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Il Baltic Pitching Forum annuncia i vincitori della sua 10ma edizione


- Tra i progetti di cortometraggi vincitori quest'anno figurano The Toilet di Ragne Mandri e Sushant Bhat, Sauna Day di Anna Hints e Tushar Prakash, e Limo di Tīna Zariņa

Il Baltic Pitching Forum annuncia i vincitori della sua 10ma edizione
La squadra vincente di The Toilet (© Tautvydas Stukas)

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It’s a wrap for the Baltic Pitching Forum, which unspooled in Vilnius from 5-8 October. The gathering, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, pressed on with its mission to showcase new talent, and saw the participation of some of the brightest stars in Baltic and Nordic filmmaking.

In detail, 12 short-film projects were presented by teams from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as this year’s guest country, Norway. The projects were pitched in front of two panels of international film experts, who handed out prizes at the awards ceremony held on Friday night.

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Produced by Nevena Semova, Ragne Mandri and Sushant Bhat’s The Toilet (Estonia) was the winner of the right to participate in the European Short Film Co-production Forum Euro Connection 2023, which is part of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. The Toilet revolves around a five-year-old Colombian boy who overcomes his struggles to navigate and understand the new world around him. The award was granted “for a very universal and personal topic, tinted by the complexity and poetry of multiculturalism”.

Next, Anna Hints and Tushar Prakash’s Sauna Day (Estonia, produced by Johanna Maria Paulson) received an invitation to the Talents and Short Film Market 2022 and its “You Only Pitch Twice” pitching session. The award was given to the film owing to “the solidity of the project, and the positive energy of both directors and producer”. Sauna Day follows two men secretly connecting with each other through the ritual of whisking in a smoke sauna.

The winners were selected by BPF panel members Andy Norton (festival distributor at Finland’s Raina Films), Julie Rousson (coordinator of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival’s Euro Connection), Ben Vandendaele (sales agent at Radiator IP Sales), Vanya Rainova (producer, of Bulgaria’s Portokal), Sari Volanen (commissioning editor at YLE), Eugénie Bottereu (managing director of the Talents and Short Film Market) and Carla Vulpiani (sales agent at Varicoloured and advisor for the Venice Film Festival).

The Toilet also received the prestigious Baltic Producers Jury MEDIA Award – initiated by the Creative Europe offices in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and coming with a €1,000 cash prize. The jury praised the team’s “smooth, engaging and dramaturgically strong pitch, which covered all of the key elements of the project”.

A Special Mention went to Antanas Skučas’s Conductor (Lithuania), produced by Justė Michailinaitė. The jury stated, “A passionate and well-matched director-producer duo is developing an artistically engaging project.” Conductor follows a prison warden in a dystopian city who has broken his instrument. Without him, or so he thinks, the whole city will come crashing down. This year’s Baltic producers jury was made up of Marianne Ostrat, of Estonia’s Alexandra Film; Aija Bērziņa, of Latvia’s Tasse Film; and Uljana Kim, of Lithuania’s Studio Uljana Kim.

Moreover, a brand-new prize, the YLE TV Pre-buy Award (worth €2,500), went to LIMO, a dystopian tale about human and artificial intelligence, directed by Tīna Zariņa and produced by Alise Ģelze. Finally, Sander Joon’s animated project Offside (Estonia, produced by Aurelia Aasa), which touches on imaginary childhood games in a funny and genuine way, won the Radiator IP Sales Distribution Award, consisting of consultancy and guidance for filmmakers.

Rimantė Daugėlaitė, head of the Baltic Pitching Forum and Lithuanian Shorts, said: “This year’s edition was very special, giving us a chance to explore the newest short-film projects from the Baltic and Nordic regions with the greatest potential, as well as evaluate the achievements of the BPF alumni over the ten years of its existence. I am sure that this year’s projects will contribute to these achievements, turning into successful films and continuing their journey through international film festivals and markets.”

The event was organised by the Lithuanian Short Film Agency/“Lithuanian Shorts”, in partnership with the Riga International Film Festival, the Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, PÖFF Shorts and the Estonian Short Film Center ShortEst. The sponsors of the event include the Lithuanian Film Centre, the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture, the Audiovisual Works Copyright Association “AVAKA” and the Vilnius City Municipality. Its partners are the Creative Europe Desks/MEDIA offices in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the Norwegian Film Institute and the Vilnius Film Office.

The 11th Baltic Pitching Forum will run from 4-7 October 2023.

Here is the full list of winning projects:

Invitation to Euro Connection
The Toilet – Ragne Mandri and Sushant Bhat (Estonia)
Producer: Nevena Semova

Invitation to Talents and Short Film Market
Sauna Day – Anna Hints and Tushar Prakash (Estonia)
Producer: Johanna Maria Paulson

Baltic Producers MEDIA Award
The Toilet – Ragne Mandri and Sushant Bhat

Baltic Producers Jury Special Mention
Conductor – Antanas Skučas (Lithuania)
Producer: Justė Michailinaitė

YLE TV Pre-buy Award
Limo – Tīna Zariņa (Latvia)
Producer: Alise Ģelze

Radiator IP Sales Distribution Award
Offside – Sander Joon (Estonia)
Producer: Aurelia Aasa

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