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The 10th anniversary edition of the Transylvania international co-production platform Pitch Stop will kick off this week at the Transylvania International Film Festival in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, with ten selected projects in development, from first-time directors from Romania, Georgia, Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Ukraine, Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova, introduced to producers, distributors, sales agents, film fund representatives and other industry professionals, followed by one-to-one meetings.
“This year, 45 projects were submitted to the Transylvania Pitch Stop and after a very, very long deliberation, our selection committee carefully reviewed and selected 10 projects for further consideration,” says Dumitrana Lupu, Industry Manager of the Transylvania International festival.
The festival’s leading industry event, launched in 2014 as a workshop for emerging filmmakers from Romania and Moldova, is now a leading co-production event aiming to promote cross-border cooperation between the Balkans and countries from all over the Black Sea Region Some of Transylvania Pitch Stop’s success stories include the Russian-French-Estonian co-production The man who surprised everyone by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov, which premiered in the Horizons section of the Venice Film Festival in 2018; romanian drama Monstersby Marius Olteanu screened at the Berinale Forum in 2019; Apples by Christos Nikou, Oscar nominee for Greece and executive producer of Cate Blanchett, screened in the Horizons section of the Venice Film Festival in 2020; That of the Romanian director Teodora Ana Mihai the civilianpremiered at Un Certain Regard in Cannes in 2021, and the Ukrainian drama Visio Butterflyn by Maksym Nakonechnyim, presented in the same section of Cannes last year.
This year’s Pitch Stop selection included, for the first time, a documentary: Second line by Ukrainian director-producer Olga Stuga is an intimate family chronicle looking at life after the Russian invasion. Romania is represented with two projects: The dark comedy FEZZ by Teodor Mirea and post-war drama Pyrrhus by Cosmin Nicolae. The line-up also includes Little Death by the Greek Efthimis Kosemund-Sanidis, produced by Yorgos Tsourgianniso by Yorgos Lanthimos’Dog’s tooth fame, winning the 2009 Cannes Un Certain Regard Award and garnering an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
“All 10 projects demonstrate artistic excellence, strong storytelling and a unique vision. Mystery and the unexpected are the common ground for all of the projects, and in terms of genres, they are very diverse, from drama to thriller to war documentary,” notes Lupu.
The projects will compete for the Chainsaw Europe prize ($27,000/€25,000 in post-production services), the UPFAR-ARGOA prize ($3,300/€3,000), the Transylvania Pitch Stop Development prize offered by Avanpost in the amount of $5,500 /€5,000, the CNC Moldova Prize worth $1,600/€1,500, the VILLA KULT Development Prize for a Romanian/Moldovan project under development, which comes with a grant of $550/€500, and the 5-day residency CoCo Award for a Romanian/Moldovan project in development offered by Connecting Cottbus Co-Production Market. The awards will be presented in a ceremony on Friday 16 June, before TIFF’s closing awards event on Saturday 17 June.
Projects selected for Transylvania Pitch Stop 2023
Directed by Teodor Mirea
Produced by Liviu Marghidan, Ruxandra Flonta (Scharf Film Production)
Just a drop (Georgia)
Directed by Stefan Tolz
Produced by Martichka Bozhilova (agitprop), Karine Jana Sardlishvili (Studio 99) Stefan Tolz (Filmpunkt)
Little Death (Greece)
Directed by Efthimis Kosemund-Sanidis
Produced by Yorgos Tsourgiannis (Horsefly Films), Anamaria Antoci (Tangaj Production)
Directed by Michael Onder
Produced by Jozef Erçevik Amado (Bluff Film)
Directed by Cosmin Nicolae
Produced by Velvet Moraru (Icon Production)
Second line (Ukraine)
Directed and produced by Olga Stuga
Soft hours (Hungary)
Directed by Anna Gyimesi
Produced by Zsuzsanna Gyurin
The circle (Republic of Moldova)
Directed by Vareriu Andriuta
Produced by Iulia Andriuta (Amprenta Films), Carmen Rizac (Avanpost Media)
The life we never had (Bulgaria)
Directed by Martin Markov
Produced by Vanya Rainova (Portokal)
Directed by Elif Sozen
Produced by Elif Sözen (Elves Films), Soner Alper (Nar Film)