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Oldenburg’s Matchbox Coproduction Lounge wraps


- Ten international projects at different stages of production have been presented in Oldenburg at the third edition of the informal meet-up between directors and producers

Oldenburg’s Matchbox Coproduction Lounge wraps
(© Oldenburg International Film Festival)

The 25th edition of the Oldenburg International Film Festival took place from 12-16 September. This was the third time that the festival invited both seasoned and emerging filmmakers and producers from several countries to an informal get-together. The guests were handpicked by director Torsten Neumann, with the help of Los Angeles-based producer Ken Meyer. The latter hosted the Matchbox Coproduction Lounge, which presented ten film projects, all at different stages of production, ranging from ideas to post-production. All of the projects presented were features, and it was particularly interesting that they tended to focus on darker genres, such as thrillers, crime stories and fantasy/mystery. 

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Among the best-known directors were Australian-French (and recently German) helmer Philippe Mora. For Monash of Australia, a film about a Jewish Australian army colonel during World War I, Mora is searching for co-producers. The second prominent guest was Harry Kümel (Malpertuis), who announced a remake – or, in his words, a “revamp” – of his cult 1971 movie Daughters of Darkness. Given that it is set in Bradford, England, the team behind the project is therefore looking for a British co-producer to stage the story of Mothers of Darkness, and to chip in for the estimated €4 million budget. Kümel is also working on a series entitled The Adventures of Harry Dickson, about an American version of Sherlock Holmes.

A handful of other series were also invited, such as the animation High Water, set in Alaska, and directed by Michal Samir and Matej Chlupacek. Meanwhile, writer-director-producer Maya Vitkova-Kosev (Viktoria [+see also:
film review
interview: Maya Vitkova
film profile
) is searching for co-production partners. Her script for Afrika won the Kieslowski Award for Best European Script at Cannes earlier this year.

The event also featured a focus on projects from Eastern Europe, which tied in perfectly with the fact that the special guest at the event was the Macedonian Film Agency, which, as its name suggests, is in charge of the promotion and support of Macedonian films. The governmental institution intends to encourage foreign production companies to seek out Macedonian co-productions. One particular incentive, which has been in effect since 2014, is that it offers a 20% cash rebate based on a minimum budget of €100,000.

Here is the full list of projects that took part in the Matchbox Coproduction Lounge:

Monash of Australia – Philippe Mora
Mothers of Darkness – Harry Kümel
The Adventures of Harry Dickson – Harry Kümel
The Castle in the Forest – Michael Mailer 
High Water – Michal Samir and Matej Chlupacek
Pleasant Hills – Nico Mansy
Salt in the Wound – Harry Ayiotis
Sister – Dina Duma
Afrika – Maya Vitkova-Kosev
Amok – Vardan Tozija

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