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The Baltic Pitching Forum announces its award winners

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- The eighth edition of the event took place from 8-10 October and saw the participation of 12 projects from the three Baltic republics and Poland

The Baltic Pitching Forum announces its award winners
The winners of the Baltic Pitching Forum

It’s a wrap for the eighth edition of the Baltic Pitching Forum (BPF). The event, which took place from 8-10 October, saw the participation of 12 short-film projects from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. After the projects were pitched to an online audience from across Europe, the BPF panel of industry experts and the Baltic Producers’ Jury gave out three main awards.

This year’s BPF panel included member of the Clermont-Ferrand International Competition selection committee and industry events coordinator Julie Rousson, head of European Short Pitch Julie Marnay, interfilm Berlin’s head of sales Cord Dueppe, Estonian film director Tanel Toom and Tampere Film Festival director Jukka-Pekka Laakso. Every year, the BPF panel hands out two awards to two different Baltic projects – an invitation to visit Euro Connection, Clermont-Ferrand’s international co-production forum, and an invitation to attend European Short Pitch, a scriptwriting workshop in the form of a residency and a co-production forum.

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The first invitation was granted to Jaanika Arum’s short fiction project Skin of a Mandarin, which tells the story of a young woman called Anna, whose mother has recently passed away. Speaking about the achievement, producer Tiina Savi said: “We are overwhelmed by this prize. We already considered ourselves humble winners just by participating because it is such a warm, supportive and friendly environment to share the project in.”

Meanwhile, the second invitation was awarded to director Eglė Davidavičė and producer Agnė Adomėnė for their short animated project The One Who Knows. The film tells the story of an anxious teenager called Ūla who, one ordinary morning at swimming practice, is taken on an unexpected adventure. Davidavičė was very pleased about the prize and said: “I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity not only to present my project, but also to get to know the creative world of the other filmmakers. I’m happy that the film, which explores the themes of beauty, body and self-acceptance, seemed to be relevant and needed.”

In addition, the Baltic Producers MEDIA Award, worth €1,000, was awarded to Zurab Dzhidzhilava’s The Man Who Scooped the Sea. The mockumentary revolves around a strange, ageless wild man living in the middle of the Curonian Spit. This year’s Baltic Producers Jury was made up of producers Pille Rünk, of Estonia’s Allfilm; Antra Cilinska, of Latvia’s Juris Podnieks Studio; and Gabija Siurbytė, of Lithuania’s Dansu Films.

Speaking about the reception of this year’s edition, head of the Baltic Pitching Forum and Lithuanian Shorts Rimantė Daugėlaitė-Cegelskienė said: “We’re so happy that so many people responded in a positive way to our move online and that we were able to bring the spirit of inclusiveness and sharing of knowledge that makes the Baltic Pitching Forum such a special event. Despite social distancing, we all managed to come together and share in some wonderful pitches alongside some invaluable insights into the film industry from our panel and jury. We look forward to coming back together in person in 2021!”

The Baltic Pitching Forum was organised by the Lithuanian short-film agency Lithuanian Shorts, in partnership with the Riga International Film Festival, Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and the Estonian Short Film Center - ShortEst. It was supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, the Lithuanian Film Centre, the Municipality of Vilnius and the Polish Film Institute. Other partners include the Creative Europe – MEDIA Desk offices in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, alongside the Polish Animation Producers Association.

The next edition will be held from 7-10 October 2021.

Here is the full list of winners:

Invitation to Euro Connection
Skin of a Mandarin - Jaanika Arum (Estonia)
Producer: Tiina Savi

Invitation to European Short Pitch
The One Who Knows - Eglė Davidavičė (Lithuania)
Producer: Agnė Adomėnė

Baltic Producers MEDIA Award
The Man Who Scooped the Sea - Zurab Dzhidzhilava (Latvia/Lithuania/Georgia)
Producer: Zurab Dzhidzhilava

Baltic Producers Jury Special Mention
Team Building - Mateusz Pacewicz (Poland/Czech Republic)
Producer: Ludka Kierczak

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