REPORT: Just Film Works in Progress 2021
- We take a closer look at the five children and youth film projects introduced in this section of the Industry@Tallinn forum
The first WIP session that took place during this year’s Industry@Tallinn was the Just Film section, conceptually related to the Youth and Children’s Film Festival Just Film, which is the biggest sidebar film showcase event of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. After opening with introduction notes by the festival manager Kärt Väinola, Just Film WIP unveiled five projects, productions and co-productions between Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Spain, France, Italy, Argentina and Guatemala.
The presented projects are as follows:
Devka-Baba – Aglaya Nabatnikova (Russia)
Production: Victoria Lupik (Anniko Films)
One of the two participating projects from Russia is a fairy-tale about three friends on the threshold of adolescence who are spending their summer vacation in a small town. One of them is worried her parents might divorce, but soon, a miracle occurs – a magic rug doll falls into her hands to help her. Director Aglaya Nabatnikova has directed several short and mid-length films before this first feature film project, backed by the solid Anniko Films studio which carries out the full production cycle and was founded in 2009 by producer Viсtoria Lupik and legendary Armenian film director Maria Saakyan. Already at the editing stage, the production is looking for co-production partners, sales agents and distributors.
Summer Ends Soon – Yana Skopina (Russia/Kazakhstan)
Production: Ardak Kassymbek, Yerkezhan Maksut (UVENT Production), Tamara Bogdanova (KINOKULT)
The other partly Russian project is a coming-of-age story about a love triangle within a group of young people fascinated by music, socially and nationally mixed up in a Kazakh neighbourhood against the backdrop of the social turmoil and drastically changing times of the early 90th in the Soviet Union. Director Yana Skopina, the author of seven short films, a curator and teacher of filmmaking, worked on the script of her feature debut together with young film and theatre actor Rodion Golovan.
Boom! – Marta Selecka and Andra Dorss (Latvia/Estonia)
Production: Ugis Riekstins, Elina Zazerska (Picture house)
This first joint project between the two TV experienced directors is a teen comedy about clumsy skater Hugo, who breaks his nose while showing-off but gains magic superpowers allowing him to navigate objects only with his mind. This makes him the coolest guy of the school and the potential winner of the upcoming “Talent Show.” However, sudden fame damages his relationship with his best friend Tom, and soon he has to choose between popularity and real friendship. Producer Elīna Jozauska has been active in the film industry for more than 15 years, her latest successful project being The Pit [+see also:
film profile] (2020) by Dace Puce. The co-producer on the project is Estonia’s Ugis Riekstins for whom BOOM! is a debut, while the film is still in production, looking for post-production services.
Felipe – Federico Schmukler (Argentina/Spain/France/Guatemala)
Production: Julieta Sánchez Sananez (Brujas Producciones), Carlo D’Ursi Fortunato, Jayro Bustamante (Potenza Producciones), Gustavo Matheu Paredes (La Casa de Producción), Georges Renand (Les Film du Volcan)
Argentina also scores a significant presence with two projects. The coming-of-age drama Felipe portrays the Argentinian crisis of 2021 through the generation of current teenagers. 13-years-old Felipe does not quite grasp what is happening around him but inevitably falls in love with his neighbour Lucía. When the crisis erupts and violence becomes a real danger, they run away together and suddenly have to face the consequences of growing-up. Argentinian director and screenwriter Federico Schmukler has a broad experience in short films and long-length productions as an assistant, while Felipe is his feature debut. Budgeted at €700,000, the production is almost fully financed and should be ready next year.
Paula – Florencia Wehbe (Argentina/Italy)
Production: Fernanda Rocca (Bombilla Cine), Claudio Esposito (The Piranesi Experience)
Finally, Argentinian director Florencia Wehbe presented Paula, a project dealing with self-acceptance, food and media abuse. At only fourteen years old, Paula hates her body. Trying to express her feelings, she becomes part of a large virtual community that shares her problems but also exposes her friends and family. The fake feeling of belonging brings her on a lonely path in which bulimia and anorexia lurk as alternatives in her search for self-acceptance.
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