First Cut+ Works in Progress 2020
Works in Progress First Cut+ Jury
After his studies in Cultural Management in Vienna, Birmingham and Chicago, Gabor GREINER worked as a journalist and film critic. In 2003, he moved to Brussels to take charge of the distribution support department of the MEDIA Program at the European Commission’s Film Fund. In 2009, Gabor became acquisitions executive at the international sales agent The Match Factory. In August 2010, Gabor moved to Berlin to become COO of the French-German sales company Films Boutique, winner of the Golden Bear in 2017 and 2020 and the Golden Lion in 2011 and 2016. Gabor is a member of the European Film Academy.
Faruk started his career as an assistant producer in 2008 at the News and Sports Department at TRT (Turkish Radio and TV Corporation). He has produced more than 100 episodes of news, sports, economic and documentary shows. He took his first master‘s degree in business and finance in Turkey, and went on to Los Angeles for his second master‘s degree. He then graduated from the New York Film Academy’s Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking. He produced and directed several short movies in Los Angeles. Since 2014, he has been working for TRT Television Department as an executive producer. He has worked as an executive producer for more than 10 feature films, miniseries and short films for TV. He is now continuing his career as the Head of Co-Productions at TRT. For three years, he has been a jury member for the International Emmy Awards in the TV Films and Miniseries Category. He has also been a member of the TV Committee in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 2019.
Vanja Kaludjerčić has been appointed as the new International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) festival director. Beginning in her new role in February 2020, she will lead the organisation in its future endeavours and act as the artistic voice of the festival. Kaludjerčić brings with her a wealth of industry experience, both internationally and within the Dutch film landscape – she was previously the director of acquisitions at MUBI, and held prior roles at Les Arcs European Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Netherlands Film Festival (NFF) and even IFFR itself, where she used her industry knowledge to reshape IFFR Talks & Masterclasses from 2016 to 2018. Kaludjerčić has also recently served as a jury member at Berlinale, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), CPH:DOX and many more festivals around the globe.
The Post-production Development Award Jury
Head of Film & TV Services Department, UPP
Artistic Director, Karlovy Vary IFF
Representative of Soundsquare
The film is based on real-life events. In 2013, a Polish group of mountaineers – Maciej Berbeka, Tomasz Kowalski, Artur Małek and Adam Bielecki reached the top of the second highest mountain in Karakoram. Broad Peak is the tale of a beautiful but destructive passion and the incredible determination that pushes a man towards a dangerous edge. It is also a moving story of the great but difficult love that brought Maciek Berbeka together with his wife Ewa. To faithfully convey the realities of the expedition and bring the audience closer to the power of the highest mountains in the world, a team of filmmakers prepared themselves for almost a year for the Karakoram expedition. The shots were taken at the base of K2 and at Broad Peak at over 5,000 meters above sea level.
Leszek Dawid is one of the most influential filmmakers shaping contemporary Polish cinema. He is a graduate of the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing and the Directing Department at the Film School in Łódź and the director of widely acclaimed documentary and feature films. His feature debut My Name Is Ki received excellent reviews in Poland. You Are God had a highly successful run in Polish and British cinemas. The film won numerous awards and recognition from both critics and the audience. Leszek Dawid has also directed a recognized and much-admired premium TV series for HBO and NC+.
East Studio is a family film studio. Since 2010 it has passionately produced and delivered different projects and films ranging from advertising, traditional and fiction to documentaries, musicals and animation. The aim of East Studio is to do big things and – above all – to navigate important topics. The partners of the production house are Maciej Rzączyński, Krzysztof Rzączyński, Paweł Rymarz and Maria Stemplowska-Rymarz.
Contact / Presenters
Pola Łangowska | Producer
Mobile: +48 883 103 740
This is the film’s working title and may change.
Young Memo, a boarder at a repressive boys’ school secluded in the Anatolian mountains, falls mysteriously ill. Yusuf, his twelve-year-old deskmate, struggles through the bureaucracy of the school authorities to get help for his friend. When the tutors finally realize the seriousness of the little boy’s condition and try to get him to a hospital, the school becomes completely isolated under heavy snowfall. While trying to get help from the outside, teachers and students engage in a blame-game where grudges, feelings of guilt and hidden secrets surface while time inexorably runs out.
Born in Muş, Turkey on 4 April 1983, Ferit Karahan is now living in Istanbul. He started working as a first assistant director on feature films. His short films Before the Flood and Yusiv’s Dream have been screened at numerous festivals and won awards and honourable mentions. His feature debut The Fall From Heaven premiered at the Antalya Film Festival and won Best Film. It also won Best First Film Prize at the Ankara Film Festival, and was later screened at more than 15 festivals and won more than 10 awards.
Kanat Dogramaci was born in Eskisehir, Turkey on 31 March 1987. After high school, he worked for a few production companies before going on to the United Kingdom to study Film Studies. He graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. When he got back to Turkey, he founded the Asteros Film Company in 2014. Since then he has produced many commercially successful films. For the last few years he has focused on arthouse productions and produced La Belle Indifference (2019), which premiered at Karlovy Vary IFF Main Competition and won numerous awards domestically and internationally. He also co-produced A Girl With No Mouth (2019) which premiered at Tallinn IFF and won numerous awards domestically.
I spent six years of my childhood at a boarding primary school. The reason I wanted to make this film has a lot to do with the fears that remain in me from those boarding school days. Fear is as old as humanity itself, and schools are one of the places that most effectively perpetuate the tradition of spreading fear and using it as a disciplinary tool. At boarding schools, in particular, these fears tend to be multi-layered.
Contact / Presenters
Kanat Doğramacı | Producer
Mobile: +905 322 523 952
Ferit Karahan | Director
Mobile: +905 336 633 373
I Am FINE, Thanks
Man viskas gerai, ačiū
Maria returns to her former life after checking herself out of a rehabilitation clinic where she was being treated for panic attacks. To gain back her position as lead researcher and convince her family she is fine, she hides her breakdowns, which manifest themselves as crazy hallucinations. However, hiding her special condition while also competing for a neuroscience project and the love of her family proves to be more difficult than she’d thought.
Ernestas Jankauskas directed over 40 award winning commercials. His short film The Queen of England Stole My Parents won best short movie award at the National Film Awards and several prizes at festivals and was the first short film distributed in Lithuania cinema chains. His first feature film Sasha Was Here premiered at Black Nights Film Festival/ First Feature competition in Tallinn and was selected for Shanghai, Les Arcs, Odesa Film Festivals and 15 more. I Am FINE, Thanks (post-production) Feature film/ 2021 Sasha Was Here feature film/ 2018 The Queen of England Stole My Parents Short Film / 2013 No Focus Short Film / 2006 Draugu Draugai TV series / Sitcom / 2012
Gabija Siurbytė has worked on projects including: feature The Crown Jewels starring Alicia Vikander; feature Gentlemen starring David Dencik and Sverrir Gudnason; and the TV series Farang starring Ola Rapace. Gabija produced the feature Sasha Was Here, which premiered at Tallinn Black Nights FF and was selected for Shanghai, Les Arcs, Odesa Film Festivals and 15 more; the feature-length documentary about a hustler in the Amazon jungles El Padre Medico, and the horror short film (Berlinale Short Film Station) When the Lights Go Out. Gabija is a member of the board of the Independent Producers Association of Lithuania. She has also taken part in Inside pictures, EAVE+, Producers Network and Berlinale Talents Campus.
The film raises the following question – does someone with imperfections deserve to be loved? Perfection is a new religion nowadays. Panic attacks are an expression of internal suffering, which accumulates within a person and suddenly explodes. It's like a doorbell. The main conflict of the film takes place between Maria and her closest ones. Maria can no longer be just a "handy tool" in someone else’s hands. She wants to be accepted and loved for what she really is – imperfect, and not always sane. In the film, mystique is blended in with reality. Two worlds contrast and compete.
Contact / Presenters
Gabija Siurbytė | Producer
Mobile: +37 069 814 141
Ernestas Jankauskas | Director
This film is director's feature debut.
When her junkie boyfriend ends up in prison, Daria is taken by her parents to rehab to quit heroin and become a good daughter again. Inside the clinic, Daria’s unwavering loyalty to her boyfriend makes her exceptional in the eyes of the male junkies and saves her from their sexual pressures. Being desired yet protected by everyone makes Daria feel special for the first time in her teenage life. She relishes her position until a new mysterious patient is committed. His arrival confronts Daria with her own desires, triggering wild competition among the men. Suddenly trapped between everyone’s clashing expectations, Daria must find her own path.
Monica Stan is a Romanian filmmaker with a background in psychology. She has been working as a screenwriter for 10 years and her filmography includes the features Marussia (Berlinale Generation 2013) and Coureur (IFF Rotterdam 2019) as well as several shorts. Immaculate is both a personal story and her debut as a director.
George Chiper-Lillemark is a director of photography and director living in Copenhagen. He has photographed numerous feature and short films, including Touch Me Not (2018) by Adina Pintilie.
He also co-directed the short The Sandpit #186 (2009) with Adina Pintilie and The Comet (2017) with Mihai Mincan. His short The Palm Lines (2009) was screened by Locarno and Rotterdam IFF.
In 2016, Marcian Lazar took over the company Axel Film in order to produce daring independent projects like the fictional short Fog by Adi Voicu, winner of the Grand Jury prize in Angers and Centaur Award for best debut in Saint Petersburg. The second short film by Adi Voicu, The Last Trip to the Seaside was selected in Semaine de la Critique Cannes 2019. Another two features and two documentaries are in different stages of production.
With the company Strada Film, he produced Loverboy in 2011, the second film by Catalin Mitulescu selected for Cannes 2011 Certain Regard. In 2013, he finished the production of Wolf – director and writer Bogdan Mustata, which premiered in Competition at Sarajevo Film Festival.
Monica: I was 19 when I ended up in rehab and was confronted with the advances of the mostly male patients there. Outside in my middle-class environment I was the corrupted one. Inside among the junkies I was seen as special. That powerful experience made me realise how the image that others have of us can seduce us to such an extent that we embrace it as our own identity, until we become aware that it is a delusion.
George: We can read Daria’s story as a critique of a macho society in which there is no good way for a woman to find her place outside the authority of a man. However, it is also the story of a human's need to become aware of their conditioning in order to assert their needs and wants.
Contact / Presenters
Monica Stan | Director, Scriptwriter
Mobile: +40 720 001 116
Marcian Lazar | Producer
Mobile: +40 724 041 627
Two men and a bird are trapped by a snowstorm in a desolate 1970s hotel at the edge of the world. One has to cross the woods to reach the nearest town, but that’s insane in the midst of winter: the road is snowed over, you can get lost and freeze, the wolves are hungry and can be heard howling all night long, and who knows what other creatures roam these woods.
Still, early that morning, someone named Petar Motorov must have harnessed his sleigh and headed to town. Nobody saw him leave, but the falling snow still hasn’t fully erased his tracks.
But when the sleigh returns, Petar Motorov isn’t on it. Inside, the men find only Motorov’s fur coat, his shotgun, and the frozen carcass of a wolf. Where is Petar Motorov, and what has happened to him?
There is only one way to find out.
Andrey Paounov graduated from the Bulgarian Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in 2000, and started working on what would become an award-winning creative nonfiction trilogy on the absurdities of the post-totalitarian transition. His first documentary feature, Georgi and the Butterflies, won the Silver Wolf at IDFA in 2004. The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories, his second documentary feature, was included in the 46th International Critics' Week of the Cannes Film Festival 2007. The Boy Who Was a King (2011), Andrey's third full-length documentary, premiered at Toronto International Film Festival. Andrey’s latest film, Walking on Water (2018) had its world premiere at Locarno Film Festival and has been distributed in cinemas worldwide. January is his fiction feature directorial debut.
Vanya Rainova is an award-winning writer and producer and a partner in Portokal, a boutique production company that has supported established filmmakers and emerging talent in their author-driven works since 2011. Vanya is best known for international co-productions for feature-length creative documentaries (The Last Blacks Sea Pirates, Soul Food Stories) and short fiction films (Pride, Setembro, Load, Mother). She has presented her films at IDFA, HotDocs, Vision du Reel, Locarno, Busan, Tribeca and won awards at Clermont-Ferrand, ZINEBI, Brest, Krakow, Yerevan, the Bulgarian Film Academy and many others. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco and is a graduate of Eurodoc (2015) and EAVE (2016).
January is the story of two men and a rakija-drinking bird who try to solve a mystery while it slowly devours them. It was inspired by the eponymous play by Yordan Radichkov — Bulgaria’s most distinctly-voiced author of the past century. I was drawn to the influence of folklore and magical realism in his works, and to January, in particular, because it went a step further into Beckett’s theatre of the absurd and the Comedy of Menace by Pinter.
The film explores the narrative and aesthetic possibilities of the classical absurdist approach, where literal communication and meaning disintegrate in order to transcend to a universal existential message in a genre-flirting cocktail, served with a wink. It has the pace of a western, the engine of a mystery, and the aftertaste of a horror film.
Contact / Presenters
Vanya Rainova | Producer
Mobile: +359 887 916692
Andrey Paounov | Director
After her boyfriend has a psychotic episode and disappears, Maria is willing to do anything it takes to help him. Grabbing at every clue concerning his whereabouts, she embarks on a fast-paced odyssey through the city. Always one step behind and against all odds, Maria’s love will drive her to go all the way as she fights both for her love and her freedom.
Andrius Blaževičius was born in Vilnius in 1985. After finishing high school, he studied Cultural History and Anthropology at Vilnius University and, after a year, switched to the Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy, where he earned his Master’s degree in Film Directing in 2011. Andrius completed six short films during his studies, including Ten Reasons (2011), the winner of two Lithuanian Film Academy Awards. His debut feature film The Saint (2016) premiered at Busan and Warsaw Film Festivals and received six Lithuanian Film Academy Awards. Andrius works as a freelance director and has also been a programmer for the Vilnius International Short Film Festival since 2010.
Marija Razgutė is a Lithuanian film producer who has been running her own production company M-Films since 2008. Her latest feature film Nova Lituania by Karolis Kaupinis premiered at Karlovy Vary IFF 2019, Summer Survivors by Marija Kavtaradze premiered at Toronto IFF 2018, The Saint by Andrius Blaževičius premiered at Busan IFF 2016 and Warsaw IFF and was awarded by the Lithuanian Film Academy in 6 categories, including Best Film, Best Script, Best Director, etc. She’s also been co-producing as a minority co-producer since 2016 and has films with Spain – Tres by Juanjo Giménez & Trote by Xacio Baño, and Germany & Georgia – Otar’s Death by Ioseb “Soso” Bliadze. Marija is also a graduate of EAVE Producers Workshop, a member of the European Film Academy, EWA Network, and Producer on the Move 2020.
My first feature The Saint addressed the topics of love and crisis, while the second one, Runner, is about love and freedom. Keeping in mind the threats that loom over Lithuania and the rest of Europe – the war in Ukraine, Russia’s aggressive attitude, the refugee crisis, the rising popularity of the radical right, etc. – a film about freedom is more relevant than ever before. I want to talk about freedom through an ordinary person’s everyday struggles. I’m interested in knowing what it means to be free when you’re in love, when fear of war lingers over your country, when everyone’s dependent on modern technologies, and when your body is sick. I’m interested in a person’s free will and choice to sacrifice one’s freedom for something they consider to be extremely important.
Contact / Presenters
Marija Razgutė | Producer
Mobile: +37 060 107 802
Andrius Blaževičius | Director
Mobile: +37 066 230 035
This film has sales company attached.
Upon her arrival at an institution for youths with special needs, the rebellious girl Maria quickly becomes friends with the equally fiery and equally lonely Dragana. When it becomes clear that they are both in love with the more withdrawn Robert, their relationship is upset and gradually grows into a dangerous game of hide-and-seek to win him over.
Driven by newfound feelings of desire and envy, their impulsive actions topple the delicate balance preserved by the institution's stifling rules and spill over into confrontation and desperate measures for a way out.
Ivan Ikić's debut Barbarians premiered in 2014 in the East of the West Competition at KVIFF, winning a Special Jury Mention. The film was presented at over 30 international festivals, winning 12 prizes, and was sold to Japan, France, Italy, Romania, Hungary, USA and Turkey.
Milan Stojanović produced Barbarians (2014) by Ivan Ikić and co-produced Her Job (2018) by Nikos Labot and Malmkrog (2020) by Cristi Puiu. Milan is an alumni of EAVE, Producers on the Move and Emerging Producers, and a member of the European Film Academy.
Contact / Presenters
Milan Stojanović | Producer
Mobile: +381 669 399 869
Ivan Ikić | Director
Mobile: +381 641 304 027
Marija Stojanović | Producer
Mobile: +381 696 456 14
This is the film’s working title and may change.
Ex-con Tibor’s brute force and savage temper serve him well in his work as a club bouncer, but less so in life. In financial straits and estranged from nearly everyone, Tibor hasn’t seen his wild child daughter Niki in seven years. Twelve-year-old Niki lives with her grandparents, and like Tibor, she can’t be kept under control. When Niki finds out that Tibor has been released from prison and is working at a local nightclub, she decides to go after him despite her grandparents’ strictest warnings. This unexpected reunion may be Tibor’s last chance to face his dark past, let the light into his life and face up to the responsibility of becoming a real father.
Born in 1990, Hungarian director Hajni Kis first studied philosophy before moving on to film. She was accepted to the University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest in 2013. Her 2nd year project was the fictional short Beautiful Figure, which was nominated for Student Academy Awards in 2016. Her graduation short Last Call was awarded the Best Short Film prize at numerous festivals (Sarajevo Film Festival, Trieste Film Festival, Filmschoolfest Munich, Lublin Film Festival etc.). Her feature directorial debut Wild Roots is now in post-production.
Júlia Berkes was born in 1983. After graduating from the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest and Eötvös Loránd University, she began working at Proton Cinema as a line producer, where she made several international feature films. Since 2009 she has produced her own movies, starting with a handful of short films like On a Lower Level by director Gábor Reisz, and the 2014 EFA nominee Wall by director Simon Szabó. A cult hit feature titled For Some Inexplicable Reason (2014), which won 13 international prizes, is one of the most respected blockbusters in Hungary. In EAVE 2016 Producers Workshop, she participated with her new feature movie Bad Poems by Gábor Reisz, which premiered in 2018 and won the Hungarian Film Award in many categories, including Best Film.
Wild Roots is the story of a father-daughter relationship, and the tale of two rebellious characters who are destined for a reunion. It is a story of growing up that starts with a rough encounter, goes through the loss of trust, and leads to mutual acceptance. I am engaged by the various types of relationships people live in without profoundly knowing each other’s personalities. I wanted to talk about the fundamental concept of family, which is so difficult to turn into a meaningful connection because of all the presumptions and conventions that society ties to it. My goal was to make a film which is personal and rooted in stories of my own life, but also one that reaches to the heart of every viewer who has ever struggled with the hardship of an entirely honest connection with another person.
Contact / Presenters
Hajni Kis | Director
Mobile: +36 703 892 755
Júlia Berkes | Producer
Mobile: +36 704 227 110
Balázs Zachar | Producer
Mobile: +36 306 416 770