European Short Pitch 2017: Book of Projects

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NISI MASA member associations Albania - d'Art Association - First Step Association Austria - Kino5 Bosnia and Herzegovina - International Film Festival Kratkofil Plus Bulgaria - SEVEN Croatia - KinoKlub Zagreb Czech Republic - Kino Praha Czech Republic - In Vitr0 Denmark - Aarhus Short Film Challenge Estonia - NISI MASA Estonia Finland - Euphoria Borealis France - FORMATOVA Germany - Munich Film Society Germany - Kino Datsche Greece - PSAROKOKALO Italy - Lago Film Fest Kosovo - 7arte Lithuania - Kaunas International Film Festival Luxembourg - Filmreakter Macedonia - Cre8ive8 Montenegro - Cinemapolis Netherlands - Breaking Ground Norway - Filmkraft Poland - Ad Arte Portugal - FEST Associa≼ão Cultural Russia - Moviement Serbia - Filmkultura Slovenia - Film Factory Spain - Cinestesias Ukraine - CinemaHall Ukraine - Wiz Art UK - Encounters

Index 1 AYA Samuel Sultana, Stephanie Sant Malta / France 2 BLOOD GROUP Daan Bunnik - Netherlands 3 ENCOUNTERING SAMIR Rand Beiruty - Jordan / Germany 4 FLUID BORDER Joana Vogdt - Germany 5 THE FIGURANT Jan Vejnar - Czech Republic 6 GOLDEN MINUTES Saulius Baradinskas, Titas Laucius Lithuania 7 HOSPITALITIES Ronan Posnic - France 8 HUNT Senad Sahmanovic, Claudia Bottino Montenegro / Italy 9 LAZARUS Veronica Spedicati, Emanuele Milasi Italy 10 THE NIPPLE WHISPERER Jan Van Dyck - Belgium 11 RIGA’S LILAC Lizete Upite - Latvia / France 12 THE SHIFT Luka Popadić - Serbia / Switzerland 13 THE SILENCE OF THE DYING FISH Vasilis Kekatos - Greece 14 TINA & SENDY Hani Domazet - Croatia


8-9 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-17

18-19 20-21


24-25 26-27 28-29

30-31 32-33



Works in progress 17 BANALITY Balazs Simonyi - Hungary 18 BATHHOUSE Laurynas Bareiša - Lithuania 19 GABRIEL Oren Gerner - Israel / France 20 I’LL PROBABLY NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN Mitja Mlakar - Slovenia 21 MALVA AND LESHY Marcin Karolewski - Poland ESP 2017 TUTORS ESP 2017 TEAM ESP 2017 AWARDS


34-35 36-37

39 40-41 42-43 44-45

46-47 48-49

50 52 53

ESP PITCH 2017 European Short Pitch is an initiative aimed at promoting the European coproduction of short films. It combines a scriptwriting workshop in residency, an on-line session and a coproduction forum bringing together scriptwriters, directors and industry professionals from all over Europe. Selected on the basis of their short film projects, young European talents gather to discuss, rewrite and learn to promote their ideas on a European level. They eventually pitch their project in front of a panel of European producers and distributors. Initiated by NISI MASA, European Short Pitch is now in its 11th edition and is the continuation of our European Script Contest, held from 2001 to 2008. European Short Pitch’s rewriting session was held in Valletta, Malta at the beginning of January, with 19 participants from 16 different countries attending. From collective brainstorming to working in groups or individually with professional tutors, participants discussed their projects in depth, receiving various feedbacks to nurture their projects. As we’re still all for being on the forefront of the specific needs of the film industry, for the second year in a row, ESP will be organising a Work-InProgress pitching session, for 5 projects that are in their finishing stages, but still need a push in the back. The rough cuts will be screened publicly and 3 awards will be handed out by a jury to ensure post-production in good conditions and a rewarding round up of the film. This year, European Short Pitch’s pitching session will take place on the 25th of March in Poznan, Poland in collaboration with the Short Waves Festival and Ad Arte, followed by one-to-one meetings that same day and the morning after.


An adolescent girl and her mother have lived in their abundant planet all of their life. One day, a black substance appears on their planet, triggering a process of great change and painful separation.

AYA Samuel Sultana, Stephanie Sant Malta / France

SYNOPSIS A young girl and her mother are the only two inhabitants of a small, abundant and nurturing planet. At one stage the girl stumbles upon a strange black substance emerging from the ground, a new sight in an otherwise familiar world. The young girl’s reactions differ from her mothers’ and change at the rapid pace of the black mound’s growth, which begins to cover and destroy their planet. As the girl slowly realizes that the mound is beyond her control, a painful separation between herself and her mother begins to unfold.


Samuel Sultana Martin Bonnici

BIOGRAPHIES Samuel Sultana [Director] is a Franco-Maltese creative, based in Malta. When he was one, he raised a hammer for the Maltese ‘Quccija’ ritual: a great tool to both build and destroy. Following his masters in Fine Arts, he engaged on a broad variety of cultural and entrepreneurial projects and developed a potent vision across a variety of media, along with the skill set to create and manage projects and direct creative endeavours. Stephanie Sant [Writer] graduated in 2016 from Central Saint Martins in London, with a Master’s in Photography. Her practice involves also filmmaking and her own body, but writing has always been a foundation that supported the different media she has been using. She is also the writer of Dog-Man (Sultana as the director and Bonici as the producer). Martin Bonnici [Producer] started out as a broadcast designer, having 10 years of experience in the audio-visual industries. He has trained under experts such as Laurence Moody, Bobette Buster and David Howard. In 2010 Martin established his own production company, Shadeena Entertainment, through which he has produced dozens of audio-visual projects from adverts to corporate projects and recently a TV Sitcom. Multiple feature films will also enter production.

INTENTIONS What we want to achieve from the Aya project is to have a grounded coming-of-age story told within a fascinating world through the use of practical effects and organic materials that decay over time. Great life events come with a reminder of how violent yet harmonious nature can be. We took this idea to a timeless setting where nature’s violence and cosmic harmony operate on a much closer level to human existence than it currently does. The story’s focus moves from the character arcs of the mother and the daughter to the character arc of the planet as it fulfills its own cycle.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Horror, Drama Length: 15 min Format: 4K Language: No language Budget: 100.000 Production Company: Shadeena Entertainment

Financing Plan: 10.000 investment in kind, 40.000 from the Malta Film Fund (application in June) Looking For: Co-Production (France and Belgium), Distribution Shooting Location: Studio based


In the middle of nowhere Rik lives an isolated life, and when his brother shows up telling him their abusive father is on his deathbed, he has to make a choice.

BLOOD GROUP Daan Bunnik - Netherlands

SYNOPSIS Rik (35) lives in the middle of nowhere in a caravan with his only companion an Irish wolfhound. He fled his family when he was a teenager because his father beat him. His only contact with the outer world is the videos he makes of his own football tricks, for his 33 followers on Youtube. When his brother Brian shows up, who missed the beating of his father because he went to boarding school, he tells Rik that their father is in the hospital and hasn’t got long to live. Rik now has to decide if he wants to say his final goodbye to his father.


Daan Bunnik Ellen Havenith

BIOGRAPHIES Daan Bunnik [Director] graduated with film Skin feels, which depicts his perception on the ageing body of his parents (it won 3 awards and was screened at 27 film festivals). He took part in ESP ’14 with his autobiographical fiction short Headbutt, that exposes the transforming physical and mental relationship of two adolescent brothers. With Blood Group he steps away from autobiographical stories, but remains focused on family relations, physicality and male vulnerability. Ellen Havenith (Producer) graduated from Film and Television Sciences and worked as a Production Manager/Line Producer for over ten years. Ellen is a strongly creatively involved, passionate producer; making daring and distinguishing films that have high artistic quality and audience reach. In 2011 she founded her own company, PRPL, which focuses on feature films that can be coproduced internationally and are able to connect with a transnational audience.

INTENTIONS I often feel a conflict between my body and mind. My body wants to dance, to shout, to cry, but my mind says no. I feel I repress my bodily emotions often because my ratio is stronger than my physical urges. Therefore I created a story in a ‘primitive’ world where the role of the body is not limited by social control or environment, and can be used as a tool of the mind, not something that needs to be controlled. However, because Rik has a physical and mental trauma caused by his father, his bodily emotions stem from anger and fear. Instead of exploiting the physical freedom this environment offers, Rik chooses to dominate the world he lives in. Being out of touch with society no one is able to intervene in his life, he has a dog that obeys him and his only connection with the outer world, his football videos, he records over and over again until his trick succeeds. Rik’s struggle is that the physical abuse in his past has made him unable to be vulnerable since he stills sees himself through the eyes of his father. In order to reach physical freedom and fully explore the the world he lives in, Rik has to start loving himself.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Drama Length: 12-15 min Language: Dutch Production company: PRPL

Funding: Apply for 30.000 of Netherland Film Fund (April) and 12.500 Rotterdam Film Fund (May) Looking for: Co-producers, Distributor


In a war zone, four-year-old Nizar and his brother Ramzy become friends with an enemy counterpart, Samir, turning the barren battlefield into a fantastical playground. Can the boys and the magic survive?

ENCOUNTERING SAMIR Rand Beiruty - Jordan / Germany

SYNOPSIS During a civil war, two brothers, NIZAR and RAMZY, are walking home playing “soldier� and collecting gun shells from the ground. They meet SAMIR, a boy from the opposing side, and exclude and mock him for his differences. Samir pleads for the attention of the brothers by convincing them that he can do magic. When the conflict breaks out in their vicinity, the boys are forced to band together and create a magical shield to protect themselves from the violence.


Rand Beiruty

BIOGRAPHY Rand Beiruty [Director] is a Jordanian filmmaker with an experimental storytelling style that blurs the line between fiction and documentary, specifically in the context of immigration, displacement and women empowerment. She has participated in international film festivals and is an alumni of Berlinale Talents, Beirut Talents and Film Leader Incubator Asia. She was nominated for the Robert Bosch co-production Film Prize in 2016. Beiruty is currently developing her first feature length creative documentary.

INTENTIONS The story is partly inspired by an incident that my father experienced as a kid in 1970 in Jordan. In September of that year, civil war broke out between the Jordan Armed Forces and the Palestine Liberation Organization. 12 years old at the time, my father was playing outdoors with his younger brother when they were suddenly caught under crossfire. The story is also based on my personal experience as a child, when other kids refused to play with me because of religious and social differences. In this film, I explore how the tendency to dehumanize, and even demonize what one might refer to as the ‘other’, reflects on children, especially during times of conflict and war.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Animation


Length: 7 min

Secured Financing: 4.250

Status: Late development

Looking for: Producer, Sales agent


While helping East and West German troops to restore the border that seperates the two systems, two men tear down the boundaries between them.

FLUID BORDER Joana Vogdt - Germany

SYNOPSIS The German-German borderlands in the 1980s: right through the middle of the Schaalsee runs a precisely defined “fluid border� between East and West Germany. One night a storm shifts one of buoys which form the borderline. While the border guards from East and West are trying to restore the border, two land surveyors throw their prejudices overboard and tear down the boundaries.


Joana Vogdt Faysal Omer

BIOGRAPHIES Joana Vogdt [Director] originally studied film production, completing the Atelier Ludwigsburg Paris programme run by Filmakademie Baden-Württemburg and La Femis. She was involved in making various documentary films for Engel Entertainment in NY. Back in Berlin, she worked for Pallas Film and Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion, and helped to produce a dozen award-winning European fiction films. She worked in a freelance capacity as a producer and dramaturgical advisor. Since 2010 she is also a writer and director, mainly for ARTE. Fluid border is her first fictional film. Faysal Omer (Producer) has been working in the film industry for more than 15 years, among others at the European Film Market (EFM). In addition, he has been managing his company Miko Film, based in Hamburg, for the last 10 years. Company’s focus is on the development of scripts, film projects and production of debut films with young talents, in short or long films of different genres.

INTENTIONS Fluid border offers a snapshot of the surreal situation that was to be found in Germany when it was a divided nation. Based on true events and aiming to keep a balance between tension and humor, it is a story which shows the ways in which macro-politics affects the lives of ordinary people. The film does not seek to over-dramatize, but underlines the absurdity of everyday life back then. There are no great heroic acts, but small gestures, which help our protagonists preserve their humanity.“Fluid border” was the official name for the borderlines that ran through water. The permeability of these kinds of borderlines reinforced their artificiality. Nature plays a crucial role, because for nature those human-made borders are irrelevant. Within this context, the act of reconstructing the borderline, which is taken extremely seriously by some of the border officers, seems even more ludicrous. At a time when the subject of “borders” is on everyone’s lips due to the refugee crisis, I find it particularly important to remember the past, the iron curtain that divided Europe and to reflect on, maybe even question the concept of “borders”.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Black Comedy

Budget: 64.500

Producer: Fayal Omer, Miko Film (Hamburg) & Joana Vogdt (Berlin)

Length: 17 min


On a costume rehearsal of a WW1 film drama a first-time extra is so overwhelmed by his fears, that they are gradually becoming a reality.

THE FIGURANT Jan Vejnar - Czech Republic

SYNOPSIS During the extras costume rehearsal of WW1 drama, the situation unfolds differently for one of its participants. First, a strange dummy of a dead soldier grabs his attention. His prosthetic scar starts bleeding and instead of a replica he receives a real weapon. The reality is falling apart and soon he finds himself in a real warfare. What follows is a bizarre game of survival, during which he experiences the war absurdity first hand. When the shooting is over and the extras are paid, this man receives the highest possible salary: he has survived.


Jan Vejnar Kamila Dohnalová

BIOGRAPHIES Jan Vejnar (Writer/Director) is a screenwriter and director from Prague, who has written and directed several shorts awarded at film festivals worldwide. He has worked as a commercial director, as well as a radio playwright and a script consultant. Along with The Figurant he is developing his feature film debut, Entangled In War, an ensemble social comedy. Kamila Dohnalová (Producer) is a young film producer based in Prague. She studied at the Charles University and at FAMU, where she worked as an executive producer on more than twenty films, including Oscar-shortlisted short animation Happy End or Peacock, a short fiction awarded at Sundance 2016. Within her film production company Silk Films she is now developing several film projects.

INTENTIONS Once being an extra on set of a Danish historic war mini-series 1864 I was intrigued by the closeness of a film shooting and a real war. Especially for an ordinary extra, there is a presumption that one would publicly renounce a claim to logic of the received instructions. A man who is capable of such subordination is an ideal material for any machinery including war. The Figurant tells a story of a newcomer who enters a world not knowing its rules. During a mechanical procedure he experiences more and more strange situations no one else is disconcert by. Thus he finds himself in a stage of permanent uncertainty. The film is not a comedy. However because of the absurd nature of what the protagonist is getting through, there are certain comical aspects - similar as in Orson Welles’ The Trial. This movie is also an inspiration for the visual style and locations selection of The Figurant. Old abandoned spaces get new purposes whereas their original designation echoes at the same time. The Figurant is narrated from a very subjective perspective of the main character - the selective camera and framing follow the protagonist’s effort to orient himself in the environment as well as his isolation from others.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Mystery drama Country: Czech Republic Duration: 15 min Production company: Silk Films Estimated budget: 70.000

Secured financing: 5.000 Financing plan: Czech State Cinematography Fund (July 2017), Foreign public/state fund Looking for: Co-producer, Sales agent


Driven to the edge by a huge debt and his impending divorce, a poetic accountant decides to kill himself but is rescued by a heart attack.

GOLDEN MINUTES Saulius Baradinskas, Titas Laucius Lithuania

SYNOPSIS LIUDAS (40) is preparing to commit a suicide, but before that, he wants to tidy his house, so no one would have to clean the mess after him. He takes the trash bags and goes to the containers near the bus stop, but suddenly he collapses and falls down on the street. Liudas has a heart attack. We see a big picture of city buzz happening around: a bus, full of well dressed business men, an old lady with a dog, a jogger, even the ambulance with their sirens turned on – no one notices Liudas, whose body is lying in the middle of the street.


Viktorija Seniut Saulius Baradinskas

BIOGRAPHIES Saulius Baradinskas (Director), an independent director from Vilnius who is known for directing music videos and “Vilnius Temperature” Take Away shows, a web-based project recording music videos of indie rock musicians. Titas Laucius (Writer), an independent screenwriter working on Lithuanian documentaries and fiction films. In 2014 started to work on a documentary People, Animals and Things which participated in Berlinale and Baltic Sea Doc.

INTENTIONS It seems in these times we only come to think about death when it directly affects us. Imagine yourself going to sauna. There is a person with you in sauna who suddenly collapses in front of you. What do you do? Next day you find an article “A Man Died in Sauna - he had a heart attack but everyone thought he was sleeping”. According to statistics possibility to survive after heart attack in Lithuania is 6% when in London it is 32%. When heart attack strikes, man has exactly 10 minutes to get the first aid. These minutes are called “Golden minutes” - when your life depends from people around you. But experience shows us that usually we don’t know how to perform 5 basic steps of CPR that we learned in school or driving classes. CPR was all over our daily life but it was just “another boring text” in the vast amount of information. We do not want to teach about CPR. We want to show that the most important things occasionally get lost in the chaos of life and we are part of this. The main message of our film is to be aware with people that are in danger, especially in danger with their hearts. And maybe next time we will think about death before it strikes a man sitting near us in sauna.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Fiction tragicomedy Length: 10 min Format: HD Language: Lithuanian Estimated budget: 70.000

Producers: Viktorija Seniut (Viktoria Films) Martynas Mickenas (Baltic Productions) Co-Producer: Mirta Puhlovski (Slavica Film) Looking for: Sales agents, Distributors, Financiers


In a palliative care unit, a terminally ill Cyril enters a virtual world, leaving both pain and his loved ones behind.

HOSPITALITIES Ronan Posnic - France

SYNOPSIS Cyril, dying of cancer, starts a new palliative treatment: he wakes up in a virtual hospital. He discovers a painless, exciting world of entertainment and also a bug that he uses to alter this reality and cheat at games. When he learns that the end is near, Cyril gets a dying wish: the doctor lets his parents enter his virtual room. But as they enter, he mistakenly triggers the bug. They are horribly distorted. Cyril returns to the real world and pain, but his real parents are here to comfort him as he closes his eyes for the last time.


Ronan Posnic

BIOGRAPHY Ronan Posnic (Director) is a French director, who has been working in Paris for 10 years, in commercial projects and exhibitions (Bordeaux Wine City, Paris’s Musée de l’Homme, Milano 2016 Universal exhibition). He has extensive experience in postproduction, Editing/VFX/TD. He directed Panopticon in 2016, a one minute short movie about CCTV surveillance, selected at Nice “Un festival C’est trop court”, Geneva Film Festival and screened at Paris Court Devant 2016. It was produced by the G.R.E.C.

INTENTIONS A hospital visit to a relative dying of cancer left me with a bitter feeling. Today pain can’t be addressed in a satisfying, humane way. What if virtual reality was an answer to this problem? This story tries to explore this possibility, its promises and its shortcomings. On one hand, a real world, where pain is unbearable but with real people who care for you. On the other, a painless, virtual environment with plenty of recreational activities but where one feels terribly lonely, cut out of the real world. This world has its own properties, bringing along some unexpected source of enjoyment and wonder. There are bugs, weaknesses that can be used at the user’s own advantage. They bring a poetry unique to this reality. But they are also what makes this reality so alien, unnatural to us. These two unique realities have to be rendered in their own beauty. The “real” world is organic, full of accidental lights bouncing everywhere, rich with diversity and “cracks”: accidental geometries and textures. The virtual is homogeneous, and bogus. Its base unit, the pixel, appears in unexpected, funny or scary ways. Once the question is raised, the audience can answer for themselves.


Status: In writing

Length: 10-15 minutes

Budget: To be determined

Format: 2K - (4K if possible)

Secured financing: Camera/DIT/editing with Paris based RVZ/B4POST/Sim&Sam

Language: French or English

Looking for: Producer


Growing up is always a dirty job, especially if you need to cover up for the adults’ mistakes.

HUNT Senad Sahmanović, Claudia Bottino Montenegro / Italy

SYNOPSIS Ivan (12) spends his holidays alone with his mother Jelena in a country house near the woods. His father has been absent during the whole period for business reasons but tomorrow the family will be finally reunited. Both mother and son felt abandoned; both had to pass the time. Jelena cheated on her husband; Ivan killed an animal leaving it as a sign on a precise spot, right in front of the small hut in the woods, where his mother used to secretly meet her lover. As father will be back tomorrow, every proof must disappear.


Senad Sahmanović Ben Vandendaele

BIOGRAPHIES Senad Sahmanović (Writer/Director) studied at the Faculty of Drama Arts in Cetinje, Montenegro. His short film, Tranquility of Blood premiered at the Tampere International film festival, was screened at more than 40 international film festivals (Busan, Sarajevo, DokuFest...) and won several awards (Grand Prix in Drama International Film Festival 2015). Claudia Bottino (Writer/Director) was part of the writing team of the award-winning tv series Ainsi soient-ils (ARTE), after moving to France to study Modern Literature. Her first short film, Duo, was screened at many film festivals (Palm Springs, Odense, Arcipelago Roma etc). Ben Vandendaele (Producer) studied at Rits film school in Brussels, after which he started working at Czar. In 2009 he produced his first short film, Siemiany, that premiered at ClermontFerrand IFF and at Berlinale. Since 2012 he’s a freelance producer/postproducer and he founded his own production company, Bekke Films.

INTENTIONS Growing up is like travelling from one world to another. That’s the first moment when you stop seeing things as black or white and discover that there is something else in between, that you need to get used to if you want to understand the adult’s world and eventually make the big step forward. That’s usually when growing up becomes a compromise and a dirty job. Hunt aims to explore this moment, when boundaries are becoming fluctuant. We will follow a 12-year-old boy point of view, allowing a very intimate approach to his story. We will confront our main character with a strong moral issue. However, it is important for us not to bring any judgment on this situation. The main idea is how the same feeling of guiltiness - the mother’s and the son’s - will reunite them at the end. Concerning the visual style, we will give priority to minimalistic choices and we will create a peculiar atmosphere, playing with sounds and perception; suggesting rather than showing, especially in the scenes with the animal in the forest.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Drama Length: 15 – 20 min Language: Serbo-Croatian Estimated budget: 45.000

Producers: Ben Vandendaele (Belgium), Senad Sahmanovic (Montenegro) Status: In development Looking for: International Co-producer, Festival Programmers


The friendship of Peppe and Ousmane, two Senegalese living in Italy. A body to bring back to Senegal. A wedding to celebrate.

LAZARUS Veronica Spedicati, Emanuele Milasi Italy

SYNOPSIS The Senegalese Peppe has organized a fundraising to bring the body of his friend Ousmane from Italy back to Senegal. Flashback: Peppe found Ousmane after a long research, he’s dying alone in a hospital. Flashback: Peppe and Ousmane are good friends and they share a simple life spent working. Peppe wants to have a good life in his new country, whereas Ousmane wants to go back to Senegal, where his love Adama is waiting for him. However, Peppe believes that their goals are not so different, in fact he believes that an extended family is possible. Flashback: Peppe celebrates the remote marriage between Ousmane and Adama. Nobody knows about the future, but it seems to be bright. 22

Veronica Spedicati Emanuele Milasi

BIOGRAPHIES Veronica Spedicati (Director) is a director based in Rome, where she is completing the Directing Class at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. She did a project in the US about “New Media and Non Linear Storytelling” promoted by UCLA. She made short fiction films and documentaries in England, France and Germany. She collaborates with the only italian Deaf Cinema Company. Emanuele Milasi (Writer), uncle of twelve nephews, wrote the documentary Made in Italy that introduced Fox Life Channel in Italy (2016). He wrote several short films and in 2011 won the Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Movie Awards with The Barefoot Humanity. In 2013 he worked on a project for cinema and new media, coordinated by UCLA. He has been the artistic manager of the Pentedattilo Short Film Festival since 2006.

INTENTIONS What’s the sense in using money for a dead man when it can be used for who is still alive? In a time in which the biological lottery decides the destiny of so many people, forced to leave their country, who are we in this lottery? These are the considerations on which our short cinematographic story is developed on. We decided to make the story irreversible: the first scene is the last scene of our short film. You always know what’s the end of the movie, but you don’t know what or who caused the action, in a continuous vortex of situations that snag the audience. It’s a story that generates in us the desire to tell it because is freely inspired on the story of our friend Ousmane, a fan of Youssou N’Dour and of the white rice. He, during an Autumn, in front of an hospital in the south of Italy, called his wife Adama, to apologize for marrying her without ever kissing her, to apologize because he was going towards his death.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Fiction, Drama

Estimated budget: 45.000

Language: Italian, French, Wolof

Looking for: Producer

Lenght: 25 min


Dark and graceful as a fairy tale, The Nipple Whisperer is a story about overcoming grief and loosing fear: a comedy that will break your heart.


SYNOPSIS The elderly Maurice Sanders has a gift. He is a nipple whisperer. Once he was successful and known in the business as “Magic Sandy”. But that was ten years ago, before tragedy had struck and Sander’s wife Doris, once a glorious photo model, fell victim to cancer. Maurice Sanders doesn’t perform his magic anymore. After a slow and painful recovery Doris now shuns the light. Meanwhile money is running out and Sanders can’t hold a job. Something has to change, Maurice Sanders feels. The mourning can’t go on forever. Life has to be embraced again.


Jan Van Dyck Ben Vandendaele

BIOGRAPHIES Jan Van Dyck (Director) is a freelance writer, director and script doctor. After studying philosophy at the university of Louvain, he worked in the theatre as dramaturg, writer, translator and director. From 2010 on he has been concentrating mainly on work for film and television. He made two short films: Until it hits you (2013) and Homeful Bliss (2015), which was part of SXSW in Austin, Texas 2016. Currently he is writing feature films and TV-series for other directors as well (in Belgium and in the Netherlands) and preparing as writer/director a documentary feature Soldier of Love and a feature film L’Invisible. He teaches at the Sint-Lukas Film School in Brussels. Ben Vandendaele (Producer) studied at Rits film school in Brussels, after which he started working at Czar. In 2009 he got the opportunity to produce his first short film, Siemiany, that premiered at ClermontFerrand IFF and at Berlinale. Since 2012 he’s a freelance producer/ post-producer and founded his own production company, Bekke Films.

INTENTIONS I would like to make a light story about something dark, because I think that’s the best way to tackle it. I’m a big fan of Anton Chekhov. In his plays, people commit suicide and they are called comedies. His contemporary kin is arguably Woody Allen and it’s in his spirit I would like to take on a delicate topic like cancer. Sanders’ gift is magical. Like fairy tales need dark woods or castles, this modern urban fairy tale needs a big city in which people can be anonymous and abandoned. A place in which also contemporary magic is possible, say the glamour of movies and photography for example. New York immediately comes to mind.It’s a story about once being in the spotlights, now being afraid of the light and ultimately overcoming that fear once again. So cinematographically I would like this film to be about light and darkness: a color movie inspired by the film noir magic of shadows, with rays of light as signs of vitality. I’m much inspired by photographer Saul Leiter who was so beautifully paid homage to in Carol. The Nipple Whisperer, at it’s core a movie about destruction, has to be an ode to cinematic beauty, physical beauty and a beauty marked by the scars of life and decay.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Tragicomedy

Budget: 75.000

Lenght: 20 min

Financing: Flemish Audiovisual Fund application in March 2017 (60.000)

Format: 2K Language: English Status: In development

Production company: Bekke Films Looking for: Co-producer


A tragicomic story about social impact of a bad smell. In a style of a documentary film, the story is based on real interviews with people, who reveal their overwhelm, caused by a strong smell of someone else.

RIGA’S LILAC Lizete Upite - Latvia / France

SYNOPSIS Either it is an overconfident head of the public transportation of Riga, explaining, how we have to follow the rule no. 599 and call the police on stinky people, or an elderly lady scared of smelling as an old person. Everyone has their own particular emotional overwhelm regarding a bad smell. Lizete, an amateur interviewer, is hoping to record these truthful moments. But while the interviews deconstruct the idea of the regulations that protect society from stinky people, Lizete finds a development in her own clumsiness to speak about smell.


Lizete Upite Richard Van Den Boom

BIOGRAPHIES Lizete Upite (Writer/Director) is an animation film director from Latvia. In 2013 graduated from La Poudrière (France). She works on tragi-comic stories about emotional overwhelm - our natural awkwardness while finding ourselves. Richard Van Den Boom (Producer) creates his first company, after a doctorate in molecular physics, to build high-performance computers, and then becomes consultant. He’s introduced to the beautiful world of animation by his wife and on the Internet forum meets future friends and co-founders of Papy3D Productions, where he brings his knowledge of company management.

INTENTIONS It is exciting to talk about smell, because it is so uncomfortable to talk about it. It’s considered a subjective matter and no rules exist on how smelly is too smelly. But even each of us knows the answer to this question, we have learned to be tolerant and say or do nothing. But strong smell directly affects us - it triggers our emotions, behaviour. And because of the taught tolerance, these situations evoke overpowering awkward moments and misunderstandings - do I have the right to mark the other person about his smell? Can I call police on a stinking person? And when this “life threatening” encounter with the heavy smell has finally ended - the person is even left with a shame of these unexpected emotions and questions. Did he have the right to have them, to react like that? In Riga you can call police, if someone stinks in public transport. But is it right to make that call? I find these emotions and questions amazing, because they are so natural, so direct and that is why also tragicomic. Most of all - they truly give an insight in our society, that is as colourful as the smell of lilac - one hates it, one loves it and the third one does not know what is it.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Tragicomedy

Language: Latvian

Length: 14 min

Estimated budget: 100.000

Technique: Hand-drawn animation on computer

Production company: Papy 3D (France)

Audience: Adults

Co-Production company: Animation studio Atom Art (Latvia)


A tragicomedy about the freedome of speech during war.

THE SHIFT Luka Popadić - Serbia / Switzerland

SYNOPSIS Serbia, 23 April 1999. NATO will hit with an airstrike the offices of Miloševićcontrolled state television. The offline editor Dejan does not know anything about that. He just wants to finish his shift as soon and smoothly as possible. Permanent requests to reedit the news according to the wishes of his boss, technical problems, lazy coworkers and disinformation make him stay but the clock is ticking...


Luka Popadić Franziska Sonder

BIOGRAPHIES Luka Popadić (Writer/Director) studied film directing in Belgrade. His films where shown and awarded at over 200 festivals and screened on several national TV stations. Luka was a member of the student jury at the San Sebastian FF, participated at the Berlinale Talents and the IDFAcademy. He lives in Zurich and in Belgrade. Franziska Sonder (Producer) worked for different production companies and did further education in dramaturgy and screenwriting. In 2012 she started working as production manager for Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion AG in Zurich. In 2015/16 she was a participant of the MEDIA program Atelier Ludwigsburg Paris.

INTENTIONS I was 11 when in 1991 the war in Ex-Yugoslavia broke out. Growing up between Serbia and Switzerland I realized very soon the different depiction of the war and the Serbian society in the media of the two countries. During my highschool education I was often bullied for being a Serb both by my peers and my teachers. The negative image that was transported via TV and newspapers made them feel that I was somehow responsible for what was happening in Serbia. At that time I started to realize the power of propaganda. After the bombing of the Serbian National TV station (RTS) in 1999 I was very disappointed with the Western Democracies, which put so much emphasis on the freedom of speech. It is beyond dispute that the RTS was spreading propaganda. But which national public television (ARD, RAI, BBC etc.) would not have done the same if its country had been under attack? A “shift” in values has occurred where the goal is to be achieved by any means, even by a war crime like attacking a TV station. The movie The Shift raises the questions of responsibility for this tragedy as well as how much influence a single person can have.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Fiction, Tragicomedy Length: 15 min. Language: Serbian Countries of production: Switzerland, Serbia Shooting: Fall 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia

Estimated Budget: 100.000 Budget secured: 27.000 Production companies: Non Aligned Films, Serbia & Radar Film GmbH, Switzerland Looking for: Sales Agents, Co-producers (especially for archival footage rights and postproduction) 29

A man reads in the newspaper that he is dead.

THE SILENCE OF THE DYING FISH Vasilis Kekatos - Greece

SYNOPSIS Makis is a fish farm worker. On his way to work one morning, he is informed that he has died the day before. In his social circle, everyone treats him as though he were still alive; all the while knowing that he is deceased. After failed attempts to prove that he is alive, he accepts his fate with indifference and he spends his last day trying to secure shelter and caretakers for his beloved canaries, up until the time of his funeral.


Vasilis Kekatos Eleni Kossyfidou

BIOGRAPHIES Vasilis Kekatos (Writer/Director) received his BA in Film Studies from Brunel University of London. His first short film, Retrograde (2015), was selected by Drama ISFF and Athens Premiere Nights IFF. His second short Zero Star Hotel (2016) won the Sundance Ignite “What’s Next?” Short Film Challenge. His next project, The Silence of the Dying Fish, participated in Euro Connection 2017 in Clermont-Ferrand ISFF. Vasilis has worked as a director on several short documentaries and he is also the artistic director of SeaNema Open Air Film Festival. He lives and works in Athens. Eleni Kossyfidou (Producer) entered the field of feature films firstly as production manager for Real Life (2004) by P. H. Koutras (Toronto IFF). She founded her company in 2001, which became Blackbird production in 2006, and produced / co-produced Strella (2009) by Panos H. Koutras (Berlinale Panorama), XENiA (2014) by Panos H. Koutras (Un Certain Regard Cannes and Toronto IFF 2014). She also produced short films Two Times Now (2007) by Michalis Konstantatos, Show Time (2006), by Theophilos. Papastylianos, Hot Dogs (2001) by Dimitris Pantelias.

INTENTIONS The Silence of the Dying Fish is the documentation of one man’s journey from unawareness to ambivalence and from there to the acceptance of a situation beyond his control. The story could be viewed as a commentary on people’s fears, their loneliness or isolation; however, it is mostly a portrayal of societal indifference. Society’s indifference towards death, therefore towards life, indifference towards absurdity, and finally the almost fatalistic acceptance of any peculiarity purported in society as the norm. A humorous tone runs throughout the storyline, simultaneously with the hollow drama which underscores the tragically comedic characteristics of the plot. The film strives to compose an accidental eulogy, no more deafening than the silence of the fish while alive or dying.

PRODUCTION NOTE Duration: 20 min Language: Greek Format: HD Production Company: Blackbird Production Shooting dates: November 2017

Estimated total budget: 47.850 Secured Financing: 23,500 (49%)* * Including 20,000 euros granted by ERT National TV Channel Looking For: Co-Producer, Sales agents


A damaging female friendship, competition, betrayal and a journey of two girls though one day and one night.

TINA & SENDY Hani Domazet - Croatia

SYNOPSIS The story starts on a porn audition after which the unexperienced TINA (22) and the more experienced SENDY (27) decide to spent the day together forming a unpredictable blurry female bound full of understanding, alcohol and drugs. Finally they end up on an important party of the porn industry where everything that Sendy taught Tina that day comes back and bites her in the ass.


Hani Domazet Mirta Puhlovski

BIOGRAPHIES Hani Domazet (Director) graduated German/Comparative Literature and Film Directing at The Academy of Dramatic Arts. She worked on many short films and commercials. She currently works as a freelance director, copywriter and assistant director on several projects. Dinka Radonić (Cinematographer) achieved her Masters degree in Cinematography from the Academy in Zagreb. She has worked on a great number of awarded short films, documentaries and commercials. She is active in the field of education and video art. Mirta Puhlovski (Producer) is thr president of NGO Metre60 and head of production company Slavica film she founded years ago. She is producing short, feature and documentary films. Her multi-award winning films are mostly made by women or about women. One of the last films she produced,The Beast, was awarded Best Short Fiction at LA F. F, and consequently long-listed for an Academy Award.

INTENTIONS The focus of this movie is female competition. We are living in a culture of porn, fake individualism and impatience. The pop-culture has become more and more sexualized and it has reached its peek with a tendency to colapse real soon. Setting the movie in a porn environment was a good ilustration cause its so basic and the rules are more brutal. The journey of two girls in one uncontroled night is meant to be a metaphor for a thoughtless instant career and instant friendship that has no roots and thus cannot survive. Im generaly interested in a humanistic portrayal of underdog characters. Regarding my personal history and family memorylane i have a deep conection with outsiders. In a directiorial sense many dialogues will be just fragmentedly heard from the perspective of the main character. The focus is much more on emotion of the character that is listening and not the one that is talking. Sound will be equally dramaturgically important as image.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Live Action Drama Length: 20 min Format: HD Location: Croatia, Zagreb Status: Preproduction Shooting dates: June, 2017

Languaqe: Croatian, English or French; possible other languages Estimated Budget: 79.000 Secured financing: 42.000 Looking for: Co-producers, Sales Agents, Financiers, TV Seeking partners for: Postproduction, Music, Part of Cast and Crew 33

As a sleep epidemic surfaces in Egypt, Hamada must find any way necessary to change the fate of his infected son.


SYNOPSIS A sleep epidemic has swept over Egypt, but the cause of it is yet unknown. Alaa (55) and his son Adam (15) work as children’s birthday performers dressed as their favourite animals. During a performance at the local school, Adam falls asleep. Alaa, the father, who has always relied on his son in his work transform into the protector of his family. Faten, the mother, resorts to religion to bring her son back, but gives up when her prayers are not answered. The word spreads in the city that they can get cured if they put him on an air balloon, which then goes to the seventh sky for a week... Where people believe that they can get cured after.


Sameh Alaa Muhammad Taymour

BIOGRAPHIES Sameh Alaa (Director) is an Egyptian filmmaker based in Cairo and Brussels. He worked as an AD in various commercials and feature films. In 2012 he went to Prague to study Directing at FAMU. He went on doing a Masters Degree EICAR Film School in Paris. The steak of aunt Margaux is his graduation film, which won awards at several film festivals. Muhammad Taymour (Producer) was born in 1985 and through multiple experiences in independent filmmaking scene in Egypt, he co-founded Metropolis production company in 2013, which has produced several short fiction films, short documentaries and videoart. Metropolis films have participated and won awards at several national and international film festivals.

INTENTIONS Every year, hundreds of migrants die trying to reach the coasts of Italy from Egypt. Although the images are hard to watch, we sometimes ignore what happens before, to the ones that do try to reach the shores of Italy. Episodes of modern hard life in upper Egypt. Under the volcano there is always a man sleeping tells one of these stories, in a very humane and funny way. It follows the main characters, the parents who are trying to save their only son from being asleep the rest of his life. The search for brightness, for the light, becomes a metaphor for their search for a better life. This film effectiveness is in the details and the authenticity of the environment and its inhabitants. I am planing to cast real life characters in all the roles. Real locations that are in a state of decay will be a tes-tament to the state of the nation. Visually, the film will be an image that is very close to reality; unembellished, raw, violent. Real places and people will be used to create absurd hyperreal and absurd situations.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Dark comedy Length: 25 min Shooting format: 35mm Language: Arabic

Shooting days: 5 days Budget: Approx. 30.000 Looking for: Co-producer, Sales agent, Distributor


During an ordinary family dinner, Vesela (15) goes through a private storm — quietly, invisibly, devastatingly.

VESELA LOVES CHOCOLATE Stefka Mancheva - Bulgaria

SYNOPSIS At age 15, Vesela, the child of divorced parents, has assumed the role of chief caretaker for both her dad and her sister. For some time now, she has been successful at hiding her advanced pregnancy. Maintaining the public face she has coined for her relatives and concealing her secret gets complicated, when Vesela has to attend a family reunion at her grandmother’s house in the countryside. Between the lamb roast and the chocolate mousse, between the bragging and bickering of the adults, Vesela goes into labor, unnoticed. With the unknowing help of her younger sister, she secretly gets rid of the baby. On the morning after, all relatives head for their remote city homes, their petty anxieties swept under the facade of contentment. Only the neighbour’s pigs know the truth: they cluster and push and grunt against the fence, as if in anticipation of a meal. 36

Vanya Rainova Stefka Mancheva

BIOGRAPHIES Stefka Mancheva is a recent graduate in Film Directing from the New Bulgarian University. Last year, she completed her graduation film, Slugs, an adaptation of I Could See the Smallest Things by Raymond Carver. Vesela Loves Chocolate would be her post-graduation work. Vanya Rainova is an award-winning writer and producer. Her recent Portuguese-Bulgarian co-produciton, Setembro by Loenor Noivo, premiered at Locarno International Film Festival. In 2013, Vanya co-wrote and produced Pride, which won the Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival and was nominated to the European Film Awards.

INTENTIONS This story was triggered by a simple event — the renovation of the building where I grew up. I watched the facade being covered with isolation panels. The scars of the building — muddy stains, blood of killed dogs, graffiti reading “Death for the slut” — disappeared. The residents were bursting with joy. They had lived behind these walls for their entire life, and yet did not know a thing about the pain behind these scars. Vesela Loves Chocolate started taking shape. The central dramatic event is happening partly off-screen and partly in the backdrop of the family dinner, with every adult tuned into their own needs. It’s easy to make the leap from a murderer to a monstrous villain. I stayed away from that by distributing the antagonistic forces among the relatives who are trapped between their good intentions and unhealed wounds. My goal is to develop every character with empathy and understanding. The ending is bitterly ironic: Vesela succeeds in preserving the balance in the family, at the cost of one life taken, and another one — broken. Vesela loves chocolate is an attempt for honest storytelling –without the ambition to teach a moral, offer guidance or propose solutions.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Drama Production company: Portokal Budget: 35.800 Duration: 30 min

Language: Bulgarian Shooting format: 4K HD Delivery: DCP Looking for: Co-producer




The anatomy of a terror attack – and its turning to an everyday banality.

BANALITY Balazs Simonyi - Hungary

SYNOPSIS A man smokes a cigarette in the small city apartment. On the other side of the street – a big shopping mall that looks like an anthill. A mother and his son enter the mall, and land in the food court. Simultaneously, the father arrives from the top floor offices. The mother hands over the boy. As the mother walks out of the mall, 4 people rushes in the food court with guns and rifles. Panic. Routine movements, moderate tempo: a coldblooded massacre. A terrorist makes a series of shots. Some bullets pierce the glass panel, it breaks like a spider net. A man in the apartment is watching the hole formed in his ceiling, wondering where it may have come from.


Balazs Simonyi Gábor Osváth

BIOGRAPHIES Balazs Simonyi (Director) graduated in Literature & Film. He has been working as a director & producer since 2002. His films have been screened at major festivals like Cannes, Krakow, Clermont-Ferrand or Vancouver. His first feature length documentary, Ultra, co-produced by HBO Europe, will premiere at Visions du Réel in April 2017. Gábor Osváth (Producer) is the head of Filmfabriq that focuses on author-driven films. His recent film, the FrenchHungarian short animation Love was in competition @ Berlinale, Sundance and SXSW.

INTENTIONS My DOP’s apartment has a direct view on the bay windows of a shopping mall, which inspired me to develop a story using the three floors, with a fixed camera, that only zooms and pans, at a distance - impartial, nonchalant. I imagine a cold, distant meeting of a divorced couple in a mall, where they can hand over their child. The idea developed in 2011, when the attack at the Utoya-island (Norway) happened. In 2013, after the Boston marathon, where I competed as a runner and witnessed the explosions, I understood I could have been one of the victims. Since then, I have been trying to find the visual frame to stage this thin boundary between “insiders” and “outsiders”. I don’t mean to denounce a specific race or religious fight - the idea is to stage terrorist attacks in general, whatever the cause. Neither am I trying to deliver a message. What strikes me is the inconceivable irruption of violence in daily life – how your world can be turned upside down in a minute. The whole story happens in one single sequence shot. I chose to tell this universal and actual story without dialogues. The viewer will only hear murmuring and mixed noises from the mall and the street. I will pay a special attention to sound design, to place the spectator at the heart of a suffocating atmosphere. I will shoot with a special zoom lens, which allows us to show everything we want to show in one shot. The sequence will of course be very carefully choreographed.

PRODUCTION NOTE Length: 13 min

Confirmed financing: 25.000 – Hungarian Media Mecenatura

Producers: Gabor Osvath, Nora Alfoldi, Balazs Simonyi

Shooting dates: In the next 12-18 months Looking for: Co-producers, Sales,

Production Company: Filmfabriq

Distribution, Post production

Overall budget: 50.000

Format: 4K (Red with DigiPower99 lens)

Genre: Experimental Drama/Thriller


Film depicts events surrounding a disturbing incident which occurs in a common teenage house party.

BATHHOUSE Laurynas BareiĹĄa - Lithuania

SYNOPSIS A group of teenagers are throwing a party and rent a house with a sauna. Initially, nothing seems to be out of the ordinary at the party: the teenagers drink, dance, vomit, smoke, relentlessly talk about their relationships and then leave in the early hours of the morning. Later the house keepers come in to clean the place and they find Indre in the sauna - she is trying to find a button of her ripped up trousers.


Laurynas Bareiša Klementina Remeikaite

BIOGRAPHIES Laurynas Bareiša (Director) holds a bachelor’s degree in both applied mathematics from Vilnius University and in cinematography from Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 2016 he finished his studies for a master’s degree in film directing. His first short film Dembava was nominated for National Film Award as the Best student film in 2015. Second short film The Camel won the best national short film award in Vilnius Lithuanian Shorts film festival 2017. Klementina Remeikaite (Producer) studied film production in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and took a part in MAIA workshops for emerging European producers in 2015. She produced 5 short films and Bathhouse is going to be her second collaboration with Laurynas Bareiša. They are also co-founders of the film production company Afterschool.

INTENTIONS This film is an attempt to show the unfolding of a tragic event from a specific point of view. Therefore the film follows not the linear story of the victim or the perpetrator, but it tracks the actions of all the people in one way or another linked to this tragic event. The idea is to show the complex group dynamics, which predispose why these kinds of crimes are extremely hard to solve or even to report.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Fiction Length: 15 minutes Language: Lithuanian Total Budget: 25.000

Secured Budget: 15.000 (Lithuanian Film Centre) Post-production budget: 7.000 Looking for: Post-production, Distribution, Sales


GABRIEL Oren Gerner - Israel / France

SYNOPSIS Damien, 16, is going with his class in the forest looking for a missing kid from school, Gabriel. He gets away from the group and starts a lonely search, crossing path with several people, until he gets deeper and deeper into this never-ending forest.


Oren Gerner Melissa Malinbaum

BIOGRAPHIES Oren Gerner (Director) graduated with excellence 4 at “minshar for arts” academy in Tel-Aviv. He directed Shark tooth (2015) and Greenland, which was nominated for the Ofir for best short, selected at the Sundance film festival. It also won the 1st prize for best short film at the 62nd San-Sebastian international film festival and 1st prize for best Israeli short film at the 16th Tel-Aviv international film festival. Apart from Gabriel, he is currently developing his first feature film. Melissa Malinbaum (Producer) graduated from La Femis in 2014 and produced a dozen of shorts while in school. Since then she has been working as a junior producer at Why Not Productions, and produced shorts films. Gabriel is the forth short film she produced.

INTENTIONS The more I get older and try to understand myself and my sense of living, the more I come to find that there is a strong and essential element of absence in my existence. What is this absence? Where does it come from? It’s hard for me to say. Maybe it is the missing of external authority and certainty- the one my parents used to provide me as a child, or maybe god, if I was religious. Perhaps it is just the obscurity of living in this chaotic world. Maybe it’s something deeper that I’ll never understand. I can’t say what it is exactly. But I am certain of this feeling of basic absence. Maybe this is the reason why the essential force laying in the base of this film is longing. Longing to find “Gabriel”. Apart from searching for a missing teenager, the search for Gabriel is also a representation for a deeper need to find something else, a primary absence that constantly hunts the soul. In contrast to this “need to find”, stands Damien, the protagonist, whose deepest desire is the need to be found. In a series of random encounters, ranging from the banal to the mystical, I tried to unfold Damien’s state of being. On the surface he seems indifferent to himself and his surroundings, but underneath, there are intense emotions and desires, and above them all, his unconscious yearning to be seen; to find validation for his existence, a sense of meaning.


Shooting location: France

Length: 15 minutes

Budget: 45.000

Format: HD

Secured Budget: 25.000

Language: French

Production Company: Why Not Productions

Shooting days: 5

Looking for: Co-producer, Post-production



SYNOPSIS A young woman in her late twenties is faced with the hardest decision of her life: to give birth to a possibly disabled child or to have an abortion. But is this the only decision she will have to make?


Mitja Mlakar Mojca Pernat

BIOGRAPHIES Mitja Mlakar (Director) is a Slovenian film director, screenwriter and co-founder of Film Factory. Among others he received the Award for important cultural achievements of University of Maribor and the award for perspective young filmmaker from the Association of Slovenian Filmmakers. In 2014 he was an Artist in Residence at Slovenian Ministry of Culture Artist Residency in London, where he developed his upcoming short film. Mojca Pernat (Producer) is the co-founder and managing director of independent production company Film Factory. During her study she received the Award for important cultural achievements of University of Maribor. She currently works as producer of short films and educational programs for youth.

INTENTIONS It is not my intention to give any answers; I would rather like to raise questions. This film itself sets a demanding goal of dealing with universal and prompt themes through the prism of an intimate story of an individual that is confronted to become something he/she doesn’t want to be at all: decision maker that is deciding not just about his/her own life, but also about a life of someone who doesn’t exist yet and maybe never will. At the end Hannah and her unborn child will have to live with her decision. Who are we to decide?


Production company: Film Factory (SI)

Length: 15 min

Co-production: Studio Arkadena (SI) and Invida (SI)

Format: Super 16mm, HD, 1:1.25 (5:4). Language: Slovenian Estimated budget: 70.000 Secured financing: 60.000

Financing: Slovenian Film Centre, Municipality of Maribor and Studio Viba Film Looking for: Co-producers, Distribution, Sales 47

In pre-christian times, where people and wild animals are enemies a young creatures fall in love. One of them is magical. The other will soon find its inner power. Two worlds are temporarily connected by their love. But can it last forever?

MALVA AND LESHY Marcin Karolewski - Poland

SYNOPSIS Malwa and Leshy is a classic melodrama set at the edge of a proto-Slavic village, in times when everyone believed magic was real. The film tells the story of a tragic love between the two eponymous characters - Malva, a human dweller of the vilalge, and Leshy, a forest demon and protector of woodland creatures, growing up deep in the woods among the animals. The plot, the visual aesthetics, and the distinctive mood of the film will draw extensively from Slavic lore, incredibly rich and yet still mostly unknown to the wider audience.


Olga Cyganiak

BIOGRAPHIES Marcin Karolewski (Director) graduated from Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław. In 2009 he joined the Wrocław-based design and postproduction studio Juice, where as a lead graphic artist he co-created most of the projects, both artistic and commercial. He has also been working for Wachowski’s “Cloud Atlas” and awardwinning BBC Sochi Winter Olympics promo. In 2016 “Privisa” the feature animation project he’s been working on as an art director has been presented during Cartoon Movie. Marcin is currently involved in several animation projects. Olga Cyganiak (Producer), marketing manager, japanologist, film theorist, promo materials producer. She has been part of CG industry since 2012. During that time she has gained an extensive experience working with Poland’s biggest CG studios and creating promotional materials for European Space Agency, “The Witcher” game series, and the biggest Polish e-commerce company Allegro.

INTENTIONS Malwa and Leshy will be produced entirely in 2D. From a technical standpoint, 2D is more difficult, but it definitely yields more artistic value and provides audiences with a rich aesthetic experience. The film deals with communication issues plaguing people in relationships, avoiding confrontation, drawing hasty conclusions, and giving up too easily. The passage of time has nearly erased the story and the motives of the mythical Leshy from existence, thus I decided to rebuild him from the ground up, devising a poetic and romantic vision for the character. Due to series of unfortunate events, the love of his life will turn out to be tragic. The loss will push him, irrevocably, towards his wild nature, in which he will then lose himself to emerge as the feral forest deity. I’d love for the story to have a universal emotional message. The tragedies that happen to us can have unforeseen consequences and even the greatest of loves can be killed by misunderstandings and wounded pride. There won’t be any happy endings in this movie. The audience will be left feeling unfulfilled and grieving over squandered love.

PRODUCTION NOTE Genre: Drama, Romance

Budget: 300.000

Running time: approx. 6min 30s

Technique: 2D

Original Film Concept: Marcin Karolewski

We’re looking for: Co-producers, Distribution, Sales, Festivals contacts

Production company: Juice Ltd.


ESP 2017 TUTORS Gabriele Brunnenmeyer

Having worked as a journalist, Gabriele Brunnenmeyer was in charge of the MEDIA Antenna Berlin-Brandenburg, acting as an artistic adviser for the MEDIA training initiative Moonstone International as well as an artistic director for Connecting Cottbus till the end of 2010. From 2013 till December 2014 she was the head of studies for the MEDIA supported training program Maia Workshops. Since 2005 she is working for the Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film as a freelance project and script advisor. Since 2013 she is the conference coordinator for the IDM Film Conference Incontri in Italy. Furthermore, Gabriele is working as consultant for script development, packaging and project presentation for single projects as well as for First Films First, Berlinale and Sarajevo Talents, Robert Bosch Coproduction Prize, Baltic Pitching Forum, Euro Connection, Sam Spiegel School and others.

Nadja Dumouchel

Nadja Dumouchel is currently engaged in script consulting for various film labs such as Next Step run by Semaine de la Critique, Realness in South Africa and Racconti in Italy. She is also working, with various filmmakers and producers around the world, on the development of their feature films and writing a documentary series on art history for ARTE. During the past years, she has been working in European feature film development at ARTE in Strasbourg and has been trained as a story editor at Torino Film Lab. She is the co-founder and a script consultant at «La Scénaristerie», a development platform for screenwriters in Paris, where she supports authors with feature film projects “on spec”.

Britta Krause

After having started her studies at New York University’s film and television programme, Britta Krause graduated from the London Film School with a distinction in script-writing in 1994. She then worked as a writer, director and editor on short and TV films. Her short film Fünf Minuten (FiveMinutes) won several festival awards, was screened at the Biennale di Venezia and throughout German cinemas as the official supporting film of Run Lola Run in 1999. Her television feature Family Dog was an official entry at the Munich film festival in 2001. She then returned to the short format by directing commercials. In 2007 Britta worked as an acting coach alongside Shirin Neshat on Women without Men (Silver Lion/Best Director Biennale di Venezia 2009). Since 2010 she has worked as a script editor with German and international writer/directors. She was a script editor trainee at the Torino Film Lab in 2012 and has been coaching screenwriters as a script editing tutor for Kultburo, Moscow, Film university Babelsberg Konrad Wolf and the Nipkow Programm, Berlin. Britta lives in Berlin. 50

Razvan Radulescu

Razvan Radulescu is one of the most productive Romanian scriptwriters. As a director, he made one film, First of all Felicia and is in pre-production with his second one. He represents the so-called post-revolution cinema in Romania and is part of its most successful generation of filmmakers. He studied Linguistics at the University of Bucharest, specializing himself in French literature, and Opera Directing at the Music Academy of Bucharest. His literary debut in 1995 was a collection of anthologies and he has written since two novels which were translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Croatian and Hungarian. His second novel, Theodosius the Small, received in 2011 the European Prize for Literature. As a scriptwriter, he has collaborated with numerous directors such as Cristi Puiu (Stuff and Dough, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu), Radu Muntean (The Paper Will Be Blue, Tuesday After Christmas, One Floor Bellow), Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days), Calin Netzer (Childs’s Pose), Rafi Pitts (Soy Nero). Since 2006, he was a frequent guest of the Academy of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe and York University in Toronto, and of the Museum of Cinema in Torino, for workshops on dramaturgy. From 2011 until 2014, he had a permanent assignment to teach film directing at the ESAV (Superior School of Visual Arts) in Marrakesh. He is currently teaching film at The Academy of Arts and Design in Karklsruhe.

Leonardo Stagliano

A former participant of the ESP, Leonardo Staglianò is a writer and story editor who studied Philosophy (University of Florence), Techniques of Narration (Scuola Holden) and Dramatic Writing (NYU). He wrote the feature film Yuri Esposito, winner of the Biennale College at the 70° Venice Film Festival, the play Cashmere, WA, winner of the Diego Fabbri Award, and short stories published in various literary magazines. Currently, he is the Program Coordinator at the College of Storytelling at the Scuola Holden, where he teaches dramaturgy.


ESP 2017 TEAM Wim Vanacker After studying psychology, Wim moved to Dublin to work as a psychologist in the field of drug addiction. Three years later, he picked up studying again at EICAR where he made two shorts: Endgame and The Naked leading the Blind. After graduating, he discovered NISI MASA – European Network of Young Cinema where he became the Head of the Script Department and the Project manager of the European Short Pitch. He also works as a script consultant, tutor and guest speaker for festivals such as Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, Encounters and Interfilm. He founded Sireal Films, a Brussels based production company where he produced the VAF funded short film empire. As a writer/director, he’s currently developing the short film [ˈsɪə.ri.əl ]. Jérôme Nunes Jérôme works and lives in Marseille. Together with Jean-Laurent Csinidis, he created the company Films de Force Majeure (France Televisions Emerging Producer award), focusing on animation and documentary, both shorts and features, with a keen interest in international co-productions. He has been working as a script consultant: Aflam workshop (Rencontres Int. des Cinémas Arabes – CNC, Talents en courts), Disobedient Pitch (Summer Scriptwriting Camp, Bulgaria), Pitch Please! (Luxembourg City Film Festival), le G.R.E.C. (South-East of France, 2012)… As an ESP alumnus, he directed the short film Relapse in 2013 (Cinébanlieue, ClermontFerrand…). That’s when he became an active member of Nisi Masa’s script department, where he co-organises European Short Pitch. Marija Fridinovaite Marija graduated from Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (Cinema management BA) in 2015. For the past six years Marija has been working in film production, positioning as a production manager, producer, coordinator etc. In addition, she has been working in film festivals VDFF (Lithuania) and FEST (Portugal). At the moment she is working in NISI MASA (France) as a coordinator of European Short Pitch 2017 and assistant office manager. She is as well post-producing her last short, directed by Kamile Milašiute, The Mother’s Day, presented at ESP 2016.


Maša Seničić Maša is a theoretician, a scriptwriter and a poet. She graduated in Dramaturgy at the Faculty of Drama Arts in Belgrade, where she then completed MA in Theory of Dramatic Arts and Media. She has taken part in various international projects and interdisciplinary workshops, while contributing to numerous festivals as a writer and programmer. She is currently a PhD candidate, pursuing her research in digital humanities. Her poetry has been published in diverse publications.

ESP 2017 AWARDS ESP awards 3 money awards of € 1.000 each in cash will be awarded by the City of Poznan - as voted by the audience of professionals Aubagne International Film Festival award European market for film music composition – 3rd Character One project will be invited for the next edition of the Festival to find and meet their potential music composer



WIP awards

- as voted by the jury of the companies offering their services Sound award - Studio Puk - Kasia Szczerba Soundtrack consulting, sound editing to prepare for a 5.1 mix Image correction award - Jaroslaw Piekarski Compositing / VFX services Distribution Award - Radiator IP Sales - Ben Vandendaele Distribution and promotion by Radiator IP Sales (Belgium)

Award ceremony on 25 March 2017 at 8pm / Pawilon Nowa Gazownia



LAYOUT & DESIGN Francesca Merlo Maša Seničić