Thanks to the agreement between IDF and the IDFA Forum, the East European Forum is annually visited by an IDFA Forum representative who selects one of the projects that will receive an obeserver pass for the festival and the IDFA Forum in Amsterdam. Such great networking opportunities after the pitching in Prague increases its chances to follow up on any existing agreements and create new ones within a larger group of commissioning editors and other professionals.
In previous years, the following projects were awarded the IDFA Forum Award:
Gangster Te Voli , Croatia, Romania, 52 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Drama doc, Society
Gangster of Love is a documentary comedy which points out some serious social issues. The story takes place in the mountainous Balkan region on the historical border of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Our film follows matchmaker Nedjeljko Babic aka Gangster. His life is devoted to helping young men and women from the region to find a soul mate. But lately his job has been more difficult than ever - women do not want to live in villages anymore. When Maya, a young Bulgarian girl, comes to Gangster looking for a new boyfriend, it seems that it will be an easy case for him. But the fact that she is the mother of a 3-year-old, and a foreigner, makes it mission impossible for Gangster - it seems that Croatian guys, no matter how desperate they are to find a woman, do not want a Bulgarian with a child. Her case discloses all the tragic absurdity of the traditional men in modern society: although they are lonely and desperate to find a woman, their stubborn conservatism stands in the way of love.
16-ya Respublika , Russia, 90 min, DVD, HD, Creative, Social Issues
Moscow auto giant ZIL was central to the lives of thousands of workers for more than 80 years, proudly calling itself a 'talent foundry', a 'city within a city' and the '16th republic'. Stalin, Brezhnev, Khrushchev and Gorbachev all travelled in ZIL’s iconic limousines. After a 20-year interval, the plant receives an order for new luxury cars. Three convertibles are supposed to take part in the Victory Parade on May 9, 2010. Few specialists from the elite, previously classified department of Original and Special Automobiles remain, and they are all retired. But the deadline must be met. While the secret division is scrambling to build cars for the Defense Minister, passions are boiling over in other parts of the plant. The convertibles are ready but suddenly the client no longer needs them. The ups and downs in this limousine story are but the tip of the iceberg.
Bulgaria, 80 min
Where the Black River meets the Black Sea, the shore curves into a crescent of a pristine beach, known as Karadere (Black Gorge). Legend has it that in the 19th century, Vulchan Voivoda, a notorious outlaw and the first local pirate lured three gold-laden Ottoman galleys into the bay and robbed them. Today, the pirate flag flies over a green trailer nestled at the foot of the beach - home to the captain of the last Black Sea pirates, Jack the Whale. Social misfits for some and romanticized larger-than-life figures for others, Jack and his crew are modern-day pirates without a ship, whose beat-up boat is always in need of a working engine. But they have a pirate’s flag, a treasure to hunt and plenty of tattoos to make up for it. They have found peace far away from the outside world, in which the “period of transition” has turned into a rather permanent situation. But change is coming to Karadere. One day four men leap out of a helicopter and begin to gesticulate wildly. They’re painting in the air Black Sea Gardens – the biggest luxury green resort is to be built on the last deserted beach of the Bulgarian seaside. Set on the backdrop of Bulgaria’s fumbling European Union integration, the feverish embrace of half-understood Western values, and a heated ecological debate, this is the story of a few ordinary people as lived out in these extraordinary times and told in their unique voices.
La Machina , Poland, 2010, 52 min, Digi Beta, HD, Arts and Culture, Creative, Docu Series, Personal View
Somewhere in the South of France a boy and an older man live: Sergio – a Master Dollmaker and Adrien – his disciple. They will begin their journey for the first time this summer. They will meet cheerful and fascinating residents of colourful towns. "La machina" is a story of this travel, a story about the meetings, a story about a relation between the master and the disciple.Sergio Dotti is one of the last Master Dollmakers in France. Once, after the show Sergio met a nine-year-old boy called Adrien. The boy had been so interested in the performance that he came back the following day to be in this magic world again. Travelling together from town to town, they will show the world of imagination to children and adults.
Na niebie, na ziemi , Poland, 2007, 65 min, 35 mm, Creative, Personal View
A group of supernatural phenomena aficionados comes to a small town Wylatowo (Takeoffville). Just like every year, they expect extraordinary signs to appear in the grain field. One of the investigators was almost kidnapped by a UFO. Yet he doesn't give up and he tries at any cost to prove the extraterrestrials' existence.
Robinzoni z Mantsinsaari , Finland, Germany, Poland, 2008, 56 min, Digi Beta, Creative, Portrait, Society
Up to 1940-s the island Mantsinsari belonged to Finland, in 1944 it joined Karelia. At that time all the Finns and Karelians went to Finland. And the island was settled by special people who didn‘t fulfil their work quota, frankly speaking – the enemies of the system – the Russians, the Belarusians, the Ukrainians, the Tatars, the Estonians, and simply employers on a contract. About 1500 people came; later on many of the island new involuntary settlers would never forgive this place for their broken destinies, after all. And when Khruschev became the leader – former enemies with their families were impetuously leaving their prison on the water. The people rushed home to their native land, just like flocks of birds after long and tiring wintering in a strange land. They left their lived-in places, their ecologically clean property and historical sightseeing – Finnish military objects of the beginning of the century. In time some died, some left. Only two have stayed – a Finn and a Belarusian – two Robinsons of Mantsinsari.