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When East Meets West celebrates its 10th anniversary


- With 22 projects selected and with a focus on Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Austria, Germany and Switzerland, the Italian co-production forum is breaking new records

When East Meets West celebrates its 10th anniversary
Director Darko Lungulov, whose new project 1970 has been selected

Celebrating its special 10th anniversary, When East Meets West (WEMW), the Italian co-production forum running from 19-21 January 2020 in the framework of the 31st Trieste Film Festival (17-23 January), is inviting twenty-two film projects hailing from 17 countries to be presented. Moreover, WEMW is this year turning its East & West spotlight to the territories of Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and is bringing together an increased number of film industry professionals, with more than 500 participants from over 40 countries.

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The number of submissions has also increased, as the selection of the 22 feature-length projects in development – 12 fiction films and 10 documentaries – came after 338 applications from 55 countries. Among the selected projects are upcoming films from Serbian director Darko Lungulov (Monument to Michael Jackson [+see also:
film review
interview: Darko Lungulov
film profile
), German helmer Ann-Kristin Reyels (We Were Just Playing [+see also:
film review
film profile
), Slovenian filmmaker Ivan Gergolet (Dancing with Maria [+see also:
interview: Ivan Gergolet
film profile
), and a new documentary by Greek filmmaker Elina Psykou (Son of Sofia [+see also:
film review
interview: Elina Psykou
film profile
), while Slovenian documentarian Hanna Slak (The Miner [+see also:
film review
interview: Hanna Slak
film profile
) is presenting her new work, and Austrian documentarian Arash T. Riahi (Kinders [+see also:
film review
film profile
) is co-directing his new project with Verena Soltiz. Also among WEMW’s picks are debuts from Romanian director Sebastian Mihailescu (Old, Luxurious Flat Located in an Ultra-Central, Desirable Neighborhood) and Hungarian filmmaker Szilárd Bernáth (Pay Day). Furthermore, as part of a new partnership with IFFR’s CineMart, the project Women Do Cry from Bulgarian duo Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova (Cat in the Wall) will be presented in Trieste before travelling to Rotterdam.

Alessandro Gropplero, head of WEMW, added: “The record number of applications received this year shows once more the great drive of so many filmmakers from all over the world, and we are proud to celebrate 10 years of WEMW with the beautiful stories they will share. This is going to be a special edition because we are also expanding our network of partners to offer a tailor-made follow-up to our selected projects: we are very happy to launch the new collaboration with IFFR’s CineMart and we are also making the first steps to launch a new partnership in Cannes with the Marché du Film.”

Regarding the prizes, the projects will compete for the Film Center Serbia Development Award, the EAVE European Producers Workshop scholarship, the Cannes Producers Network Prize, and the Flow Postproduction Award (€15,000 in post-production services). Fiction projects will also be eligible for the Pop Up Film Residency Award, while all female directors may win the EWA Network Best Woman Director Award.

Together with the showcase of projects in development, the WEMW 2020 programme will include all its known sections: the Last Stop Trieste work-in-progress showcase of creative documentaries, the This is IT work-in-progress screening for films produced or co-produced by Italian companies, and the First Cut Lab workshop for feature-length fiction films at the editing stage. In addition to those are new initiatives such as the TV series mini lab MIDPOINT Cold Open, the showcase of short films projects developed at MIDPOINT Shorts, and the work-in-progress presentation of First Cut+ portfolio (NEWS).

WEMW will be organised once again by the FVG Audiovisual Fund in conjunction with the Trieste Film Festival, and thanks to the constant support of the Creative Europe / MEDIA programme, Direzione Generale per il Cinema - MiBAC and CEI – Central European Initiative.

Here is the full list of WEMW 2020 projects:

1970Darko Lungulov
Production company: Papa Films (Serbia)

A Sad and Vulgar LonerEfthymia Zymvragaki, Xavier Domènech
Production company: Grismedio (Spain)

Blind PitFederico Schiavi, Giorgio Bianchi
Production company: Nacne (Italy)

Double HappinessSebastian Mihailescu
Production company: microFILM (Romania)

Electing Miss SantaRaisa Răzmeriță
Production company: Niste Filme (Moldova)

Girls & GodsVerena Soltiz, Arash T. Riahi
Production company: Golden Girls Filmproduktion (Austria)

Irene’s WorldMery Aghakhanyan
Production company: Hoshkee FILM (Armenia)

LarrySzilárd Bernáth
Production company: FocusFox Studio (Hungary)

The Last Misfits by the Golden RiverJuho-Pekka Tanskanen
Production company: Danish Bear Productions (Finland)

LiliSylwia Rosak
Production company: Haka Films (Poland)

The Man Without GuiltIvan Gergolet
Production company: Transmedia Production (Italy)

The Monkey and the GirlAnn-Kristin Reyels
Production company: unafilm (Germany)

Not A WordHanna Slak
Production company: Volte (Germany)

Ordinary FailuresCristina Groșan
Production company: Xova Film (Czech Republic)

Sandbag DamČejen Černić
Production company: Kinorama (Croatia)

StrandzhaPepa Hristova
Production company: Fünferfilm (Germany)

Stray BodiesElina Psykou
Production company: Contrast Film (Switzerland)

This is my MomentLieven Corthouts
Production company: Cassette for Timescapes (Belgium)

Too CloseBotond Püsök
Production company: Luna Film (Romania)

Valley of MonumentsSrđan Vuletić
Production company: Artikulacija (Montenegro)

The White ClubMichele Pennetta
Production company: Beauvoir Films (Switzerland)

Women Do CryMina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
Production company: Activist38 (Bulgaria)

In addition to the 22 projects selected for the pitching forum, WEMW invites two additional guest projects previously presented at DOCMONTEVIDEO and DOCSP Brazil.

Amazon, A New Minamata?Jorge Bodansky
Production company: Ocean Films (Brazil)

MotorcycleGastón Sahajdacny
Production company: Ana Apontes (Argentina)

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