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VILNIUS 2024 Meeting Point Vilnius

Eleven works in progress presented at Meeting Point Vilnius


- The batch of upcoming feature-length projects were presented at a session during the four-day international industry event held as part of the Lithuanian festival

Eleven works in progress presented at Meeting Point Vilnius
(© Lorenzo Charlez)

Eleven upcoming features were presented at the Work in Progress pitching session on 25 March, at the 2024 edition of Meeting Point Vilnius, a four-day international industry event held during the Vilnius International Film Festival (Kino Pavasaris) in Lithuania. Here, we detail each participating project.

Electing Miss SantaRaisa Răzmeriță (Moldova/Romania)
Elena, a 42-year-old in a village in Moldova, helps her mother with farmwork and facilitates volunteering in ecological activities. She is now married to Vitalie, who supports her community activities, after a first marriage in which she endured domestic violence. Her relationship with her mother falls apart over her disapproval of Vitalie, and she must make a decision on priorities, and where to build her future. The documentary, which is at the rough-cut stage, is being produced by Ion Gnatiuc, with a release planned for early 2025.

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Hot docs EFP inside

Grace for SaleEmre Sert, Gözde Yetişkin (Turkey)
In a small village in Anatolia, fallen pieces of meteor are collected and sold. Irfan, a mushroom picker, chances upon the largest fragment. Although he had been contented with his simple existence before the find, persistent questions on what he will do with the fortune plant a desire in his mind for something more from life. The dark comedy about modern unhappiness, inspired by a real meteor shower in 2015 in Turkey, is being produced by Ender Sevim and Kerem Çelebi.

Holy ElectricityTato Kotetishvili (Georgia/Netherlands)
In contemporary Tbilisi, two misfits seize the business potential of the giant neon crucifixes popping up around the city, but their door-to-door sales of smaller replicas are unsuccessful. Non-professional actors, real inhabitants of Tbilisi, were cast as the eccentric characters that make up the vibrant city’s identity, in this absurdist comedy about the power of friendship and the perils of naivety, which is being produced by Kotetishvili and Tekla Machavariani.

The pitch for Leaving Eden by Genc Permeti (© Lorenzo Charlez)

Leaving EdenGenc Permeti (Albania/Kosovo/Poland)
In a post-apocalyptic world, ten-year-old Niko and his grandfather Alexi are living in a devastated industrial area, and trying to find a new model for a meaningful existence and future. The sci-fi drama, which the director characterises as an allegory about the dangers of autocracy, is being produced by Elida Rasha, Amedeo Pagani, Andrzej Wyszyński, Sławomir Jóźwik and Liridon Cahani.

Partitas MundiZoiran Tairović (Serbia)
Tairović, a Romani director from Serbia known for his baroquely strange short Little Red Riding Hood (2009), has enlisted non-professional Roma actors for his debut feature, a surrealistic and dreamlike, black-and-white meditation on nothingness. It follows Chiaroscuro, a man who has lost his eyesight. Tairović, who handled most aspects of the production from screenplay to costumes and music, funded the film from selling a large cycle of paintings, and from tarot readings. Nikola Spasić and Milanka Gvoić produced the film, which is in the post-production phase.

Quiet WarLana Shapoval (Ukraine)
The debut documentary tells the director’s personal story of displacement, which echoes that of the many Ukrainians who became refugees as a result of Russia’s invasion. The film, which includes personal video, and interviews with Ukrainian activists, argues that Russian culture has been utilised as part of an extensive propaganda campaign, which started much earlier than the full-scale war on the ground, and that supposedly safe European countries are targets in a psychological battle of hearts and minds. Lana Shapoval and Hanna Burdina are the producers.

The pitch for Something Larger Than Me by Danilo Šerbedžija (© Lorenzo Charlez)

Something Larger Than MeDanilo Šerbedžija (Croatia/Serbia/Slovenia/USA)
This biopic about Yugoslav and Croatian basketball icon Dražen Petrović is described as less a sports film, than a portrayal of this player’s unique character, as he pushed himself to break limits before his tragic and untimely death in a car accident. The plan is to premiere the film, which is in the late editing stage, for locals in his hometown of Šibenik on 22 October on the 60th anniversary of his birth, prior to international festival slots. Ljubo Zdjelarević and Ivor Šiber are the producers (see the production news).

Sounds of the Desert - Emilija Škarnulytė (Lithuania)
Lithuanian visual artist, filmmaker and musician Emilija Škarnulytė follows her debut documentary feature, Burial [+see also:
film review
film profile
(2022), with a doc that continues her exploration of deep time, invisible structures and myth. She joins Abshalom Ben Shlomo, the legendary Israeli-American jazz musician and spiritual guide, and other Sun Ra collaborators such as avant-garde jazz saxophonist Marshall Allen, who turns 100 this year, as they navigate an astro-galactic world of sound, and search for a meaningful form of home amid forced migrations and global catastrophe. Škarnulytė also produces.

The pitch for The Lost Son by Darko Štante (© Lorenzo Charlez)

The Lost SonDarko Štante (Slovenia/Greece/Italy/Croatia/North Macedonia)
Andrej is a criminal investigator who put a childhood marked by domestic abuse behind him to make a new life for himself. But, encountering his estranged brother during an intervention after many years, he is faced with the generational cycle of violence, and the past comes back to the surface. Štante draws on his background in social work for his sophomore feature, which follows his debut, Consequences [+see also:
film review
interview: Darko Štante
interview: Timon Sturbej
film profile
(2018), and was shot in Ljubljana and Trieste. It is being produced by Miha Černec and Nina Robnik (see the production news).

ToxicSaulė Bliuvaitė (Lithuania)
Maria and Kristina are two 13-year-olds growing up in a desolate Lithuanian industrial town in this coming-of-age drama based on experiences and stories from the director’s own teenage years. Dreaming of escape, the girls go to modelling school, a popular pursuit at the time, and prepare for a regional casting event. Bodies become projects, currency, objects of desire and sources of both magic and pain, in a world of harmful beauty standards and hunger for validation. The film, produced by Giedrė Burokaitė and starring non-professional actors, is in late post-production.

The pitch for Zinema by Kornii Hrytsiuk (© Lorenzo Charlez)

ZinemaKornii Hrytsiuk (Ukraine/Germany/Luxembourg)
The last 30 years of Russian television and popular movies are surveyed in an archival documentary that presents excerpts to support the argument that popular entertainment is used as a propaganda tool to promote false narratives about Russia’s participation in wars in Georgia, Chechnya, Syria and Ukraine, and a xenophobic agenda. The film, which is at the final post-production stage, is being produced by Yevgeniya Kriegsheim.

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