The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia alongside guest country Greece will unveil new talents and projects at respected industry event
The 11th edition of the Baltic Pitching Forum (BPF) has revealed the latest slate of short film projects that will be pitched to a panel of international experts at the event which runs from 10-13 October 2023 in Vilnius. Renowned for showcasing emerging and talented filmmakers from the Baltic and beyond, the Baltic Pitching Forum is now recognised as one of the most important events of its kind giving talents the opportunity to learn and network with peers and industry professionals.
2023 will also mark the first time when the Forum invites a guest country that is located out of the Baltic sea region. With Greece currently a hotbed for the short film form, with numerous success stories emanating from the region over the past few years, the BPF will look forward to Greek and Baltic filmmakers coming together with a rich selection of projects and forming a basis for future collaborations over the coming years.
Rimantė Daugėlaitė, head of the Baltic Pitching Forum and the Lithuanian Short Film Agency says:
“We had a record number of projects that were submitted this year, and to whittle them down to the final selection of 12 has been a very difficult process. The projects that make up our 11th edition all interrogate various aspects of modern life – from social media to sexuality – and all have great potential for international recognition for a number of talented directors and producers .”
Projects selected from Estonia are Pulcinella (dir. Hleb Kuftseryn, prod. Kadriann Kibus), an allegorical animation about a concert pianist who picks up a stray cat from the street, and Stiina (dir. Elisabeth Kužovnik, prod. Andreas Kask), the story of a single mother whose daughter has a very familiar imaginary friend. Also from Estonia is Mari, Sweetie (dir. Vivian Säde, prod. Eve Tisler, Gabrielė Vaičiūnaitė, Vesta Tučkutė) about a woman who has water magically appear around her when she experiences body shame.
From Latvia comes Ainas (dir. Monta Gāgane, prod. Katrīna Karple), a dark drama about a woman who begins to realise the vices of her boyfriend and his family will put them at odds with each other. Other projects are In Her Locket (dir. Sandija Miglava, prod. Kristiāna Kalniņa), a tale of coming out across generations, and Thank You For Your Review (dirs. Līva Polkmane and Marta Šleiere, prod. Emīls Alps) a clever look at the modern obsession for rating life experience
Lithuania’s three projects are Out (dir. Kristijonas Dirsė), an examination of sexuality and the intransigence of others, On Conductor Street (dir. Gintė Regina, prod. Akvilė Žilionytė), a poetic view of change and our place in the world and Drifting Apart (dir. Martynas Kundrotas), a powerful drama about the slow disintegration of a relationship.
This year’s guest country is Greece and the projects offered from there will be Cuddle Party (dir. Ioanna Digenaki, prod. Manos Tzivakis), a meta and absurdist drama, and Tropic of the Mourning Gecko (dir. Stavros Markoulakis, prod. Ioanna Bolomyti) focusing on small town life and the desire to escape. The selection is rounded off by The Incomplete Truth About Everything (dir. Emma Doxiadi, prod. Ioanna Bolomyti) a multi-layered look at female existence.
You can find out more about the selected projects HERE.
In advance of the BPF the selected participants and projects will receive personal consultation on their screenplays. During the event itself the participants take part in a pitching masterclass as well as a number of open lectures. They will also pitch their projects to a panel of industry experts, who will give feedback on the projects and confer a number of awards on selected projects.
The BPF Panel will award two short film projects (from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) with participant rights to the European Short Film Co-production Forum Euro Connection, which is a part of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and the Talents and Shorts Film Market (TSFM) and its Pitching Session “You Only Pitch Twice”.
The Baltic Producers Jury, consisting of three experienced producers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, will select the Best Short Film Project and award it with Baltic Producers MEDIA Award – 1000 EUR cash prize.
Two more prizes will be given away during the Forum. Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle will award one of the Baltic Pitching Forum’s projects with the Yle TV Pre-buy Award worth 2500 euros. The Radiator IP Sales Distribution Award will consist of consultancy and guidance for filmmakers by creating a bridge between the production of film and its distribution of film festivals and beyond. The founder of the prize, Radiator IP Sales has represented, distributed, and sold 200 short films and several feature films to date.
The 11th BPF will be a live event though pitching sessions will be available online to industry professionals around the world. More information on the panelists and lectures will be revealed in mid-September.
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 and Vilnius Film Office