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BLACK NIGHTS 2023 Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event

REPORT: Industry@Tallinn Works in Progress 2023


- We delve deep into the five international projects presented at the Estonian event, representing Europe and South America

REPORT: Industry@Tallinn Works in Progress 2023
The winning project, Mamífera by Liliana Torres

Five international works in progress were chosen for this year's Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event, and they were showcased during a morning session on 17 November at the Coca Cola Plaza. The three-member jury, consisting of Yohann Comte from Charades, Nadine Rothschild from Coproduction Office, and TJ Smith from Tubi, subsequently selected the recipient of the €7,000 Best Project Award, which ended up being Mamífera by Liliana Torres (see the news). This prize includes €6,000 worth of services by Studio Beep and a €1,000 travel allowance. Here, we provide a detailed examination of all of these projects.

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After the Fog - Miriam Heard (Chile/UK/France)
Producers: Miriam Heard, Dominique Rammsy, Stephanie Douet, Anna Holburn (Echo Art Films)
Set in post-Pinochet Chile in 1988, After the Fog unfolds in the southern town of Osorno. Eight-year-old María grapples with her childhood, finding stability at school through Tante Ruth, the German headmistress. Weekends at the family lakeside home expose a deteriorating marriage, intensifying María's isolation. Santiago-based friends contribute to prolonged parties steeped in pro-Pinochet politics. As María's family contemplates a return to Santiago, the film captures the uncertainty of it all, marking a poignant farewell to her cherished life. Writer-director Miriam Heard (Wastelands [+see also:
film profile
), a German-British filmmaker residing in Chile, delves into intimate individual experiences amidst epochal events, revealing the tension between an ostensibly idyllic surface and concealed turmoil. After the Fog is seeking support from festivals, distributors, post-production services and a sales agent.

Mamífera - Liliana Torres (Spain)
Producers: Carla Sopedra Salvadó (Edna Cinema), Miriam Porté (Distinto Films)
At 40, Lola enjoys a fulfilling life with her partner Bruno but strongly opposes motherhood. A twist of fate occurs when she discovers she's pregnant, forcing Lola and Bruno to navigate the Spanish government's "three days of reflection" before an abortion. Amid societal pressures and prejudices surrounding motherhood, Lola confronts conflicting messages in Liliana Torres’ (What Went Wrong? [+see also:
film review
interview: Liliana Torres
film profile
) project. This film, informed by Torres’ personal experiences and shared perspective with Lola, strives to illuminate the challenges of rejecting motherhood, addressing both the societal and the personal dimensions. Seeking a sales agent, gap-financing and broadcasters, the team has come up with a narrative that aims to destigmatise non-motherhood, fostering understanding among women who are making similar choices (see the news).

The Platform - Nikolay Moutaftchiev (Bulgaria)
Producers: Mira Boyadzhieva, Lubomira Stoyanova (Samsara)
Co-producer: Nikolay Mutafchiev (PREMIERstudio Plus)
The Platform delves into the theme of freedom, following Stan, a 40-year-old refugee stripped of citizenship, who attempts to navigate life without documents. In a refugee prison, he forges alliances with Starly, Ahmed and Option, and they collectively decide to establish their own country on an abandoned sea platform. Amidst communication differences and clashing desires, Stan's initial goal to preserve democracy morphs into dictatorship, challenging their collective ideals. Bulgarian writer-director Nikolay Mutafchiev presents a psychological dramedy, unravelling the paradox of sacrificing freedom in the very pursuit of it. The platform becomes a metaphor for societal desires, transforming the film into an anti-utopian contemplation on freedom and democracy's intricacies. The project is seeking support from distributors, broadcasters, sales agents, foreign broadcasters and festivals.

The Tower of Strength - Nikola Vukcević (Montenegro/Serbia/Germany)
Producer: Milorad Radenović (Galileo Production)
Co-producers: Nevena Savić, Ivica Vidanović, Christoph Thoke (Embrio Production)
Associate producer: Dario Domitrović
Amidst World War II, a young boy, fleeing fascist persecution, finds sanctuary in the home of Nur Doka, a revered Albanian war hero. When a paramilitary unit demands the boy's execution, Nur faces a harrowing dilemma, torn between preserving his honour and safeguarding his family. Defying societal norms and wartime tensions, Nur, a Muslim Albanian, shelters the Christian child. As Nur grapples with his dwindling options, he is confronted by a choice that will define his principles and legacy. The Tower of Strength explores the reassessment of individual sacrifice amid the clash between collective and personal interests, offering a profound portrayal of humanity during war. Montenegrin director Nikola Vukcević emphasises the collaborative effort between Albanians from Kosovo, Serbs and Montenegrins to transcend historical animosities and underscore their shared human connection. The project is seeking support from broadcasters, distributors, festivals, foreign broadcasters, co-producers, post-production services, gap-financing, sales agents and streamers.

Truth or Consequences - Philippe Prouff (France)
Producer: Xavier Arias (Walter Films)
Whimsical and disillusioned French author Nicolas takes an unexpected journey to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, responding to mysterious emails from an enigmatic old man. Initially driven by a desire to aid and rekindle his imagination, Nicolas becomes embroiled in a risky impersonation attempt. Truth or Consequences, directed by debutant Philippe Prouff, unfolds as an indoor road movie, exposing a widespread type of fraud in New Mexico. The narrative captures Nicolas's quest against the backdrop of the real-life town, named after a TV game-show contest, emphasising the consequences of his truth-seeking journey as Prouff employs a representation of reality within indoor settings. The project is seeking support from gap-financing, distributors, festivals, sales agents and co-producers.

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