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COTTBUS 2021 Connecting Cottbus

From eco dramas to a zombie apocalypse, the 23rd edition of connecting cottbus promises to deliver on all fronts

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- The East-West co-production market at the Cottbus Film Festival has revealed this year’s selection of projects in development and works in progress

From eco dramas to a zombie apocalypse, the 23rd edition of connecting cottbus promises to deliver on all fronts
M by Vardan Tozija, one of this year's cocoWIP projects

From 3-5 November, the 23rd edition of connecting cottbus (coco) will take place as a hybrid event with online and on-site components. More details about the programme will be available in the coming weeks, Cineuropa has learnt.

The line-up of feature-film projects will come from 19 countries in wider Eastern Europe, which will be pitched and compete for awards. Their producers and directors will take part in the cocoLAB sessions with industry experts, where they will receive in-depth feedback, while all participants can join networking events and a focused framework programme on current co-production topics. In the past, the event has supported such successful titles as the Berlinale Generation 14+ Crystal Bear winner Stop-Zemlia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kateryna Gornostai
film profile
]
by Kateryna Gornostai, the Tribeca winner Brighton 4th [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Levan Koguashvili
film profile
]
by Levan Koguashvili and Leave no Traces [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan P Matuszyński
film profile
]
by Jan P Matuszyński, which premiered in the main competition at Venice in September.

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According to the organisers, the cocoPITCH selection will offer “eco dramas, intimate stories about sisterhood and female sexuality as well as an investigation into toxic masculinity. Precise political moments are also captured, such as the Latvian far-right terrorism of the 1990s, the current opposition movement in Belarus and a look back at Crimean Tatar history.”

The chosen projects include The Bomber by Pauls Ķesteris, China Sea by Jurgis Matulevičius, Marta Minorowicz’s Happiness, She by Agnieszka Zwiefka, Emilios Avraam’s Smaragda, This Beautiful Night by Ozan Yoleri, Tundar Blues by Andrey Redkin, Dora Šustić’s Virgins, The Ways We Look at the Sun, directed by Ioana Țurcan, and Teodor Kuhn’s The White Mare. Debut feature projects will be shown alongside highly anticipated new works by award-winning filmmakers like Nariman Aliev (Ortalan), Assel Aushakimova (Bikechess), Ivan I Tverdovsky (Hysteria) and Darya Zhuk (We Haven’t Met Until This Summer).

The line-up of cocoWIP is, according to the statement, equally diverse. These titles feature “a coming-of-age tale set amidst a zombie apocalypse, stories about gay love and female empowerment, plus a look at the aftermath of war and displacement, both in historical and contemporary times”, with Air Blue Silk by Irine Jordania, Orlin Milchev’s The Art of Falling, Klondike, directed by Maryna Er Gorbach, Liuben (Venci Kostov), M (Vardan Tozija) and, finally, Beata Parkanová’s The Word rounding off the selection.

Here is the list of selected 2021 cocoPITCH projects:

Bikechess - Assel Aushakimova (France/Kazakhstan)
Producers: Antoine Simkine, Almagul Tleukhanova, Les Films d’Antoine, Alma Pictures
MIDPOINT - coco Award (MIDPOINT Feature Launch)

The Bomber - Pauls Ķesteris (Latvia)
Producers: Inese Boka-Grūbe, Film Office Latvia

China Sea - Jurgis Matulevičius (Lithuania)
Producers: Elena Rožukaitė, Stasys Baltakis, Film Jam

Happiness - Marta Minorowicz (Poland)
Producers: Izabela Kiszka-Hoflik, IKH Pictures Production
Special Pitch Award FilmFestival Cottbus

Hysteria - Ivan I Tverdovsky (Russia)
Producers: Katerina Mikhaylova, Konstantin Fam, Vega Film

Ortalan - Nariman Aliev (Ukraine)
Producers: Vladimir Yatsenko, Anna Sobolevska, ForeFilms

She - Agnieszka Zwiefka (Poland)
Producers: Izabela Igel, Harine Films

Smaragda - Emilios Avraam (Cyprus)
Producers: Tonia Mishiali, Bark Like A Cat Films

This Beautiful Night - Ozan Yoleri (Turkey)
Producers: Alara Hamamcıoğlu, Ilgım Coşar, Vigo Film

Tundar Blues - Andrey Redkin (Russia)
Producers: Vladislav Ketkovich, LCC Ethnofund Film Company

Virgins - Dora Šustić (Croatia/North Macedonia)
Producers: Maja Pek-Brünjes, Marija Dimitrova, Antitalent, List Production
Transilvania Pitch Stop - coco Award

The Ways We Look at the Sun - Ioana Țurcan (Romania)
Producers: Ana Maria Pirvan, Studioset Production, Anchor Films

We Haven’t Met Until This Summer - Darya Zhuk (Belarus/Russia/Poland)
Producers: Iva Stromilova, Ewa Puszczynska, Kairos Films, Extreme Emotions

The White Mare - Teodor Kuhn (Slovakia)
Producers: Miroslav Gerbel, Filmaari

Here is the list of selected 2021 cocoWIP projects:

Air Blue SilkIrine Jordania (Georgia)
Producers: Elene Margvelashvili, Parachute Films

The Art of Falling - Orlin Milchev (Bulgaria)
Producer: Pavlina Jeleva, Geopoly

Klondike - Maryna Er Gorbach (Ukraine/Turkey)
Producers: Sviatoslav Bulakovskyi, Maryna Er Gorbach, Mehmet Bahadir Er, Kedr Film, Protim

Liuben - Venci Kostov (Spain/Bulgaria)
Producers: Antonio Hens, Vanya Rainova, Miguel Torrente, Malas Compañías, Portokal, Balance Media

M - Vardan Tozija (North Macedonia/Croatia/Kosovo/France)
Producers: Darko Popov, Anita Juka, Valon Bajgora, Patrice Nezan, Focus Pocus Films, 4 Film, In My Country Postproduction, Les Contes Modernes

The Word - Beata Parkanová (Czech Republic/Poland/Slovakia)
Producers: Vojtěch Frič, Přemysl Martinek, love.FRAME

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