Docs in Progress 2018

Docs in Progress Jury

Tanja Georgieva Tanja Georgieva

Tanja Georgieva-Waldhauer holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Leipzig, Germany and has produced a dozen multi-award-winning films over the previous years. In 2013 Tanja was awarded the European Mediaprize for The Graveyard of the Illegals by Andreas Morell as Best European Feature-length Documentary. Istanbul United by Olli Waldhauer and Farid Eslam premiered 2014 in the Documentary Competition at the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, was nominated for the German Human Rights Film Award 2014 and was invited to more than 40 international film festivals. The co-production Ukrainian Sheriffs by Roman Bondarchuk in 2015 received the Special Jury Award for Best Feature Length Documentary at IDFA and represented Ukraine as Official Entry – Best Foreign Picture Oscars 2017. Once Upon a Dream - A Journey to the Last Spaghetti Western by Tonislav Hristov premiered in 2015 in the Documentary Competition at the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The feature film co-production Volcano by Roman Bondarchuk is celebrating its World Premiere at the current Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and its German premiere at the current Filmfest Munich 2018. Since January 2015, Tanja leads Elemag Pictures as Producer and CEO. Elemag Pictures is a Leipzig Germany-based film production company focusing on developing, co-producing & producing high-quality international films with a strong appeal to large audiences worldwide. Founded by Borislav and Viktor Chouchkov (Sons of Sofia, Best Film Tribeca 2017, co-producer; Western, Un Certain Regard Cannes 2017, co-producer), Jan Krüger (The Green Wave – Sundance 2011, Jack – Berlinale Competition 2014, Iceman) and Tanja Georgieva. In 2016 Tanja attended the EAVE Producers Workshop. In 2018 she was selected by Screen International to represent Germany at their Future Leader Producers edition of up-and-coming producers during Cannes Film Festival.


Noemi Schory Noemi Schory


Noemi Schory has been an independent producer and director since 1988, focusing on documentaries, many of which are international co-productions. Among other works, she has produced A Film Unfinished, directed by Yael Hersonski, First Prize at HotDocs, Editing Prize at Sundance, Script Award at Silverdocs; Magnolia in Shanghai, etc. God Forbid, a feature length documentary on ultra-Orthodox Jewish society for ARTE; The Inner Tour, an award-winning feature doc screened at Sundance, MoMA, Berlinale, etc.; Israel's Generals, a five-part series on Israeli leadership; five films for the documentary series Tkuma on the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel, The Wordmaker, a made-for-TV on Ben Yehuda and A Touch of Magic, a TV drama that won the Chicago Children’s Film Festival Award.

She has directed works such as Born in Berlin – Cordelia, Angelika and Inge,  Brueckenschlag on the beginnings of Israeli-German relations after WWII; Es began in der Wueste for ZDF, an Israeli point of view on Germany in 1995; 100 short films for the New Historic Museum of Yad Vashem (2005), and 12 short films that comprise the Hall of the Human Spirit at the permanent exhibit in Block 27, Auschwitz (2013).

She has served on numerous juries including the Haifa Film Festival (2017), Docaviv (2015), Jerusalem Film Festival (2014), or Baden Baden Drama Competition (2012).

Schory has conducted workshops and participated in WIP in Goa, Tbilisi, Sarajevo and Tel Aviv, where she coached City of the Sun (Best Doc Sarajevo 2017, Madrid Intl. FF 2017), Golden Gate Award, San Francisco, etc., Machines, Sundance Cinematography award, Thessaloniki, Fipresci award etc., Ultra (EFA Doc Selection 2017), An Insignificant Man (CPH: DOX, London FF).

Served on the International Board of Input and was the international president from 2005 to 2010, screening conference for innovative public service programs.

Schory has taught since 2000 at the Tisch School for Film and TV of Tel Aviv University, creative production and media landscape. In autumn 2013, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Minnesota. From 2007 to 2015 she was head of the Film Department at the Faculty of Arts – Midrasha, Beit Berl College. Member of the Israeli Producers’ Association, one of the founders and member of the Documentary Filmmakers’ Forum, member of EFA, European Film Academy and on the Board of the Cable and Satellite Authority.


Shane Smith Shane Smith

Shane Smith is director of programming at Hot Docs, North America's largest festival and market for documentary film.

Smith previously worked at the Toronto International Film Festival as director of special projects and director of public programs.

Prior to TIFF he was executive producer at In-Flight Entertainment at Spafax, director of programming at Channel Zero Inc, director of CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, short film programmer for Sundance Film Festival, and programmer for Inside Out LGBT Film Festival.

Smith has participated on juries and panels at festivals and events around the world.

He is not the guy from Vice.


The Eye of the Architect
The Eye of the Architect


Lebanon, France
Directed by: Nadim Mishlawi
Scriptwriter: Nadim Mishlawi
Producer: Georges Schoucair, Myriam Sassine, Nadia Turincev
Camera: Mark Khalife
Music: Nadim Mishlawi
Language: Arabic, English
Website: www.abboutproductions.com
Genre: creative documentary
Release date: 03/06/2019
Runtime: 85 min
What’s missing: editing and post-production, color grading, visual effects, distributors, sales agent, festivals, sound editing

This is the film’s working title and may change.
Working version of the film will be presented.


Film synopsis

The Eye of the Architect is a memoir gathering the testimonies of different characters as they try to make sense of Beirut almost 20 years after the end of the civil war which left it ruined. Focusing on the frenzied urban development (and destruction) of the reconstruction period, the film is built around the exploits of a photographer who is convinced that the city of Beirut is disappearing. Exploring the possibility of a science-fiction documentary, the film uses an array of different visual and audio material including Betamax tape, 16mm, news archives, still photography, and digital cinematography, transforming the screen into a plane of information depicting events, anecdotes, moments, and ideas, all spiralling into a modern dystopia.

Director’s filmography

Nadim Mishlawi is a composer and filmmaker based in Beirut, Lebanon. Nadim made his directorial debut in 2011 with the documentary Sector Zero, which won the First Documentary Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2011 and the Berlin Art Prize for Film & Media Arts in 2013, and was screened at numerous festivals. Over the past 15 years, Nadim has scored various projects ranging from film to art installations. In 2011 he was nominated for Best Original Score at the Aubagne International Film Festival for his work on the film Stray Bullet. In 2006 Nadim co-founded the sound studio db STUDIOS. Nadim currently teaches sound art at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA).

Producer’s filmography

Myriam Sassine majored in cinema studies at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and received an M.A. in cinema research. In 2010, she worked in content development with Lucky Monkey Pictures (USA) and in 2012 became a producer at Abbout Productions, where she worked on several features such as Tramontane by Vatche Boulghourjian (Cannes Critics’ Week 2016), Panoptic by Rana Eid (Locarno 2017, Sheffield 2018), A Certain Nasser by Badih Massaad and Antoine Waked (Festival Lumière 2017, Cairo Film Festival 2017) and Amal by Mohamed Siam (Idfa 2017, Hot Docs 2018).

Myriam is the COO of Schortcut Films, dedicated to co-producing international features. She is also the executive director of Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival, the first festival of fantastic film in the Middle East.

Producer’s statement

Stuck between a brutal past and an unknown future, the city of Beirut seems to linger in a fragile and indefinite present tense. It is a city of paradoxes and contradictions. In this sense, the uncanny and hostile environment of contemporary Beirut presents the ideal science-fiction setting where the familiar and the unusual exist side by side. By fusing elements of the fiction and non-fiction genres, The Eye of the Architect looks beyond Beirut’s political divisions and its sectarian strife, focusing on the subtler notion of Beirut as an uncanny urban experiment. Through interactions with different characters, the director’s journey through Lebanon's capital becomes a reconciliation with the unfamiliar city he calls home.

Contact / Presenters

Myriam Sassine | Producer
Email: myriam@abboutproductions.com
Mobile: +961 35 700 20

Nadim Mishlawi | Director
Email: nadim@db-studios.net
Mobile: +961 39 175 29

The Forbidden Strings
Taarhaaye Mamnooe


Iran, Afghanistan
Directed by: Hasan Noori
Scriptwriter: Afsaneh Salari
Producer: Afsaneh Salari, Hasan Noori, Hoda Siahtiri
Camera: Behrouz Badrouj
Language: Persian
Genre: documentary
Release date: 01/12/2018
Runtime: 75 min
What’s missing: post-production

This is the film’s final distribution title.
This film is director’s debut.
Working version of the film will be presented.


Film synopsis

The film follows four young Afghan refugees born and raised in Iran. As labourers, they work hard to make a living and support their families during the day. But as night falls, they get together in a remote studio outside of Tehran, away from the eyes of their families and the police in order to practice what they dream to be: rock stars. The Arikain band has a dream – they aspire to perform their first concert in their fatherland, Afghanistan, which they've never seen before. However, they never imagined that in order to reach this dream, they will have to pass through Taliban forces.

Director’s filmography

Hasan was also born in Iran to Afghan parents in 1985. He worked hard during the day and studied through long sleepless nights toward his dream of becoming a filmmaker. Hasan has a BA in sociology and a Master’s degree in Cinema from the University of Tehran. As a filmmaker, he's also very active in helping NGOs that fight racism and child labour in Iran.

Producer’s filmography

Afsaneh Salari is a young award-winning filmmaker. She co-founded the Docmaniacs collective in Tehran together with Hoda Siahtiri and Sepand Saedi in order to team up with other filmmakers from the region in the international documentary industry. She has a BA in film from the Tehran University of Art, a master’s degree in Creative Directing from Paris 8 University in France, and a master’s degree in documentary directing from Docnomads. She's currently working on her feature documentary The Silhouettes supported by a Sundance Institute production grant. She's an alumna of La Femis Summer School and Berlinale Doc Station.

Producer’s statement

After years of living as an immigrant, I’ve learnt to divide my people into two groups: those who follow their dreams and those who bury them. As an Afghan immigrant, if you are among the first group, it means you believe in miracles as well. It's not easy to talk to the broken body of an immigrant labourer about dreams. This is why I decided to use art in order to send my message to the immigrant community: dare to dream! That's how our lives change. Societies do not change through arms, tanks and soldiers – they change through art and culture. And today, that's what my fatherland Afghanistan needs more than ever. The Arikains dared to dream and that's why I also had the courage to accompany them on their journey.

Contact / Presenters

Hoda Siahtiri | Producer
Email: siahtiri.hoda@gmail.com
Mobile: +33 778 689 087

Hasan Noori | Director
Email: hasan.noori1@gmail.com

Froth
Pena


Russia
Directed by: Ilia Povolotskiy
Scriptwriter: Ilia Povolotskiy
Producer: Anna Shalashina, Yaroslav Kozlov, Ekaterina Krasovitskaya
Camera: Evgeniy Rodin
Language: Russian
Genre: documentary
Release date: 01/02/2019
Runtime: 90 min
What’s missing: post-production, international sales

This is the film’s working title and may change.
This film is director’s debut.
Working version of the film will be presented.


Film synopsis

Froth is a documentary about the customs and everyday life on the coast of the Barents Sea. At the heart of the narrative are the stories of three ordinary people. Bardak is a salty old sea dog, who after taking his pension opts to live out his years with hard work in an abandoned village on the very edge of the world. Sasha and his team of self-taught divers have taken the initiative to raise Second-World War shipwrecks that the experts consider to be outside the realm of possibility. Young poacher Dima, whose sense of adventure and recklessness have earned him the nickname “Catastrophe”, manages to evade capture and read his daughter a fairy tale all in one evening.

Director’s filmography

Ilya Povolotskiy was born on February 3, 1987. He graduated from the Law Department at Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation in 2009 and founded Black Chamber film production.

Works (director/writer):

2015 – Under the Clouds, documentary for 1TV Russia

2017 – Northerners (short), premiere at Krakow Film Festival (in competition), IndieFest (Best Documentary winner), Short To The Point (Best Documentary winner)

Producer’s filmography

Anna Shalashina graduated from the Linguistics Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2011 and completed an MBA program at Kingston University, London three years later. Her dissertation on film co-production was nominated for Best MBA Project of 2014.


Filmography:

2012 – Italian Movies (Italy, Russia), feature film by Matteo Pellegrini

2014 – Tsili (France, Russia, Israel), feature film by Amos Gitai

2017 – Donkey (Italy, Russia), documentary by Anatoly Vasiliev

2017 – Mathilde (Russia), feature film by Alexey Uchitel

2019 – Starffin. On the Other Side of Dawn (Russia, USA), documentary by Tchavdar Georgiev

Producer’s statement

Froth is a documentary feature film about the customs and everyday life on the coast of the Barents Sea. At the heart of the narrative are the stories of several ordinary people and the choices they made. The cultures of the Far North are well known for their challenging way of life and their bold character. They are united by an incredible blend of humility, inherent rebelliousness, and a very specific moral code and attitude to life.

Contact / Presenters

Anna Shalashina | Producer
Email: shalashinanna@gmail.com
Mobile: +7 926 8210 812

Juvenile
Juvenile


Serbia
Directed by: Jovan Todorović
Scriptwriter: Jovan Todorović, Milena Z. Petrović
Producer: Bogdan Petković
Camera: Stefan Djordjević, Jovan Todorović
Music: Alex Epton
Language: Serbian
Genre: documentary
Release date: 01/09/2018
Runtime: 100 min
What’s missing: color grading, sound design, sound mix

This is the film’s final distribution title.
This film is director’s debut.
Working version of the film will be presented.


Film synopsis

Prisons, hospitals, schools, mental institutions – they all reflect the current state of mankind. Juvenile describes the life of young offenders in a juvenile correction facility in Kruševac and follows these young people in their everyday activities. The film captures their spontaneous discussions in smaller or bigger groups, their participation in workshops, or their moments of solitude and isolation; we follow them when they go to breakfast, lunch and dinner; we film their visits, the intimate moments between men and girls, forbidden kisses, tears, talks with educators, rows, and so on. We are with them all the way. 

This film doesn’t speak, but it shows our impressions of the segmented world we entered – a world which we strived to show with love and understanding.

Director’s filmography

Jovan was born in Serbia, grew up in California, and currently resides in New York. He is drawn to storytelling as a means of using heightened visual, auditory and textural experiences to explore the human experience and promote connectivity through empathy. He grew close to hacking and the demo computer scene, composing music in DOS through Impulse Tracker and similar software. Later he immersed himself in photography and many of his works have been published in large print magazines such as Interview, Oyster, Flaunt, Grey, or ODDA. In film, his primary area of professional, intimate and personal work in which he expresses himself is fictional & experimental films, music videos and commercials. His strongest love, however, is for truly cinematic documentary film. His first film is The Belgrade Phantom – feature film, 35mm.

Producer’s filmography

Bogdan Petkovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia. He is a company manager and producer and is extremely experienced in all aspects of film and commercial productions, client service management, creative directing, and damage control management in all aspects of production. He is also experienced in creative management in all phases of the advertising process. 

Petkovic is Managing Director (50% owner) at company Emote productions – a company dedicated to producing highly creative quality commercials and feature films. He has worked as producer on several projects supported by Eurimages European Film fund. He produced The Belgrade Phantom – feature film, 35mm, and a significant number of short films.

Producer’s statement

I have always been fascinated by institutions as metaphors of today’s global society. Inspired by works such as The Trial by Kafka and numerous films by F. Wiseman, I have also begun a visual and emotional exploration of the institutionalization of the human spirit. It is necessary for me to find particles of humanity and emotion in spheres of society and existence that I can identify with, understand and communicate. I have been trying to develop my own personal and visual expression as an undeniable imprint of how I see the world. I think I have reached the maturity of having created my own “Kino Eye” and in this film I wish to record the life of young offenders in a juvenile correction facility – a film that achieves meaning with the very essence of what film is.

Contact / Presenters

Jovan Todorović | Director
Email: jovan.todorovic@gmail.com
Mobile: +13 479 557 359

Bogdan Petković | Producer
Email: bpetkovic@emoteproductions.com
Mobile: +381 633 89 602

Marija Lero | Producer
Email: marija.lero@gmail.com
Mobile: +381 643 019 899

Life of Ivanna
Zhizni Ivanni


Russia, Norway
Directed by: Renato Borrayo Serrano
Scriptwriter: Renato Borrayo Serrano
Producer: Vlad Ketkovich
Camera: Renato Borrayo Serrano
Language: Russian, Nenets
Genre: documentary
Release date: 25/11/2018
Runtime: 60 min
What’s missing: post-production, distributors

This is the film’s working title and may change.
This film is director’s debut.
Working version of the film will be presented.


Film synopsis

A film about the hard choice of a woman who belongs to indigenous society: should she stay with the traditions that have been preserved for ages or follow her dream and emigrate for an independent life in a modern city? Together with her five children, Ivanna migrates to the city after living all her life in the tundra. We follow her removal and the first steps in her new life. 

Ivanna’s story is very personal, but at the same time it depicts a global trend. Young people want to quit the traditional way of living and move to cities, and we can see this process almost everywhere in the Russian Arctic and other places in the world.

Director’s filmography

Renato Borrayo Serrano. Born in Guatemala, Central America. Since 2012 he has lived and worked in Russia. In 2017 he graduated as a film director specializing in documentary film from the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) and took courses at the Marina Razbezhkina and Mikhail Ugarov School of Documentary Film and Theatre.

Currently based in Moscow. Since 2014 his works have been screened at many international film festivals. His Film for Carlos received honorary mention from the shorts competition jury at Dok Leipzig 2017 and honorary mention from the jury at Art Dok Fest 2017, the largest documentary film festival in Moscow. He also won the Best Short Film Prize at DocuDays UA 2018 in Kiev.

Producer’s filmography

Vlad Ketkovich has published articles and photos in GEO, National Geographic and other magazines. Since 2000, he has been CEO and Producer at Ethnofund, a company that is well-established in the Russian documentary landscape. Ketkovich is a member of the International Federation of Journalists and the Russian Geographical Society. He also promotes Russian documentaries internationally on behalf of the Russian Documentary Guild. In 2010-2017 Vlad participated in a number of producers’ training programs, pitching sessions and film industry events, such as EAVE, Mastercampus, Eurodoc, WEMW, IDFA Forum, Hot Docs Forum, Dok Leipzig Coproduction Meetings, Ex-Oriente, East European Forum, and others. Since 2011 Ketkovich has worked extensively with International co-productions as a co-producer, line producer and researcher.

Producer’s statement

This is a film that aims to address a very complex issue surrounding the situation of indigenous people in the Russian Artic. It uses a highly cinematographic language and a very close-up approach to a concrete character, Ivanna, who is at the very heart of a great civilization’s conflict: the continuity of the Nenets’ traditional way of life in the tundra vs. their absorption by the city and the quick deterioration of the quality of life in the tundra provoked by the reckless exploitation of its natural resources.

This marks the point of no return in Ivanna’s life, and she finds herself there because she has decided to experience the different life that the city offers – a life unknown to her. At the northernmost port city of the world, she finds herself on her own with her five children, trying to experience freedom.

Contact / Presenters

Vlad Ketkovich | Producer
Email: ethnofund@gmail.com
Mobile: +7 916 6740 654

Renato Borrayo Serrano | Director
Email: renatoyoserrano@gmail.com
Mobile: +7 963 6840 285

Little Poland
Little Poland


Poland
Directed by: Matej Bobrik
Scriptwriter: Matej Bobrik
Producer: Agnieszka Dziedzic, Agnieszka Skalska
Camera: Michał Stajniak
Music: Tymoteusz Wilczak
Language: Japanese, Polish
Website: www.koi-studio.pl/en/sztuka -zrozumienia/
Genre: documentary, comedy
Release date: 22/11/2018
Runtime: 70 min
What’s missing: sales agent, festivals

This is the film’s working title and may change.
This film is director’s debut.
Working version of the film will be presented.


Film synopsis

Little Poland is a coming-of-age story that follows one year in the life of a group of Japanese students who decide to sign up for Polish Language and Culture Studies at the University of Tokyo. One of the compulsory tasks for second-year students is to stage a play in Polish. In his documentary Little Poland, Matej Bobrik tells the story of their struggle, not only with the Polish language, but also how their projections clash strongly with reality. Little Poland possesses the bitter-sweet taste of growing up.

Director’s filmography

Matej Bobrik is from Slovakia and was born in Prague in 1982. He graduated from the Directing Department of the Polish National Film School in Łódź and his student film Where the Sun Doesn't Rush (2009) was shown at international film festivals such as IDFA, DOK Leipzig, Visions du Réel and others. He currently lives in Warsaw and has participated in the DOK Pro documentary course at Wajda School. For his debut, he completed The Visit (2013) produced by Studio Munka. The film premiered at IDFA and was shown at many other international festivals.

Producer’s filmography

Born in 1986 in Poland. She has been working in Koi Studio since 2014. She was part of the publicity team for the Oscar-nominated documentary Joanna by Aneta Kopacz and spokesperson for the multi-award-winning documentary Call Me Marianna by Karolina Bielawska. She premiered The Here After by Magnus von Horn at Cannes 2015. In Koi Studio she is responsible for the creative development of documentaries, public relations and communication. Our Little Poland is her debut as a producer.

Producer’s statement

I am portraying people who have to struggle with a language and culture that they know nothing about. This is a group of youngsters on the verge of maturity. For the first time, they open up to the world and to each other. They are full of hopes and dreams, but they slowly discover that the adulthood that seemed to be so exciting at first also has its dark sides. No matter how they perform during their college years, they will end up working in a corporation doing anonymous work. The quirky Polish language they are trying to learn may be the most useless thing that they have ever picked up.

Contact / Presenters

Agnieszka Skalska | Producer
Email: askalska@koi-studio.pl
Mobile: +48 509 236 089

Matej Bobrik | Director
Email: matejbobrik@hotmail.com
Mobile: +48 662 434 736

The Projectionist
The Projectionist


Ukraine, Germany, Poland
Directed by: Yuriy Shylov
Scriptwriter: Yuriy Shylov
Producer: Gennady Kofman, Olha Beskhmelnytsina, Dirk Simon, Miroslaw Dembinski
Camera: Yuriy Shylov, Serafim Kusakin, Illya Ehorov
Language: Ukrainian, Russian
Website: www.magikafilm.com.ua
Genre: dramedy, documentary
Release date: 02/11/2018
Runtime: 70 min
What’s missing: sales agent, distributors, broadcasters, festivals

This is the film’s working title and may change.
This film is director’s debut.


Film synopsis

Valentin is an eccentric projectionist. For 44 years, he’s been working in one of the oldest movie theatres in Kiev’s city centre. In his projection booth, he drinks with war veterans, dances with the show girls from next door or cuts his friend’s hair. Every day at work seems like another adventure. The turmoil on Maidan Square and the war remain behind the scenes, while the life on screen creates an alternative reality. It all comes to an abrupt end when a fire breaks out in the cinema and Valentin is forced to retire. He looks after his dying mother, rushing to help her the moment she calls. With an average life expectancy for men in Ukraine of 64 years, Valentin is aware that he does not have much time left. Still, he fights desperately to find a new meaning in life in a rapidly changing country.

Director’s filmography

Yuriy Shylov graduated from the directing department of Kyiv National Karpenko-Kary University of Theatre, Cinema and Television. He has worked with feature and documentary projects. In 2015, he shot the short film Weight, Audience Prize in VGIK International Film Festival and in 2016 the short documentary Panorama. Docudays UA IFF – Student Jury Prize. Kyiv ISFF – Jury’s Special Mention, Audience Prize. Odessa IFF – Jury’s Special Mention. Gogolfest UA – Best Short Nonfiction Film.

Producer’s filmography

Gennady Kofman is a producer and program director of Docudays UA. He has produced more than 35 documentaries. His credits include The Living Fire by Ostap Kostyuk (2014, 78 min., Ukraine), which has been recognized at numerous festivals including Hot Docs, Karlovy Vary IFF and Salem Film Fest, and The Dybbuk. A Tale of Wandering Souls by Krzysztof Kopczynski (2015, 86/52 min, Poland-Ukraine-Sweden).

Olga Beskhmelnytsina is a producer with MaGiKa Film and ESSE Production House. Her credits include The Living Fire (2014, 78 min, Ukraine).

Dirk Simon has been an independent producer for 15 years. His films have received multiple awards for best documentary. Simon has also produced for broadcasters like ARTE, ZDF, RBB, and MDR. Dirk was nominated twice for the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung

Producer’s statement

The camera and perspective in this film are observational while the shots are as static as possible. Characters are not paying attention to the camera and appear authentic. Starting from the projection booth, I wanted life there to look almost more fictitious than the films projected on the screen, in order to make this documentary highly cinematic. People like Valentin, above 60, struggle when they realize that they don’t have much time left. His partying in the projection booth is a denial of his own mortality. Drinking and dancing with girls is an attempt to prove that he’s still young, active and joyful. When a tumour is discovered and removed, he battles with his fear of dying with smiles and selfies, which he sends out via social media apps, mocking the fear of his friends.   

Contact / Presenters

Yuriy Shylov | Director
Email: y.y.shilov@gmail.com
Mobile: +380 996 227 436

Dirk Simon | Producer
Email: dirksimon@mac.com
Mobile: +49 171 9017 650

Olha Beskhmelnitsyna | Producer
Email: beskhmelnytsina@gmail.com
Mobile: +380 503 122 949

Scars
Narben


Germany, Poland, Netherlands
Directed by: Agnieszka Zwiefka
Scriptwriter: Agnieszka Zwiefka
Producer: Michaela Pňačeková, Stefan Kloos
Camera: Kacper Czubak
Language: Tamil
Genre: hybrid documentary
Release date: 15/01/2019
Runtime: 90 min
What’s missing: festivals, pre-sales, broadcasters

This is the film’s working title and may change.
This film is presented out of the competition.
Working version of the film will be presented.


Film synopsis

For the Tamil people her name means “Miss Victory”. For the Sri Lankan government she is a terrorist under surveillance. Vetrichelvi was a fighter for two decades, joining the Tamil Tigers at the age of only 17. During the 25-year-long Sri Lankan civil war, she lost one arm and one eye, but also became known as a writer and the Voice of the Tigers, the radical radio speaker of the Tamil liberation movement. Now, having recently been released from jail, she goes on a journey to find nine women who were her closest friends during the years of fighting and gives a voice to the untold stories of the female fighters. In a country where winners decide what part of history should be told and those who speak out often disappear, Vetrichelvi’s mission is a dangerous game changer.

Director’s filmography

Agnieszka Zwiefka is an award-winning documentary film director, winner of the Silver Horn at Krakow Film Festival, the Big Golden Nanook at Flahertiana Festival, the Urania Award at LET’S CEE Festival, the Zoom Award at MFF T-Mobile New Horizons and many others. For over 12 years she has cooperated with TVP as author of various award-winning TV programs and documentaries. Her latest film The Queen of Silence (2014) premiered at IDFA festival in Amsterdam in the main competition. It was screened at over 50 festivals worldwide, receiving 15 awards, and was co-produced by such TV stations as HBO Europe, ZDF/ARTE, SVT, YLE and RAI. In her films, she balances between reality and fantasy, creating hybrids that cross the border between documentary and fiction.

Producer’s filmography

Michaela Pňačeková heads the Kloos & Co Medien documentary production subsidiary in Leipzig. She is a producer and interactive creator. In 2017 she developed her first interactive app, the Pre-Crime Calculator, as a marketing tool for the launch of the documentary film Pre-Crime, on which she worked as a line producer. Her first feature length documentary project Border Cut by Igor Chojna won Special Mention at the Bosch Stiftung East European Co-Production Prize 2014 and will be released in 2018. The documentary film Waterproof by Daniela König received the EWA Award for the best female-driven project in development at DOK Leipzig 2017. She also worked on the Oscar-nominated documentary Last Men in Aleppo by Feras Fayyad and Steen Johanessen as the German production coordinator.

Producer’s statement

This film is an attempt to understand what makes one join a terrorist organization and what price a woman pays for her fight, as almost half of the Tamil Tigers fighters were women. After the war ended, the fighters were detained and often killed. The female LTTE fighters have never been portrayed in a documentary, as it is forbidden to even address this issue in contemporary Sri Lanka. We see Scars as a conversation starter in debates regarding terrorism, child soldiers, the role of women in the contemporary world, and immigration as a way of starting a new life. In the modern context, when terrorist attacks are portrayed daily on the news, we ask these questions: does a former terrorist deserve a second chance? What is the “afterlife of a terrorist”? And who decides upon and what denominates a terrorist group?

Contact / Presenters

Agnieszka Zwiefka | Director
Email: zwiefka@chilliproductions.com
Mobile: +48 606 136 399

Michaela Pňačeková | Producer
Email: michaela.pnacekova@kloosundco.de
Mobile: +49 162 2401 380

Teach
Profu'


Romania
Directed by: Alex Brendea
Scriptwriter: Alex Brendea
Producer: Irina Malcea
Camera: Alex Brendea
Language: Romanian
Genre: documentary
Release date: 15/12/2018
Runtime: 90 min

This is the film’s working title and may change.
This film is director’s debut.
Working version of the film will be presented.


Film synopsis

A peculiar math teacher from Transilvania becomes a local Don Quijote when he quits the conventional education system and opens a private tutoring office in his own two-room apartment. Throughout one school year we follow his struggle and persistence in bringing back the passion of learning and changing the lives of his pupils for the better.

Director’s filmography

Alex Brendea has broad experience as a cinematographer for a number of feature films in both documentary and fiction, including Year of the Dragon produced for HBO Romania, The King’s War, Off the Beaten Track, a co-production between Mobra Films and Ikandi Ireland, as well as the documentary My Father Lucian Blaga and the indie fiction piece Once Upon a TimeTeach is his directorial debut.

Producer’s filmography

With a background in political science, Irina began working in cinema in 2011. Two years later, she set up the Luna Film production house while maintaining strong collaboration with other companies. She produced the documentary feature I Am Hercules by Marius Iacob and The Last Day by Gabriel Achim. She was executive producer of Andrei Cretulescu’s debut Charleston and the Bulgarian, German and Romanian co-production Palace for the People. She is in post-production with the documentary feature Teach by Alex Brendea and in development with the features La Civil by Teodora Ana Mihai, The Mind Patrol by Tudor Botezatu and the documentaries Alice by Teodora Ana Mihai and Lovelines by Isabela von Tent. She is also co-producing Ines Tanovic’s The Son.

Producer’s statement

I was one of Teach’s pupils more than ten years ago when I was preparing for my final high school exams. He was my teacher, but also my mentor. He became our friend and, apart from offering us a place where we could learn to love mathematics, he offered us a place where we felt at home and were protected. The image of Dorin Ionita has followed me throughout the years because to me he was the image of a man who was eager to make a change and do something better for the future of his pupils.

What I find special about Teach is that he represents a very rare category of people. The fact that he chooses to give up certain comforts of this material world in order to change the lives of his students for the better and thus overcomes so many barriers is to me proof of humanity.

Contact / Presenters

Irina Malcea | Producer
Email: irina.malcea@lunafilm.ro
Mobile: +40 741 942 882

Alex Brendea | Director
Email: breghyy@yahoo.com
Mobile: +40 722 812 456

The Winter Garden's Tale
Istorija Zymovogo sadu


Ukraine
Directed by: Simon Mozgovyi
Scriptwriter: Simon Mozgovyi
Producer: Alex Chepiga
Camera: Denis Melnik
Music: Roman Grygoriv, Illiah Razumeiko
Language: Ukrainian, Russian
Genre: documentary comedy drama
Release date: 11/11/2018
Runtime: 78 min
What’s missing: sound mix, color grading, theatrical release expenses, marketing expenses, distributor, sales agent

This is the film’s final distribution title.
This film is director’s debut.


Film synopsis

The main story is based on the history of a floriculture pavilion and the old workwoman, Mrs. Valentina Voronina, who has maintained this space and invested her own life into it. Suddenly a change comes and she is asked to retire after forty five years of work. Mrs. Voronina doesn’t agree with this, because she believes all of the plants will die without her. At the same time, a group of mysterious spiritual healers appear and find a powerful channel of positive energy in front of the entrance to the greenhouse.

Director’s filmography

Simon Mozgovyi – director, actor. Date of birth: July 31st, 1992; place of birth – Kharkiv. He first completed a specialized English-language secondary school. In 2009 Simon Mozgovyi entered Kharkiv State Academy of Arts, Film and TV Directing Department. In 2013 he finished his studies and moved to Kiev in the same year.  In 2012-2013 he studied dramaturgy at the Inter TV channel’s specialized television school.  In 2013 he began to act in the Dakh Theatre. He works as a freelance director.

Producer’s filmography

Oleksandr Chepiga. Date of birth: September 4th, 1980. Place of birth – Kiev. He graduated from the Institute of Decorative Applied Art and Design, named after M. Boychuk. Chepiga is a co-founder of the cinema company Arthouse Traffic, creative director of Odessa IFF, producer of TV programs and Internet translations, and also works in short advertising. In 2012-2013 he worked on making a feature length documentary together with the American company PowerShorts production called To Marry a Foreigner (Love Me – USA, 2014). In 2013 he joined the community of the BABYLON'13 cinema of civil society. In 2015 he created several independent commercials and music videos.

Producer’s statement

The film deals with current problems of the continuity of generations and the misunderstandings that are linked to it – the temptation of power and its usurpation; its influence on the human character; and taking oneself as an integral part of natural evolutionary processes that are guided by laws that are the same for both the plant and human world.

The purpose of the film also formed on its own – in order to survive in our often unfair world, only labour and a bit of self-irony can give us the will not to despair and continue to live.

Contact / Presenters

Simon Mozgovyi | Director
Email: simon.mozgovoy@gmail.com
Mobile: +380 979 875 720

Alex Chepiga | Producer
Email: chepiga@gmail.com
Mobile: +380 978 887 714

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