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COTTBUS 2018 Industry

Romania boasts two winning pitches at coco and helps to package another


- Cristian Pascariu's October was voted Best Pitch by the participants in the 20th edition of connecting cottbus, while the WIP Post-production Prize went to Geranium from Turkey

Romania boasts two winning pitches at coco and helps to package another
The team behind October, which won both the coco Best Pitch Award and the Cannes Producers Network Award (© connecting cottbus)

Under the firm but friendly guidance of its new director, Marjorie Bendeck, who reaffirmed and consolidated the strong formula established by her predecessor, Rebekka Garrido, the 20th edition of the connecting cottbus East-West co-production market, aka coco (November 8 and 9), brought together a group of promising, passionate teams of directors and producers from Central and Eastern Europe with experts, potential co-producers, sales agents and other film-industry professionals for two days of intensive work on their pitches, followed by one-on-one meetings. 

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The winner of the coco Best Pitch Award, chosen by all of the participants in the market, was Cristian Pascariu's October, a Romanian project backed by established producer Oana Giurgiu, of Libra Film Productions, which is still in its early stages but is deeply ingrained in the young director's personal life, as it "chose him" when Pascariu was asked, as a teenager, to talk his father's suicidal best friend into staying alive. The sensitivity, clear directorial vision and positive outlook of Pascariu's presentation earned him €1,500 as well as an accreditation to the Producers Network at the 2019 Cannes Film Market.

The newly created Avanpost Pitch Packaging Award went to another debut project: 9th Step by Lithuania's Irma Puzauskaite, produced by Lukas Trimonis (IN SCRIPT). The title of this "double coming-of-age" story refers to the stage of the AA programme when the recovering alcoholic must make amends, a step which reunites, in this case, a sober young father and his estranged, rebellious teenage daughter. Romanian post-production outfit Avanpost will provide the project with in-kind services of a value of approximately €15,000. 

Another of the 13 forthcoming cocoPITCH titles was singled out with a prize: second-time director (after the successful The World is Mine [+see also:
film review
film profile
 in 2015) Nicolae Constantin Tanase's Men of Deeds, a thriller on moral corruption set in a small village where the smallest things become a threat, involving a policeman who becomes the passive accomplice of a murderous mayor and the local priest. This project, supported by Bucharest-based outfit Tangaj Production, was awarded the MIDPOINT Consulting Award, offered by the MIDPOINT training and networking platform for script and project development, which will take place in Trieste (Italy) at the 2019 edition of When East Meets West

Amongst the six cocoWIP projects, of which some selected excerpts were screened to an invited audience, the Turkish title Geranium by Cagil Bocut (produced by Asli Erdem and Caglar Bocut, of Kolor Film and Beatrice Films) won the hefty D-Facto Motion WIP Award, sponsored by the German post-production studio D­Facto Motion. The story of young Defne, a 20-year-old daughter and niece who goes from having to hide an uncomfortable secret to becoming a murder suspect, won €35,000 in post-production services. 

Here is the complete list of winners:

coco Best Pitch Award
October - Cristian Pascariu (Romania)
Producer: Oana Giurgiu (Libra Film Productions)

Cannes Producers Network Award
October - Cristian Pascariu
Producer: Oana Giurgiu (Libra Film Productions)

Avanpost Pitch Packaging Award
9th Step - Irma Puzauskaite (Lithuania)
Producer: Lukas Trimonis (IN SCRIPT)

MIDPOINT Consulting Award
Men of Deeds - Nicolae Constantin Tanase (Romania)
Producer: Tangaj Production

D-Facto Motion WIP Award
Geranium - Cagil Bocut (Turkey)
Producers: Asli Erdem, Caglar Bocut (Kolor Film, Beatrice Films)

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