Feature debuts by Ukrainian, Israeli, Bulgarian and Georgian filmmakers are among more than 30 film and TV projects pitched to potential backers at meetings in Sofia, Bulgaria from June 9-12.
Kyiv-based Good Morning Films producer Andriy Kornienko and director Ivan Orlenko will participate online from Ukraine to present the dystopian drama Map of Madagascar.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian-born editor-director Svitlana Topor and producer Vasyl Malko of Warsaw-based Emily Production will be on hand in Sofia to present the first film. No smoking at the border which is described as “a drama with magical elements” and has already received development support from the Polish Film Institute.
The public pitches are complemented by screenings of 14 works in progress for festival representatives, sales agents and distributors only.
Other first-time filmmakers in Meetings Plus Minus One’s 12-track lineup include Israeli filmmaker Eti Tsicko Like you were never there, which will be co-produced by Amir Harel’s Lama Films and Georgia 20 Steps Production’s Vladimer Katcharava; First feature film by Bulgarian actor Kitodar Todorov Paris 18 a screenplay by American producer-editor Jonathan Heidelberger who lives and works in Bulgaria; and Georgian director Vakhtang Jajanidze’s drama real beings will be produced by David Isakadze’s Magnet Films with 39Films from Italy already on board.
Meanwhile, the Second Film Projects section includes Czech filmmaker Simon Holy’s comedy Chica Checacoming after his debut Mirrors in the dark which premiered in Karlovy Vary last year, and the historical female-led sports drama from Dzintars Dreibergs in Latvia escape net from Riga-based Kultfilma.
The First Film First training program for rookie directors from South East Europe will also return physically to Sofia to present eight feature film projects from Serbia, Albania, Croatia, Greece, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Among them, the comedy by Croatian director Silva Capin secretary of the year which will be produced by Eclectica, which is behind the title of the Karlovy Vary 2022 competition The uncleand the family film by Greek filmmaker Nikos Dayandas A girl named Zeus will be produced by Aori Films with French outfit Les Films de Juillet.
Four TV projects from the region are also presented at the Rencontres. They include the Latvian comedy series Childocracy and Hungarian black comedy Elephant. The latter is produced by Budapest-based independent company Proton Cinema, co-founded by Viktoria Petrányi and Kornél Mundruczó.
In addition, the four-day Meetings industry program will include panel discussions and ongoing screenings of new feature films from filmmakers such as Nadya Koseva, Asif Rustamov and Stefan Komanderev for festival representatives, sales agents and distributors. These will take place in the form of physical and online screenings.
The Sofia event will continue its tradition of welcoming members of the Europa Distribution network for a workshop led this year by business coach and sustainable talent developer Patrick Zacharis on developing the most effective communication and negotiation styles.