Works in Development – Feature Launch 2023

The Boy Who Saw in the Dark
Puika, kurš redzēja tumsā


Countries:
Latvia
Directed by:
Pauls Kesteris
Scriptwriter:
Rasa Bugavičute-Pēce
Producer:
Kristians Alhimionoks
Language:
Latvian
Genre:
coming of age drama
Estimated budget:
1.500.000 EUR
Release date:
2025

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Jacob, a 13 year-old boy, is being raised as the 'perfect son' for his blind parents. Along with numerous duties, he is their 'eyes' to the outside world in the small town of early 2000's Latvia. The last thing he wants is to let them down, but everything changes when Jacob falls in love with Liene, a girl from his school. By pretending he is just like any other kid, Jacob leads a double life, covering up his strive for independence. While his parents are about to lose their jobs at the soon-to-be closed factory, Jacob becomes alienated from his mother who has lost sight of his split personality. A successful participation in the local 'Special Olympics' will alleviate the financial burden, but for Jacob it becomes the perfect storm, forcing to face his fears of disappointment and answering a question - 'who is blind?'.

Company profile

Centaur Films is an international entertainment company founded in 2020 with its headquarters in Riga, Latvia. Its focus is financing and producing films and TV series with commercial appeal. The company has produced a raft of popular film and TV successes like feature film Accidental Santa which Sony Pictures International Productions has optioned remake rights to eight territories, TV series The Great Fools which was remade as Munavere in Estonia, and the Prague Intl Monthly FF, Stafford FF and Boden IFF award-winning TV series Viss Norm. The company’s development slate includes three feature films - a biopic about legendary Latvian rock/synthpop band Jumprava, an erotic drama based on the best-selling Latvian book Ecstasy and a drama based on the The Boy Who Saw in the Dark book.

Author’s statement

Since early childhood, Jacob has been acting as a grown up by selflessly taking care of his blind parents, as well as being the ‘eyes’ for the local blind community. He has always held his parents’ well-being higher than his own, but at the same time, he often doubts himself existentially and wonders - “can you even exist if you're not visible?”. These paradoxical qualities underline the character drama. Jacob’s mother has always set out to prove that she can do anything a seeing person can, including having a family and a 'perfect child', who is now slipping through her fingers. With a touch of life affirming humour and texturized imagery of the early 2000's small town in Latvia, this film deals with a timeless theme of seeing one another as a person for who they really are.​​

Producer’s statement

Adapted from Rasa's successful novel The Boy Who Saw in The Dark, which received not only great national recognition by being incorporated into the official literature curriculum, but also international acclaim as the book has been nominated for European Union Prize for Literature in 2021. Its theatre adaptation has earned the Grand Prix at the Latvian theatre awards, and has been also performed on Estonian theatre stages. The film aims to be a Baltic co-production because of its well-tested IP targeting an audience already established in the region. Our primary target for the local market is to have a box office success and internationally, we see it as a festival darling. Our initial financing from the National Film Centre of Latvia supported scriptwriting, and we're planning to apply for production funding in 2024.​

Contact / Presenters

Centaur Films
Krisjana Barona 10-12, LV-1050, Riga, Latvia
Email: [email protected]

Pauls Kesteris | Director
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +371 25453344

Rasa Bugavičute-Pēce | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +371 26135453

Kristians Alhimionoks | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +371 29478233

Excavators
Ekskafis


Countries:
Cyprus
Directed by:
Argyro Nicolaou
Scriptwriter:
Argyro Nicolaou​
Producer:
Constantinos Nikiforou, Minos Papas
Language:
Greek
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
750.000 EUR
Release date:
2025

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Klió is on summer holiday back home in Cyprus, when the remains of her grandmother Melpo—who has been missing since the Turkish invasion that divided the island in 1974—are unexpectedly exhumed. Klió starts to suspect that there may be more to the story of her grandmother’s disappearance than the family admits. Despite her mother Myrna’s warnings to forget about the past and move on with her life, Klió stays in Cyprus and insists on uncovering the truth. A few seconds of newly discovered footage of Melpo as an extra in an old film lead Klió to her family’s ancestral home, in a ghost town cordoned off by the Turkish military for almost fifty years. Among the abandoned ruins, Klió pieces together a new version of her family’s history, forcing her to reckon with her mother’s silence and the ghosts of her own past.​

Company profile

Caretta Films (est. 2004) is a Cyprus-based production company run by producer Constantinos Nikiforou with international clientele and credits in film, TV and commercials, and a focus on making and bringing to market thought-provoking movies. Completed projects include features, Au Revoir Slumdogz! (2023, dir. Andreas Kyriacou) Audience Award winner, 2023 Cyprus Film Days IFF; Snow White Dies at the End (2022, dir. Kristijan Risteski, international co-production with Focus Pocus Films, N. Macedonia) premiered at Slumdance, official selections at Manaki Brothers, Moscow IFF; and the short films Taxi (2023, dir. Constantinos Nikiforou); Afemaxi [Drained] (2021, dir. Anna Fotiadou); Tango on the Balcony (2016, dir. Minos Papas, co-produced Cyprian Films, New York) official selections at San Diego IFF, Int'l Short Film Festival of Cyprus).​

Author’s statement

Excavators is about intergenerational memory and family relationships in a society scarred by war, where violent truths from the recent past are often kept buried in order for life to go on. My mother is a refugee of the Turkish invasion of 1974, and I’ve witnessed first hand how the trauma of war ripples across generations and silently infiltrates even the most intimate corners of our present. Klió and Myrna’s tense relationship raises the question of a younger generation’s obligation to our parents’ past: how much should we forget, and what should we remember? And at what cost? Excavators blends personal experience with a fascination for the visual archives and collective memory of Cyprus’ painful history, incorporating an archival footage aesthetic to show how memory is transferred and distorted across time.

Producer’s statement

Excavators deals with the ongoing effects of the Cyprus conflict by portraying universal themes of refugee trauma from a singular female perspective. At a time when war on European soil continues in Ukraine, and mass migration across the Mediterranean persists, Excavators examines one family’s struggle with invasion, occupation, nationalism, and revisionist history years after the guns cease firing. Director Argyro Nicolaou provides a new voice to themes of generational trauma, which reach well beyond the borders of Cyprus. Her previous films discuss identity, memory, and the marginalization of the female perspective. With fellowships from Princeton and a PhD from Harvard, Argyro’s work and life experience put her in a prime position to explore the complicated and compelling modern themes tackled in Excavators.

Contact / Presenters

Caretta Films
Tirteou street 4, 1087, Nicosia, Cyprus
Email: [email protected]

Argyro Nicolaou | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +357 99 64 69 53

Constantinos Nikiforou | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +357 99 49 44 51

Flight from Kabul
Let z Kábulu


Let z Kábulu

Countries:
Slovak Republic
Directed by:
Sahraa Karimi
Scriptwriter:
Sahraa Karimi​
Producer:
Wanda Adamik Hrycova
Language:
English, Slovak, Parsi
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
2.000.000 EUR


Film synopsis

Zibaa (30), a successful Afghan filmmaker and head of the National Film Fund recently got engaged to Samir (29), the love of her life. Her end-of-summer wedding plans are horribly destroyed when Taliban unexpectedly seizes Kabul, and Zibaa finds herself facing a life-changing decision. As a famous anti-Taliban activist and a governmental employee, Zibaa's life is at risk. While Samir suggests escaping to the conservative, male dominated south for safety, Zibaa's sister-in-law begs her to leave the country and take her daughters with her. Caught between her love for Samir and her nieces future, Zibaa has only one hour to make a decision.​

Company profile

Wandal Production was established in 2007, focuses mainly on feature film and TV production, and also participates as minority co-producer in strongly appealing international projects. It co-produced the WW2 drama Colette by Milan Cieslar, and produced the crime thriller The Line by Peter Bebjak, which became the most successful Slovak film ever with over 330.000 admissions domestically. In 2021, the company premiered the historical TV series The Slavs, a Slovak-Ukrainian co-production, for TV JOJ. In 2021, it released the film Perfect Strangers, the largest box office Slovak title in Slovak cinemas in 2021. WP is currently developing  a historical drama Ice Down, set in the arena of ice-hockey, a historical TV mini-series based on the book Three Banks of Danube and Sahraa Karimi’s Flight from Kabul.​

Author’s statement

Flight from Kabul, my second feature film, is a cinematic testimony to the collapse of Afghan women's dreams and the erosion of democratic values by the resurgence of the Taliban. From a woman's perspective, it shows the multi-layered aspects of urban life in Kabul in two parallel narratives about the present and the past that have been less reflected in the world's media. 
​By combining the love story of Zibaa and Samir with the force for departure and wandering to find a way out of darkness, I attempt to tell a realistic yet metaphorical story about the solid spirit of the Afghan people.
Although real events and my personal experiences inspire my film, it does not have a documentary style or structure. The cinematic language and style are evident through the perfectly calculated mise-en-scène and audiovisual composition.

Producer’s statement

This film is the second feature by Sahraa Karimi, an Afghan writer/director, women rights activist and a fighter against Taliban. Following her debut Hava, Maryam, Ayesha (2019) which premiered at Venice IFF, Flight from Kabul is a story based on real events of Sahraa´s life, when after becoming a Taliban hit-list target, Sahraa was forced to escape her homeland. This project has been supported by CE MEDIA and also participated in the Pop Up Film Residency. The media attention the project has received after Sahraa´s announcement of its development promises a great international reach, and also a global film festival interest. Written, directed and produced by women, our film harnesses the power of female energy and through our unique vision and approach we wish to shed light on the realities of a region that has long remained unseen.

Contact / Presenters

Wandal Production
Mikulášska 1/a, 81101, Bratislava, Slovakia
Email: [email protected]

Sahraa Karimi | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +39 344 403 7561

Wanda Adamík Hrycová | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +421 905 101 803

God Break Down the Door
Bože, rozraz dveře


Bože, rozraz dveře

Countries:
Czech Republic
Directed by:
Vojtěch Novotný
Scriptwriter:
Vojtěch Novotný​
Producer:
Tomáš Pertold
Language:
Czech
Genre:
coming of age drama
Estimated budget:
850.000 EUR
Release date:
2026

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Bob (18) is an overweight boy of a simple nature who comes from a strongly religious family and lives within the safe routine of Christian values. As a reward, yet against his will, his parents send him to a religious medical resort for the physically disabled to fight his obesity. There he falls in love with Káťa (22), an intern, and becomes close to Vítek (17), an incurably ill nihilist walking with a stick, with whom he shares the room.

​During the stay, both relationships intensify, but as Káťa rejects Bob, he succumbs to Vítek’s mentality. Eventually, his deep-rooted negativity comes to light and leads to an ill-considered poisoning of Káťa who ends up in a coma. Torn by the loss of faith when the prayers for her recovery are not answered, Bob is manipulated by Vítek into another irreversible act – to help him end his suffering.

Company profile

Perfilm is an independent production company based in Prague, Czech Republic, founded in 2018 by producer Tomáš Pertold. Perfilm focuses on films with a strong creative value and international outreach, both fiction and documentary, as well as experimental films.​The company has produced a number of successful short films such as Eighth Day by Petr Pylypčuk (Festival de Cannes - La Cinef), Paradise on Earth to See by Vojtěch Novotný (Premiers Plans FF, Trieste FF) or Can You Still Feel The Butterflies? by Radek Brousil (Oberhausen ISFF).
If I Ever Lose My Eyes, a feature experimental documentary by Lea Petříková presented at Jihlava IFDF's New Visions Forum, is in post-production. Perfilm is also currently developing two fiction feature debuts: God Break Down the Door by Vojtěch Novotný and In Good Faith by Anna Wowra.

Author’s statement

Bob, an outsider because of his lifelong overweight, has been brought up in the values of a strongly religious family. However, his confrontation with the suffering of the physically disabled, and particularly the manipulative nihilist Vítek challenges his naive belief in kindness and attitude towards the world.

​Our film is a coming-of-age story, focusing on the connection between manipulation and faith, which can be an endless support but also a destructive ideology if it doesn't come hand-in-hand with freedom. I myself come from a Christian family and therefore have a strong relationship to the topic. In addition, the story also reflects universally understandable themes such as the search for one’s identity, self-acceptance, guilt and the danger of "incelism" – when young men choose destruction as an outlet for their frustrations.

Producer’s statement

Manipulation and its forms, crisis of faith, and coping with things that go beyond humanity are timeless subjects always worth exploring.
​Bob is the type of hero we don’t see in films very often. His compelling character together with a thorough artistic conception form the unique foundation of the project. At the same time, the film manages to naturally link elements of drama, comedy, and thriller within the story. God Break Down the Door is designed to be a well-balanced crossover of arthouse and a universally accessible film with audience potential.
It is a debut feature film both for me as a producer and Vojtěch Novotný as the director. We bring a novel approach and the necessary energy for the project and we would like to connect with Central-Eastern European producers for whom the themes of our film could be relevant.

Contact / Presenters

Perfilm
Ostrovní 1448/24, 110 00, Prague, Czech Republic
Email: [email protected]

Vojtěch Novotný | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 739 739 050

Tomáš Pertold | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 775 682 676

Paperplanes
Paperplanes


Countries:
Greece
Directed by:
Selini Papageorgiou
Scriptwriter:
Selini Papageorgiou​
Producer:
Mina Dreki, Iro Aidoni
Language:
Greek
Genre:
coming of age, romance
Estimated budget:
750.000 EUR
Release date:
2025

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Nefeli (30), still living with her parents, is devastated to find out of their divorce. She decides to run away and accidentally bumps into a stranger, Harry (30), who's enjoying a beer before catching a flight. They connect and spend the night together at Nefeli's grandmother's vacant flat. The next day, Harry falls ill of Covid-19. He is not allowed to travel and has to be quarantined for 15 days. Nefeli, desperate for some company, agrees to let him stay with her since he has no acquaintances in Athens.  As the days pass by,  their quarantine stretches indefinitely due to the universal lockdown. They fall deeply in love and create their own ideal world within the confines of the apartment. However, as the lockdown ends, Nefeli realizes that they have different perceptions of love, and that she must confront reality.​

Company profile

Marni Films, an independent film production company based in Athens, Greece, develops and produces feature films, shorts, and documentaries by promising new talents and established filmmakers whose work can continuously attract the interest of international audiences with high-quality, sustainable and unique storytelling.
Marni’s shorts have premiered at prestigious festivals such as Cannes, Clermont Ferrand, Busan and many more, while its feature filmography includes Suntan (IFFR, SXSW), Afterlov (Locarno IFF) The Longest Run (DOK Leipzig), and its co-productions include films by Yorgos Lanthimos, Yiannis Veslemes, Alexis Alexiou & Yorgos Zois.

Author’s statement

Paperplanes is a story about love and coming of age told in a claustrophobic and uncertain period of time: the universal lockdown. Growing up means abandoning any romantic perception of life and gradually grounding yourself on earth. It is the time when you are faced with the feeling of uncertainty and impermanence, and you have to start taking things seriously. Nefeli loses her faith in love when she learns about her parents’ divorce but she finds a way to discover the magic in this very new condition. Harry appears as the savior who comes to show her that “forever” exists, but this is not true. Through their coexistence and their different perspectives on love, Nefeli will realize that “forever” is a humanly constructed concept and that relationships are a natural and beautiful part of life, even if they last for a short while.

Producer’s statement

Our story is a journey towards adulthood in a lighthearted and playful way without excessive sentimentality. The pandemic is the context and serves as a pretext for the protagonists’ journey and even though we are all trying to forget it, we will have to revisit- sooner or later. We believe that in a couple of years everybody will collectively be willing to look back, especially with humor and tenderness the way Selini is looking at her characters. Selini’s distinct female gaze, with a gentle and casual approach, tells a story that creates a sense of momentousness: like in Arabian Nights, when Scheherazade tells stories about the human psyche to delay the future. We would like to share this urgency with creative partners and co-producers for our film, as we have already secured national funding.

Contact / Presenters

Marni Films
Mnisikleous 12, 10556, Athens, Greece
Email: [email protected]

Selini Papageorgiou | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +306 945 686 248

Mina Dreki | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +306 979 221 275

Iro Aidoni | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +306 988 479 185

The Portuguese House
La quinta de los almendros blancos


Countries:
Spain, Portugal
Directed by:
Avelina Prat
Scriptwriter:
Avelina Prat​
Producer:
Gerard Marginedas
Language:
Spanish, Portuguese
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
2.971.200 EUR
Release date:
2025


Film synopsis

One morning, Fernando wakes to find his wife has vanished. When he learns she has left Spain to return to Serbia, his world falls apart and he leaves home. While traveling, he meets a gardener on his way to work at a quinta in Portugal. The gardener dies unexpectedly and Fernando decides to assume his identity, presenting himself at the quinta as the new gardener. The owner, Amália, is a mysterious woman, who intrigues Fernando.

Years pass. Fernando seems to have found a home, and the rapport he feels with Amália deepens. But he discovers that someone is living in his apartment in Spain and decides to go back. He meets Olga, a Serbian woman who has taken on his wife’s identity. They soon enter into a relationship, without revealing who they really are. Fernando must decide if he wants to live in this reflection of the life he lost.

Company profile

Distinto Films was established in Barcelona in 2007 to produce high quality projects about relevant cultural matters and support talented authors, mainly female screenwriters and directors. Its filmography includes The Odd-Job Men by Neus Ballús (Official Selection at Locarno IFF), Vasil by Avelina Prat (Warsaw FF) and Watermelon Juice by Irene Moray (Shorts Official Competition at Berlinale).

O Som e a Fúria was created in Lisbon in 1998. The company, specialized in independent cinema, has worked continuously with Portuguese and international auteurs. Its filmography includes Tabu by Miguel Gomes (Berlinale Competition), Frankie by Ira Sachs (Cannes IFF Competition), Zama by Lucrecia Martel (Rotterdam IFFR), A religiosa Portuguesa by Eugene Green (Locarno IFF Competition).


Author’s statement

I often ask myself what defines our identity. Is it where we grew up, where we live, our genes, habits, experiences, desires? Is this identity unique and unvarying or can we change it?

This film explores how, by impersonating someone else, one can find their true self, rebuild their life, and find their place in the world. A place that has nothing to do with roots, but with discovery.

Through this idea I want to talk about themes that fascinate me and are present in all my films: loneliness, a permanent sense of strangeness, ceaseless searching, and our constant striving to connect with what surrounds us.

The film portrays and contrasts the two possible lives of the main character – in Spain and in Portugal. The quinta, with its timeless atmosphere, stands at the heart of the story.

Producer’s statement

The Portuguese House is a film about the search for identity. With a narrative tone evocative of ancient fables and an intriguing thesis, the film explores complex metaphysical themes. The mixture of suspense and a strong mise-en-scene results in an attractive film, of interest to festivals and audiences alike. Avelina’s debut feature film Vasil was also produced by Distinto Films, in co-production with Activist38 (Bulgaria), and premiered worldwide at Warsaw FF, before competing in the Official Selection at Valladolid IFF where it won Best Actor Award.

The Portuguese House is a Spanish-Portuguese co-production with secured national funding. We are looking for an arthouse international sales agent. Shooting is planned for early 2024.

Contact / Presenters

Distinto Films
Jonqueres 16, 9 B, 08003, Barcelona, Spain
Email: [email protected]

O Som e a Fúria
Rua Padre Luís Aparício 11A, Lisboa, 1150-248, Portugal
Email: [email protected]

Avelina Prat | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +34 619 309 547

Gerard Marginedas | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +34 933 19 20 94

Shadow Play
Shadow Play


Countries:
Iceland, Belgium
Directed by:
Ýr Thrastardottir
Scriptwriter:
Pauline Baert​, Kristian Van der Heyden​
Producer:
Gudrun Edda Thorhannesdottir, Kristian Van der Heyden
Language:
Icelandic
Genre:
mystery, psychological horror
Estimated budget:
1.700.000 EUR
Release date:
2025

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

A young Icelandic woman named Freyja is consumed by anguish after her newborn child disappears. Disillusioned with the lack of progress from the police and townspeople, she takes matters into her own hands. Along the way, an ominous raven-creature appears repeatedly, mocking her desperation. As Freyja investigates, the boundaries between reality and the supernatural blur. Freyja uncovers fragments of a dark urban legend that links the raven-creature with infant murders and she suspects a conspiracy in her own town. Haunted by disturbing visions and eerie encounters, Freyja's fragile psyche crumbles under the weight of her suspicions, losing the respect of her peers. As the pieces come together, a horrifying revelation emerges from the depths of her subconscious—she unknowingly holds the darkest secret of all: the guilt of killing her own child.​

Company profile

Duo Productions is an Icelandic film production company established in 2005 by producer Gudrun Edda Thorhannesdottir. Gudrun‘s most notable feature credits are Alma (2021), nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize, Of Horses and Men (2013), awarded Best New Director at San Sebastian Int. FF and Mamma Gógó (2010) by veteran director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson. Apart from Shadow Play, Gudrun is developing several projects; such as South Window, part of the 2023 Torino Film Lab - NEXT Feature Film.

​Harald House is based in Antwerp, Belgium. Founded in 2016, the production company produces documentaries, most notably A Punk Daydream (2019) premiered at IFFR and Slave Island (2024) in production, and fiction films with a focus on characters driven stories on the edge of society that involve dysfunctional families and institutions.

Author’s statement

Shadow Play is an exploration of societal pressure on a mentally vulnerable new mother living in an Icelandic small town where a secret abortion is nearly impossible. The lonely, agonizing search after her baby goes missing, is a metaphor for the lack of empathy from an ill-equipped community. Under the surface we look at the taboo surrounding women who were forced to become mothers. The mythical raven-creature represents the suppression of Freyja’s guilt for wishing her child did not exist. To her, the child destroyed her chance to be with the man she always dreamed of. We intertwine the stigma surrounding mental health and our own experience on the topic with the Icelandic legend of Utburdur, in which abandoned babies rose from the dead in the shape of a raven to haunt the one responsible and drive them into madness.​

Producer’s statement

Shadow Play is a genre film with the artistic quality of an arthouse film. The film is helmed by a young female writer and a first-time female director who will bring their unique perspectives and creative vision to the project. The protagonist of the film is a young woman, providing a central focus for exploring the underlying theme of the oppression of women in today's society and in a historical context. The stigma of mental health is also explored in a unique way by delving into the woman's psyche.

At present, Shadow Play is an Icelandic and Belgium co-production. Eastern European co-production would be ideal since we have worked with Eastern European talent in the past and believe it would capture the desired aesthetic and ambiance of the film.

​The aim is to premiere the film at major film festivals that embrace genre films.

Contact / Presenters

Duo Productions
Hverfisgata 54, 101, Reykjavik, Iceland
Email: [email protected]

Harald House Belgium
Patersstraat 100, 2300, Turnhout, Belgium
Email: [email protected]

Ýr Thrastardottir | Director
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +354 698 5802

Kristian Van der Heyden | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +32 485 12 77 50

Pauline Baert | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +32 456 10 49 40

Soft Hours
Puha órák


Countries:
Hungary
Directed by:
Anna Gyimesi
Scriptwriter:
Anna Gyimesi​
Producer:
Genovéva Petrovits
Language:
Hungarian, English
Genre:
psychological drama
Estimated budget:
1.500.000 EUR
Release date:
2026

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Ilona, in her late fifties, is a music teacher in a suburban primary school in Budapest. Her son, Tóbiás, who went missing ten years ago, links her unbreakably to her ex-husband, Dénes. When Dénes becomes a father again with his new family, Ilona's desire to find Tóbiás is rekindled. She sees her missing son in Leon, a local worker at a traveling funfair that recently moved into the neighborhood. The two of them develop intimate proximity that crosses the boundaries of mother-son connection and turns increasingly suffocating, making Ilona realize the need to let Tóbiás go. By cutting ties with Leon, Ilona can bid farewell to the hope of finding Tóbiás and becomes able to open a new chapter in her relationship with Dénes as well.

Company profile

Kino Alfa is a Budapest-based film production company created in 2019 by film producer Genovéva Petrovits. She works with carefully selected talents who feel the urge to describe and reflect on our society. Thanks to CE MEDIA slate support, the company is currently managing the financing of projects such as the first feature film of Olivér Rudolf, My Mother, The Monster, the third feature film of Mihály Schwechtje, Democracy Work In Progress, and other film projects in advanced stages of development. In 2022, the company released its first feature documentary, Under Protection, directed by Mihály Schwechtje, which won the Best Hungarian Film Award in 2020 at the Verzió IFF.

Author’s statement

Ilona’s story is deeply inspired by my own experience, even though I am not a mother myself: my mother's chronic illness and death made me realize not just the blurring of mother-child roles but also that saying goodbye is an almost impossibly long process. As I arrived at the age to become a mother myself, I realized that I had a deep fear of the degree of responsibility involved, which made me juxtapose the taboos around motherhood with the theme of farewell. Ilona doesn’t just allow herself to let go of her son, but at the same time rejects the position of the eternally remorseful mother hoping for her son's return. With Soft Hours, my aim is to portray the burden of motherhood through the eyes of an aging woman, which is one of the deeply ingrained taboos in the Central- and Eastern European cultural milieu.

Producer’s statement

In her previous films, Anna, a Sarajevo Talents, European Short Pitch, and Pop Up Residency alumna, has already explored the subject of family loss in many different ways and observed closely this type of dysfunctionality. With Soft Hours, she turns towards mothers who have to deal with an unbearable life situation and raises complex social and emotional issues. Since we tackle universal subjects of humankind, we design our financing strategy accordingly and are setting up the project as an international co-production. We believe the main theme of the film can be viewed from very different perspectives depending on cultural and sociological backgrounds. We are looking for partners who will be actively involved in creative development.

Contact / Presenters

Kino Alfa
Király utca 80, 1068, Budapest, Hungary
Email: [email protected]

Anna Gyimesi | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +3630 609 40 15

Genovéva Petrovits | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +3620 501 55 31

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KontaktyKontakty Plakáty 57. MFF KVPlakáty 57. MFF KV
HistorieHistorie Průvodce festivalemPrůvodce festivalem