Making connections in Cottbus
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The European co-production market for East-West co-productions has kicked off, featuring 13 projects from 12 countries
The 16th edition of the Connecting Cottbus co-production market, which takes place in parallel with the FilmFestival Cottbus (4-9 November), kicked off today, featuring 13 projects from 12 countries. As one of the most important European meeting points for East-West co-productions, Connecting Cottbus brings together about 140 film producers, sales agents and representatives of European film funds in order to discover and share new ideas for feature films. Furthermore, the experts exchange their experiences and discuss current trends in the film industry during panels and workshops. A special focus is dedicated to audience design, marketing and the developments in the funding of East-West co-productions.
“As is the case every year, I am very much looking forward to the submitted projects’ refreshing diversity of styles and themes, as well as to the creative discussions with producers from all over Europe,” said Bernd Buder, the director of Connecting Cottbus. Among the producers who are presenting their current projects at the event are Bujar Alimani (90 Production, Albania), Jamila Wenske (One Two Films, Germany), Milena Garfield (West End Productions, Serbia/USA), Michal Gozdzik (Teamwork Production, Poland) and Ketie Daniela (Ablabuda Film, Georgia).
The pitched projects range from the laconic black comedy Spiral, from Romania, via the highly political refugee story The Escape (Turkey), to the Estonian-Russian fantasy love story The Dream Fish. Various projects deal with relevant global issues, such as gentrification (Inner City, Russia) and the situation of single mothers (The Daybreak, Albania). Historical events also serve as the subject matter for some of the titles: from Poland comes Owl, the Baker’s Daughter, which depicts the totalitarian pressure in post-war Poland, while Oleksandr Dovzhenko. Odessa-Debut paints a portrait of the Ukrainian Black Sea metropolis of Odessa in the 1920s.
Supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Creative Europe – MEDIA and Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Connecting Cottbus will award prizes worth €27,000. This year’s Special Pitch Award has gone to the political thriller project The Vegetable Lamb by German writer-director Thomas Sieben (The Dam, Distance [+see also: