The Baltic Bridge East by West (B´EST), a new initiative designed for feature film projects from the European Union and the CIS countries and Georgia, is announcing its first project slate in Cannes on May 22, 2012. The workshop is held by the organizers of Baltic Event (Estonia) and International Film Forum for CIS Countries in cooperation with EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs), Rfilms, Tandem Production (Russia), and with the support from MEDIA Mundus. B’EST consists of two workshops, which take place on June 23-27 in Moscow, within the framework of Moscow International Film Festival, and November 25-28 in Tallinn, within the framework of Baltic Event.
The European Union half of the slate is represented by projects from Finland, Austria, Germany, Latvia, and France. French Aurora Films is looking for co-producers for Guillaume André directed project Saaremaa, the title of which refers to a link with Estonia. Amour Fou participates with the Soviet prison camp drama Francuski, directed by Goran Rebic, an award-winning director of Serbian origin, who grew up in Austria. Napafilms, Finland, presents youth drama Finka by Reetta Aalto, a young writer-director who holds a degree in Russian language and literature. Tasse Films’ orphan drama Mellow Mud by young Latvian filmmaker Renars Vimba represents the Baltic countries. On a lighter note, the selection includes the romantic comedy Good-bye, produced by Germany’s Jolle-Film and directed by Kazakhstan-born filmmaker Anna Hoffmann.
On the Eastern front, projects from Georgia, Russia, and Armenia have been selected to participate in the workshop. Russia is represented by three projects: Vita Activa’s psychological drama The General, directed by Georgian-born Bakur Bakuradze, whose first and second feature films were selected to Cannes Film Festival; apocalyptic action horror Hogweed submitted by Russia´s biggest independent studio CTB Film Company and Sharnohoy – the Yellow Dog, Geser Film Studio’s contribution, which is directed by Bair Dishenov from the republic of Buryatia on the shores of Lake Baikal, who won Crystal Bear in Berlin for his debut short. Georgian company Cinetech brings the drama Alien House, directed by Rusudan Glurjidze, to B’EST slate. The line-up is completed by Armenian project Lucid Place, produced by Parallels Film Production and directed by its founder Hovhannes Galstyan.
Baltic Event has previously collaborated with the Moscow Business Square, when the Media International supported initiative Baltic Event for East was organized in 2010. From BE’E selection, Sergei Loznitsa’s In the Fog holds its world premiere at Cannes Film Festival, where he also presented his hugely successul debut feature My Joy in 2010.
We are excited to have a chance to work with a list of established producers at B´EST, and are honoured to have earned their trust to attend our brand new initiative. Among them, France’s Aurora Films has produced several award-winning feature films during its decade-long history, Austrian Amour Fou´s breakthrough came in 2003 with four of its films invited to Cannes Film Festival, Alise Gelze had already produced two successful feature films in Latvia before starting her own company Tasse Films, Vita Aktiva, helmed by experienced producer Julia Mishkinene, also produced Bakur Bakuradze´s previous highly prized films, and CTB Film Company has released more than sixty feature films since its foundation in 1992, and is rated as one of Russia´s seven major filmmakers with an annual budget of federal funding.
Baltic Event managing director