Bojan Vuletic's "Requiem for Mrs J" , one of the co-production highlights of MMP 2013 , continued its successful Festival run in 2018, taking the Grand Prix at Romania's Timisoara Central European FF.
The film was co-produced by Serbia's SEE Film Pro, Bulgaria's Geopoly Film, Macedonia's Skopje Film Studio, with additional support from France and Russia with Eurimages.
MMP brought Serbia and Bulgaria together in Mannheim.
Report: "BULGARIAN PRODUCERS BY THE SEA" - MMP at the Black Sea's coastal resort of Varna in August 2018.
On August 28th and 29th 2018 a group of (6) novice producers from Bulgaria met with 5 highly regarded expert members of the international film community in an event that could only be described as productive - in fact for all sides.
The format: one day of minute discussion on the basics of international co-production (i.a. Bulgaria is momentarily facing a future where only up to 50% of budgets for minority co-productions will be supported by the national funding body.)
And then a second day comprising one-to-one meetings with the international experts to discuss the 6 written project presentations aimed at international co-production and prepared meticulously over the preceding 3-4 months with MMP. These were studied by the experts who prepared during the final 2 weeks before the event.
The international experts :
producer Rudi Teichmann from BT Film, Berlin, i.a. German national Academy Award candidate for "Two Lives", 2014 (MMP active since 2012)
literary agent Julian Friedmann from Blake Friedmann, London - a company that has placed over 130 scripts with German TV among many other accomplishments. (MMP active since 2012)
film lawyer Peter Armstrong from top London legal practise Harbottle & Lewis,((MMP active since 2012)
Script & development expert and international marketing specialist Claudia Landsberger - i.a. co-founder of European Film Promotion, now heading BaseWorx For Film ( MMP active since 2017).
They were supported by Bulgaria's highly experienced Pavlina Jeleva of Geopoly Film, Sofia, who specializes as an international feature minority producer (so far 3 minority projects completed through MMP since 2012).
The coordination from the international side was through MMP's Julek Kedzierski, and the event was hosted by Dr. Alexander Grozev , Artistic Director of the "Love and Folly" Film Festival through which the event was sponsored on behalf of Varna's Festival and Congress Centre , director - Mr.Toshko Gyaurov .
The 6 Bulgarian projects at the core of the event are all still in development, and therefore, following MMP policy, "under wraps". But as they emerge into the wide world, we will be there informing you.
producer. : At my first look last May (at MMP) it was a red shock for me but I adapted myself to the idea that I need to do a lot of work. I appreciate highly the time spent for such a focused feedback. Hard to see anywhere else...
producer :Nothing like this has happened to Bulgaria before….
International expert. : Varna was a delightful city to visit. I hope that the tough love we have developed at MMP for start-up producers over the years was helpful...
The Karlovy Vary East of the West Competition 2018 hosted MMP 2016 project "Pause" from Cyprus/Greece, directed by Tonia Mishiali (who shared producer duties with Cyprus producer Stelana Kliris and Greece's Soul Productions.)
International is handled by Film Republic of London.
Lithuania's FILMAI LT has joined Georgian MMP 2017 project " Inga", being shepherded to start shooting in September 2018 by Tsiako Abesadze's Tbilisi-based Natura Film, with first-time director Davit Abramishvili co-directing with Giorgi Gogichaishvili. The co-production also involves Luxembourg's Paul Thiltges Distribution.
RTV Slovenia are contributing to Rasa Miskynite's Era Film (Lithuania) MMP project documentary "Exemplary Behaviour" through Ljubljana's Igor Pedicek of Casablanca Film Production. The film, about prison for lifers, is due to attract a lot of attention. Third co-producer is Bulgaria's Agitprop (Martichka Bozhilova) Problems arose when the film's originator and director Audrius Mickevicius died during shooting, and was replaced by close collaborator Nerijus Milerius. The film is scheduled to be finished by May 2019.
Tribeca 2018's best international narrative feature prize went to MMP project Smuggling Hendrix (Cyprus-Germany-Greece), director and lead producer Marios Piperides.
MMP National Feeder Channel setting up in Varna, Bulgaria: August 28th-29th 2018
MMP has been invited to set up a local MMP Feeder Channel in Bulgaria.
This means that local start-up co-producers with projects in the annual MMP process will get an extra 2-day event in Varna set on the way to Mannheim Meeting Place in November.
The event, under the banner "Bulgarian Producers by the Sea" starts with a day of discussion on international co-production with the Bulgarian start-up producers and several (mostly) foreign experts - all experienced professional habitués of MMP.
The second day consists of one-to-one meetings between those same experts with the start-up producers.
Feedback from Varna will be incorporated in the projects aiming at Mannheim
and their Outlines will be sent out to relevant MMP minority co-producers from 25 foreign countries for further reactions - as happens every year.
"Bulgarian Producers by the Sea" event is sponsored by the "Love and Folly" Film Festival in Varna, and the Bulgarian National Film Centre.
MMP 2015's second Cyprus feature project "Smuggling Hendrix" , produced and directed by Marios Piperides, (with co-production support from Germany and Greece), has been selected for IFF Tribeca's 2018 International Narrative Competition.
New at Berlinale: : MMP 2015 project “PAUSE” (co-prod Cyprus-Greece, dir: Tonia Mishiali, prod: Tonia Mishiali, Stelana Kliris) SCREENING in EFM : CinemaxX 16 Monday 19th Feb. 19:35. World Sales: Film Republic.
2017 was a successful year for MMP - Projects from earlier years now either released or that finished shooting included:
"Miracle" a Lithuanian-Bulgarian-Polish co-production, dark comedy directed by Egle Vertelyte, (shown i.a. in International Discoveries at Toronto IFF,) int. sales: Wide,
"The Family",the difficult dramatic feature documentary shown at i.a. Locarno FF (Critics Week Award,) and IDFA Best of the Fests, and main prizewinner in Portoroz (Slovenian National FF), directed by Rok Biczek,
"Requiem for Mrs J." (Serb, Bulgarian,Macedonian, French, Russian co-production ) directed by Bojan Vuletic, shown in Panorama Special Berlinale 2017 and Cannes FF ACID section, (after winning the 2016 Karlovy Vary €100,000 Works-In-Progress Prize). Film went to over 35 film festivals Selected for the 2017 European Film Awards.
"Pause" from Cyprus (Cypriot-Greek co-production) was shown in the 2017 KV Works-in-Progress section, int.sales: Film Republic.
2 other titles are in funding processes, some projects have won prizes for development:
i.a "Empty House" from Georgia, directed by Rati Tsiteladze who attended i.a. the Paris Cinefondation Residence this year. It won the (€20k) Eurimages Transilvania prize at Cluj, and was selected for participation in Script East.
The 2017 Mannheim Meeting Place engaged with over 50 participants from around 30 countries including Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Canada, Western and Central Europe, involving 15 projects that were sent out to MMP's experienced minority co-producers for feedback and interest. Final projects in Mannheim included works in development and guests from Venezuela, Turkey and Georgia:
Venezuela: Claudia LePage, Producer on project "The Other Island", intended primarily as a Venezuelan- Mexican-German co-production, in development
Turkey: (Ms) Cigdem Sezgin, Producer/Director on project "The Alley Cat" intended for European co-production, in development
Georgia : (Ms) Tsiako Abesadze, Producer on project "Inga" in development with some domestic funding already attached.
The fact that 2017 has reflected fund difficulties in several countries that "normally" co-produce does not help overall prospects for 2018 - so it is all the more pleasant to note that 3 of MMP's family of starter-producers were selected for the latest round of EAVE...
LATEST MMP NEWS SUMMER 2017 – UPDATE 3 (September)
There is a flowering in completed MMP projects as MMP Residents undertake support work this September on no less than 4 further MMP-connected word sales agreements, adding to 2 completed earlier in 2017.
MMP Documentary Resident Producer Rasa Miskinyte has pre-sold her new production “Exemplary Behaviour” to Current Time TV buyer - MMP stalwart Natalia Arshavskaya.
Rok Bicek's documentary The Family won the Vesna Award for Best Film at the 20th Slovenian Film Festival, (Portorož September 12-16th 2017)
MMP project Requiem for Mrs J. (co-prod. Serbia, Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Russia, France), lead produced by Nenad Dukic , most recently shown at ACID in Cannes ,ad Panorama Special Berlin, is one of 51 titles in the European Film Academy 2017 Selection
Producer Lukas Trimonis in Lithuania can watch Egle Vertelyte’s “Miracle” (co-prod Lithuania-Bulgaria-Poland) screen in Toronto IFF’s Discoveries Line-up.
A brace of prizes at Locarno IFF: Rok Biczek’s “The Family” won the SRG Prize of Semaine de la Critique & Rati Tsiteladze’s project ”Empty House” received Open Doors Special Mention.
Rok Bicek’s full length documentary “The Family” (MMP project 2014) has world premiere in Locarno FF’s “Semaine de la Critique” and (update) is in Documentary Competiton in Sarajevo IFF. World sales are also in discussion (July 2017).
Rati Tsiteladze of Georgia (MMP 2015) has won the Eurimages Co-production Development Award,(20,000 Euros) at the Transilvania Pitch Stop with his project “The Empty House” (i.a. Cinefondation Residence 2017, MMP 2015)
Cyprus Director/producer Tonia Mishiali has been selected for the 2017 Karlovy Vary Works in Progress for 2015 MMP project “Pause” (original title: ”Menopause”)
“Pause” is in editing, after Mishiali moved producer duties under the careful eyes of Stelana Kliris to concentrate on directing.
Staszek Dziedzic of Warsaw’s FILM Produkcja has matched with Bulgaria’s Stanislav Donczev on the latter’s “Letters from Antarctica” (MMP 2016). Well known in Bulgaria as one of the country’s best box-office directors, Donchev is testing the waters as lead producer.
Anaïs Bertrand is making progress with her object-sexuality themed “Jumbo”, now with actresses Noémie Merlant & Emmanuelle Bercot attached. The project has the Avance sur Recettes and recently obtained funding from Federation Wallonie Bruxelles. Shooting is planned for September/October 2017.
Canada’s Elizabeth Yake and Baden Württemberg producer Sven Schnell from Stuttgart are working together on their Board-game documentary. Ex-habitué of Mannheim’s previous Mannheim Meetings, Elizabeth describes the co-operation as “impeccable”, shooting having completed in several countries including Germany. In fact they were both visiting Mannheim and shooting at the same time locally during MMP 2016.
LATEST NEWS PRE-CANNES 2017
Serb lead production “Requiem for Mrs J” is screening in ACID during Cannes FF after its Panorama screening in Berlin 2017 (MMP project with lead producer Nenad Dukic)
Marios Piperides (see below December 2016) has locked “Smuggling Hendrix” - his social comedy with a dog that gets lost on the border in Cyprus. The title is available at Cannes Marché with Match Factory.
Also from Cyprus, Stelana Kliris (producer) and Tonia Mishiali (producer/director) have finished shooting and are in Cannes presenting a rough cut of 2015 MMP project “Pause” (previously titled “Menopause”) ready for sales agent interest during Cannes.
Lukas Trimonis has good reason to be happy with WIDE Distribution as sales agent for “Miracle” (see below February 2017) – the first sales are racking up.
Joe Balass of Compass Film in Montreal is (April 2017) is researching world sales for “Venus”, transgender first-feature from debut director Eisha Marjara, now finished and ready for screening.
Bulgaria’s Stanislav Donchev is attracting interest from Poland for co-production of his MMP 2016 project “Letters from Antarctica” – discussions are under way.
LATEST MMP NEWS:
Rati Tsiteladze from Georgia with project “Empty House” (MMP 2015) has advanced to a place with Cinefondation Residence 2017:
34th session: http://www.cinefondation.com/en/sessions
BERLINALE PANORAMA SPECIAL:
The MMP 2013 Serb lead project “Requiem for MRS.J” directed by Bojan Vuletic, (lead producer Nenad Dukic, SEE Film) screens in Berlin 2017 in the Panorama Section as a Panorama Special title.
Main co-production partners are Geopoly Film in Sofia and Tomi Salkovski from Skopje Film Studio, Macedonia. Further support came from Alexsander Rodnyanski of Non-Stop Production, (Moscow), and Alice Ormieres of Surprise Alley,(Paris).
Eurimages support was granted in December 2015.
“Requiem” also received post production support from Karlovy Vary FF and ended as the only recipient among ten for the 2016 French CNC Aide de la Finition. The sound design from the Bulgarian partner has been defined as excellent.
MMP is credited with providing the Bulgarian partner for the film’s sound, shooting and post.
MIRACLE : WORLD SALES WITH WIDE
MMP 2013 Lithuanian lead project “Miracle”, directed by Egle Vertelyte, (lead producer Lukas Trimonis) . Eurimages support was granted in December 2015. Cinematographer is Bulgaria’s Emil Hristov, co-producers are Pavlina Jeleva at Bulgaria’s Geopoly and Radoslawa Bardes at Poland’s ORKA.
World Sales have been signed with Paris-based WIDE, and the film is shown at Berlin’s EFM.
“SMUGGLING HENDRIX” directed and produced by Marios Piperides has finished shooting in Cyprus. It has German theatrical distribution (Neue Visionen) , world sales with Match Factory and Arte support. Eurimagessupport was also granted.
“MENOPAUSE” (MMP 2015), dir. Tonia Mishiali will start shooting in Cyprus in March with Stelana Klirisproducing.
“URSUS” (co-prod Georgia-Ukraine-Bulgaria-Germany, also co-production case study MMP 2015) is in post-production in Leipzig after additional shooting in a re-started Ukraine. Editing is expected to end soon. (October 2016).
( Macedonian production (original title “Nameless”) from MMP 2013 (Producer Ognen Antov) was screened during Berlinale 2016. )
MMP 2015 EVENTS – Case Studies - November
A series of case studies dominate Events during MMP 2015: first of all “Co-production and War” – an examination of the Georgian (Studio “O”) – Ukrainian (Fresh Film) – Bulgarian (Geopoly) – German (Aktis Film, Leipzig) co-production “URSUS”, starring French actress Joséphine de La Baume. With 10 days left to shoot, a war started, and the local currency spiraled downwards – the pitfalls for co-production in such a hazardous situation (without the bear, but with the Ukrainians due to fulfil the majority role) is examined. MMP provided the relationship with Bulgaria. Georgia’s Otar Shamatava, Ukraine’s Oleg Shcherbyna, Bulgaria’s Pavlina Jeleva and Aktis Film’s Stelios Ziannis from Leipzig attend as co-producers.
The second “case study” is an intimate look at German producer Christine Haupt’s three recent minority co-productions: ending with 2015’s “Un Certain Regard” entry Radu Muntean’s “The Floor Below”, co-produced with Romania, Sweden & France. We back-track through 2014’s Golden Rose Winner (Bulgarian majority co-production, also with Croatian minority co-producer) “Judgment” directed by Stefan Komandarev, to “Fair Play” (minority co-production with Czech Republic & Slovakia.)
MMP 2015 - Recent News:
MMP 2014 in fact brought about a constructive relationship between another Ugandan project and Israel’s Transfax – Robert Nyanzi’s “Goat Rustlers”, which is continuing script re-writes under the watchful eye of script doctor Sari Turgeman (also Israeli, no relation).
Bulgaria’s busy Pavlina Jeleva (Geopoly, Sofia) has recently received the only funding as the best out of 11 projects presented at the latest minority call in Bulgaria. Lithuanian majority producer Lukas Trimonis(In Script) has taken advantage for his project “Miracle”(MMP 2013) written/directed by Egle Vertelyte, to hire top Bulgarian DoP Emil Hristov.
Pavlina Jeleva is a well-established figure at MMP by now: apart from her joining “Miracle”, Mannheim also has helped provide the relationship for “Ursus” (see above) and further projects to be made public at some point.
And Cuba’s MMP 2013 project entry “Santa y Delfin” produced by Claudia Calvino, helped by MMP to funds from EZEF Germany, “definitely starts shooting” this summer. Calvino’s husband, director Carlos Lechuga, took away the 2013 Main Award of IFF Mannheim Heidelberg with “Melaza” (also produced by Calvino).
Mannheim Meeting Place - a part of IFF Mannheim Heidelberg