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COTTBUS 2023 Connecting Cottbus

connecting cottbus announces its project selection


- The line-up includes new projects by Damian Kocur, Vesela Kazakova, Filip Heraković, Szilárd Bernáth, Ignas Jonynas, Keko Chelidze and Simon Mozgovyi

connecting cottbus announces its project selection
Director Damian Kocur, who has been selected with La Manche (© La Biennale di Venezia/Foto ASAC/G Zucchiatti)

The connecting cottbus (coco) East-West co-production market has announced the projects selected for its 25th-anniversary edition, set to run from 8-10 November. Since coco’s inception in 1999, well over half of the projects presented have been completed, and almost 70% of those have had an A-list festival premiere.

The feature-film projects that will be pitched at coco 2023 come from 15 countries in wider Eastern Europe. The selection of projects in development (cocoPITCH) features debuts by up-and-coming directors as well as new work by established filmmakers, such as Poland's Damian Kocur (qualified based on winning the Best Director Award for Bread and Salt [+see also:
film review
interview: Damian Kocur
film profile
at last year's festival), Bulgaria's Vesela Kazakova (Cat in the Wall [+see also:
film review
interview: Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
film profile
), Croatia's Filip Heraković (Pelican [+see also:
film review
interview: Filip Heraković
film profile
) and Hungary's Szilárd Bernáth (Larry).

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The varied selection mixes magical realism, political allegory, drama and dramedy, where protagonists struggle with their family history and personal identity, and have to navigate a profoundly changed status quo around them. Main characters range from control freaks to Uber drivers, a deaf-blind couple and a supposedly gay altar boy.

This year’s cocoWIP selection of works in progress comprises intimate stories about female coming of age and trauma. Dystopian sci-fi can be found alongside a deadpan slacker comedy and a suspenseful smuggling thriller. Among the projects are the new films by Lithuania's Ignas Jonynas (Invisible [+see also:
film review
interview: Ignas Jonynas and Kristupas…
film profile
, The Gambler [+see also:
film review
interview: Ignas Jonynas
film profile
), Georgia's Keko Chelidze (Dead Souls’ Vacation) and Ukraine's Simon Mozgovyi (Salt from Bonneville [+see also:
film review
film profile

Producers, sales agents, commissioning editors and other industry representatives active in East-West European co-production can apply to attend without a project until 6 October.

Here is the full list of coco 2023 projects:

cocoPITCH projects

A Leg - Shokir Kholikov (Kazakhstan)
Producer: Aigerim Satybaldy
Production company: A Films

At Your Service - German Golub (Estonia)
Producers: Evelin Penttilä, Johanna Maria Paulson
Production company: Stellar Film

Ballad of the Skeleton - Murat Uğurlu (Turkey)
Producer: Ilgım Coşar
Production companies: Rubikon Film, Monday Film

Excavators - Argyro Nicolaou (Cyprus/USA) - MIDPOINT - coco Award (MIDPOINT Feature Launch)
Producers: Constantinos Nikiforou, Minos Papas 
Production companies: Caretta Films; Cyprian Films, New York

Honeymoon - Zhanna Ozirna (Ukraine)
Producer: Dmytro Sukhanov 
Production company: Toy Cinema

La Manche - Damian Kocur (Poland) - Special Pitch Award FilmFestival Cottbus
Producers: Anna Gawlita, Marta Szymanowska 
Production company: Kijora Film

MATHER - Anguelina Rangelova, Vesela Kazakova (Bulgaria)
Producers: Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova, Ivelina Pavlova
Production companies: Activist 38, Doni Mont

My World Upside Down - Daniel Rihák (Slovakia/Germany)
Producers: Martina Saková, Daniel Rihák
Production companies: WHAT IF Films, Projector23

Night Waves - Filip Heraković (Croatia)
Producers: Tamara Babun, Matija Drniković 
Production company: Wolfgang & Dolly

PYRRHIC - Cosmin Nicolae (Romania) - Transilvania Pitch Stop - coco Award
Producers: Velvet Moraru, Ioana Moraru
Production company: Icon Production

Resonance - Yordan Petkov (Bulgaria/Greece)
Producers: Vanya Rainova, Victoria Mitreva, Rossitsa Valkanova, Mina Dreki
Production companies: Portokal, Garti Films, Klas Film, Marni Films

Tactile Universe - Szilárd Bernáth (Hungary)
Producer: András Muhi
Production company: FocusFox

The Fourth Way - Sasha Kulak (Germany/Uzbekistan/France)
Producers: Julia Shaginurova, Louis Beaudemont
Production companies: Einbahnstraße Productions, SESTRA Films, Les Steppes Productions

cocoWIP projects

Borderwall - Ignas Jonynas (Lithuania)
Producer: Ruta Adelė Jekentaitė
Production company: Baltic Productions

Chrysanthemum Day - Simon Mozgovyi (Ukraine/Netherlands)
Producers: Daryna Zakharova, Artem Koliubaiev, Alex Chepiga, Annemiek van der Hell
Production companies: Mainstream Pictures, Windmill Film

Ink Wash - Sarra Tsorakidis (Romania/Greece)
Producers: Anca Puiu, Nikos Moustakas
Production companies: Mandragora, Bad Crowd

No More - Keko Chelidze, Kote Kalandadze (Georgia)
Producer: Elene Margvelashvili
Production company: Parachute Films

On the Water Surface - Zeynep Köprülü (Turkey/Germany)
Producers: Utku Zeka, Okan Üzey, Paulina Toenne
Production companies: Periferi Film, Kalavara Film, Tamtam Film

Wet Monday - Justyna Mytnik (Poland/Czech Republic/Estonia)
Producers: Marta Gmosińska, Jakub Kostal, Marianne Ostrat
Production companies: Lava Films, Bionaut, Aleksandra Film

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