Czech Projects at Pitch & Feedback 2017

20 June 2017

Film Industry

Czech Projects at Pitch & Feedback 2017

Film Industry

Czech Projects at Pitch & Feedback 2017

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Pitch & Feedback is the annual presentation of 6 selected Czech and Slovak feature film projects in development, is organized by Czech Film Center, Slovak Film Institute and Karlovy Vary IFF. The event consists of 2 parts: individual consultation and public presentation. Public pitch will take place on Tuesday, July 4 from 10 am to 1 pm in the Industry Pool.

Discover 6 carefully selected Czech and Slovak film projects in development pitched by their producers and directors to an international audience and a panel of renowned international industry experts providing them with invaluable feedback and advice.
The aim of Pitch & Feedback is to establish an effective networking and presentation platform for Czech and Slovak feature film projects with international potential. 

THREE CZECH PROJECTS UNVEILED FOR PITCH & FEEDBACK 2017:
HALVES / Original title: Poloviny 
Director: Ali Mosaffa / Scriptwriter: Ali Mosaffa / Producer: Jordi Niubó/ i/o post
Country: Czech Republic, Iran / Language: English, Persian (Farsi), Czech
Runtime: 90 - 100 min / Genre: Mystical drama 
Estimated budget: 1 million EUR
Expected principal photography: September 2018 / Expected release: Spring 2019 / Support: Czech Film Fund

Synopsis:
Rouzbeh arrives to Prague, away from his troubled family life in Tehran, to immerse himself in a research of his father’s past. When  visiting the flat where his father, a communist expatriate, lived 50 years ago, in the times of Czechoslovakia, he is  stopped by a policewoman investigating a recent accident. The current resident of the flat, Vladimir, who turns out to be Rouzbeh´s half brother, has fallen out the window. Discovering hidden corners of Vladimir's life and getting closer to his soul, Rouzbeh learns a shocking truth about his father, which is in total contradiction  to the hero he used to admire in him. This puts him on a path identical to the one bringing Vladimir to the  fall out  the window.

Director´s/Scripwriter´s profile:
Ali Mosaffa
Ali Mosaffa is internationally recognized Iranian actor, director and scriptwriter. With his first feature Portrait Of A Lady Far Away (2005) he won the People’s Choice Award at the Chicago IFF and was nominated for the Crystal Globe at the 2005 Karlovy Vary IFF. His second film, The Last Step, won the international critics’ FIPRESCI prize for the best film and Leila Hatami was awarded the Crystal Globe for Best Main Actress at the 2012 Karlovy Vary IFF. Halves is Mosaffa´s  third feature. As a producer he started with There Are Things You Do Not Know premiered at Karlovy Vary IFF 2010, followed by his own film The Last Step and What’s the time in your world which has won the FIPRESCI prize for best film in Busan 2014.

Authors’ Statement
I have always been enchanted by stories in which someone is trying to understand someone else’s predicaments, the situation which brought about his misery and the undulations which directed him to a point of no return, where the protagonist is gradually stripped of all his own personal pursuits and is prepared, like an empty container, to embrace those of another. It becomes even more challenging when the second party is absent and the entire clue is what has remained of his life. Halves will be a mystical thriller of that sort. From another point of view, the Iranian cinema has never had a chance to talk about those who had to escape from the country after the 1953 military coup in Iran. These people have greatly and strangely influenced the country’s cultural, political and social atmosphere throughout the following years until today. Halves is an attempt to shed light on a forgotten corner of the shared history of Iran and the former Czechoslovakia, untold until today. (Ali Mosaffa, director / scriptwriter)

Company Profile
i/o post has provided a complete visual postproduction for more than 50 films, many of which were presented and awarded at international film festivals. In many cases i/o post was a co-producer or producer. Since 2012 we concentrate on   international co-productions. We have just finished the production of the feature Like in a Movie, in development are Halves by A. Mosaffa (co-production with Iran and France), The One of the Whale by K. Daneshmand (co-production with Iran and Poland) and Dominó by  D. Fandos (co-production with Spain), in production is Punk is now by J. Šlauka (co-production with Slovakia) and Fašiangy by I. Trajkov (co-production with Slovakia, Macedonia and Slovenia).

YEAR OF THE WIDOW / Original title: Rok vdovy            
Director: Veronika Lišková / Scriptwriter: Eugen Liška, Veronika Lišková
Producer: Alice Tabery / CINEPOINT
Country: Czech Republic, Slovakia / Language: Czech
Runtime: 95 min / Genre: Drama
Estimated budget: 730 000 Eur
Expected principal photography: Spring 2019 / Expected release: 2020
Support: Czech Film Fund

Synopsis:
After a fatal health collapse of her husband, Petra overnight becomes a widow. As she soon finds out, her grief and loneliness are not the only challenges that she has to face. Unexpectedly demanding are also countless practical and administrative tasks that a person’s death brings in the 21st century. Bank accounts, mortgages, credits, rents, energy bills, mobile network operators, insurance companies… Petra’s already complicated situation is made even more difficult by a state assigned notary, who is not able or willing to meet his obligations when settling inheritance. To stop a destructive slump leading to existential insecurity, Petra has to begin her struggle with adversities.

Director´s/Scripwriter´s profile:
Eugen Liška is an award-winning Czech scriptwriter. He graduated from comparative literature and screenwriting and dramaturgy. He received several national screenwriting and literary awards. In 2009 he was awarded Young Director´s Award in Cannes and Porsche Student Award in Ludwigsburg, Germany, for the ident of Shockproof Audience Film Festival. His mysterious novel titled The Creation was published by the renowned Czech Host publishing house in spring 2017.

Veronika Lišková is Czech scriptwriter and director. She graduated from cultural studies and screenwriting and dramaturgy. She was the editor in chief of the Nový Prostor magazine and contributed film reviews to various sites and journals. For five years, she headed Ex Oriente Film training programme under IDF in Prague. Veronika's awarded feature-length debut Daniel’s World had its international premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlinale 2015. In 2016 she received Pavel Koutecký Award for her short documentary Tap Water.

Authors’ Statement
Year of the Widow is based on a true story. In 2014 and 2016, one of the leading Czech magazines published diaries of Zuzana Pokorná where she, in a very captivating way, reflected on her experience with the sudden loss of her husband. Zuzana's testimony raised a huge interest of the readers, as she managed to capture not only her grief and sorrow, her personal journey towards reconciliation, but also a Kafkaesque maze of the bureaucracy she got caught into when dealing with all the administrative 'musts' that followed the death of her partner.
In their script, the authors were very much inspired by Zuzana's story but at the same time also by their own experience of dealing with death in the contemporary society. The aim of the whole project is to draw an intimate and minimalistic drama that will touch upon this tabooed topic, as well as to capture a specific clash between a person's individual perception of a situation and the reality, which ruthlessly goes on about its business.
Veronika Lišková, director / scriptwriter

Company Profile
CINEPOINT is an independent film production company founded in 1990. Alice Tabery joined the company in 2011. Focusing on creative documentaries and author films, she produced documentaries Sonderaktion Prag by Petr Záruba and Epidemic of Freedom by Tereza Reichová and Hynek Reich Štětka, premiered at One World International Film Festival 2017. She also co-produced a feature debut by Marko Škop Eva Nová, the winner of FIPRESCI prize at IFF Toronto and five Slovak Academy Awards, including best feature film. Currently, she is co-producing international documentary project titled Nomad meets the City and developing Year of the Widow, the feature debut of Veronika Lišková.

OLD-TIMERS
Directed by: Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník 
Scriptwriters: Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník
Producer: Jiří Konečný, endorfilm
Country: Czech Republic, Slovakia / Language: Czech
Runtime: 90 min / Genre: Drama, road-movie
Estimated budget: 1 122 167 EUR
Release date: February - May 2019 / Principal photography: April - June 2018
Support: Czech Film Fund

Synopsis:
In their twilight years, two former political prisoners set off across the country in a camper van to seek out and demonstrably kill a once-feared communist prosecutor from the 1950s who was never officially sanctioned for his actions. The story is inspired by real events.

Authors’ Statement
The story of Old-Timers is not just a demonstrative gesture raising the issue of whether society has done a good job of coming to terms with the communist era, but above all an ambivalent story about old age. It’s about the contrast between what our aged characters experience as current and urgent – and the actual reality of contemporary life, which in a certain sense is indifferent and irrelevant to their efforts and the traumas they have experienced. At the same time, we would like to tell the story with a straightforward structure – an unexpected road movie with an absurdist poeticism. Instead of action heroes, we have old-timers who are limited in many ways – by their age, state of health, and in the case of the protagonist, by many years of exile, which makes negotiating the local terrain difficult. Obstacles that would not be considered worthy of mentioning in a normal genre story will conversely be highlighted.

Director´s/Scripwriter´s profile:
Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník are renowned Czech documentary filmmakers. Together they have directed two full-length documentaries: Poustevna, Das Ist Paradies (Best Czech Documentary - IDFF Jihlava 2007), Women SHR (Best Czech Documentary - IDFF Jihlava 2010, Nomination for Prix Europe 2011). Martin Dušek has also directed  Into The Clouds We Gaze (KVIFF Competition 2014, Czech Film Critics Award 2014, Nomination for Czech Lion 2014).

Company profile:
Endorfilm is Prague based production company. Their films were selected for numerous international festivals including Cannes and Berlinale: Matchmaking Mayor by Erika Hníková (Berlinale 2011), A Night Too Young by Olmo Omerzu (Berlinale 2012), Aferim! by Radu Jude (Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Director 2015), Koza by Ivan Ostrochovský (Berlinale 2015), Family Film by Olmo Omerzu (San Sebastian 2015), 5 October by Martin Kollár (Rotterdam 2016), Little Harbour by Iveta Grófová (Crystal Bear for the Best Film of Generation Kplus 2017), Out by György Kristóf (Cannes 2017 Un Certain Regard). In competition in Karlovy Vary 2017: Nina by Juraj Lehotský, It is Not Me by Miro Remo.

SLOVAK PROJECTS SELECTED FOR PITCH & FEEDBACK 2017:
Let There Be Light (Nech je světlo), directed by Marko Škop, producers: Marko Škop, Ján Meliš, budget: 975 000 Eur, Release date: summer 2019
Made in Czechoslovakia, (directed by jana Nemčeková, producer Barbara Jenišová Feglová, budgett: 1426 000 Eur, Release date: červen 2020)
Power (Moc), directed by Mátyás Prikler, producers: Zora Jaurová, Mátyás Prikler,  budget: 1 370 000 Eur, Release date: 2019)
For more information about the projects see Book of Projects

Experts 2017:
Gary Cranner
Gary Cranner is a Norwegian producer based in Stavanger, Norway. His company Chezville produces storytelling-focused feature films that aim to reach a global audience. He has a background in editing and made the shift to producing with Arild Østin Ommundsens It’s Only Make Believe, which was nominated for 10 national film awards and won Gary the best producer award. Currently he is wrapping up production on Ommundsens highly anticipated Now It’s Dark and developing a slate of projects with high profile directors like Rune Denstad Langlo and Hans Petter Moland.
Chezville was founded on the idea that the experience and knowledge of directors and editors can be used to produce films in innovative ways. We try to tailor the method in which each film is developed, shot and edited to the inherent nature of each project and the people involved, that way allowing more room for creative processes. There will always be a market for good stories, and we believe in providing these by creating a safe environment where writers and directors can thrive and by helping them to hone their ideas and develop their stories in a collaborative spirit.

Patricie Frehse
Patricie did her master degree in Media and Communication at the Charles University in Prague and graduated in 2008. From 2008 to 2011 she was a Project and Acquisition Coordinator at international VOD platforms Doc-Air and Doc Alliance Films, both focused on creative documentary films. From 2011 to 2013 Patricie worked as a Head of Acquisitions at EYZ Media. EYZ Media operates the VOD platform realeyz.tv for arthouse and independent cinema. Since the end of 2013 Patricie had helped several sales and distribution companies before she started working with Pluto Film.
Pluto Film is a young world sales company based in Berlin. We promote high-quality fiction films from Europe and around the world with focus on arthouse and cross-over films as well as debut features by emerging talents. Our line-up includes e.g. Koza by Ivan Ostrochovský, In the Crosswind by Martti Helde, Mellow Mud by Renārs Vimba, Walking Distance by Alejandro Guzmán Alvarez, or Khibula by George Ovashvili. Pluto Film takes an individual approach to distribution combining new and old windows with an emphasis on film festival exploitation. Our objective is to make our films circulate and to be seen across the world on as many distribution channels as possible.

Simon Perry
After 10 years as an independent film producer (Michael Radford’s Another Time, Another Place, Nineteen Eighty-Four,White Mischief, etc.), Simon Perry headed the UK’s national film agency British Screen 1991-2000 (Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game, Sally Potter's Orlando, Mike Leigh's Naked, Ken Loach’s Land and Freedom, Peter Howitt’s Sliding Doors, or Gurinder Chadha’s Bend It Like Beckham). He headed the Irish Film Board 2006-2010 (John Carney’s Once, Lenny Abrahamson’s Garage, Lance Daly’s Kisses, John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard) and then international production funding at Film i Väst in Sweden 2015-2016 (Tomasz Wasilewski’s United States of Love, Juho Kuosmanen’s The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki).  He is president of ACE Producers, the provider of advanced film production training worldwide.
ACE Producers, founded in 1993 and now based in Amsterdam, provides advanced training in international film production for European film producers and targeted training for producers in Central Europe and Nordic countries.  ACE Producers is also a professional network of around 200 active producers who attend year-round ACE events, exchange creative ideas and information, and regularly co-produce together.

Oliver Rittweger
Graduated from the Martin-Luther-University Halle/Wittenberg with a degree in Slavonic and Media Studies. After a traineeship at the MDM film fund he became member of the funding department. Since 2004 he is head of PR/Press at MDM and responsible for East European affairs.
Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM) awards funding to promising film and media projects realised in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Funding schemes are available for all phases, starting from idea development through to production and distribution.

Katriel Schory
Studied at the New York University Film School and returned to Israel in 1973 to join as the Head of Productions of Kastel Films, Jerusalem, at that time the leading production company in Israel. In 1984, he formed his own company BELFILMS LTD and produced over 130 films including award winning feature films, documentaries, T.V. dramas and international co-productions. In 1999 he accepted the position of the executive director of the Israel Film Fund. In this position he has authorized the supported the production of more than 230 new Israeli feature films. Since 1985 he lectures at the Tel Aviv University - Department of Film and television. Katriel has worked as guest lecturerer / traper at the leading training and workshop platforms, among them "Berlinale Talents", EAVE, MAIA, Torino Film Lab, Rotterdam Lab, EP2C, SOFA, Mid-Point and others.
The Israel Film Fund was established in 1979 as an NGO supported by public funding.  The Fund facilitates the production of full length feature films produced by Israeli production companies, and supports and promotes e their marketing and distribution in Israel and worldwide. The fund is proud to have supported more than 400 full feature films, many of which have become milestones of Israeli cultural heritage.

Angeliki Vergou
Angeliki Vergou has worked at the Thessaloniki IFF since 2001: first at Program and the Foreign Press departments, later at Agora Industry department. Since 2008, Angeliki has been coordinating the Crossroads Co-production Forum as well as the Agora Works in Progress, the Doc Market and the Docs in Progress since 2010. She was also a part of the Balkan Script Development Fund team (2003-2010). Angeliki has been reading and evaluating scripts for a number of years now and is always on the look out for talented writers, directors and creative producers. Her aim is to support and promote the projects that are selected in Thessaloniki’s industry activities as well as Greek films in general.
Crossroads Co-production Forum's goal is to support the producers of feature-length fiction film projects that share a link with the Mediterranean and Balkan regions as well as the Visegrad countries. Qualifying features will be produced or co-produced by a country in this area or will contain story elements based in this region. The producers with a feature film script are given the chance to meet a new network of financiers, co-producers and leading industry specialists. The program is varied and provides the opportunity to meet, formally and informally, distributors, broadcasters, sales agents, festival programmes and consultants.

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