email print share on facebook share on twitter share on google+

COTTBUS 2018 Industry

REPORT: cocoPITCH 2018

by 

- Cineuropa takes an in-depth look at the array of projects pitched at Connecting Cottbus this year

REPORT: cocoPITCH 2018
The coco one-on-one meetings in full swing

The Connecting Cottbus industry platform, also known as coco, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year with a strong crop of projects from Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to six films in post-production within the Works in Progress section, coco presented 13 projects in development as part of its cocoPITCH event. 

For the descriptions of the winners, check out our story here, and below you will find an overview of the other ten projects.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Anatolian Leopard – Emre Kayis (Turkey)
The project is written and directed by feature debutant Emre Kayis, whose short Translator was nominated for the EFAs in 2016. It is being produced by Olena Yershova, of Tato Film, a company active in both Turkey and Ukraine, which has staged titles such as Volcano [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Roman Bondarchuk
film profile
]
Frost
 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sharunas Bartas
film profile
]
and Blind Dates [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Levan Koguashvili
film profile
]
. In this drama set in Turkey’s oldest zoo, its manager and a female official form an unlikely bond: as they hide the death of the zoo’s most aged inhabitant, an Anatolian leopard, and fake its escape, they set in motion an absurd charade that spins out of control.

I Never Cry – Piotr Domalewski (Poland)
Director Piotr Domalewski returns after his debut feature, Silent Night [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Piotr Domalewski
film profile
]
, scooped ten national Polish Film Awards last March, and is teaming up with producer Jan Kwiecinski, of Akson Studio, which had a hit earlier this year with the Karlovy Vary title Panic Attack [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pawel Maslona
film profile
]
. Billed as a tragicomedy, I Never Cry follows 17-year-old Ola, who must travel to Ireland to bring her deceased father’s body back to Poland. But Ola is more interested in whether her dad managed to save up the money he’d promised her for her car. As she deals with foreign bureaucracy, Ola learns that her biggest dream wasn’t that car after all, but rather getting to know her dad.

The Last BusNándor Lőrincz and Bálint Nagy (Hungary) 
Writing-directing duo Nándor Lőrincz and Bálint Nagy's first feature is about a man whose wife returns home one night and claims that she was raped. A lack of evidence and societal pressures lead the protagonist to doubt her already contradictory account, and so mistrust and victim blaming start to seep into their marriage. This challenging drama is being co-produced by Genovéva Petrovits and Mónika Mécs, of M&M Film (On Body and Soul [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ildiko Enyedi
interview: Ildiko Enyedi
interview: Réka Tenki
film profile
]
), and Ágnes Pataki, of Filmpartners (One Day [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Zsófia Szilágyi
film profile
]
White God
 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kornél Mundruczó
film profile
]
), and is partially funded through the Hungarian National Film Fund’s Incubator programme.

Mira – Anna Jadowska (Poland)
The big winner of last year's Cottbus competition with her fourth feature, Wild Roses [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Anna Jadowska
film profile
]
, writer-director Anna Jadowska returns with a drama about the titular 58-year-old midwife who has been caught in a spiral of debt. On the verge of a nervous breakdown, she attempts to rob a bank and fails. This prompts her to break free from her routine existence as a housewife next to an unloving husband. The film is being produced by Maria Blicharska, of Donten & Lacroix Films (Frost).

The Myth of a Real Man – Lee Filipovski (Serbia) 
Directed by Lee Filipovski and produced by Adi Dizdarević, of Dart FilmThe Myth of a Real Man is also taking part in MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2018. More information on the project can be found here.

Paralysis – Andrius Blazevicius (Lithuania)
Director Andrius Blazevicius and producer Marija Razgute, of M-Films, are teaming up again following the filmmaker's successful debut, The Saint [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrius Blazevicius
film profile
]
(2016), for a drama about sacrifice and freedom, which sees a 27-year-old woman on a frantic search for her boyfriend, cut loose during his latest psychotic episode. Armed with patience and love, she chases random clues through the city. The script has been co-written by Blazevicius, Marija Kavtaradze and Tekle Kavtaradze.

Patchwork – Petros Charalambous (Cyprus) 
Dutch-born writer-producer Janine Teerling, of Nicosia-based AMP Filmworks, who scored a hit earlier this year with the Tribeca winner Smuggling Hendrix [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marios Piperides
film profile
]
, directed by Marios Piperides (also on board here as a producer), is teaming up with director Petros Charalambous (Boy on the Bridge [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) for this drama about a high-school career counsellor in her mid-thirties who is a mother to a young child, and who has to face the question of whether a woman is allowed to regret motherhood. Her determination to help a troubled teenage girl forces her to confront a long-suppressed trauma.

Sphagnum Victor Asliuk (Belarus)
Demarsh Film, the company that brought Belarusian cinema into the spotlight this year with Darya Zhuk's Crystal Swan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Darya Zhuk
film profile
]
, came to coco with this project, billed as a “surreal tragicomedy”. Directed and co-written by Victor Asliuk (Robinsons of Mantsinsaari), co-written by Volha Dashuk and produced by Valery DmitrochenkoSphagnum follows a trio of wannabe criminals who hide out in a desolate village surrounded by an endless Belarusian swamp, which has mystical powers. Soon, the young men are sucked into its depths, receiving a shot at redemption – or fatal punishment.

The Ugly Mandarine – Piaoyu Xie (Czech Republic) 
Written and directed by Piaoyu Xie, and produced by Veronika Kührova and Michal Kracmer, of Analog Vision, this project arrived at cocoPITCH after winning the MIDPOINT coco Award at MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2018. More information on the project can be found here.

Victim – Michal Blaško (Slovakia)
Based on real events that took place in a small Czech town in 2012, Victim is the story of Irina, a 51-year-old Ukrainian single mother, whose teenage son returns home one night, claiming that he was assaulted by three young Roma. Irina demands justice and is met with great solidarity in the community – that is, until she spots inconsistencies in her son’s account. It is the first feature by young Slovak director Michal Blaško (best known for the 2015 San Sebastián-screened short Fear), has been co-written with Jakub Medvecky and is being produced by Jakub Viktorin, of Nutprodukcia, best known for titles such as The Red Captain [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Cirkus Rwanda
and Spoor [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Holland
interview: Zofia Wichlacz
film profile
]
.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.