Works in Development – Feature Launch 2022

All My Friends Soon Will Be Dead
Visi mani draugi drīz būs miruši


All My Friends Soon Will Be Dead

Countries:
Latvia
Directed by:
Armands Zacs
Scriptwriter:
Armands Zacs​
Producer:
Alise Gelze
Language:
Latvian
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
704.640 EUR
Release date:
2024

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

A group of millennials are in an orgiastic, psychedelic music festival that takes place between the two waves of pandemic. Meanwhile, their close friends Ieva and Alex have just stepped into parenthood. This moment redefines the entire group: Kitija is suffering from depression, and fails to find support, as her friends start to become more alienated from each other. Anna is trying to take care of her mental health by quitting weed, which turns out to be a challenge to her relationship with Kaspars, who grows it in their house. Unable to influence Martin’s self-destructive lifestyle, Dainis starts to document it on video, becoming a participant and a creator of a reality show of his own. The friends start a wild journey into the new reality of becoming responsible for themselves and those around them. ​

Company profile

White Picture is a film production company based in Riga, Latvia, founded in 2020 by Alise Gelze. Alize has been active as a film producer since 2006, and has produced both features and shorts, which have been premiered at Cannes IFF, Berlinale, Rotterdam IFF, Karlovy Vary IFF, Pusan IFF, etc. Her most successful productions are – Oleg (2019) by Juris Kursietis, which had its world premiere at Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, Mother I Love You (2013), by Janis Nords, which received more than 15 national and international awards, including Berlinale Generation KPlus International Jury prize for the Best Film, and Mellow Mud (2016), directed by Renars Vimba, which received a Crystal Bear at Berlinale Generation 14Plus.
​Alise Gelze is a graduate of EAVE and ACE Producers, and a member of EFA.


Author’s statement

When I started working on the film, I didn’t yet know that a close friend - a prototype for one of the characters in the film, would commit suicide. He did this in a remote country house during the first wave of the pandemic. These tragic events have only strengthened my conviction that the themes of my upcoming film are now becoming more important than ever. Millennials seem to have a really difficult time becoming “grown-ups”', being unable to deal with the reality of everyday life. This manifests in various mental disorders and self-destructive attitudes that seem to pop up out of nowhere. The film will explore my generation through a wild, often humorous, and drug-infused mosaic of extremely intimate character portrayals.


Producer’s statement

Even though this film is a debut feature for Armands Zacs, he is already known to the industry - as an editor. He has worked on over 12 short and feature films, and has directed several short films and documentaries. All My Friends Soon Will Be Dead has received development funding from Creative Europe MEDIA and the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia. The film has been selected under a special Covid-19 recovery programme, managed by the National Film Centre of Latvia, which requires that the film is finalized by the end of 2023. The project is in the late development phase, and going into production in summer 2023. All My Friends Soon Will Be Dead, with the parallel stories of its main characters, is designed for an audience of millennials, upon whom we want to focus the strategy for the distribution and promotion of the film​.

Contact / Presenters

White Picture
Kr. Barona iela 11-6, LV-1050, Riga, Latvia
Email: [email protected]

Armands Zacs | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +371 2 938 178

Alise Ģelze | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +371 26 156 356

Dolphin
Delfin


Dolphin

Countries:
Poland
Directed by:
Sonja Orlewicz-Zakrzewska
Scriptwriter:
Sonja Orlewicz-Zakrzewska​
Producer:
Magdalena Sztorc
Language:
Polish
Genre:
surreal dramedy
Estimated budget:
1.600.000 EUR
Release date:
2025

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Anna’s plan to release her brilliant debut album is fully supported by her loving boyfriend Jan, and entirely killed by her fear of sharing her music with anyone. This deadlock is Anna’s greatest drag – at least until the day Jan comes back from his holiday, pregnant, with a dolphin growing inside him. Anna can’t go on drifting along in the shallow waters of her routine, and starts sinking. However, it isn’t the little Dolphin who pulls Anna down – it’s her carefully hidden self-doubts. The emergence of the Dolphin kicks up a storm, which will change the landscape of the couple’s life. To save the relationship, and her own worth, Anna will have to unveil her most true self, so far closed in her music studio. Dolphin is a story about breaking free by achieving self-acceptance, maturing into a relationship, and learning to set free what one loves.​

Company profile

Before My Eyes is a company producing both fiction and documentary films, and focuses on creating high-quality, author-driven films with international co-production potential. 
​In 2014, the short film Fragments premiered at the Quinzaine des Realisateurs section in Cannes. In 2020, the feature debut Simple Things was presented in the main competition of the New Horizons IFF. Their second feature Everyone Has a Summer premiered at the Gdynia FF in 2020, as well as celebrating its international premiere at the Giffoni IFF in the 16+ competition. This year, the company is completing a Polish-Romanian documentary co-production, The End of the Valley of Tears, and is in pre-production of another feature, More. Their latest project, Dolphin, is being developed at the MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2022. 

Author’s statement

Despite the surreal element, I based the narration on subjective and naturalistic storytelling, looking into characters’ intimacy, prioritizing the psychological drama, and sometimes reducing dramatic gravity with humour. I wish to focus on the relationship of Anna and Jan, but to stay within Anna’s impulsive and exaggerated perception of reality, filled with sounds of the sea and her own music – an extension of her mind. The clue factor is the cast: Jaśmina Polak as Anna – intensely present, saturated with conflicted energies, and Bartosz Bielenia as Jan – intuitive and sensitive beyond classic masculinity. 
​I hope that with this story I can convince the audience that under the surface of the water we can see ourselves in entirely different light, arousing the potential for being free – which, after all, we always carry within ourselves.

Producer’s statement

Dolphin is a surreal dramedy with reversed gender roles.  A human couple becoming parents to a symbolic baby-dolphin captures the viewer’s imagination immediately. Sonja’s imaginary concept is also deeply rooted in the intimate reality of a couple’s everyday life. Focused on Anna’s point of view, shot in a handful of locations, yet proposing a challenge in the creation of a realistic third character – the Dolphin – to be blended into the couple’s reality, the film offers a balance of security and dare for a first-time director. As we would like to collaborate in fields like music, editing, sound design, and CGI, the project will be conceived as an international co-production. I believe that thanks to its light narrative, Dolphin has the potential to reach a wider audience that is looking for both emotional impact and entertainment.


Contact / Presenters

Before My Eyes
Słowackiego 5/13 m. 71, 01-592, Warsaw, Poland
Mobile: +48 604 488 054
www www.beforemyeyes.pl

Sonja Orlewicz-Zakrzewska | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +48 606 610 299

Magdalena Sztorc | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +48 604 488 054

The First Week of August
Prvi tjedan u kolovozu


The First Week of August

Countries:
Croatia
Directed by:
Filip Mojzeš
Scriptwriter:
Filip Mojzeš​
Producer:
Matej Merlić
Language:
Croatian
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
820.000 EUR
Release date:
2025

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Ivana and Zoran Ler are a dysfunctional upper-middle class married couple, raising their ten-year-old son, David. On their way to summer vacation, David gets lost at a ferry port, prompting an exaggerated reaction from Ivana. She slaps him hard across the face, initiating a chain of events in which she and Zoran will have to cope with their son’s growing defiance. Arriving on an island in the Adriatic, they meet their long-time friends, the Vučković family. Tension builds between the two families, due to David’s increasing resistance, sabotage, and manipulation. The whole situation eventually gets out of hand, leading to a complete shift of power from parents to son, as David tests the limits of his new-found supremacy. A mirror image of the parents’ mistakes is reflected through the son, highlighting their reckless use of authority.​

Company profile

Castor Multimedia is a production company dedicated to creating and developing original audiovisual content. Founded in 2003, TV formats created by Castor have been recognized around the world, and in 2007, Castor’s game talk show, The Pyramid, won The Best Show Award at Rose d'Or. Since 2018, Castor Multimedia has produced several documentary series for Croatian National Television, and has begun developing a slate of films and drama series. In 2021, a Croatian-French co-production, I'm Not Telling You Anything, Just Sayin’, by Sanja Milardović, was shown in competition at the Palm Springs IFF, and the Icelandic-Croatian co-production, All Dogs Die, by Ninna Palmadottir, was shown at Karlovy Vary IFF. Castor Multimedia currently has several feature films and drama series in different stages of development.​

Author’s statement

In my previous work, I almost exclusively dealt with the “pathology” of middle-class relationships, and in many ways, this film combines all of my previous preoccupations. In The First Week of August, I explore the fragility of the façade of family relations, and how easily it can break down, but this time the aim is also to explore how elements of genre film can be subtly implemented into a film that would usually be considered a conventional family drama. The entire plot is based on the idea of a child’s rebellion against the value-system imposed by their parents. A single incident represents the total destruction of a petit bourgeois ritual, denouncing not only the parents, but at the same time the entire social class. Its consequences therefore become a metaphor for the power that ultimately destroys the ones who subscribe to it. ​

Producer’s statement

As a producer, I’ve always been eager to explore stories around us that are authentic, and artistic voices that need to be heard. Filip Mojzeš is one such voice; his previous works have proven that he has a unique talent and potential to be a future stronghold in Croatian cinema. Mojzeš’s debut feature, The First Week Of August, a well written family drama, caught my attention as an interesting artistic take on the topics of family problems that are relatable to all audiences. The project’s development has been funded by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, and having in mind the success of Mojzeš’ previous films, I’m confident that The First Week Of August has a strong potential to be recognized by critics, audiences, and festivals around the world.​

Contact / Presenters

Castor Multimedia
Črnomerec 97A, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +385 989 216 703

Filip Mojzeš | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: ‭+385 958 963 264‬

Matěj Merlić | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +385 989 216 703

A Flower Is Not a Flower
O floare nu e o floare


A Flower Is Not a Flower

Countries:
Romania
Directed by:
Cristian Pascariu
Scriptwriter:
Cristian Pascariu​
Producer:
Adriana Răcășan
Language:
Romanian
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
733.500 EUR
Release date:
2025

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

After being abandoned by her aunt in an inhumane communist orphanage, Ana, an 11-year-old girl, must learn to survive the bitter reality of Romania of the late 80s. Ana’s sensibility helps her see the disturbing backdrop with a gentle, innocent twist, but at the same time, it leads her to seek shelter with the orphanage bully, Costea.
When all hope is lost, and unable to endure the system’s torture, Ana runs away with Costea. They end up living in the sewers, together with the self-proclaimed “Van Damme”. For Ana, life underground is terrible, and things escalate when Van Damme attempts to sell her for money, without any resistance from Costea.
​Her only chance is to run away from the sewers to the seaside. With her faith crushed, she’s too afraid to accept help from a seemingly friendly family, and she ends up on the beach, running alone.

Company profile

Point Film's aim is to discover new directors and bring a fresh, new vibe and vision to the Romanian producing scene. Point Film is led by director/producer Tudor Giurgiu, founder and president of the Transilvania IFF, owner of the Transilvania Film distribution company, the Romanian streaming platform TIFF UNLIMITED, and the well-established production company, Libra Film (The History of Love by Radu Mihăileanu – FR, CA, RO; Menocchio by Alberto Fasulo – IT, RO; Cannibal by Manuel Cuenca - SP, RO), and producer Adriana Racasan, a film directing graduate, who has worked on more than 30 films as a production manager and executive producer since 2010. Point Film also co-produced the second feature by the Slovak director Ivan Ostrochovsky, Servants, which was presented in a world premiere at the Berlinale’s Encounter section in 2020.

Author’s statement

After studying the brutal events in Romanian orphanages from the 80s, I decided to build Ana’s story based on the heartbreaking recollections and interviews of that time.
​Without downplaying the tragic events from these institutions, the innocent perspective of the main character, Ana, adds a layer of humanity to the film. A young child sees the world from a different point of view, and even in the most gruesome moments, she sees glimmers of hope. I intend to create a claustrophobic camera framing that is close to the main character, describing her perception of the institution. 
Ana is a girl who evolves and overcomes great obstacles, and in the end, she succeeds in breaking free from all of the toxic people around her. It’s a story about empowering oneself and never giving up the fight against appalling circumstances.

Producer’s statement

The film seriously and delicately deals with a hard to grasp subject for many people in the 90s. It’s the first artistic project from Romania that has approached this issue.
​The sensitive perspective of the main character, a young girl tackling an impossible system; it’s an inspiring story told today to a troubled world, threatened with the loss of its most valuable right: freedom. 
The border-crossing potential of this project relies mostly on the director’s story telling ability which will resonate with audiences across the globe. We are thinking of structuring a three-country co-production, potentially between Romania, Germany, and Serbia. In Romania, after confirming production support from the Romanian Film Centre, we hope to get presale deals with either HBO Europe or Netflix, considering the international dimension of the project.

Contact / Presenters

Point Film
52 Popa Soare St., Bucharest, Romania
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +40 213 266 480

Cristian Pascariu | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +40 766 831 503

Adriana Răcășan | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +40 733 735 905

My Best Friend's Baby
Min bästa vans bebis


My Best Friend's Baby

Countries:
Sweden
Directed by:
Sophie Vuković
Scriptwriter:
Sophie Vuković​
Producer:
Eliza Jones, Markus Waltå
Language:
Swedish, Croatian, English
Genre:
dramedy
Estimated budget:
1.650.000 EUR
Release date:
2025/2026

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Damir (33) and Sara (37) have found a home in each other and in Stockholm’s queer community. Damir floats among nightclubs, and still hasn’t come out to his family in Croatia. Sara, single and self-reliant, wants to have a child on her own. The friends are convinced that they’re so progressive that even a baby can’t change their special bond. Damir offers to donate his sperm - but won’t be involved as a dad. 
​When Damir visits Croatia for his cousin’s wedding, pregnant Sara comes along. As usual, if his family want to assume they are a couple, that’s up to them. Once on the Adriatic island, their straight act begins to live a life of its own. Damir’s boisterous and intrusive family soon figure out that Sara is pregnant.
​Now Damir and Sara must face the fact that the baby is real and on its way - and that everything is about to change.

Company profile

Grand Slam Film was founded in 2015 by Eliza Jones and Markus Waltå, as they graduated in film production from the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. Grand Slam has produced a number of short films, selected for some of the world’s finest film festivals (Cannes, Sundance, Berlinale, Tribeca, Toronto). Their latest feature film is the much talked about and highly acclaimed Pleasure, which was selected for Cannes IFF 2020. It won the FIPRESCI Award at Gothenburg IFF 2021, succeeding its premiere in competition at Sundance the same year. It has sold worldwide, and is distributed by Neon in the US. 
​Grand Slam Film is currently in post-production with the feature films Locals and One Day All This Will Be Yours, set to premiere in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Author’s statement

As a filmmaker with one foot in Sweden and one in Croatia, I approach this story from a specific and personal perspective. I want to make a visceral family portrait where the tender and the cruel exist side by side. Where a blow can be made in the same gesture as a caress. I want to use comedy to ease the emotional punches to the audiences’ stomachs, and with a playful tone, turn our accepted notions of gender and family roles upside down. The beating heart of the story is Damir and Sara’s friendship in crisis. How do two best friends suddenly become parents? They will have to make it up as they go along. My Best Friend’s Baby is about how impossible it is for us to live together, and how beautiful it is that we still try. An invitation to embrace the brutal and beautiful chaos of family - however you define it.

Producer’s statement

In 2018, we started collaborating with Sophie Vuković, producing her short film Jamila, which, after competing at Gothenburg IFF, had immense youth audience success. When Sophie shared her idea of a feature film called My Best Friend’s Baby, we were hooked.​
My Best Friend’s Baby is a contemporary film, in the concept’s best notion. Sophie always manages to find something specific and personal, and dig until a rich, multifaceted story presents itself. Being “in between”, regarding both a migratory background and the heterosexual couple norm, is the perfect soil for warmth, humour, strong emotions, and an affecting film for the audience. The film moves between Stockholm and the Adriatic coast, where most of the story takes place. This infers an organic co-production opportunity, and we really believe it can have an international impact.


Contact / Presenters

Grand Slam Film
Ringvägen 64, 118 61, Stockholm, Sweden
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +46 73 764 71 71

Sophie Vuković | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +46 72 047 48 36

Eliza Jones | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +46 73 378 28 39

My Name Is Lily
My Name Is Lily


My Name Is Lily

Countries:
Cyprus
Directed by:
Yianna Americanou
Scriptwriter:
Yianna Americanou, Christina Georgiou​
Producer:
Stelana Kliris
Language:
French, English, Greek
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
1.200.000 EUR
Release date:
2025


Film synopsis

Lily has everything she needs: a loving husband and an adopted child, Ori, who is intersex, like herself. Fed up with being bullied at school for looking non-binary, Ori asks for gender assignment surgery, so they fly from Cyprus to Lily’s homeland. Watching history repeat itself, Lily’s childhood traumas awaken as she relives the medical consultations –⁠ but still she stands by Ori’s decision. When, right before the surgery, Ori has second thoughts, Lily’s relationships with those she loves are put to the test, as they insist the child deserves ‘a normal life’. Lily finds herself questioning her life choices and the understanding of those around her. Respecting her child’s right to choose, Lily runs away with Ori. Along the journey, mother and child come closer and tap into their own truth. But their return won’t be without consequences.

Company profile

Meraki Films is based in Cyprus and established by Stelana Kliris, aiming to create ‘works of heart’ that will travel beyond the shores of the island. Meraki Films collaborates with local production companies and filmmakers to promote Cyprus cinema, as well as providing services to international clients. The company focuses on supporting and developing films by local directors, mainly women. To date, Meraki Films has undertaken the short film Watch Over Me by Leah Kayaleh, a Public Service Announcement on human trafficking directed by Katiana Zachariou, and the short film Betrayal, also by Katiana.  It is currently developing a series and three features, including My Name is Lily and is in production of Stelana’s second feature The Islander, starring Harry Connick Jr, in collaboration with Uinta Productions (USA) and Das Films (USA).​

Author’s statement

Our aim is an evocative, atmospheric film that feels up-close, personal, and raw in its testaments, capturing the emotional experience of intersex people, who make up 1.7% of the world’s population, but still fight for basic human rights. We would like it to feel claustrophobic, hence the use of the academic ratio – as if to lock the characters into the frame, just as Lily feels trapped. The goal is to evoke a suffocating emotion that the anamorphic widescreen would scarcely be enough to contain. Lily constantly attempts to escape these tight frames as the story unfolds – she knows something we don’t know from the start, having been in Ori’s shoes some years back. There will be a tactile intimacy to Lily’s depiction, focusing on her, while never neglecting the societal surroundings that have shaped her and oppress her true nature. 

Producer’s statement

I wasn’t familiar with the hardships that intersex people face. As society tries to embrace people from all backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender identities, it is becoming increasingly essential to tell their stories. ​While we have seen films that deal with gender identity and documentaries on intersex people, there are no notable narrative films. We therefore feel that it crucial to fill this market gap, and cast intersex people for the corresponding parts. We want to cast a well-known Belgian intersex model for Lily’s part. We will shoot in Cyprus and a second European country – ideally Belgium – where the characters fly to, due to lack of such surgical procedures in Cyprus. While English is the common language between Lily and the locals in Cyprus, her native French, is used upon returning to her homeland.​

Contact / Presenters

Meraki Films
5 Foti Pitta Street, 1046 Nicosia, Pallouriotissa, Cyprus
Email: [email protected]

Yianna Americanou | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +357 99 67 37 52

Christina Georgiou | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +357 99 89 90 40

Stelana Kliris | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +357 99 41 95 56

Side By Side
Vedle sebe


Side By Side

Countries:
Czech Republic
Directed by:
Kilián Vrátník
Scriptwriter:
Natalie Golovchenko, Kilián Vrátník​
Producer:
Noemi Krausová
Language:
Czech
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
365.000 EUR
Release date:
2024

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

Four young millennials, living their dynamic urban lives, find themselves in a strangely magical forest without any technologies. Unbalanced Sebastian, his success-driven girlfriend Andrea, Sebastian’s sister, Johana, suffering from indecision, accompanied by a one-night stand, influencer Anna. They find themselves side by side, but not willing to be together in one car. The car breaks down in the woods and they try to find a way out of the forest, only to realize that Anna is missing. Also, a man from a local creepy gas station keeps mysteriously appearing. The forest seems to be playing a game with them, challenging their deepest, darkest fears, the magical power of nature, and forest creatures. They must play, or they’ll never be able to leave. Eventually, the forest leads them on their path to adulthood, and they can leave the forest. ​

Company profile

Unit and Sofa Praha was established as a sister company of Unit and Sofa service production in 2015, with the aim of producing its own film and TV projects, specializing in debuting filmmakers and an original auteur approach to cinema. In 2021, it produced its first feature length film, Occupation (dir. Michal Nohejl), which competed at 2021 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, was nominated for 13 Czech national film awards (awarded Best Script, Best Music, and Best Supporting Actress) and 6 Czech film critic awards (awarded Best Film, Best Script, Best Director, Best New Talent). During the past 4 years, the company has also produced 4 TV series for Czech broadcasters. Unit and Sofa Praha is the desired production company for Side by Side. We are currently in negotiations, and our producer, Julie Zackova, is supervising the project.

Author’s statement

Side by Side is a coming-of-age film about the contemporary young generation discovering its journey to maturity, in this case through a forest game and its pitfalls. The story deals with societal pressure to succeed, anxieties from being lost in infinite possibilities, irresponsibility, and communication problems, all of which are topics our generation is constantly facing. However, the most important theme is about finding respect for one’s self. The film will almost be like a form of self-therapy for our generation. The film plays with the poetics of magical realism, using elements of relationship drama, ambient horror, and situational comedy. It begins as a relationship comedy, and gradually turns into a mystery drama. We intend to create a story that would be referenced as “Euphoria meeting Stalker” in its tonality and style. ​

Producer’s statement

Side by Side is a unique film about pressing millennial generation issues, narrated through an original story, and playing with the theme of nature offering its tools to make the characters solve their own troublesome lives. The script is being written in collaboration between the director/scriptwriter and the actors. The method combines personal experiences with acting improvisation. This principle of collective writing is quite rare for the Czech film scene, and offers new and exciting creative challenges. The themes of the film (coming of age, self-respect, social media pressure, etc.) are universal, and therefore relatable for young international audiences, which the film will mainly target. The film is currently in the script development stage, and production is planned for autumn 2023/spring 2024, with the film’s release in 2024.​

Contact / Presenters

Unit and Sofa Praha
Salvátorská 10, 11000, Praha 1, Czech Republic

Kilián Vrátník | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 603 866 376

Natalie Golovchenko | Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 775 008 071

Noemi Krausová | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +420 732 241 734

Twentyseven
Dvadsaťsedem


Twentyseven

Countries:
Slovak Republic
Directed by:
Gregor Valentovič
Scriptwriter:
Gregor Valentovič​
Producer:
Zora Jaurová
Language:
Slovak
Genre:
drama
Estimated budget:
900.000 EUR
Release date:
2024

This film is director's feature debut.


Film synopsis

David and his three best friends from high school promised themselves that their friendship would last forever. After Hana gets married, Bažo moves abroad, Maja falls in love with an adventurous traveller, and David finds himself all alone. He is forced to embark on a new journey to find out that his adult life as a queer person might be inherently different than of those who grew up with him. ​
Twentyseven is a film about an early-life crisis and the finality of having to grow up. This happens in Central Europe, politically changing at a dizzying pace. Topics of becoming an adult as queer, catholic faith, and its forms, moving for a better job at the expense of family, or social media’s unrealistic portrayals of identity, put the topic of friendship and growing-up into everyday situations, and turns it into a generational statement.

Company profile

MPhilms is a Bratislava-based production company, founded in 2005, with two producing partners - Mátyás Prikler and Zora Jaurová. The company is primarily focused on live-action and documentary production, but also produces audiovisual projects with a strong social dimension. As part of its non-profit activities, MPhilms organises creative workshops, training courses and educational programmes. Among its most successful productions are Thanks, Fine (2009, Cannes IFF), Fine, Thanks (2013, Rotterdam IFF), Children (2014, Beijing IFF 2015 – Best Script, Best Cinematography, Best Actress in Supporting Role), Mirage (2014, Toronto IFF), which starred Isaach de Bankolé, Paradise on Earth (2019, Best Documentary Film at the Slovak National Film Awards), and Wild Roots (2021, KVIFF).​

Author’s statement

In my work, I deal with personal topics and focus on turning points of people’s lives. Most of us probably don’t get to live through anything too dramatic or notable, worthy of what one could define as a “Hollywood film”. However, those little details, everyday poetics, that’s what we all share. My feature debut, Twentyseven, tells the story of four friends in their late 20’s, whose ways are slowly but surely drifting apart. It’s a natural process for all of them, but the gay main character, David, feels the necessity the most. This film explores the early-life crisis of those who face the finality of having to grow up, those who are yet to learn that happiness is not to be sought after, and home is just a state of mind. Twentyseven is a drama, where comedic elements caused by everyday absurdity prevail, just as they do in real life.

Producer’s statement

At MPhilms, we have long strived to work with debuting creators, and offer them the opportunity to establish themselves in a professional environment as soon as possible. Gregor Valentovic’s debut feature offers a subtle drawing of small dramas; its atypical and seemingly inconspicuous dramatic arc is created by the contradictions and beauty of everyday situations, allowing the main protagonist to undergo a psychological transformation, and to gain knowledge. In combination with the presented theme, this film is a very promising project that has the potential to become a true European drama, relevant, and bringing a fresh voice to the audio-visual landscape.
​The story is set in a Central European context, and the production strategy reflects this focus: we intend to cast our film and use crew from Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

Contact / Presenters

MPhilms
Horná 5, 831 52, Bratislava, Slovakia
Email: [email protected]
www www.mphilms.sk

Gregor Valentovič | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +421 948 061 614

Zora Jaurová | Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +421 910 947 491

You Better Be
You Better Be


You Better Be

Countries:
Bulgaria
Directed by:
Magdelena Ilieva, Jonathan Heidelberger
Scriptwriter:
Jonathan Heidelberger, Drago Bago, Magdelena Ilieva​
Producer:
Magdelena Ilieva, Drago Bago
Language:
Bulgarian
Genre:
dramedy
Estimated budget:
600.000 EUR
Release date:
2025


Film synopsis

Boggie (28) and his mom, Tanya (55), live in distant towns and meet every few months. Their relationship seems great, but is built on many lies. Having grown up in a small Bulgarian conservative town, Boggie has hidden that he is gay, at all costs, all of his life. This evolved into him inventing and performing extreme personas of what people want and expect, and as a result, he achieves success. But when Tanya is diagnosed with cancer and comes to live with him, Boggie’s polished facade begins to crack, and he suffers an emotional breakdown. No longer able to hide his life and take care of Tanya, as she is falling apart too, his most hidden persona is revealed – himself. This is when mother and child, with death at the door, have a strange emotional convergence, and relive everything they have suppressed for all these years.​

Company profile

Little Wing Productions was founded in 2014 by Magdelena Ilieva, and its credits include the feature The Lesson (2014, Toronto, San Sebastian, Tokyo, Warsaw, LUX Prize finalist 2015, sold in over 30 territories), the shorts Enemies (2015, Sofia, Trieste), The Son (2016, Tampere, Sofia, Best Short at Cottbus), Money for a Funeral, aka Hole (2017, Edmonton, Nice, Clermont-Ferrand, Tirana), and others. Currently, LWP is co-producing the debut feature, Enternity Package, aka Money For a Funeral (in post), which was selected at Berlinale Coproduction Market 2016, where LWP premiered it. Among other projects, the company is in financing with the debut feature, Paris 18, financed for production by the Bulgarian National Film Centre in 2022, and in development with the genre feature, Tsveti, supported by MEDIA Creative Europe, also this year.​

Author’s statement

You Better Be will explore the themes of shame, self-rejection, and the liberating power of being true to oneself.
​“Just be yourself” is a popular slogan, yet hard to live by. When we’re children, it’s the simple things that bring happiness: love, inspiration, life itself. But when you go against the inner child in order to fit in, you become something you’re not. You lose your identity. And if you have to pretend in front of a loved one, it distances you from this person. They only see part of you, and the rest is hidden. Worse – if you pretend to be something you’re not in front of yourself, you grow to resent yourself.  ​​
You Better Be tells the story of how being yourself is the only way to have a real connection and a complete relationship with others – a heavy issue that we tackle with lightness of touch and absurd humour.

Producer’s statement

The second Ilieva-Heidelberger authorial duo project, You Better Be will be structured as an international co-production, like their first joint feature, Eternity Package, which was a successful Bulgarian-Italian co-production, supported by Eurimages and MEDIA Creative Europe. The film tackles topics like shame, peer pressure, and staying true to oneself in a society that discourages authenticity – all issues that our target audience (urban and young 16+) is also dealing with. One of our characters is foreign, and comes from a more liberal society, serving as a contrast to the more rigid, conservative environment our story takes place in. This gives us a genuine opportunity to collaborate with partner(s) from abroad – currently, we are looking for a foreign partner to apply for co-development for the project from MEDIA Creative Europe.


Contact / Presenters

Little Wing Productions Ltd.
57 Iskar Street, apt. 10, 1000, Sofia, Bulgaria
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +359 884 120 775

Magdelena Ilieva | Director, Scriptwriter, Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +359 884 120 775

Jonathan Heidelberger | Director, Scriptwriter
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +359 893 762 251

Drago Bago | Scriptwriter, Producer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +359 892 228 852

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