Sweden joins as guest country as 12 projects presented at 9th Baltic Pitching Forum in October.
The 9th BALTIC PITCHING FORUM (BPF), one of the leading film industry events in the Batlic region, will take place in Vilnius between October 7th-9th 2021. The BPF will invite selected participants as well as industry professionals from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, alongside guest country Sweden, to the Lithuanian capital with a view to showcasing the best filmmaking talents emanating from these countries. It will mark the return of the event to a live format after last year’s all digital event.
The selected participants will receive personal consultation of their screenplays and take part in a pitching masterclass as well as lectures on film sales and communication. They will also pitch their projects to a panel of industry experts, who will 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 Torino Short Film Market 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.
Estonia will be represented by the animation Schrödinger (dir. Sergei Kibus, prod. Kadriann Kibus) and the fiction projects of two BPF alumni – Buddy Horror (dir. Oskar Lehemaa) and Weight of Light (dir. Anna Hints, prod. Evelin Penttilä and Johanna Maria Paulson).
From Latvia there will be a BPF alumni animation project in A Thread (dir. Kristina Tverdohleba, prod. Thom Palmen), and fiction project A Crack (dir. Ieva Norvele, prod. Aija Bērziņa) and Big Loop – Small Loop (dir. Žanete Skarule, producer Alise Rogule) which was developed during the Baltic Shorts Residency.
Lithuania will be represented by fiction films Isolation (dir. Ieva Veiverytė, prod. Justė Michailinaitė), Reminiscence (dir. Kristijonas Dirsė, prod. Liucina Mackialo) and animation Champion (dir. Tomas Mitkus, prod. Vaida Nedzinskaitė- Mitkė).
Guest country Sweden will present three short fiction projects: 22 Hours (dir. Peter Aitman, prod. Viktor Axberg), Anise Underground (dir. John Paul Bichard, prod. Felicia Bichard) and Yellow Grass (dir. and prod. Linn Markussen).
You can find out more about the selected projects here.
Selection criteria for the projects included it’s potential for co-production, relevance for international audiences and whether there was strong support from production companies. The selection committee took into account the creator’s style, experience as well as championing new points of view.
Rimantė Daugėlaitė-Cegelskienė, Head of the Baltic Pitching Forum and Lithuanian Shorts said: “We care about helping get these projects off the ground and our aim is for these films to get more funding and find new production opportunities. Also, we’re glad that among the participants there are a lot of alumni of the Forum and our short film script development program Baltic Shorts Residency, which means the filmmakers see the benefits of pitching their projects at the BPF and prove it’s ongoing impact on the Baltic industry and beyond.”
She added: “The BPF helps us take the pulse of young and upcoming filmmakers in the industry, as we discover what they are currently working on and what topics are prevalent. As the mode of production of shorts means that they can often be more immediate, the BPF always gives a sense of freshness and excitement as we can often spot the trends and talents who will be making a mark on the feature world in the future.”
While the 9th BPF will be a live event, last year’s virtual format opened up more opportunities for people to attend. As such, part of the program, including pitching sessions, will be available to industry professionals around the world. More information on the panellists and lectures will be available 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, PÖFF Shorts (Tallinn International Film Festival Black Nights) and Estonian Short Film Center ShortEst. It is supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture, Lithuanian Film Center, Sweden-Lithuania Cooperation Fund and Audiovisual Works Copyright Association “AVAKA”. Partners – Nordisk Panorama Market, Uppsala Short Film Festival, Swedish Film Institute, Creative Europe Desk MEDIA Offices in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.