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Baltic Sea Docs announces its programme


- The 25th-anniversary edition of the leading documentary training and pitching event is ready to welcome its new projects to the upcoming hybrid gathering

Baltic Sea Docs announces its programme
Baltic Sea Docs 2020

The Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries (Baltic Sea Docs) is celebrating its 25th-anniversary edition, unspooling from 1-12 September in Riga in a hybrid format. Being the most important documentary training and pitching event in the Baltic countries, the event will gather filmmakers from the wider Baltic Sea region, Eastern Europe and the countries of the Caucasus.

Zane Balčus, project manager of the forum, mentioned:  “We are very happy to see that over its 25 years, Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries has retained its position as an important and necessary event for film professionals from the Baltic Sea region, Eastern Europe and beyond. It has been a springboard for many filmmakers in the past, and it continues to be such a platform.”

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A total of 18 film projects hailing from 17 countries are participating, with their representatives attending a preparatory workshop, a series of pitching sessions and an individual meeting with documentary experts. The training will be led by seven tutors, the documentary film consultants Tue Steen Müller and Mikael Opstrup, Georgian director  Salomé Jashi (Taming the Garden [+see also:
film review
interview: Salomé Jashi
film profile
), documentary expert Gitte Hansen, film editor Phil Jandaly, producer, director and head of programmes at Estonian Television Marje Tõemäe, and Latvian film director and scriptwriter Dāvis Sīmanis. The pitching sessions on 8-9 September will take place online, with representatives from the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) present at the Baltic Sea Docs studio in Riga. 

Among the decision makers attending the pitches are TV channels, sales and distribution companies including Cat & Docs (France), Syndicado (Canada), Taskovski (UK), BBC (UK), NHK (Japan), EER (Estonia), LTV (Latvia), YLE (Finland), ZDF / Arte (Germany), Current Time TV (USA), Al Jazeera (Qatar), SVT (Sweden) and others. Selected projects will be awarded with prizes from partners Documentary Association of Europe and post-production company BB Post House. 

Furthermore, on 6 September, two master classes will be organised, available both to participants and general audience, by Lithuanian producer Dagne Vildžūnaite and Latvian film director Laila Pakalniņa, both moderated by Tue Steen Müller. There will also be a seminar on film distribution, presented by Gitte Hansen and organised in partnership with Creative Europe MEDIA office of Latvia on 7 September. Moreover, for the fifth consecutive year and in partnership with Artdocfest, a festival and industry platform for independent filmmakers from the former Soviet Union, 10 projects from the region will be pitched on 8 September.

Here is the complete list of selected projects at the 24th Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries:

9-Month ContractKetevan Vashagashvili (Georgia)
Producers: Nino Chichua, Anna Khazaradze (1991 Productions)

The CelloKira Jääskeläinen (Finland)
Producer:  Oona Saari (Illume Ltd)

DedovshinaElyor Nemat (Uzbekistan/Tajikistan)
Producer: Elyor Nemat 

ExchangeAren Malakyan (Armenia)
Producers: Vahagn Khachatryan, Sona Karapoghosyan (Ulik film production)

Father’s ChildrenKarlis Lesins (Latvia)
Producer: Dominiks Jarmakovics (Woodpecker Pictures)

Girls’ StoriesAga Borzym (Poland)
Producers: Agnieszka Rostropowicz-Rutkowska, Marta Duzbabel (Pinot Films)

HappinessDmitry Kubasov, Anastasia Murashkina (Estonia/Russia)
Producers: Max Tuula, Maria Gavrilova (Marx Film)

The InvisiblesPiotr Bernaś (Poland)
 Producer: Aleksandra Szczesna (Hasko Film)

IrenaGiedre Zickyte (Lithuania/Estonia/Bulgaria)
Producer: Giedre Zickyte (Moonmakers)

Machina FaustKaupo Kruusiauk (Estonia)
Producer: Kaupo Kruusiauk (Flo Film OÜ)

The Manifesto of TendernessKsenia Okhapkina (Russia)
Producer: Vlad Ketkovich (Etnofund)

MaraSasha Kulak (France)
Producer: Louis Beaudemont (Les Steppes Productions)

Moscow NightsIrina Maldea (Ireland/Germany/Romania)
Producer: Brendan Culleton (akajava films)

ScarecrowsLaila Pakalnina (Latvia)
Producer: Uldis Cekulis (VFS FILMS)

Searching for the GoddessLina Lytė Plioplytė (Lithuania)
Producer: Andrėja Čebatavičiūtė (Moonmakers)

StrandedStanislavs Tokalovs (Latvia)
Producer: Guntis Trekteris (Ego Media)

Up in the AirOksana Syhareva (Ukraine)
Producer: Anna Kapustina (Albatros Communicos Ukraine)

Upper Tensta, Stay or Go?Karin Wegsjö, Nazira Abzalova (Sweden)
Producer: Karin Wegsjö (KW produktion ab)

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