Magazine article Screen International

Second Features by Gardev, Jalali and Achim, Debuts by Segal and Chiarini to Be Pitched at Sofia Meetings

Magazine article Screen International

Second Features by Gardev, Jalali and Achim, Debuts by Segal and Chiarini to Be Pitched at Sofia Meetings

Article excerpt

Second features by Javor Gardev, Babak Jalili and Gabriel Achim [pictured] and debuts by Ron Segal and Duccio Chiarini are among 14 projects being pitched at the ninth edition of the Sofia Meetings which kick off in the Bulgarian capital on Thursday (March 15).

Bulgarian filmmaker Gardev, whose feature debut Zift was a popular title on the international festival circuit, will be presenting his new project Contra about an inventor trying his conscious transferring (ConTra) programme with himself as a guinea pig, while Romanian producer Dan Burlac will pitch the second feature by Gabriel Achim, Raw and Cooked, about a rescue attempt for the ousted dictator Ceausescu and his wife in December 1989, which has France's Arizona Films attached as co-producer.

Meanwhile, Iranian-born Babak Jalali (Frontier Blues) and producer Ginevra Elkann will be in Sofia with his new film Land, a Modern Western set in the American Plains, which is being planned as a Italian-UK-Iranian co-production.

Other second features looking for partners at the Meetings include Nina Kustrurica's My Sun and Oleg Sentsov's Rhinoceros.

The Plus One Minus One pitching session will provide a platform for debuts by such filmmakers as Italy's Duccio Chiarini whose Mediterranean Film Institute-developed project On The Couch won two awards at last year's Crossroads Forum in Thessaloniki, and Ron Segal, a graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem, whose adaptation of his novel Delicate will be the first animated feature to portray the memories of Holocaust survivors.

In addition, the Meetings' 150 participants, including sales agents, distributors and film funders, will have an opportunity to meet the producers of 10 projects "in the bank" ranging from Azeri director Elvin Abigozal's Far From Moscow, to be produced by Arizona Films' Guillaume de Seille, the Bulgarian omnibus film Pawn Shop and Peter Kerek's Romanian-German co-production 4 Blows.

As in previous years, the Sofia Meetings will host the Balkan Screenings showcasing more than 70 films and works-in-progress from Bulgaria and the Balkan Region. The selection includes Kristina Nikolova's Faith, Love And Whisky, Kamen Kalev's The Island, Jan Cvitkovic's Archeo, and Andrijana Stojkovic's The Box as well as first footage from Dusan Milic's Travelator, Kiril Stankov's Krapetz and Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu's Panhida. …

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