Winners Of 11th Baltic Pitching Forum Announced
This year, the 11th edition of the Baltic Pitching Forum welcomed emerging Baltic and Greek filmmaking talents to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. Pitching twelve projects to key industry players – as well as taking part in a series of talks, lectures and training sessions – the participants benefited from an event that continues to be regarded as one of the most important industry showcases in the Baltic region.
Greece became the first Baltic Pitching Forums guest country to emanate from outside the Baltic Sea region and is a testament to the international recognition now afforded to the BPF. With filmmakers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania networking with their colleagues from Greece, new avenues for collaboration and co-production were opened up.
All the projects were pitched in front of two panels of international film experts who bestowed prizes at an award ceremony held on Thursday night.
The Lithuanian project “Out”, from the director Kristijonas Dirsė, and producer by Rūta Petronytė, is the winner of participant rights at the European Short Film Co-production Forum Euro Connection 2024, which is a part of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France. The award was given for its unique and poignant approach to a challenging subject. The clarity of the pitch, the poetic and absurd tone, and the courage to address such a significant topic have all contributed to the project standing out as a very unique gem in our selection. It has an important potential for co-production and will find the right creative and financing partners to bring the film to its next steps.
The Latvian project “Thank You for Your Review”, from directors Marta Šleiere, Līva Polkmane, and producer Emīls Alps, received an invitation to Talents and Short Film Market 2023 and its Pitching Session “You Only Pitch Twice”. The award was given to the comedy with a light touch that mocks keyboard narcissists and their funny-sad weirdness, hiding the tragedy of loneliness.
A special mention went to the Greek project “Cuddle Party”, by director Ioanna Digenaki, and producer Manos Tzivakis, for their dynamism and dedication that left a lasting impression, and the captivating energy they provided during their pitch.
The winners were selected by the BPF Panel members Alessandro Giorgio (Talents and Short Film Market, Italy), Antoine Guillemot (sales agent, oriGine Films, France), Basel Mawlawi (producer, Kinana Films, Sweden), Elise Notseck (distributor/sales agent, Shortcuts, France), Julie Rousson (coordinator of Euro Connection, programmer at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, France), Ben Vandendaele (sales agent, Radiator IP Sales, Belgium) and Sari Volanen (TV commissioning editor, Yle TV, Finland).
The Baltic Producers Jury MEDIA Award – initiated by the Creative Europe offices in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia and coming with a 1000 EUR cash prize – went to the Latvian project “Thank You for Your Review” (dir. Marta Šleiere, Līva Polkmane, prod. Emīls Alps). According to the jury, film reflects the modern reality of living simultaneously in two worlds – real and virtual one – and portrays it with healthy humor which is the only possibility to survive in this cruel world of reviews.
The Jury also gave the special mention to the Lithuanian project “On Conductor Street” (dir. Gintė Regina, prod. Akvilė Žilionytė). Traveling in time and realizing how everything is in movement and changing constantly, you still need this one special place where you belong and can return back any time.
This year’s Baltic Producers Jury was made up of Anu Veermäe-Kaldra (Menufilmid, Estonia), Guntis Trekteris (Ego Media, Latvia) and Klementina Remeikaitė (Afterschool, Lithuania).
“We all have a shadow that tries to control us, and sometimes the shadow succeeds in controlling in form of a cat.” The Yle award TV Pre-buy Award worth 2500 euros went to Estonian animation “Pulcinella”, directed by Hleb Kuftseryn and produced by Kadriann Kibus.
Radiator IP Sales Distribution Consultancy Award, consisting of consultancy and guidance for filmmakers was given to another Estonian project “Mari, Sweetie”, directed by Vivian Säde, produced by Eve Tisler, Gabrielė Vaičiūnaitė, Vesta Tučkutė. In a heartfelt journey through confronting past traumas with a surreal twist, this captivating project weaves a tale that deeply resonates.
The 12th Baltic Pitching Forum will take place on 8-11 October 2024. The Baltic Pitching Forum is organised by Lithuanian Short Film Agency “Lithuanian Shorts” in partnership with Riga International Film Festival, Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, and PÖFF Shorts (Tallinn International Film Festival Black Nights).
“Lithuanian Shorts” is supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. The project is supported by the Lithuanian Film Centre, Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture, Audiovisual Works Copyright Association “AVAKA” and Vilnius City Municipality. Partners – Creative Europe MEDIA Desks in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Greek Film Centre, Drama International Short Film Festival, T-port and Vilnius Film Office.