Seventeen projects have been selected for the Co-Production Market, which will be taking place on 21-24 November at Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event during the Black Nights Film Festival. In other sections, Baltic Event highlights eight Baltic and Nordic projects in the script and pitch workshop POWR Baltic Stories Exchange and 20 projects in the Works in Progress and Screenings sections.
For its 15th jubilee edition, Baltic Event has selected 14 projects from its traditional region of the new EU territories, Scandinavia and Russia, a project from Georgia in collaboration with EAVE, and two projects from the 2016 Focus Country Luxembourg. The Baltic Event team is satisfied to note that not only was the quality of the record number of submissions exceptionally high, but the resultant slate also reflects the topics and emotions current in Europe and in the society in general today. While a number of projects revolve around the sore issue of immigration and controversies surrounding politics and religion, many stories simply deal with the isolation and loneliness of an individual in this ever globalising world. However, many filmmakers choose to approach their work in the key of humour, lending some lightness to the otherwise sombre topics.
While Miss Hanoi, the Czech project, deals with Vietnamese immigrants struggling to adopt Western norms, and Fear Eats the Soul from Sweden focuses on the still sadly occurring racism, East of Sweden from Finland and Trust from Poland follow refugees in more immediate danger. Continuing on a serious note, Norwegian As I Fall is a drama about a heroin-addict trying to come to terms with single fatherhood, Lithuanian People We Know Are Confused a cleverly woven multiplot about self-discovery and confidence, Russian Far Frontiers another stifling portrait of a person struggling in a strict and unforgiving environment, and Estonian Scandinavian Silence explores the relationship between siblings in a unique and innovative way. Moving onto the black comedies segment of the slate, What a Country! from Croatia tries to describe the state of mind of the Balkan countries by bringing in two dead presidents, Polish The Clergy teasingly depicts the “behind the scenes” life of the Catholic Church, the lead character of Romanian Emil is forced to face certain truths after being cheap on the funeral rites for his late wife, while Georgian Citizen Saint makes a sculpture of a saint come to life to prove a point and Latvian Insect Night makes a man able to walk on water. The slate is rounded up by two children’s films – the adaptation of the beloved children’s book Vinski and the Invisibility Powder from Finland, and Ibracadabra featuring the little fans of the famed footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Sweden. Focus Country Luxembourg presents the dark thriller Skin Walker and (N)Ostalgia – a hybrid documentary about a struggling Soviet mining settlement.
As always, Baltic Event aims to find balance between established, award-winning directors, this year including Vinko Bresan (Croatia), Martti Helde (Estonia), Tinatin Kajrishvili (Georgia), Simo Halinen and Juha Wuolijoki (Finland), Laila Pakalnina (Latvia), Wojtek Smarzowski and Dariusz Gajewski (Poland), Andrei Gruzsniczki (Romania) and Karzan Kader (Sweden), and up-and-coming talents including Zdeněk Viktora (Czech Republic), Tomas Smulkis (Lithuania), Vicki Thornton and Chris Neuman (Luxembourg), Magnus Meyer Arnesen (Norway), Maxim Dashkin (Russia), and Maria Eriksson (Sweden).
A Eurimages Co-Production Development Award worth 20 000 Euro will be handed out by a jury consisting of Uldis Dimiševskis, Head of Production and Development, National Film Centre of Latvia, Latvia; Suzanne Glansborg, Executive Producer, TV4/Bonnier Broadcasting, Sweden; and Titus Kreyenberg, CEO/Producer, unafilm, Germany.
In addition, one project will receive the Screen International Best Pitch Award, offering coverage of the life-cycle of the winning film, and two producers will receive the Cannes Marché du Film Producers’ Network Award for Promising Young Producer with free accreditations to next year’s edition.
Baltic Event Co-Production Market selection 2016:
- As I Fall, producer Gyda Velvin Myklebust, DNF Masters, Norway, director Magnus Meyer Arnesen
- Citizen Saint, producer Lasha Khalvashi, Artizm, Georgia, director Tinatin Kajrishvili (in collaboration with EAVE – European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs)
- The Clergy, producer Jacek Rzehak, Profil Film, Poland, director Wojtek Smarzowski
- East of Sweden, producer Liisa Penttilä-Asikainen, Kaiho Republic, Finland, director Simo Halinen
- Emil, producer Oana Giurgiu, Hai Hui Entertainment, Romania, director Andrei Gruzsniczki
- Far Frontiers, producer Anna von Dziembowska, Victoria Films, Russia, director Maxim Dashkin
- Fear Eats the Soul, producer Emma Åkesdotter Ronge, Anagram Film & TV, Sweden, director Maria Eriksson
- Ibracadabra, producer Peter Krupenin, Hob AB, Sweden, director Karzan Kader
- Insect Night, producer Laila Pakalnina, Hargla Company, Latvia, director Laila Pakalnina
- Miss Hanoi, producer Zdeněk Viktora, Screenplay By s.r.o., Czech Republic, director Zdeněk Viktora
- People We Know Are Confused, producer Dagne Vildziunaite, Just A Moment, Lithuania, director Tomas Smulkis
- Scandinavian Silence, producer Elina Litvinova, Three Brothers, Estonia, director Martti Helde
- Trust, producer Kuba Kosma, Takfilm sp. z o.o., Poland, director Dariusz Gajewskie
- Vinski and the Invisibility Powder, producer Juha Wuolijoki, Snapper Films Oy, Finland, director Juha Wuolijoki
- What a Country!, producer Ivan Maloča, Interfilm, Croatia, director Vinko Bresan
- (N)ostalgia, producer Marion Guth, a_BAHN, Luxembourg, director Vicki Thornton
- Skin Walker, producer Jesus Gonzalez, Calach Films, Luxembourg, director Chris Neuman
POWR projects and screenwriters:
- Audnvin by Inger Dietrichs, Norway
- Children of Strauss by Carita Forsgren, Finland
- Deleted Scenes by Paula Korva, Finland
- For Anna by Toke Westmark Steensen, Denmark
- A Gift from the Moon by Ramin Pourmand, Estonia
- Good-Bye Soviet Union by Lauri Randla, Estonia
- The Hood by Andrius Lekavicius, Lithuania
- Scenes from a Dying Town by Kaisa El Ramly, Finland
Supporters and partners of Baltic Event are Creative Europe MEDIA Programme, Eurimages, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Film Institute, Lithuanian Film Center, National Film Centre of Latvia, Finnish Film Foundation, Film Fund Luxembourg, Film Commission Poland, Swedish Institute, Embassy of Sweden in Estonia, FilmVäst, Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Nordic Hotel Forum, Tallink Hotels, EAVE, Cannes Marche du Film’s Producers’ Network, Torino Film Lab, Screen International, Film New Europe, Orbital Vox Studios and Apollo Music.