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EMERGING PRODUCERS 2023

The new intake of Emerging Producers bows at Ji.hlava

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- The 11th edition of the promotional and educational training programme has welcomed a host of promising talents from across Europe and their upcoming projects

The new intake of Emerging Producers bows at Ji.hlava
The 2023 Emerging Producers at the Ji.hlava IDFF (© Stefan Berec/Ji.hlava IDFF)

The Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival considers the Emerging Producers training programme to be its flagship industry project. The scheme is dedicated to spotlighting rising talented producers, connecting them with other film professionals and supporting their development. The 11th edition, which starts at the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival and will last throughout the whole of 2023, introduced the latest intake.

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The initiative welcomed its first-ever Ukrainian producer, Oksana Syhareva, founder of the educational project Academy of Visual Arts Kharkiv and the Frontier VR&ART Festival. Syhareva introduced her work in progress Up in the Air, which she is also directing, about young Ukrainian circus acrobats and their working conditions in light of the war in Ukraine. The film’s premiere is planned for 2023, while she is also working on a 20-minute VR version slated for 2025. The Czech Republic is represented by Hana Blaha Šilarová, of Frame Films, who is behind the first-ever Czech VR film, Darkening (see the news), and a documentary in the festival’s main competition, The Investigator by Viktor Portel. French producer Florent Coulon, of VraiVrai Films, has produced 15 documentaries by African filmmakers and showed excerpts from his documentary in development by two French female directors of African descent, Aset Malanda and Nina Melo, Our Parents, for which he is seeking broadcasters and co-producers.

Irish film programmer and producer Roisín Geraghty, of Little Rose Films, primarily focuses on short fiction films and documentaries. However, she revealed during her presentation that she is working on her first feature-length fiction effort and first creative feature-length documentary, a co-production that is currently at the production stage. When introducing her work, she showed clips from her first feature documentary, We Are Moving – Memories of Miss Moriarty. Bulgarian producer Ralitsa Golemanova runs the independent production company Smarty Pants Shooter, and she brought along No Place for You in Our Town [+see also:
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, directed by Nikolay Stefanov, to the festival, following its premiere at CPH:DOX earlier this year. She is working on another project with Stefanov, Making Friends with the Idea of Father, where true crime meets a father-son story over an unresolved murder. Pasi Hakkio, from Finnish company Wacky Tie Films, works on short documentaries and was behind How to Kill a Cloud [+see also:
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by Tuija Halttunen, which has already done the festival rounds. He showed excerpts from his upcoming feature-length documentary directed by Juha Suonpää, Lynx Man, which maps an attempt to save the lynx from extinction. The producer is currently seeking a festival to premiere the film at next year, as well as sales agents.

Lithuanian creative producer Rūta Adelė Jekentaitė, from Baltic Production, which focuses on documentaries and fiction films, introduced her latest project, Roberta, a portrait of Generation Z. She is pursuing a place to premiere it as well as a sales agent. Katarzyna Kuczyńska, a Polish producer from Warsaw-based Haka Films, where she produces mainly documentaries while also remaining open to fiction films, showed off a movie that has already travelled the festival circuit, Boylesque [+see also:
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. Furthermore, she already has several projects in development. Brazilian-born producer Matheus Mello moved to Barcelona to start the production company La Selva with five other Iberoamerican filmmakers. He is focusing primarily on films with a decolonial, racial or feminist perspective. La Selva's main ambition is to foster underrepresented talents, and create a bridge between Europe, Africa and Latin America. His project of choice was The Ship and the Sea, directed by Everlane Moraes and Lara Sousa, which tackles what it means to be black in Africa and in the diaspora.

Hungarian producer Genovéva Petrovits, who started her own production company, Kino Alfa, and has worked on several films with her partner, director Mihály Schwechtje, showed their previous work, Babysitter. Among her projects in development is another Schwechtje-directed venture, Democracy Work in Progress, a fiction film at the financing stage, with a premiere planned for 2024. Portuguese producer Rui Ribeiro, who works with different companies, showcased clips from Fire in the Mud, the first feature documentary directed by Catarina Laranjeiro and Daniel Barroca, which is in post-production. Latvian producer Anete Ruperte has been working as an assistant producer at film studio Mistrus Media since 2018, a firm primarily dedicated to investigative documentaries, TV series and historical dramas. She brought the work in progress The Land to the stage in Ji.hlava. Slovak-born, Belgian-based Beata Saboova flits between Brussels-based company Naoko Films and Paris-based outfit Pivonka Production. She straddles documentary and fiction projects, preferably those that blur the boundaries between the forms. Saboova showcased a film that premiered in this year’s Cannes ACID selection, The Hill [+see also:
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, directed by Denis Gheerbrant and Lina Tsrimova.

Andrijana Sofranić Šućur, the founder of Set Sail Films in Belgrade, produces mainly documentary and animation projects, and she showed off excerpts from the Karlovy Vary-premiered film Roots [+see also:
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by Tea Lukač. Slovak producer Tereza Tokárová, who collaborates with Slovak director-producer Peter Kerekes and recently founded the production company CinePunkt, revealed excerpts from her latest producing accomplishment, her first feature-length documentary, Territory of Imagination, directed by Paula Reiselová, for which she is looking for a premiere venue. Germany is represented by producer Mareike Wegener, of Petrolio Film, which she founded in 2012. She showed clips of short films that deal with communities changed by globalisation – Riafn, directed by Hannes Lan, and X, which she directed herself. Dutch producer Jasper Boon, who specialises in expressive documentaries at production company Boondocs, could not join his colleagues in person. He produced Guido Henrik's gonzo project A Man and a Camera [+see also:
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and has three projects in development: the two short documentaries You Can’t Sleep Here and We, the Clean, and a feature-length documentary by Pavel Borecký, Arabia Extraea, which is in early development. Boon will join his colleagues during the next leg of the programme, which takes place at the 2023 Berlinale.

Here is the full list of Emerging Producers 2023:

Hana Blaha Šilarová (Czech Republic)
Jasper Boon (Netherlands)
Florent Coulon (France)
Roisín Geraghty (Ireland)
Ralitsa Golemanova (Bulgaria)
Pasi Hakkio (Finland)
Ruta Jekentaite (Lithuania)
Katarzyna Kuczyńska (Poland)
Matheus Mello (Spain/ Brazil)
Genovéva Petrovits (Hungary)
Rui Ribeiro (Portugal)
Anete Ruperte (Latvia)
Beata Saboova (Belgium)
Andrijana Sofranić Šućur (Serbia)
Oksana Syhareva (Ukraine)
Tereza Tokárová (Slovakia)
Mareike Wegener (Germany)

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