The situation in each of the countries was presented by Dovile Butnoriute
(Lithuanian Film Centre/ Head of Department of Film Promotion, Information and Heritage), Audrius Kurpevicius (Lithuanian Film Centre / Head of Department of Film Production), Eda Koppel (Estonian Film Institute/ Head of Marketing), Dita Rietuma (Director National Film Centre of Latvia).
Among the advantages of film production in Lithuania, Dovile Butnorniute named two incentive schemes for productions with a total financing of up to 25%: “In addition, Lithuania, of course, has unique locations, and Lithuanian cities can serve as any European city. It is also important that we have highly skilled English-speaking technical personnel.”
The representatives of the Baltic countries talked about the conditions, criteria and deadlines for applications for co-production, the amounts in the rebate system, differences in co-production systems. Then there were presentations of Baltic projects submitted to Work in progress: a feature film “Isaac” with a budget of 420,000 EUR (Lithuania, Jurgis Matulevicus) and the documentary “Gentle Warriors” (Lithuania, Maria Stonite). Marianna Kaat and Riina Sildos demonstrated the projects that are being filmed in Estonia: the documentary “Fourteen Cases”, a lyrical comedy starring Sergei Makovetskiy “Green Cats” (Andreas Puustusmaa) and a drama “Mikel” (Ari Alexander, Ergis Magnuson). Janis Kalejs and Guntis Trekteris presented two Latvian historical dramas: “HOMO NOVUS” (Anna Viduleja) and “River City” (Viesturs Kairiss).
The President of the Film Festival, the founder and managing partner of the “TA Ventures” Venture Capital Fund, Viktoriya Tigipko, opened the competition for feature film projects of Ukrainian production or co-produced with Ukraine intended for theatrical release at the stage of pre-production. She wished good luck to the participants, and advised the jury to pay attention not only to the quality of the material presented by the contestants, but also to the teams:
“It is safe to say that a professional team will be able to develop a project, to change it, if it is imperfect, and move forward. And the other way around – without a team of like-minded professionals, even a good idea may not work.”
Moderating the pitching was Simone Baumann, a representative of German Films in Eastern Europe: “Our work on pitchings has already become a tradition, and our rules here have long been known to everyone. Every team has only 5-7 minutes to present their project and interest the jury. I want to wish everyone good luck and win the prize of 2000 euros, as well as find partners and co-producers.”
Martina Bleis, Co-Head & Curator of Official Projects, Berlinale Co-Production Market, was the tutor at the pitching. Deciding the fate of the contestants were members of the international jury: Guillaume Calop - General Manager, Festival De Cinema Europeen Des Arcs, France, Marek Rozenbaum – Producer, Israel, Guillaume de Seille – producer, Arizona Production, France, Marit Van Den Elshout - International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands, Amra Baksic Camo - Sarajevo Film Festival, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rebekka Garrido - Producer, Manderlay Films, Germany, Karsten Stoter - Producer, Rohfilm Gmbh, Germany.
The filmmakers presented their projects: “Anton” (dir. Zaza Urushadze), “Banquet” (dir. A. Pavlovskaya, A.Urushadze, A.Yershova, M. Bouselmi, A.Fedorova, H.Aroija), “Wild Horses” (dir. Vladimir Tihkiy), “My Thoughts Are Quiet" (directing feature debut of Antonio Lukic), “Troubles” (dir. Semen Mozkovyi), “A Strange Greek Funeral in the Carpathians” (dir. Grigoris Karantinakis), “Premonition” ( dir. Vjačeslav Krištofovič), “Stop-Earth” (dir. Kateryna Gornostai), “Ukrainian Decameron” (dir. Vlad and Tetiana Troitskyi), “Yakiv” (dir. Viktoriya Trofymenko), “A Woman At War” (dir. Benedikt Erlingsson).
Also on the third day of the professional section, Viktoriya Tigipko made a keynote speech entitled “Film Industry. Innovations”. She described how technical innovations change the structure of the industry, and also demonstrated new digital platforms that are used in the world and which could be useful to Ukrainian producers. In particular, she talked about script databases, location databases, online platforms for crew selection, professional social networking, crowdfunding platforms for financing independent cinema, media management applications.