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BLACK NIGHTS 2020 Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event

Seven international projects showcased at Industry@Tallinn Works in Progress


- With a special focus on Russia and inviting mainly first-time feature directors, the initiative presented its line-up entirely online

Seven international projects showcased at Industry@Tallinn Works in Progress
A Film About Couples by Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada

Industry@Tallinn International Works in Progress this year invited seven projects which were all pitched online, in a session introduced by Triin Tramberg, Industry@Tallinn Works in Progress Manager. The selection was quite versatile, with projects hailing from Ukraine, Poland, Israel, Lebanon, Germany and even the Dominican Republic, while Russia — the country in focus of this year’s Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event — was present with four projects.

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Ukraine’s Olesya Morgunets-Isaenko presented her sophomore feature war drama Carol of the Bells, coming two years after The Tale of Money. The film tells the story of three families – Ukrainian, Polish, and Jewish – who all lived under the same roof in the city of Stanislaviv (today’s Ivano-Frankivsk) from 1938 till 1944. When the Soviets and the Nazis occupied the city, a Ukrainian music teacher saved the children of the other families at the expense of her own life. The narration is based on the memories of Teresa, the Polish girl saved by the teacher, who fled to New York. Written by Oksana Prysiazhniuk, the film is produced by Artem Koliubaiev of Ukraine’s Ama Vision, in co-production with Maksim Leshchanka for Poland’s Stewopol MS.

Having experience in documentaries, Maria Ivanova Z is now in post-production on her first fiction feature film, The Anger. The story follows a young Lebanese Muslim girl who abandons her village to avoid her mother’s drinking problems and to start over her life in a big city. When she meets a charming man from Europe, she believes she has found her salvation, only to realise that she was fatally wrong. The script is co-written by Ivanova Z. with the participation of Olga Artemyeva and the director is the main producer with her Moscow and Berlin-based Scoop Production, in co-production with Lebanon’s Ne a Beirut Films and Germany’s The Post Republic. The shooting ran during the COVID-period while everything was interrupted due to the explosions at the port of Beirut and the film aims to finalize post-production.

Regarding the other international projects, award-winning Dominican and Spaniard directorial couple, Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada (Miriam Lies [+see also:
film review
interview: Oriol Estrada, Dulce Rodríg…
film profile
) presented their dramedy A Film About Couples, inspired by their own lives as a couple and as colleagues in filmmaking. When the two of them decide to direct a documentary about couples in love, they begin their research but as filming progresses, wounds from their own relationship start to open up. Israel’s Ducks, Urban Legend is a black comedy directed and co-scripted by Shahar Rozen and set in Tel Aviv’s Tikva (Hope) neighbourhood, where six characters are connected in three interwoven stories, each featuring an accident, and all experience a moment of grace in their lives.

Finally, the three Russian projects are all by first time feature directors. First Snow by Natalya Konchalovskaya, the daughter of Andrei Konchalovsky, tells a story inspired by the director’s personal experience and follows the intersecting lives of four characters: a twenty-four year old woman killing her boredom through Aikido, her co-dependent mother who writes erotic novels, their scientist neighbour who is preparing for the Arctic, and a lonely girl. Nuuchaa (which means ‘Russian’ in the Yakutian language), by Vladimir Munkuev, is inspired by the works of Polish writer Wacław Sieroszewski who was exiled in Siberia, and follows a poor Yakut peasant couple struggling to survive in the taiga at the end of 19th century; acclaimed Russian director Boris Khlebnikov (Arrhythmia [+see also:
film review
interview: Boris Khlebnikov
film profile
) is among the producers. Zemun, written and directed by Eduard Zholnin, follows a son who returns to his village after his father's mysterious death, only to discover that the entire inheritance should be sacrificed to pay off the debts his father had.

Here is the full list of International Works in Progress projects:

A Film About Couples - Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada (Dominican Republic)
Producers: Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada (Faula Films), Pablo Mustonen

The Anger - Maria Ivanova Z (Russia/Germany/Lebanon)
Production companies: Scoop Production, Ne a Beirut Films, The Post Republic

Carol of the Bells - Olesya Morgunets-Isaenko (Ukraine/Poland)
Producers: Artem Koliubaiev (Ama Vision), Maksim Leshchanka (Stewopol MS)

Ducks, Urban Legend - Shahar Rozen (Israel)
Producers: Oren Rogovin, Omer Rogovinn, Moshe Edery, Leon Edery (Rogovin Brothers)

First Snow - Natalya Konchalovskaya (Russia)
Producer: Elena Stepanisheva (Chapulla Bay)

Nuuccha - Vladimir Munkuev (Russia)
Producers: Aleksandr Plotnikov, Boris Khlebnikov, Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov, Albert Ryabyshev, Andrei Ushatskiy
Production companies: Look Film, The Place of Power, R-Media

Zemun - Eduard Zholnin (Russia)
Producers: Alexey Uchitel, Kira Saksaganskaya (Rock Films Studio)

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