithuania
    dir. Elizabete Gricmane, Ramune Rakauskaite | prod. Uldis Cekulis, Paula Jansone, Arunas Matelis | VFS Films / Studio Nominum

    Brothers in the Hunt | Latvia
    dir. Ieva Ozolina | prod. Madara Melberga | Fa Filma

    Cecilia's Project | Poland / Sweden
    dir. Edward Porembny | prod. Edward Porembny, Magnus Paulsson | AMP Polska Edward Porembny / Solid Entertainment AB

    Divia | Ukraine / Poland
    dir. Dmytro Hreshko | prod. Polina Herman, Glib Lukianets | UP UA STUDIO / Gogol Film

    Eros and Thanatos | Ukraine
    dir. Dmytro Tiazhlov | prod. Ella Shtyka | Indie Media Polis

    The First Swallow | Georgia
    dir. Joanna Roj, Sandro Wysocki | prod. Glib Lukianets | Gogol Film

    House of Ants | Poland
    dir. Katarzyna Kultys | prod. Adam Ślesicki | FILM FRAME

    How to Talk to Lydia? | Germany / Moldova
    dir. Rusudan Gaprindashvili | prod. Hans Gralke, Anna Dziapshipa | Black Market Film Production / Sakdoc

    In the Winds of the Icefields (wt) | Estonia
    dir. Mihkel Oksmann | prod. Hõbe Ilus | Sui

    The Misfit | Finland
    dir. Miikka Poutiainen | prod. Miikka Poutiainen, Sami Salminen | PinkAgency Productions

    Once We Were Heroes | Finland
    dir. Oliwia Tonteri | prod. Aino Halonen, Kamil Skałkowski | production company Kompot Ltd / Kalejdoskop Film

    Sacrum and Profanum in Pievenai | Lithuania
    dir. Giedrė Beinoriūtė | prod. Jurga Gluskinienė | Monoklis

    Totem | Estonia
    dir./prod. Birgit Rosenberg | Door 2 Production

    Vanessa (wt) | Sweden
    dir. Åsa Ekman, Martina Iverus, Oscar Hedin | prod. Marina-Evelina Cracana, Oscar Hedin | Film and Tell

    Voice/Over | Czechia
    dir. Bálint Révész | prod. Radovan Síbrt, Viki Réka Kiss | PINK

    War in Chornobyl | Ukraine
    dir. Oleksiy Radynski | prod. Lyuba Knorozok | Kinotron Group

    We Are the Granddaughters Of The Witches You Couldn’t Burn (wt) | Georgia
    dir. Mariam Chachia | prod. Sophio Bendiashvili | OpyoDoc / Enkeny Films

    Yalla Yalla | Lithuania
    dir. Mindaugas Survila | prod. Giedrė Žickytė | Moonmakers

    Projects at the Coming Soon session:

    If Everyone Just Leaves | Sweden
    dir. Karin Wegsjö, Nazira Abzalova | prod. Karin Wegsjö | KW produktion ab

    Podnieks on Podnieks. Witness of History | Latvia
    dir. Antra Cilinska, Anna Viduleja | prod. Antra Cilinska | Juris Podnieks Studio

    Up In the Air | Ukraine
    dir., prod. Oksana Syhareva | Private entrepreneur Syhareva Oksana

    When Harmattan Blows | Poland
    dir., prod. Edyta Wróblewska | SK Film Studio

    Established in 1997 in Denmark, Baltic Sea Docs has been held in Riga since 2006. Every year the forum gathers around 150 documentary film professionals from over 20 countries and serves as an important meeting hub for documentary filmmakers from the countries of the Baltic sea region, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and beyond.

    Baltic Sea Docs is organized by the National Film Centre of Latvia and supported by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and Limbaži district municipality. More information about the selected film projects and the event is available on the Baltic Sea Docs website: http://balticseadocs.lv/industry/