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SARAJEVO 2023 CineLink Industry Days / Awards

Docu Talents from the East awards projects from Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania


- The Ji.hlava IDFF presented eight documentary films in post-production from Central and Eastern Europe, and announced the 2024 Emerging Producers, with Philippines as guest country

Docu Talents from the East awards projects from Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania
The handing of the Docu Talent Award during the Sarajevo Film Festival (© Docu Talents from the East)

Eight outstanding documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe, planned for theatrical release during the upcoming 12 months – the Docu Talents from the East – were presented yesterday as part of CineLink Industry Days at the Sarajevo Film Festival. Projects from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine made it to the final selection of Docu Talents from the East 2023. The full list of projects is here.

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The Docu Talent Award was granted to the most promising projects. The international jury decided to split the award between two projects: A Picture to Remember by Ukrainian director Olga Chernykh and producer Regina Maryanovska-Davidzon, and the Czech-Slovak co-production Chronicle by Martin Kollar. The award is accompanied with financial prize $5,000 in cooperation with the festival’s partner Current Time TV.

The €3,000 in-kind Distribution Award was awarded to An Almost Perfect Family by Romanian director Tudor Platon, produced by Carla Fotea and Ada Solomon. The award covers international VOD release on (including Americas, Europe, Asia) for two years.

According to the jury, “the personal and intimate A Picture To Remember presents a unique vision of life during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Through the experiences of three generations of women: the director, her mother and her grandmother, the film presents the human experience of war powerfully and with tenderness. We also found Chronicle to be a film without words that speaks loudly. The cinematic experience communicates a certain urgency. The creative collage of images evokes striking tension, suggests interesting metaphors, and conjures microcosms of absurdity in our world.” The jury also described the pitch for An Almost Perfect Family "intimate, clear, precise — and brave, with emotional and moving generational echoes.” 

Representatives of the Ji.hlava IDFF presented in Sarajevo also results of this year’s East West Index (EWI) – an exclusive survey among key European documentary film festivals, which focuses on figures representing individual regions. Thanks to EWI, we found that the 2020 pandemic led to a 20% reduction in the number of films compared to 2019, which was a total of 600 missing films. As cheerful as the current data is, the 14 tracked festivals still presented nearly 150 fewer titles than in 2019. Read the survey here.

During the event, the representatives of the Ji.hlava IDFF also revealed the names of the Emerging Producers 2024 (read here). This programme aims at promoting talented European documentary film producers and provides them with a range of networking, educational and promotional support throughout the year. 17 European producers will be accompanied by a producer from Philippines, which is the guest country of the 2024 programme.

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