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East Doc Platform 2024

Industry Report: Produce - Co-Produce...

REPORT: East Doc Platform 2024


Cineuropa profiles the winning projects from this year’s edition of the major Czech industry event organised by the Institute of Documentary Film

REPORT: East Doc Platform 2024
Under His Spell by Łukasz Konopa

East Doc Platform (EDP), organised by the Institute of Documentary Film (IDF), which unspooled from 22-28 March in Prague, is the biggest and most important industry platform dedicated to documentaries produced in Central and Eastern Europe. Cineuropa presents an overview of the winning projects, as announced during the closing gala of both EDP and its partner event, One World Festival (see the news).

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East Doc Platform Award
Under His Spell - Łukasz Konopa (Poland)
Anatoly Kashpirovsky, a Soviet psychiatrist, who claimed to be a healer and whom many considered a charlatan, is the central figure in this upcoming documentary by Poland’s Łukasz Konopa, produced by Daria Maślona through Polish production house Silver Frame. The film portrays both Kashpirovsky’s heyday, when his healing seances were broadcast on TV and he was more popular in the USSR than Gorbachev, and his modest everyday life – he is now hosting a YouTube channel and hoping to rekindle some of his former glory at a big show in Kazakhstan.

For this project, Konopa has interviewed Polish Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader of the Solidarity movement Lech Wałęsa, and Kashpirovsky’s former collaborators, among others. The production period started in June 2023 and is scheduled to end in September 2025, while producer Daria Maślona says that Under His Spell should be ready in 2025/2026. The film already has part of its financing in place from the Polish Film Institute, the BBC and Silver Frame, while additional subsidies come from TVP (the Polish public broadcaster), the Polish Film Institute, the BBC, and Czech, Slovak and German broadcasters.

Birdie by Aneta Ptak

HBO Max Award, Golden Funnel Award, Millennium Docs Against Gravity Award
Birdie – Aneta Ptak (Poland)
Polish filmmaker Aneta Ptak is the driving force behind Birdie, taking on the roles of director, writer and DoP, as well as being the film’s subject. The documentary is described as a “self-exploratory visual journey of a woman’s emancipation through the medium of her camera”. It also tackles themes of sexual abuse and psychological abuse in a cult that the protagonist’s husband used to lead, as well as depicting the reconnection with her family following the severing of marital ties. Małgorzata Staroń from Staron-Film (Apolonia, Apolonia [+see also:
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interview: Lea Glob
film profile
is her most recent project) is producing, and the documentary is expected to be ready in August 2025. 47% of the budget is already in place, while the producer is still looking for a co-producer and Eurimages support to round off the financing plan.

Czech TV Co-production Award, DocsBarcelona Award
Tito. The West's Favorite Dictator - Bence Máté (Germany/Austria/Croatia/Italy)
Hungarian director and former Middle East correspondent Bence Máté, who has already made an episodic documentary about the massacre during the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 (Terror at the Games. The Munich Massacre), is developing a documentary series revolving around Josip Broz Tito, the ruler of the former Yugoslavia. In three 60-minute or two 90-minute episodes, he will cover his life up until his death in 1980. Gunnar Dedio from Germany’s Looks Films is the lead producer on this project, which is a collaboration between Germany, Austria, Croatia and Italy. The team behind Tito. The West's Favorite Dictator is still looking for €400,000 to complete the budget.

Cut Thru the Noise Award
The Poor Cry Too - Viktorija Mickute, Ieva Balsiunaite (Lithuania/Mexico)
For anyone younger than 40, it’s hard to imagine that entire streets could literally be empty during the broadcast of a new episode of a telenovela made in Latin America. But that’s how it was. These over-the-top melodramas were an antidote to dry Soviet television propaganda, and the general greyness of the late 1980s and early 1990s. In their upcoming documentary, Viktorija Mickute and Ieva Balsiunaite show how the lives of a few Lithuanian women were totally altered because of the telenovelas, and how they were conceived in the first place. The Poor Cry Too, which is being produced by Dagne Vildziunaite from Lithuania, is currently in development and is expected to be ready in 2025.

Keepers of the Ruins by Mariia Shevchenko

Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award
Keepers of the Ruins - Mariia Shevchenko (Ukraine/Poland)
The people of Kharkiv, a city in Ukraine that has been attacked countless times since the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022, live according to the cycle of “shelling-cleaning-reconstruction”, as director Mariia Shevchenko writes in her introduction to Keepers of the Ruins. Her documentary, which is set to be completed in July 2024, follows several Kharkiv residents as they try to keep going and not lose hope. Ella Shtyka from New Kyiv is the producer of the film, which is still looking for 30% of its budget from the IDFA Bertha Fund and the European Solidarity Fund for Ukrainian Films.

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