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BALKAN FUND

SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT FUND FOR SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE 14-16 NOVEMBER, 2009

Artistic Director:Christina Kallas
Coordinator: Lucia Rikaki
Office Μanager: Angeliki Vergou

The Balkan Fund was initiated in 2003 by the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, as a script development fund which addresses a geographical area not fully covered by any other festival fund: the Balkans or South-Eastern Europe, specifically Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, FYROM, Greece, Montenegro, Romania,Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey. The Festival of the historically multicultural Thessaloniki supports filmmakers from this region in their efforts to develop their projects as professionally as possible.

The Balkan Fund continues its successful course for the seventh consecutive year having to display an impressive amount of films that have been developed and completed with the Fund’s support:

  • Here & There, Best New York Narrative, Tribeca Film Festival, 2009
  • The Happiest Girl in the World, Berlin IFF, Forum 2009
  • Small Crime, Variety Critic’s Choice - Karlovy Vary IFF, 2009
  • Snow, Grand Prize Critic’s Week, Cannes IFF 2008
  • California Dreamin’ (endless), Un Certain Regard Award, Cannes IFF 2007
  • Grbavica (Esma’s Secret), Golden Bear, Berlin IFF 2006

This year’s Thessaloniki International Film Festival’s program hosts four Balkan Fund films: Here & There (Serbia, awarded in 2006), First of All, Felicia (Romania, awarded in 2007), Metastases (Croatia, special mention in 2007) and The Happiest Girl in the World (Romania, participation in 2007).

The Balkan Fund is co-funded by the CNC and the Goethe Institute Thessaloniki

NOMINATED PROJECTS OF 2009

The projects nominated for the 3 awards of the Balkan Fund are the following in alphabetic order:

The Girl from Slaveikov Square
Screenplay-Direction: Georgi Danailov & Radoslav Spassov
Production: Gergana Stankova, Menclips Ltd. (Bulgaria)

Halima’s Path
Screenplay: Fedja Isovic
Direction-Production: Arsen Anton Ostojic
Co-producer: Damir Teresak, Maxima Films (Croatia)


Home, Sweet Home
Screenplay: Kyriakos Tofarides, Panos Stathoyiannis
Direction: Corina Avraamidou, Kyriakos Tofarides 
Production: Kyriakos Tofarides, Avra Productions Ltd. (Cyprus)

Monument to Michael Jackson
Screenplay-Direction: Darko Lungulov
Production: Snezana Penev & Darko Lungulov, Kino Kamera (Serbia)

Not a Man if Not a Bother
Screenplay: Ranko Bozic
Direction-Production: Predrag Velinovic, Sirius Production & VizArt
(Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Mother of Asphalt
Screenplay: Dalibor Matanic & Tomislac Zajec
Direction: Dalibor Matanic
Production: Ankica Juric Tilic, Kinorama (Croatia)

Of Snails and Men
Screenplay: Ionut Teianu
Direction-Production: Tudor Giurgiu, Libra Film (Romania)

Orange Gardens
Screenplay-Direction: Ozkan Kucuk
Production: Suncem Kocer & Ozkan Kucuk, Mesopotamia Cinema & Yapim 13 Film Prod (Turkey)

Romanian Spring
Screenplay-Direction: Anca M. Lazarescu
Production: Verona Meier, Razor Films (Germany-Romania)

Russian Women
Screenplay: Ismail Kadare
Direction: Aleksandr Adabachian
Production: Loreta Mokini, Albimages & Didier Couedic, Huit et Plus Productions & Constantin Smirnoff, Ton Films (Albania-France-Russia)

THE BALKAN FUND JURY 2009

The members of the international jury are the following:

Lenny Crooks
Producer, Head of the New Cinema Fund at the UK Film Council (UK)
Lenny Crooks is the Head of the New Cinema Fund at the UK Film Council, which is the government-backed strategic agency for film in the UK. The New Cinema Fund aims to support emerging filmmakers and established filmmakers working outside of the mainstream. Recently supported projects include This is England (dir. Shane Meadows), Adulthood (dir. Noel Clarke),Man on Wire (dir. James Marsh) and Genova (dir. Michael Winterbottom).

Richard Kwietniowski
Screenwriter-director (Poland/UK)
The director and writer of Love and Death in Long Island and director of Owning Mahowny also regularly teaches directing at British film schools and has contributed to many European screenwriting initiatives, including Scenario at London’s Institut Français, ScriptEast in Poland and FadeIn in Hungary. He has also written and directed numerous shorts. His next directing project, No One Gets Off in This Town is scheduled for 2010.

Christina Kallas
Writer-producer and the president of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (Greece/Germany)
Member of the European and of the German Film Academy. Her credits include the feature films Love Lies, i.d., The Commissioner and Like A Baby (in pre-production), the TV movies Maenner sind wie and Holland (in pre-production) and the TV series Edel & Starck and Danny Lowinski. She is the artistic director of the Balkan Fund and a senior lecturer at the Cinema Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. From 2003 to 2008 she was a member and then the chair of commission for the financing of script development and a member of the commission for the financing of film production at the German Federal Film Board FFA. She has written five books, two of them to be published shortly:
Bio/pic or The Lives of the Few (Patakis, Athens 2009) and Creative Screenwriting.
Understanding Emotional Structure (Palgrave, London/New York, 2010).

Razvan Radulescu
Screenwriter-director (Romania)
His credits as a screenwriter include, in collaboration with Cristi Puiu, Stuff and Dough and The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, in collaboration with Alexandru Baciu, The Paper Will Be Blue, and Boogie, directed by Radu Muntean and he has worked as script consultant for 4 Months, 3 Days and 2 Hours directed and written by Cristian Mungiu (Golden Palmin Cannes IFF 2007). His directorial debut, together with Melissa de Raaf, First of All Felicia, will be released in 2010 and is being screened in this year’s Thessaloniki IFF.

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