Works in Development – Feature Launch 2021

KVIFF & MIDPOINT Development Award Jury

Arnaud Gourmelen Arnaud Gourmelen

Born in Paris, Arnaud Gourmelen began working for the programming departments of film festivals (Brest, Biarritz, Pantin film festivals). In 2005, he became Head of Programming of the Angers Film Festival - Premiers Plans - where he continued to discover new filmmakers from all over Europe through competitions dedicated to student films, first short films and debut long features. In addition, he has curated many retrospectives dedicated to Aki Kaurismäki, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jean-Luc Godard, Barbet Schroeder, Nanni Moretti, Luis Buñuel, Alan Clarke, Jean-Pierre Meville, Agnès Varda, Andreï Zvyagintsev, John Boorman and others. From 2011 to 2018, he worked as a programmer on the selection committee of the Directors‘ Fortnight (Cannes Film Festival). In addition to the Angers festival, he now works as an international consultant and program delegate for several international festivals (Karlovy Vary, Brussels and Zurich) and also organizes the Angers Workshop every summer.


Danijel Hočevar Danijel Hočevar

Film producer and CEO of Vertigo, a Ljubljana (Slovenia)-based production company with a distinctive track record and extensive working experience on international co-productions and narrow budget films, including Small Body (2021, Cannes FF  Critics’ Week) by Laura Samani, Reconciliation (2021, CPH: DOX Next Wave Competition) by Marija Zidar, Otac / Father (2020, Berlinale Panorama Audience Award) by Srdan Golubovic, God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya (2019, Berlinale Competition: Ecumenical Award and Lux Film Prize 2019) by Teona Mitevska, Half-Sister (2019, Karlovy Vary IFF Main Competition), Nightlife (2016, Karlovy Vary IFF’s Best Director Award), Slovenian Girl (2009, Toronto IFF) and Spare Parts (2003, Berlinale Competition), all directed by Damjan Kozole, An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (2013, two Berlinale Silver Bears) by Danis Tanovic, Circles (2013, Sundance FF World Cinema Competition’s Jury Prize) by S. Golubovic, Alexandrians (2011, Trieste Film Festival Best Documentary) by Metod Pevec, and Bread and Milk (2001, Venice FF’s Lion of the Future Award) by Jan Cvitkovic.

Danijel has been selected as Variety’s Ten Producers to Watch, is a member of EFA, and the president of the Association of Slovenian Film Producers. Since 2005, he’s been actively involved as a tutor with several European training initiatives such as MIDPOINT Institute, EAVE, Nipkow Program, and Maia Workshops. He is also a member of the selection committee of the When East Meets West co-production market in Trieste.


Karla Stojáková Karla Stojáková

Film producer Karla Stojáková was born in the Czech Republic in 1978. She graduated from the Production Department at FAMU (Film and TV Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague) and has been the head of the Production Department at FAMU since 2018.

In 2000, she founded AXMAN PRODUCTIONS – an independent film production company based in the heart of Prague. In 2013, she co-founded the film production house FILM KOLEKTIV.

Karla is the founder of FILMASIA – the first film festival of Asian cinema in the Czech Republic. She was selected as Producer on the Move at Cannes IFF 2006 and is a board member and vice-president of ACE Producers and a member of APA (Czech Producers’ Association).


ALIYA
ALIYA


Countries:
Israel, Russia, Poland
Directed by:
Dekel Berenson
Scriptwriter:
Dekel Berenson, Co-writer: Greer Ellison
Producer:
Marek Rozenbaum, Alexander Rodnyansky, Paul Wesley, Co-Producers: Anna Rozalska, Aleksandra Aleksander
Language:
Hebrew, Russian
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
2.000.000 EUR
Release date:
2023

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Aliya, an 18-year-old recent immigrant from Ukraine, finds meaning in her recently discovered Jewish identity and feelings of patriotism towards Israel, her newly adopted country. Wishing to blend in, she volunteers to join the military and trains to become a drill instructor in order to help transform Israel's youth into toughened soldiers. After weeks of intense physical and psychological training at a desert base, her company receives seventy-two hours leave before their final exam. Aliya returns to her family in Tel Aviv, where her mother confronts her for her choices. Determined to have fun, she heads into the city for a night out but ends up being assaulted by her date. After a turbulent and unsettling weekend at home, Aliya must return to the military base but struggles to complete her course as she re-evaluates her values, beliefs, and place in Israeli society.

Company profile

Transfax Film Productions, established in 1989 by Marek Rozenbaum, specializes in the co-production and production of feature films and production services in Israel. In addition to 67 feature films, Transfax has produced over 40 documentaries for Israeli Television, 7 dramas and over 80 television commercials and programs. Transfax features have screened in festivals such as Cannes & Venice, have won numerous awards and have been screened internationally.

Match&Spark is a talent management and production company based in Warsaw established by Anna Rozalska & Tarik Hachoud. It co-produced the feature documentary In the Name of Honor alongside US based RatPac, and the feature documentary Who Will Write Our History, directed by Roberta Grossman and produced alongside Executive Producer Nancy Spielberg. It is also currently developing Sundance World Cinema Directing Award winner's Michał Marczak feature.

Author’s statement

In many ways, ALIYA is an autobiographical film. I left Israel at the age of 21, days after completing my mandatory service in the Army. The reasons I left are complex, yet they primarily have to do with my disenchantment with many of the social and political values and beliefs I was brought up with. Inversely, Aliya, who as a teen discovered that she was Jewish, immigrated to Israel with her entire family to join the military. During the days depicted in the film, she is confronted with the reality of her choices. Social realist, visual, and personal, ALIYA is a coming of age story, yet it is one that also encapsulates the narrative of an entire country, in which interpersonal relationships are metaphors for violence between nations and people. It is a personal story and a strong reflection of my values related to identity, nationalism, religion, hierarchies, authority, and power.

Producer’s statement

As a producer and fourth generation filmmaker, I consider it part of my obligation to spot emerging talent. Dekel tells sensitive stories, and his talent is to make it interesting and relevant for us to observe the human being at odds with its environment. When I read the script, I was taken by the balance between plot and theme. ALIYA is a statement about systemic violence and simultaneously a rumination on identity. The story shows us how a culture of violence bleeds into one’s identity, how violence is normalized into who we are. This is a powerful message for today’s global audiences. I believe this is a film not just for Israeli audiences. I believe its message of militarized youth, identity, and violence, rendered with Dekel’s nuanced and sensitive approach, will resound on a global stage.

Alexander Rodnyansky

Contact / Presenters

Transfax Films
3 Yagia Kapayim Street, 67778, Tel Aviv, Israel
Email: [email protected]
www www.transfax.co.il

Dekel Berenson | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +447 491 568 554

Greer Ellison | Co-writer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +447 561 413 630

Aleksandra Aleksander | Co-producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +48 731 302 999

Bijuterie
Bižuterija


Countries:
Lithuania, Italy
Directed by:
Tomas Vengris
Scriptwriter:
Birute Kapustinskaite
Producer:
Emilija Sluskonyte, Marica Stocchi
Language:
Lithuanian
Genre:
crime, drama
Estimated budget:
2.390.000 EUR
Release date:
2026


Film synopsis

Violeta (60) sits under the bright lights of a TV interview. Her intense eyes flare as her mind reels back to: 1985, Kaunas, Lithuania. Violeta (20), now a young mother, sells cheap jewellery at a flea market to make ends meet. She tricks a charming young "businessman" into buying a fake gold watch, unaware that this is Balys, the right-hand-man of the most feared gang in town. Balys realizes her trick, but instead of retribution, he asks for a date. Violeta quickly finds herself in a passionate love affair that leads her out of her miserable life with her abusive first husband and into luxury, passion, and extravagance at the centre of the most dangerous criminal organization in Lithuania’s history. Back in the present, 60-year-old Violeta, a widowed mother of three, struggles to maintain her cool demeanour against the flood of memories. In her mind, this is only the beginning of the final act.

Company profile

COMETOS is a Lithuanian independent production and post-production company with mastering services covering the entire Baltic region. Following the motto of “making films that are impossible to make,” the company focuses on feature film production to develop the voices of a new generation of writers and directors, with a particular focus on genre films. In 2021, COMETOS produced the first Lithuanian feature horror film Pensive entirely through independent funding.

We actively seek collaborators outside typical funding systems, allowing for more active and unrestricted development of stories and talent.

Before founding COMETOS, Emilja was a producer with ACME Film on commercial and arthouse feature films.

Author’s statement

The story of Bijuterie is inspired by a real person. When you meet the actual “Violeta” at her shabby hotel outside Bologna, it is hard to imagine that this petite, soft-spoken woman had a front-row seat to the most violent era in Lithuania’s modern history.  She was the mistress, wife, and eventual widow of one of Lithuania's leading organized crime figures. Her sheer strength of character is what makes this story so powerful.

In the film, we follow two versions of Violeta: the resilient 60-year-old émigré and the wild young firecracker. However, as past and present interweave, we see that there is more to her story than she would have us believe.

Violeta came from nothing but was determined to have it all: love, family, power, and respect. She lost everything. Now, sharing her story with the world is her last chance to take control and create the myth as she wants it to be remembered.

Producer’s statement

Bijuterie is an important, challenging film based on true events that shook Lithuania, starting with the final years of the USSR and continuing into the “wild capitalism” of post-independence. The often ignored criminal world of the Soviet 1980s has seen little attention on screen domestically or internationally. This colourful underworld is absurd by today’s standards, with its contraband butter and illegal flea markets.  

Our female protagonist, who despite society's constrictions is determined to find power without losing her womanhood, portrays a struggle that is no less important today than it was 40 years ago. 

The project's high budget, which is due to the time period and the turbulent nature of the events, requires a complex co-production structure and experienced international collaborators. With these in place, we know we can make this film as it is meant to be seen.

Contact / Presenters

COMETOS
Kėkštų g. 1, LT- 46383, Kaunas, Lithuania
Email: [email protected]

Tomas Vengris | Director
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +370 63 862 480

Birute Kapustinskaite | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +370 60 785 442

Emilija Sluskonyte | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +370 67 268 065

The Bomber
Spridzinātājs


Countries:
Latvia
Directed by:
Pauls Kesteris
Scriptwriter:
Gatis Murnieks
Producer:
Inese Boka-Grūbe
Language:
Latvian
Genre:
crime drama
Estimated budget:
1.200.000 EUR
Release date:
2024

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

The far-right organization 'Thundercross' fails to blow up the Victory Monument dedicated to the Soviet Army in Riga, Latvia. A premature explosion accidentally kills two of its members, but their leader Cross escapes. His teenage daughter Austra wakes up to find her life turned upside-down. Her father is named the most wanted criminal in the country and suspected in the murder of Austra's best friend's father. She cracks under pressure at school, alienates from her mother and comes under scrutiny by the investigator Ingrid, who must catch Cross at whatever cost. When Austra gets into trouble with the police, she starts a dangerous game with Ingrid while giving food to her father to help him survive in the woods. Finally, Austra learns the reality about Cross and is left with a choice between unconditional love, inevitable truth or control over her own destiny.

Company profile

Film Office Latvia is a Latvian film production company working on the production of documentaries, feature fictions and service productions. It is building cooperation between young talents and experienced professionals in developing and producing film projects with the potential for international co-production and release. The company is operated by producer Inese Boka-Grūbe (EAVE 2017, Producers on the Move 2019), whose latest minority co-production Natural Light (dir. Dénes Nagy, Hungary, Latvia, France, Germany) was selected by the Berlin International Film Festival 2021 and received the Silver Bear Award for Best Director. The film project The Bomber is a co-production with the Latvian film production company Mistrus Media.

Author’s statement

Inspired by true events, this is a story of two generations. While parents want to fix the past by any means, their children are faced with the tragic consequences.

In 1997, we were teenagers – just like our protagonist, Austra, when members of ‘Thundercross’ tried to blow up the Victory Monument. Today we are the same age as Austra's father Cross when he committed the attack. While telling this story, we use our own 13 and 33 year-old insights as we explore the complexity of this topic and provide both perspectives simultaneously.

We are most concerned with the choices for the future that were made despite the cruel realities of the 90's – a 'wild' world that still echoes in the present-day societies of post-Soviet space.

Producer’s statement

In view of the existing threat from right-wing extremism in Europe, The Bomber is envisaged as a crime drama that will address issues of nationalism, radicalization, right-wing extremism and the passing on of ideas to the next generation. The film will allow us to address an audience of young adults and also resonate with older audiences across Europe who are interested in contemporary European history. We are looking for co-production partners from Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and the Nordic countries. Development of the project is currently financed by the MEDIA Sub-programme of Creative Europe, the National Film Centre of Latvia and the State Culture Capital Foundation.

Contact / Presenters

Film Office Latvia
Stabu Street 31-8, LV1011, Riga, Latvia
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +371 29 259 580

Pauls Kesteris | Director
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +371 25 453 344

Gatis Murnieks | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +371 26 585 820

Inese Boka-Grūbe | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +371 29 259 580

Brothers
Braća


Countries:
Montenegro
Directed by:
Bojan Stijović
Scriptwriter:
Stefan Bošković
Producer:
Veliša Popović
Language:
Montenegrin
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
715.000 EUR
Release date:
Summer 2023

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

After living in Denmark for twenty years, famous writer Niko Boskovic comes back to his birthplace, the village Grahovo, visiting his younger brother Masan, the village priest, with whom he has a complicated relationship. Masan never forgave Niko for having to stay and take care of the property and their father. On the way to Grahovo, Niko accidentally kills a man with his car. Horrified and shocked, he throws the body down the cliff and runs. Eventually, he tells his brother the truth. Despite being a religious and moral man, Masan decides to help his brother in hiding the crime. In the meantime, the peasants prepare a big party in Niko’s honour. Hiding the crime jointly opens the Pandora’s box of suppressed emotions. Suddenly roles are changing. In trying to protect his brother, the inferior Masan takes over the position of leader.

Company profile

Cut-Up d.o.o. is a production company based in Montenegro dedicated to projects with strong visions and brave ideas. Its goal is to support a new generation of authors and make their ideas more visible on the international market. Cut-Up was established in 2013 as the initiative of several producers that felt the urge to raise the level of Montenegrin cinematography.

Cut-Up’s present line-up is the feature film Sirin directed by Senad Šahmanović (co-production Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France), as well as the documentary Last Nomads directed by Petar Glomazić and Biljana Tutorov (co-production Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Canada). The company's minority co-production Son by Ines Tanović was the opening film at Sarajevo FF in 2019.

Connecting with new countries and territories for film co-production is one of our company’s challenges and a long-term vision.

Author’s statement

The hardest part is when you surprise yourself. When you find out that you are not the person you thought you were, and you try to reconnect. Reconnection is often a more complex and important thing than connection, as the path is familiar and you have to crush some of your beliefs.  In this story, reconnection develops between two brothers. Two distant, alienated and diametrically opposed brothers, who love each other in spite of everything. The tragic accident that happens at the very beginning is a call to accept this extraordinary situation that evolves in a seemingly organized world.

Producer’s statement

This is our second feature film written by Stefan Bošković, winner of the European Union Prize for Literature, and first-time collaboration with Bojan Stijović, one of the prominent younger directors whose short films with cold but clear and strong tones in portraying the inner conditions of characters caught my attention.

Since the first draft, I have associated the juxtaposition of Grahovo’s land with characters: the cold and harsh rocks and dry abandoned lands with the inner turmoil of the brothers, and the sun-bathed golden grass and fertile soil with Jelena’s wish to become pregnant and bring life to a deserted place that once had historic significance.

Our goal is to premiere Brothers at festivals that can highlight the participation of first-time directors, such as Karlovy Vary and San Sebastian, but also to focus on regional cooperation and the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Contact / Presenters

Cut-Up
Hercegovačka 94, 81000, Podgorica, Montenegro
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +382 674 80 606
www www.cut-up.me

Bojan Stijović | Director
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +382 67 804 971

Stefan Bošković | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +382 68 181 931

Veliša Popović | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +382 67 480 606

Head Nurse
Sestra Hana


Countries:
Czech Republic
Directed by:
Jan Vejnar
Scriptwriter:
Jan Vejnar, Václav Hašek
Producer:
Kamila Dohnalová
Language:
Czech
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
1.100.000 EUR
Release date:
2023

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

During a one-day shift in a regional Czech hospital, different characters will sooner or later encounter Hana, the head nurse. Sometimes she is a random bystander, sometimes welcomed help, and sometimes an unshakable authority that cannot be defied. The elements of comedy and absurdity alternate in rapid succession, thus creating daily dramas that test everyone’s sanity: an agile young doctor is outdone by a tough maintenance worker, an experienced economic deputy drafts his patients like sports stars to avoid the hospital's rising debt, a famous actor from a popular hospital-based soap opera merges with his character, and a young idealistic intern is confronted with the true essence of the work she has chosen.

Company profile

Last Films is an independent film production company founded by producer Kamila Dohnalová in 2019. Last Films focuses on stories that reflect current societal issues and reveal hidden features of our everyday life. It believes in the urgency of delivering these projects to the audience at present and in the format of a highly fictionalized universe. Following Kamila’s previous producer’s work – SXSW-selected Figurant (2019, CZ/FR) featuring Denis Lavant, Oscar-shortlisted animated Happy End (2015) and Sundance-awarded Peacock (2015), Last Films brings to life international coproductions and projects that appeal to festivals worldwide. In addition to Head Nurse, the company is in the development stage of several short projects such as the animated romance Hurikán (CZ/FR/SK) or the coming-of-age drama Fugue (FR/MT/CZ).

Author’s statement

Head Nurse is an ensemble slice-of-life drama based on the unity of place, time and story. The narrative’s mosaic structure gives the audience a perspective of a tragicomic hyperbole, heavily relying on the absurdity created in our universe’s micro-situations. The multiple storylines spanning across the hospital’s hierarchy reflect the current pitfalls of the healthcare system. The hospital is portrayed as a microcosm similar to the structure of our society. It is an arena in which people's conflicting motivations and egos collide; where a successful solution to a problem usually only creates a new one. The location is decisive – we leave the scene with a different character than the one we entered with. The hospital as a system or physical building has already fallen apart and only the people themselves now carry out public service.

Producer’s statement

Head Nurse is an extraordinary drama from a totally ordinary day in a European hospital. As in the case of our previous collaboration, the short mystery drama Figurant (2019), Jan Vejnar again proves his distinctive scriptwriter’s and director’s approach, which combines heavy social critique with humour. Together with scriptwriter Václav Hašek, they are both deeply familiar with the medical environment but they stayed professionally distanced. The characters they have created are based upon extensive research and they are relatable – the audience can pity, hate and love them, usually at the same time. The ensemble nature of the film provides the perfect opportunity for international coproduction to cast well-established names together with fresh faces that will appeal to both the festival audience and broadcasters. The project has received Czech Film Fund script development support.

Contact / Presenters

Last Films
Jana Želivského 19, 130 00, Prague, Czech Republic
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 777 068 712

Jan Vejnar | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 603 768 585

Václav Hašek | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 773 551 179

Kamila Dohnalová | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 777 068 712

Leave the Door Open
Ostavi vrata otvorena


Countries:
Croatia
Directed by:
Judita Gamulin
Scriptwriter:
Judita Gamulin
Producer:
Rea Rajcic
Language:
English
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
763.000 EUR
Release date:
December 2023

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Four different families arrive at an overcrowded furniture store in Zagreb, all hoping that by rearranging their homes in the Scandinavian style they will also rearrange their lives. Unconsciously, they are also hoping to escape their Balkan identity and the uncertainty it brings. However, the claustrophobic store is a breeding ground for collective anxiety that makes some characters hysterical. The complex family relationships turn out to be entangled and, as hidden frustrations and family secrets surface, all the characters get into arguments, some of which end brutally. Some of them silently cry while others get lost, run, and hide from one another and change their lives. Suddenly, they are interrupted by the same event - a man has lost consciousness in the store lobby. By listening in through a public announcement system, they are faced with their realities and must make radical decisions.

Company profile

Eclectica is a film & TV production company from Zagreb, Croatia. Since 2015, it has produced a dozen short films: Red Light (BG/HR) won 15+ awards and was sold to Sundance TV, Pommel (UK/HR) received BIFA nomination for the Best British Short in 2018, and The Flood (SI/HR) competed at the ISFF Clermont-Ferrand 2019.

Eclectica's feature slate consists of The Uncle by A. Mardešić and D. Kapac, which has recently been shot in Zagreb, Honey Bunny by I. Jelinović was awarded at Sofia Meetings and Connecting Cottbus 2020, and Celebration by B. Anković is an adaptation of the Croatian novel of the decade. The Wedding is a new potential box office hit by I. Šeregi and The Secretaries by S. Ćapin was awarded at the "Pack&Pitch" programme of Sarajevo FF. The company is currently distributing a high-end docu-series called The Age of Untruth, produced for public TV and directed by N. Slijepčević & J. Gamulin.

Author’s statement

We follow four different post-transitional Croatian families through a day they spend in an IKEA-ish store, offering us a kaleidoscopic image of human destinies. Our collective fantasy about having a perfect family often traps us in unhealthy structures. This is especially relevant for the Balkans – suffering from serious war trauma tends to make us subconsciously hold on to everything that seems like stability. By having their dreams crushed, our characters learn that a family should be an institution that we choose consciously by keeping the door open and accepting our inevitable loneliness. However, the unattainable fantasy of a perfect family, which later breaks our hearts as adults, is a necessary incubator for us to grow up in. These family frustrations passed on from generation to generation are a crucial element to understanding and defining our future families.

Producer’s statement

I would often pitch Leave the Door Open to an international industry audience, and the idea would regularly provoke laughter and a lot of personal examples of that one crucial fight in Ikea that apparently everyone has. For me this project is a real treat from a professional standpoint – dealing with complex interpersonal relationships in a setting familiar to filmgoers throughout the world, with a high concept plot that revolves around a highly relatable experience and a director who has impressive precision in her portrayals of family relations.

Leave the Door Open has been supported by HAVC for script and project development and, prior to the MIDPOINT Feature Launch, it has participated in First Films First workshop by the Goethe Institute. While waiting for production support from HAVC, we are looking for co-producers, sales agents and distributors.

Contact / Presenters

Eclectica
Šenoina 11, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +385 915 021 205
www www.eclectica.com

Judita Gamulin | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +385 994 884 411

Rea Rajčić | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +385 915 021 205

No Reverse
Bez rikverca


Countries:
Montenegro
Directed by:
Branislav Milatović
Scriptwriter:
Milo Masoničić
Producer:
Miljan Vučelić
Language:
Montenegrin
Genre:
road-movie, dramedy
Estimated budget:
615.000 EUR
Release date:
2024

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

In his youth, while working as a truck driver transporting coffins across the former Yugoslavia for a funeral home in a small Montenegrin town, the 62-year-old Slavko experienced some of the most significant and beautiful moments of his life. Now, thirty years after the Yugoslav civil war, he still works for the same business. Facing a deadly disease, he decides to embark on a trip one more time, a journey that should reveal to him if anything – including himself – has changed over the years. On that journey, he is accompanied by Petar, his new neighbour with an unusual personality and an even more unusual past. Slavko travels to rediscover his memories and settle accounts; this trip is his “farewell tour”. However, the journey doesn’t quite unfold as he imagined, as new truths come to light and Slavko unexpectedly opens up new opportunities for his unlikely friend Petar.

Company profile

In the short time since its foundation in 2016, Bitter Frames Production has produced the short films A Head Full of Joy, The Visit and Obrad. Our short films have been screened at numerous international film festivals including the Drama International Short Film Festival, Brussels Short Film Festival, Motovun Film Festival, Alicante Film Festival, Camerimage, Beldocs, and others. We are currently producing a new short film The Bark, directed by Branislav Milatović. The company is developing a network of partners in Europe. We are co-producers on the feature film Guardians of the Formula (in production) by renowned Serbian director Dragan Bjelogrlić. The company’s first feature film No Reverse is supported for development by the Film Centre of Montenegro.

Author’s statement

The road movie genre is our framework to tell an intimate story about the friendship between two lonely people, offering the most inspiring space for building and balancing relationships, as the journey itself opens the possibility for characters to expose their true nature. In a way, this narrative allows us to develop the main elements freed from the cause-and-effect principle and focus on the characters themselves. The nature of the main protagonists Slavko and Petar and the situation in which they find themselves will be based particularly on the way they both approach friendship and shared intimacy. In this dichotomy between the two characters, we see the most interesting and exciting space for building and nuancing the conceptual landscape of the film.

Producer’s statement

Branislav Milatović has presented himself to the international film scene with his short films All of That, A Head Full of Joy and Obrad, in which he has also explored alienated and lonely characters. I think that the uniqueness of his directorial style is reflected in his authentic, subtle storytelling and dedicated work on the performance of his actors. The narrative format of a road movie that he's chosen for his debut is of particular interest to me, as it offers organic opportunities for regional co-production. Moreover, the characters are accompanied by a dose of mystery and intrigue that makes them attractive, while their feeling of loneliness and alienation culminates throughout the film. For the main role, an agreement has been reached with Slavko Štimac, a renowned actor in the former Yugoslavia. We believe that there is a major interest in this type of film, especially in the Balkan film market.

Contact / Presenters

Bitter Frames Production
Malo brdo V1/10, 81000, Podgorica, Montenegro
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +382 67 021 990

Branislav Milatović | Director
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +382 63 202 504

Milo Masoničić | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +382 68 432 528

Miljan Vučelić | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +382 67 021 990

Thinking David
Thinking David


Countries:
Czech Republic
Directed by:
Šimon Holý
Scriptwriter:
Šimon Holý
Producer:
Pavla Klimešová
Language:
Czech, English
Genre:
coming of age
Estimated budget:
2.000.000 EUR
Release date:
2024


Film synopsis

Identifying as gay in the Jewish community in Prague, seventeen-year-old David cannot imagine ever finding acceptance from his community. While exploring his Jewish identity in Israel, his sexuality becomes something that he is no longer willing to hide. As David begins to publicly identify as queer, he struggles with the relationship between his family and friends. His random sexual encounters, first relationship, and attempts to make up for lost time back home in the Czech Republic prove to be more difficult and painful than he expected. After a series of mistakes, David comes to terms with both of his identities and finds his place within his community of family and friends, thus beginning his adulthood…

Company profile

Helium Film is a production company founded in 2019 by Pavla Klimešová and Barbora Bargarová and later joined by Mária Môťovská. Each of the producers has different experience within the film industry, allowing the team to complement their approach to production. They are united by the motivation to work with young creators and make quality films with international reach and co-productions. Currently, the company is developing the animated series No Happily Ever After about supernatural creatures who have lost their purpose in the 21st century, which won the CEE Animation Forum Award; the family adventure feature Divine Lighting by Barbora Chalupová about the incredible life and struggles of Prokop Diviš, the inventor of the lighting rod, as well as the The Traveler, a short film with Geoffrey Rush in the leading role by director Veronika Jelšíková about what happens to your dreams after you move to the afterlife.

Author’s statement

A child molester, drug addict, charlatan and mass murderer – these are the only four queer main characters in the history of Czech cinema. The plot about a young boy coming out in the Jewish community might be tempting to portray in an overly dramatic way. This, however, is not my intention. It is not my experience, nor is it an experience or thesis that I would want to convey to the audience. Instead, I have decided to tell a story about a boy who is learning how to live his life without any doubts or remorse. The story of a boy who learns how not to repeat his ancestors’ mistakes by making different ones. I want to see David’s experience through his eyes and thoughts. His stubborn feeling that he understands himself best stands in the way of really examining all the possibilities of being a part of both the Jewish and LGBT community; however, his story can help the young queer audience.

Producer’s statement

After producing the documentary blockbuster Caught in the Net, which hit the local box office with more than 553,000 admissions and managed to open up social debate about child abuse online, I realised that it is essential for me to work on projects that have a broader social impact. With homophobia and antisemitism rising throughout all of Europe and the world, I feel that it is necessary to open up the subject of self-acceptance, tolerance and the question of identity.

I've participated in documentaries that have dealt with topics of religion and the LGBTQ+ community. Thinking David deals with both these topics in a fictional setting, which makes it a new and exciting challenge for me.

Šimon and I have known each other since 2013 and have collaborated on several projects together. When Šimon approached me with the project, I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of the film.

Contact / Presenters

Helium Film
Slezská 30, 120 00, Prague, Czech Republic
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 737 454 912

Šimon Holý | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 774 047 048

Pavla Klimešová | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 737 454 912

What It Feels Like For a Girl
Tüdrukune


Countries:
Estonia
Directed by:
Maria Reinup
Scriptwriter:
Maria Reinup
Producer:
Maario Masing
Language:
Estonian
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
1.125.000 EUR
Release date:
2024

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

After getting fired from a high-end job, Lilian (39), a powerhouse woman, spends the night partying and meets Mona (24), a sensual self-aware beauty. For the first time, Lilian desires a woman but is hesitant to pursue her. She is offered to lead the campaign of the first female prime ministerial candidate of Estonia and, feeling useful again, she dares to secretly date Mona. Once Mona appears at Lilian’s door with all her belongings, their relationship quickly moves from glamorous dates to everyday routine. Lilian, under pressure due to the dirty political games, gets hot-headed at work and controlling at home. When Mona leaves without a hint and her candidate loses the election on the same day as she turns 40, Lilian’s world is crushed. Slowly, she starts picking up the pieces and Lilian finally realizes she has to tell Mona how she feels – no more games, no more secrets.

Company profile

Tandem Film is a film production company led by two producers – Maie Rosmann and Maario Masing. Working in the industry for over a decade, they joined forces in 2016 to form a tandem whose second feature film Phantom Owl Forest generated the most admissions at cinemas in Estonia of all the films premiered in 2018, and the film was sold to several countries all over the world. Focusing on passionate humane stories and using a green production mind-set, Tandem Film is currently developing several feature films, full-length documentaries and is engaged in multiple international co-productions.

Author’s statement

This is a story of my generation of women. Growing up with all the prospects of an independent country, the possibilities of liberalism came to us in the shadows of the rigid ideas of the Soviet Union. The need to build a façade became a necessity, and becoming a hyper-independent woman was a suffocating ideal. I am interested in changing this narrative. I am interested in people not being stuck in the stories that no longer serve them in their lives – hence What It Feels Like For a Girl is a sexually charged film about a woman’s awakening. It’s a film about breaking new grounds and at its center are women’s bodies, experiences, fears, possibilities and self-actualization. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Producer’s statement

What It Feels Like For a Girl is one of the hottest novels published in Estonia in a while. It stirred up public debate, all of its re-prints were quickly sold out and the translations of the book will be released internationally. Politics, dirty and sexy simultaneously, have been the playground of men for a long time, and their inherent power play creates the perfect setting to explore equality and women’s position in the society. These modern topics and the question of where one anchors their worth are internationally appealing and familiar to everyone. Writer-director Maria’s passion for examining the female perspective in her previous work gives me the confidence that the film will also be emotionally engaging. The project was supported by the Estonian Film Institute in the development stage and we are seeking a co-producer and an international sales agent.

Contact / Presenters

TANDEM FILM
J.Kunderi 35-3, 10121, Tallinn, Estonia
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +372 55 599 899

Maria Reinup | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +372 55 954 054

Maario Masing | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +372 55 599 899

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