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Baltic Sea Docs announces its selection


- A total of 24 documentary film projects at various stages of production will be presented at the leading event in the Baltic Sea region

Baltic Sea Docs announces its selection
The First Swallow by Joanna Roj and Sandro Wysocki

The 27th edition of the Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries, known as Baltic Sea Docs (BSD), is eagerly preparing for its upcoming event in Riga from 3-10 September. Recognised as the foremost documentary pitching event in the Baltic countries, Baltic Sea Docs puts the spotlight on projects originating from the broader Baltic Sea region, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

Among the highlights are 20 projects making their debut presentation in Riga, along with four projects featured in the new Coming Soon session, showcasing works at the post-production stage that were previously pitched in other Baltic Sea Docs editions. A total of 24 selected projects will represent film studios from 11 diverse countries, including Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, Estonia and Georgia.

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Zane Balčus, the head of Baltic Sea Docs, commented: “This year, Baltic Sea Docs will offer a broader programme of industry activities. We are pleased to follow up on and promote several projects from previous editions that are now approaching their premieres, and to encourage further strengthening of ties between Baltic and other European producers. As always, great attention is given to documentaries from the Baltic countries in the selection of Baltic Sea Docs projects. We also note numerous strong submissions from Ukraine this year, reflecting the filmmakers' sensitive approach to current events in the country after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Using different cinematic approaches, these projects explore various topics including direct experiences of war (Another Man's Diary), the impact of warfare on the environment (Divia), imprint on the fate of people (Eros and Thanatos), and the significance of film archives as essential memory institutions (Archive. Box#64). Overall, we are delighted to see both experienced and emerging filmmakers among the selected participants.”

The Baltic Sea Docs pitching sessions are slated to take place on 7-8 September. Prior to the pitches, the teams behind the new projects will undergo extensive preparation, receiving guidance and insights from a team of international industry experts. Among this year's tutors are seasoned documentary film consultant Tue Steen Müller and documentary developer Mikael Opstrup from Denmark, along with acclaimed film directors Salomé Jashi from Georgia and Alisa Kovalenko from Ukraine. Additionally, film editor Phil Jandaly and producer Simon Kilmurry will contribute their expertise to the process. The culmination of this hard work will be the presentations made to a panel of decision-makers representing TV channels, sales, and distribution companies including BBC, YLE, NHK, Rise and Shine, Lightdox, filmdelights, Cat&Docs and others.

As part of this year's event, Baltic Sea Docs will play host to Travelling Docs, a special initiative organised by Creative Europe - MEDIA desks, which presents additional industry activities at various documentary events annually. Titled "Travelling Docs. Share Your Stories," this networking activity seeks to foster meaningful connections between documentary producers from both the Baltic region and other parts of Europe. Furthermore, the Creative Europe MEDIA Desk of Latvia will conduct a seminar focusing on the phenomenon of adopting a documentary approach in fiction films.

Two out of the 20 new projects were selected through collaborations with other industry platforms. Divia, a project by Dmytro Hreshko, delves into the effects of war and Russian aggression on Ukraine's nature and ecology. It earned its invitation from the B2B Doc Visegrad Pitch at East Doc Platform in Prague. Another Ukrainian project, Eros and Thanatos, directed by Dmytro Tiazhlov, explores the unique creative journey of two unconventional Ukrainian musicians and was chosen from the CineDOC-Tbilisi mentoring programme.

The full list of projects selected for the 27th edition of BSD is as follows:

Another Man's Diary - Olexandr Tkachenko (Ukraine)
Producer: Illia Gladshtein (Phalanstery Films)

Archive. Box#64 - Eva Dzhyshyashvili (Ukraine)
Producer: Natalia Libet (2Brave Productions)

Artworks in Agony - Elizabete Gricmane, Ramunė Rakauskaitė (Latvia/Lithuania)
Producers: Uldis Cekulis, Paula Jansone (VFS Films), Arūnas Matelis (Studio Nominum)

Brothers in the Hunt - Ieva Ozoliņa (Latvia)
Producer: Madara Melberga (Fa Filma)

Cecilia's Project - Edward Porembny (Poland/Sweden)
Producers: Edward Porembny (AMP Polska Edward Porembny), Magnus Paulsson (Solid Entertainment AB)

Divia - Dmytro Hreshko (Ukraine/Poland)
Producers: Polina Herman (UP UA STUDIO), Glib Lukianets (Gogol Film)

Eros and Thanatos - Dmytro Tiazhlov (Ukraine)
Producer: Ella Shtyka (Indie Media Polis)

The First Swallow - Joanna Roj, Sandro Wysocki (Georgia)
Producer: Glib Lukianets (Gogol Film)

House of Ants - Katarzyna Kultys (Poland)
Producer: Adam Ślesicki (FILM FRAME)

How to Talk to Lydia? - Rusudan Gaprindashvili (Germany/Moldova)
Producers: Hans Gralke (Black Market Film Production), Anna Dziapshipa (Sakdoc)

In the Winds of the Icefields (wt) - Mihkel Oksmann (Estonia)
Producer: Hõbe Ilus (Sui)

The Misfit - Miikka Poutiainen (Finland)
Producers: Miikka Poutiainen, Sami Salminen (PinkAgency Productions)

Once We Were Heroes - Oliwia Tonteri (Finland)
Producers: Aino Halonen (Kompot Ltd), Kamil Skałkowski (Kalejdoskop Film)

Sacrum and Profanum in Pievenai - Giedrė Beinoriūtė (Lithuania)
Producer: Jurga Gluskinienė (Monoklis)

Totem - Birgit Rosenberg (Estonia)
Producer: Birgit Rosenberg (Door 2 Production)

Vanessa (wt) - Åsa Ekman, Martina Iverus, Oscar Hedin (Sweden)
Producers: Marina-Evelina Cracana, Oscar Hedin (Film and Tell)

Voice/Over - Bálint Révész (Czech Republic)
Producers: Radovan Síbrt, Viki Réka Kiss (PINK)

War in Chornobyl - Oleksiy Radynski (Ukraine)
Producer: Lyuba Knorozok (Kinotron Group)

We Are the Granddaughters of the Witches You Couldn’t Burn (wt) - Mariam Chachia (Georgia)
Producer: Sophio Bendiashvili (OpyoDoc/Enkeny Films)

Yalla Yalla - Mindaugas Survila (Lithuania)
Producer: Giedrė Žickytė (Moonmakers)

Coming Soon

If Everyone Just Leaves - Karin Wegsjö, Nazira Abzalova (Sweden)
Producer: Karin Wegsjö (KW produktion ab)

Podnieks on Podnieks. Witness of History - Antra Cilinska, Anna Viduleja (Latvia)
Producer: Antra Cilinska (Juris Podnieks Studio)

Up In the Air - Oksana Syhareva (Ukraine)
Producer: Oksana Syhareva (Private entrepreneur Syhareva Oksana)

When Harmattan Blows - Edyta Wróblewska (Poland)
Producer: Edyta Wróblewska (SK Film Studio)

Baltic Sea Docs is organised by the National Film Centre of Latvia and supported by the Creative Europe - MEDIA programme, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and Limbaži district municipality. 

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