Göteborg Film Fund is an initiative with the aim to strengthen the film industry in countries or regions with an interesting cinema on a high artistic level, but with different economic or political challenges and preconditions. Thus contributing to a diversified culture and media landscape, with increased artistic freedom and free speech. It started as a one year pilot project – supported by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs within the government’s “drive for” democracy – with the goal to establish a permanent international film fund.
During 2021, the fund targeted four different regions. These were Brazil, Sudan, Ukraine and Kurdish filmmakers in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The funding schemes were announced with two different deadlines, in May (development and post-production) and July (innovative distribution) 2021. Over 1100 applications (800 from Brazil) were submitted. During the year the fund distributed SEK 4 000 0000 (≈ € 400 000) to 36 different projects.
During 2022, due to the war, Göteborg Film Fund is focusing on Ukraine, with a residency programme for Ukrainian filmmakers, financed by Region Västra Götaland, consisting of three months stay in Gothenburg, with apartment, a work scholarship and access to office space. During the autumn of 2022 and spring of 2023 the fund will additionally support international dissemination and launching of urgent and independent Ukrainian films, as well as filmmakers still active inside Ukraine, with development grants and equipment. The support programme also includes screenings of Ukrainians films in Sweden as well as panels and discussions around the role of moving images in relation to democracy, artistic freedom and free speech, taking place at Göteborg Film Festival, physically and online, and on the festival’s streaming platform Draken Film. The project is supported by The Swedish Postcode Foundation, within the frame of their focus on artistic freedom, and by the Swedish Institute and their emergency support for Ukraine.
Residency filmmakers selected. Three Ukrainian filmmakers have been selected for the residency programme i Gothenburg. They will spend August and September in the city, working with their new projects.
New residency programme for August-September 2023 was announced during Festival de Cannes in May 2023. Applications are open for Ukrainian filmmakers until June 8. Read more.
116 applications were submitted for the Development grants for Ukrainian filmmakers working and living in Ukraine, when deadline was reached at 24.00 on Friday March 31. The selection committee has started their work and the goal is to present the selection in mid May 2023.
Five Ukrainian films were screened during Göteborg Film Festival 2023, four of them supported by Göteborg Film Fund. Luxemburg, Luxemburg, by Antonio Lukich, Plai. A Mountain Path, by Eva Dzhyshyashvili, La Palisiada, by Philip Sotnychenko and Pamfir, by Dmytro Suholytkyy-Sobchuk. Several of the filmmakers were present.
A panel discussion with the subject Film for Democracy, with a special focus on Ukraine, took place during the festival, in cooperation with Jonsered Manor at the university of Gothenburg and B2B Doc. The panel consisted of Aleksandra Kostyna, producer of Pamfir, Yelizsaveta Smith, director and producer from Ukraine, and member of the film collective Tabor, Anastasia Kirilliva from the co-production platform B2B Doc and Thomas Rosén, seniorer lecturer at the University of Gothenburg.
Tonia Noyabrova spent one month at a residency in Gothenburg last summer. One of the results of her stay was that local Common Ground Productions and Film i väst joined her drama Do You Love Me? as co-producers. The film premiered at this year’s Berlinale Panorama with Noaybrova, lead actress Karyna Khymchuk and several team members present.
During the European Film Market, several directors and producers, supported by Göteborg Film Fund with development support and development grants, pitched their projects at an event hosted by Odessa Film Festival and participated at a spotlight on producers event, hosted by the Ukrainian Institute. Among them were Vika Khomenko, Denis Ivanov, Polina Kelm, Vladlen Odudenko, Yelizaveta Smith, Tonia Noyabrova and Vladimir Yatsenko.
143 applications were submitted for the Development grants for Ukrainian filmmakers working and living in Ukraine, when deadline was reached at 24.00 on Friday Sep 16. The selection committee has started their work and the goal is to present the selection in mid October 2022.
Four Ukrainian filmmakers have been selected for a residency programme i Gothenburg. During the autumn of 2022 and spring of 2023 the fund will additionally support international dissemination and launching of urgent and independent Ukrainian films, as well as filmmakers still active inside Ukraine, with development grants and equipment. The support programme also includes screenings of Ukrainians films in Sweden as well as panels and discussions around the role of moving images in relation to democracy, artistic freedom and free speech, The project is supported by The Swedish Postcode Foundation, within the frame of their focus on artistic freedom, and by the Swedish Institute and their emergency support for Ukraine.
Göteborg Film Fund Manager, Camilla Larsson, will be attending Cannes, presenting the Fund’s new residency programme for Ukrainian filmmakers, and celebrating the Göteborg Film Fund supported project Pamfir, by Dmytro Sukholytkyy Sobchuk, screening in the Directors’ Fortnight section. As well as the four producers selected for support from the fund: Denis Ivanov, Sashko Chubko, Darya Bassel and Natalia Libet participating in the Ukrainian focus at Marché de Cannes and the Turkish Kurdish project Philax, by Rûken Tekes selected for I L’Atelier.
Göteborg Film Fund 2021 will be highlighted during Göteborg Film Festival 2022, from the perspective of moving images as a tool for democracy and free speech. Panels will be organized for the international industry as well as for the audience, with guests for targeted countries.
New Göteborg Film Fund 2021 report Read about the experiences and activities of the year and all the selected projects.
The selection process in now completed for all countries and regions. Read more about the selected projects under the page -> Selection
Göteborg Film Fund 2021 participated as one of the partners in pitching events during the Duhok International Film Festival, in Iraqi Kurdistan. (read more)
Here are some greetings from Duhok. (link to our Facebook page)
190 projects applied for post-production support.
The second and final announcement of selected projects was presented during Venice Film Festival.
The first selection was announced during Cannes film festival
818 projects applied for development support.
The development selection for Brazil was announced during a live online event at BrLab. (final selection)
The first selection was announced during Venice Film Festival.
(Ukraine, Sudan and Kurdish Cinema)
63 projects applied for innovative distribution support.
The selection was announced during a live online event at BrLab. (final)
Educated at the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts and Ukrainian Institute of Public Relations and Television. Has directed the short documentaries 15 Minutes More, Yar and Z.P: Gelvakha. Was awarded for best documentary for her feature debut Plai. A Mountain Path when the Ukrainian festival Docudays UA visited Krákow Film Festival in the beginning of June. Eva Dzhyshyashvili plans to work with the development and script for her new project Box #64, where she investigates archives from different countries in a societal, historical and philosophical context. She will also continue her work with a script for a fiction short film, a tragicomedy about traumas from childhood that affect adulthood as well as start developing a script for a feature ficiton about the events of the war in Ukraine, both based on real events.
”This project was selected in February 2022 at the first stage of selection by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation for support and funding. But it wasn’t continued due to the war. Now I can continue working on the project in Europe, researching archival footage and developing the script. A teaser has already been created and there is some video material.”
Educated at the Karpenko-Kary Kyiv National University. Active as an award winning director, cinematographer and artist. Has directed the short documentary State Institution, the feature documentary New Jerusalem and the short film installations Dedicated to the Youth of the World and Father, to Whom Have You Abandoned Us, together with Yarema Malashchuk.
”The day before the war began, my creative team and I submitted the Eroica film project to be funded by the Ukrainian State Film Agency. My personal director’s letter began with the words: “Today, February 23, 2022, is the day when I am writing these lines under the pressure of an aggressive future looming over us, staring at a map with a thick strip of 200,000 Russian troops along my country’s borders.” On February 24, the aggressive future turned into an apocalyptic present for my compatriots, who have been fighting against the overwhelming forces of the enemy for more than three months.
I want to attend this residence not only to complete the script but also to visit various industry networks in order to speed up the production of the film about the occupation of Western Ukraine by Soviet troops in 1939, where Stalinist Russia was hiding behind communist ideology and speculating on class inequality formed a solid base to destroy the most valuable achievement of postwar Europe – peace and security.”
Educated at the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts. Has directed the awarded short films Independence Day and Everything will be all right and the feature debut Hero of My Time. She is in post-production with her second fiction feature Do You Love Me?, which has participated as work in progress at a number of festivals. Tonia Noyabrova plans to work with a script for a comedy about Ukrainian refugees in Europe” and look for partners for parts of the postproduction of Do You Love Me?
”First of all I’d like to find a co-production for 1-2 session of editing “doctoring”. Then, of course I have a lot of job with sound. Sound design, sound mix, and the music licensing. For my new project I’d like to find script laboratory, to have a brainstorming session and partners or company, who will be interested to develop this project. So, I’m on the first stage with it, but I’m sure it’s gonna be very original, relevant and witty.”
Educated at the Karpenko-Kary Kyiv National University. His student film Fish of Lake Baikal and his graduation film It Was Showering in Manchester was both awarded and his feature debut My Thoughts Are Silent travelled to festivals over the world. He is now finishing the work with his second feature Luxembourg, Luxembourg, which will be premiering at a big festival, during the autumn. Antonio Lukich plans to work with the script for a new film, with his hometown Uzhgorod in focus.
”I am super grateful for this opportunity. It is quite hard to create something when you hear the sirens. I was born and raised in the city of Uzhgorod. Uzhgorod is the westernmost frontier of Ukraine. And probably the most multinational city in the country. I dream of making a real big movie about my small hometown.”
New Göteborg Film Fund 2021 report Read about the experiences and activities of the year and all the selected projects.
A Landless Woman (A Mulher Sem Chão) – Brazil
Director: Auritha Tabajara, Débora McDowell
Producer: Débora McDowell
A Landless Woman follows Auritha, a woman born on the banks of Saudoso River, in backwoods of Brazil. At a very young age she decided to write her story, inspired by her grandmother and their ancestors Tabajara. Later, when she felt the pain that traditional roles inflict on women, she left for the biggest city in the country – where being a native person means facing ghosts of colonialism around every corner. For a long time, the difficulties of getting a job and maintain her family would still remain. Through interviews and re-enactments, A Landless Woman shows, ten years later, a mosaic of bucolic memories and the urban daily life of a spontaneous protagonist and co-director. About to turn 40, Auritha publishes her first book and makes a living by telling her stories and of her people. Still, wounds from the past take on a new form – while Brazilian government opens up its project to decimate indigenous peoples.
Auritha Tabajara i a native poetess. Her latest published book is ”Heart in the village, Feet in the World”. A Landless Woman is a film debut.
Débora McDowell directs and produces documentaries within her own company. Among them is the awarded feature Transamazonia.
Alien Nights (Noites Alienígenas) – Brazil
Director: Sérgio De Carvalho
Producer: Pedro Von Kruger
Rio Branco, Acre, an Amazon city near the border with Peru and Bolivia, has been suffering the violent impacts of recent changes in trafficking routes, which have arrived with violence in the Brazilian Amazon. In this scenario, the lives of three young childhood friends intertwine and ultimately, they find themselves in a common tragedy.
The film deals with an urban Amazon, still little shown and known, which, in the denial of its forest identity, ends up revealing deep identity dramas of an entire generation. With touches of magical realism, Alien Nights deals with resistance, ancestry and youth, in an every day more warlike and authoritarian Brazil, which denies its black and indigenous roots.
Sérgio de Carvalho is a director, producer, and writer. He has directec tv-series, short films and documentaries. Alien nights is his feature fiction debut.
Aunt Virginia (Tia Virginia) – Brazil
Director: Fabio Meira
Producers: Janaina Diniz Guerra, Camilo Cavalcanti
Roseira Filmes / Kinossaurus Films
Aunt Virginia stars a 70-year-old woman who has never been married or had children and, convinced by her sisters, moved to take care of her parents. The patriarch died a few months ago and Virginia is alone with her mother of almost a hundred years. The film takes place all in the family house, in a single day, the day when Virginia prepares to receive the sisters who travel to celebrate Christmas. An underground layer establishes itself, leaving latent feelings dammed and secular grudges. Virginia does not seem more willing to compromise with this and to escape the conflicts, and also as a provocation, she starts to pretend to be crazy. As the hours pass by, the simulated madness ends up distorting Virginia’s own limits.
Aunt Virginia is Fabio Meira’s second feature. His debut, Two Irenes, premiered at the Berlinale and won the awards of Best Cinematographer and Best First Feature Film at the Guadalajara and Seminci. It was presented in more than 60 film festivals in 40 countries.
Rule 34 (Regra 34) – Brazil, France
Director: Julia Murat
Producers: Tatiana Leite, Julia Murat, Juliette Lepoutre
Esquina Producões, Bubbels Projects, Still Moving
Rule 34 follows Simone, 28, a young black attorney who has spent years offering live online sex performances to pay for law school. She has just passed the bar examination for public defender and her new routine consists in attending public defense preparatory classes, and taking Kung Fu lessons with Lucia, a white friend from law school. At class, Simone studies the Brazillian Penal System, and its wicked selectivity, locking up mainly poor black young men and privately she is gradually introduced into the world of BDSM.
Julia Murat has a long time experience working as an editor, assistant director, and camera assistant. Her first fiction film Found Memories (Histórias que só existem quando lembradas) premiered in Venice and was selected by San Sebastian, Toronto and Rotterdam. Her second film Pendular won the Fipresci award at Berlin Film Festival 2017 and was selected by several festivals around the world. Rule 34 was selected for the Berlin Coproduction Market, 2019, and Visions Sud Est.
The Colony (A Colônia) – Brazil
Director: Lorran Dias
Producer: João Gilberto Lopes
The Colony is a visual dramaturgy about differences and the possibilities of inhabiting them and living with them.. Estelar has been living in Colônia Juliano Moreira, West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, for some years, to work in a psychiatric hospital. She has visions of the neighborhood’s past. During the water crisis Estelar welcomes Kalil, her younger brother, who passed the public university to study music and looks for a place to live in the capital of Rio.
Amid the tension of an imminent socio-environmental catastrophe, Estelar needs to decide what she can do to make the passage through such difficult times less chaotic. In everyday politics, Estelar is a conservative Brazilian girl who ends up understanding that it takes more than respect to deal with the difference. It takes courage to review your mistakes and prejudices.
Lorran Dias is a filmmaker, visual artist, screenwriter and curator, who’s work challengen the limits between fiction, affective memory and historical art.The Colony is his feature debut.
Amedspor – Turkey
Director: Rezan Yeşilbaş
Producer: Ahmet Gürata
Encouraged by the “peace process” aiming to improve Kurdish citizens’ right in Turkey, Amedspor, a minor football club from Turkish second league, came under spotlight when they decided to reclaim their Kurdish identity. With growing fan support and strong transfer agreements, Amedspor raised to the quarter finals of the Turkish Cup the following year. Meanwhile, the political climate in Turkey was shifting rapidly and the peace process was on the verge of collapsing. The club found itself in the middle of a turmoil due to escalating Kurdish-Turkish conflict. Amedspor tells a story about resilience and peaceful co-existence.
Rezan Yeşilbaş short film Bé Deng (Silent,2012) won several awards, including the Golden Palm for Best Short Film in Cannes. Together with Hüküm (The Judgement, 2008), Bé Deng is part of a trilogy about women. Amedpsor is his feature debut.
The Rain Bride (Bûka Baranê) – KRG-Iraq
Director: Hussein Hassan
Producer: Mehmet Aktas
2014 in the Kurdish city of Duhok in Northern Iraq. Reber, a former deminer, now directs a traditional folk dance group where his wife Lori is a performer. When the region receives imminent threats through the ISIS war, Reber feels obliged to leave his family and join the frontlines. The Rain Bride explores a fight not only held in the frontlines but also within the community and families; a woman’s fight for a selfdetermined life. Intertwining the past and the present through the use of traditional storytelling, music and dance, the film reflects the never-ending conflicts in Kurdistan, the repetitive history of war – with its traumatic consequences that affects entire generations as well as the social and cultural fabric of a society – and the growing resistance in society to participate in it in the present.
Hussein Hassan is a director, writer and actor, in film and tv. In 2006 he shot his first feature film Narcissus Blossom which was screened at the Panorama, Berlinale and at the Toronto International Film Festival. Hassan has also directed Herman, which premiered at Pusan International Film Festival, and Reseba – The Dark Wind which opened the 4th Duhok International Film Festival and was awarded the Muhr Award at the Dubai International Film Festival and the Fipresci Award at the Dhaka International Film Festival. It was selected as the official Oscar Entry from Iraq for 2018.
Zalava – Iran
Director: Arsalan Amiri
Producer: Samira Baradari, Rouhollah Baradari, Touba Film
Co-producer: Ruth Yoshie Linton
In 1978, the inhabitants of a small village in Iran called Zalava claim there is a demon among them. Massoud, a young gendarmerie sergeant, who investigates this claim, encounters an exorcist attempting to rid the village of the demon. When he arrests the exorcist on charges of fraud, the villagers fear and anger escalates. Massoud and his love interest, a government doctor, soon find themselves trapped in a cursed house, surrounded by villagers who believe they are both possessed by the demon.
Arsalan Amiri co-wrote the script for Ida Panahandeh’s Nahid (2015), which was awarded in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes festival. Zalava is his debut feature. The film had its premiere at the Venice film festival, where it was awarded the Grand Pize as well as the Fipresci Award within the International Critics’ week section. The film was then screened within the Midnight Madness section at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Ada – Ukraine
Director: Alina Matochkina
In 1986, the largest work of art in Europe, the Wall of Memory, was illegally destroyed in Kiev, and along with it, the names of its two authors, Ada Rybachuk and Vladimir Melnichenko, were erased from the history of art. For many years this story has been kept in the strictest confidence and is known only to a narrow circle of the creative elite.
All attempts by the authors to achieve justice and to be heard only lead to even greater resistance from the authorities. Their names are gradually crossed out, and finally, Ada dies. For 7 years, the film crew has been watching how this story develops. Ada is the story of the courage of Vladimir, who, despite his old age and other difficulties, continues his struggle, in the name of Ada and their joint creativity, and how he, as a result, with the participation of a new generation, achieves colossal results.
Alina Matochkina has been working with video productions, advertisements and documentary videos. Ada is her first feature.
La Palisiada – Ukraine
Director: Philip Sotnychenko
Producers: Sashko Chubko, Valeria Sochyvets, Halyna Kryvorchuk
Viatel; Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema
La Palisiada is a post-Soviet noir, about the last death sentence in Ukraine, based on classified police archives. It is 1996 and five years since the declaration of Ukraine’s independence and five months before the declaration of the death penalty abolition. A murdered cop is found in a lake. The wrong guy is blamed. The police are in a hurry to close the case before the abolition of the death penalty. Oleksandr is an honored psychiatrist in his last year before retirement. He has to play a key role in the investigation of a complicated case and sign the life-or-death decision. Will he risk his friendship and his career to save a young man from the penalty he doesn’t deserve?
Philip Sotnychenko is the co-founder of Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema, a collective of young independent filmmakers. His short films Son, Nail and Technical Break were all awarded at large film festivals – overall his seven shorts has made it into 350 selections and won over 50 awards. This is his feature debut.
Pamfir – Ukraine, France, Poland, Chile
Director: Dmytro Sukholytkyy – Sobchuk
Producer: Aleksandra Kostina
Pamfir is a drama with its roots in the canons of the Greek tragedy. with the elements of western and detective story. Pamfir is a typical honest hard worker, who comes back home to visit after a long time working abroad. His wife Olena wants him to stay at home and his son Nazar badly wants to go to the Malanka folk carnival with his father. Due to an incident Pamfir is forced to give up honest breadwinning to be able to pay off a debt. Dressed in carnival costumes Pamfir and Nazar are forced to make the most important decision of their lives. The whole family is gathered together, driven by a love that can be both deadly and tender.
Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk has directed several awarded shorts. Pamfir is his feature debut and has been developed at Torino film lab and was selected for the Cinéfondation at the Cannes festival.
2019 – Brazil
Director: Affonso Uchôa
Producer: Julia Alves
Production Company: Vasto Mundes
(SEK 70 000)
Through three different stories – taking place at different times and places, but with the same main character, João Evangelista – 2019 presents an allegory of contemporary Brazil, a country waiting anxiously for tomorrow, when all problems will be solved. 2019, the first year of Bolsonaro’s government, is the mark of ruinous times, where a democratic country project is attacked every day. With the challenge of deciding if current ruins are signs of failure, or could be the base for some hope. The film is freely inspired on the book 1919, by John dos Passos.
Affonso Uchôa is a director and screenwriter. Hi debut was Mulher à tarde, (Afternoon Woman, 2010), which he followed up with A vizinhanca do tigre, (The Hidden Tiger, 2014), which was screened at many festivals. Ucchôa then co-directed Arábia (Araby, 2017), which premiered in competition at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and was screened at more than 60 film festivals around the globe. His most recent film, Sete anos em maio (Seven Yeas in May, 2019), premiered at Visions du reel (Switzerland) and was awarded at Indielisboa (Portugal) and Filmadrid (Spain), as well as screened in Toronto IFF, at the Viennale and Göteborg Film Festival.
As Novas Severinas – Brazil
Director: Eliza Capai
Producer: Mariana Genescá
Production Company: tva2.doc
(SEK 70 000)
As novas severinas is a two-phase feature documentary, 2013/2023, investigating the first generation of young girls who benefited from governmental income transfer policies. The setting is Guaribas, a town that had the second worst HDI in Brazil when it became the pilot city of the Bolsa Família (BF) program in 2003. Ten years later Capai returns, with her all female team, to the main characters Serena, Clarissa and Mirele, as well as the generation before them: Luzia, Domingas and Norma. The documentary mixes two tones: the observational with interviews, giving voice and action to women who have historically been silenced.
Eliza Capai is an independent documentary filmmaker who focuses on social issues. Her first feature, Here Is So Far (2013), was awarded in Brazil and abroad and was followed by The Tortoise and the Tapir (2016). Capai ́s latest, and third, film, Your turn (Espero tua (re)volta), premiered at the Berlinale (2019) followed by screenings at 100+ festivals with 20+ awards. Besides the long features documentaries, Eliza directed the first Brazilian true crime documentary original series for Netflix that will be released in 190 countries.
Babado – Brazil
Directors: Camila Freitas, Joaõ Vieira Torres
Producer: Marina Meliande, Pedro Duarte
Production Company: Duas Mariola Filmes
Co-producer: Primeira Idade
(SEK 70 000)
Babado is a creative documentary built in alliance with a network of young gay and trans gender people who share their lives between the spiritual practice of Umbanda and the sex market in the Amazonian triple border between Brazil, Peru and Colombia. At Father Jairo’s temple, they get into trance and incorporate spirits of the “people of the streets”, who guide them through the realm of the night in the streets of Tabatinga. In intimate collaboration with their entities, this group of friends reinvents their bodies and the borderlands they inhabit, entangled in a crossroad of dissident sexuality, corporality and spirituality.
Camila Freitas is a cinematographer and filmmaker. Her first feature film as a director, Chão(Landless, 2019) premiered at the Forum section of the 69thBerlinale, and was awarded at Olhar de Cinema (Public Award and Special Prize of the Jury), Festival do Rio (Special Prize of the Jury), Jean Rouch Festival (Anthropology and Sustainability Award) and Innsbruck Festival (Best DocumentaryAward), with screenings at many other festivals.
Joaõ Vieira Torres is an artist and filmmaker working with photography, cinema, video art and performance. His works have screened widely in both film and arts contexts, at many prestigious venues and has been awarded at many festivals and exhibitions contexts.
Germano Black Society – Brazil
Director: Everlane Moraes
Producer: Fernanda Lomba
Production Company: Thilha Midia
(SEK 70 000)
Germano Black Society is an urgent film with a theme that is both universal and precious for our times. It tells the story of Germano, a flamboyant social columnist, who is engaged with the present, promotes the black high society in Brazil in an attempt to break Brazilian’s racists paradigms. Germano is quite a controversial character. Besides having created a very unusual brand of black activism, he is a gay black man, who both with his radioshow and his hyperactivity in social networks, brings forth a totally distinct cultural cauldron. Party after party,he gets us acquainted with black women and men in the apex of their beauty, writers, thinkers, businessmen, artists in all mediums, professionals in the most diverse segments of the economy.
Everlane Moraes is a documentary filmmaker. Among her directed is Pattaki (2019), screened at the 20th Sundance Film Festival – Short Film Section and the Toulouse Film Festival among others. She was selected for the Director’s Summit in the 34thTalents Guadalajara in collaboration with Berlinale. Everlane has participated with her work in numerous international film festivals.
Laguna – Brazil
Director: Maurilio Martins
Producer: Thiago Macedô Correia
Production Company: Filmes de Plástico
(SEK 70 000)
Leo is an ex-convict, who was arrested after getting involved in a robbery. After spending over two years in prison, he’s trying to get back on track. Now Leo has to think about his future – and his 9 years old son, who has him as a hero – not to lose himself back in the old way. The film stars Leonardo de Jesus, playing a fictionalized version of himself, in a narrative about society’s relationship with marginalized figures, about fatherhood, redemption and the human freedom to dream. man plays a fictionalised version of himself. Laguna is a fable for adults, where Leo finds the strength within himself to become a strong bear.
Maurilio Martins is a filmmaker, screenwriter and producer, known for his work in Filmes de Plástico. His short films travelled the world and his first feature film, In the Heart of the World (2019), co-directed with Gabriel Martins, premiered in Rotterdam’s Tiger Competition, later being screened in several film festivals. Currently he is the headwriter of Americana, a series for Disney. He also is in preparation to shoot his second feature film, The Last Episode. Laguna will be Maurilio’s third feature film.
Hunchback – Turkey
Director: Ahu Öztürk
Evrim is a 38 year-old single woman who lives with her primary school aged son. She teaches literature at a high school, despite always having dreamt of working in music. One day she joins a choir and because she can’t convince her ex-husband to look after their soon while she is at practice, she invites her father to move in. An ex-convict, her father is not only estranged from life, but he is also stuck between the ideals of his revolutionary past and the realities of the present. As Evrim bears witness to her dad’s detachment from life, she comes to realize that her former hero has in fact always struggled with these demons. As memories she has long buried begin to surface, and she is not confronted with them, her anger flares. The more time that Vedat spends with Evrim and his grandson, Baran the more fearful he becomes, causing him to retreat from life. This face-off continues until Evrim confronts her own darkness. Will she be able to come to terms with the past and forgive her father?
Ahu Öztürk has directed the documentary Chest and the short film Open Wound. which has been screened in many international festivals. Her first feature film Dust Cloth was premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival, within the Forum Section and has received numerous awards.
My Mothers’ Tale – Turkey, UK
Director: Mizgin Müjde Arslan
Producer: Seray Genc
Production Company: Film-ist & Blue Arts
(SEK 50 000)
An old family photo, the last picture of the Mizgin Müjde Arslan with her mother and grandmother before events blew the family apart, is the starting point for a journey that takes the director from London to the tiny Kurdish village of her birth to explore a story of gender, motherhood, and women rights.
Mizgin Müjde Arslan was born in a small mixed Kurdish-Arab village in eastern Turkey. Having worked as a journalist for six consecutive years, she began to shoot her own short films and documentaries. Her first feature documentary, I Flew, You Stayed, (2012) has won a number of awards and the short film Houses with Small Windows was selected for Official Competition at the Venice Film Festival (2013) and won the European Short Film Award. She wrote and edited the books, Director Atıf Yılmaz and the first book on Kurdish Cinema, which is titled Kurdish Cinema: Rootlessness, Border and Death
Philax – Turkey and Italy
Director: Rûken Tekeş
Producers: Billur Arikan, Rûken Tekeş, Gabriele Oricchio, Riccardo di Pasquale
Production company: Sarya Films Collective (Turkey)
Co-Production company: Fenix Entertainment Spa (Italy)
Philax is a satiric fiction inspired by real events and stories. Following a donkey as she changes various owners among the last Greek inhabitants of a remote island in Turkey, the film depicts the flow of life in four seasons filled by resistance, feasts, fear, and hope. The greatest desire of the last 12 Greek elderly living on the island is to die in their land and be buried by their Priest. The donkey, named Philax, will be followed by our camera as she will be changing owners among 4 of the elders. She is the main witness and through her we will go deeper to the world of our characters.
Rûken Tekeş is an international human rights expert, script writer and director. Her award-winning first fiction short The Circle participated in over two hundred festivals worldwide. Her feature documentary debut Aether received the Golden Orange Jury Prize at Antalya FF. Philax is her feature fiction debut.
Symphony of Mountain – Iran
Director: Parviz Rostami
Symphony of Mountain tells the story of Mohammad Nazif, an 85 old man who inhibits in village Khangah, Ouraman. He is an alone busker musical performer that has spent most of his life in performing one of the oldest wind instrument called Shimshal. He lives with only the memories of his beloved’s voice, and often hears and follows her in the mountains. Shimshal has seven modes, and the film refers to the status and importance of number “7” in religions and various ethnics in the world. while we become familiar with the geography, importance and long history of Shimshal in Ouraman.
The Dream Betrayed Me – Syria, France, Belgium and Germany
Director: Mohammad Shaikhow
Producer: Camille Laemlé
Les Films d’Ici
In Qamishli in the north of Syria in 2004, seventeen-year-old Mesto, a talented football player, dreams of joining the local club. Despite his skills, however, he is not selected by the officials because he is a Kurd, which means he has no identification papers. When Qamishli’s team plays a match against their archrivals from the neighboring town, a player is injured – an emergency that prompts the coach to ask Mesto to step onto the pitch. After about ten minutes of play, Mesto unexpectedly scores but his joy is short-lived when a riot bursts out in the stands between rival fans and several people are killed. The event quickly ignites a rebellion demanding more rights for Kurds. While his dreams of playing football are swept aside, Mesto becomes the symbol of the Kurds struggle against the Syrian regime.
Mohammad Shaikhow, is a screen-writer, director and cinematographer. His first short film Hevi was screened at more than 50 festivals around the world. He is in development with his second short project Between Two Heavens The Dream Betrayed Me” is his debut feature.
Trousers – Turkey
Director: Tahzin Ozmen
Production Company: BurnALight
(SEK 50 000)
In accordance with the modernization laws of 1925 in the newly established Republic of Turkey, people must wear western clothing and are no longer permitted to wear their local and regional clothing. This the story of what happens in a poor remote Kurdish village where there is only one hat and one pair of trousers available for all the residents, and with society when the essence of a community is stripped away in the name of modernity.
Tahsin Ozmen was born in Cizre, Turkey. He started his filmmaking career working with editing and made his first short film Mast (Yogurt), in 2015. His second short filmed Pantor (Trousers) was awarded at several interantional festivals and is now being developed into his debut feature filmTrousers.
African Titanics – Sudan
Director: Hajooj Kuka
Gisa Productions / Refugee Club
African Titanics is a feature tragic comedy movie based on a novella by Abu Bakr Khaal. A bunch of African migrants join forces along the forbidden route to the Mediterranean. Abdar the optimist, Terhas the soldier and Malouk the griot. Their resilience makes them unstoppable. The story carries three distinct visual styles: reality, fantasy and doom, and will peel back western stereotypes of African migrants in nuanced and subtle ways, and inject a socially conscious,light-hearted edge, as the film’s characters use humor, folk tales and imagination to survive their journey.
Hajooj Kuka wrote, directed and co-produced Akasha (2018) which premiered at Venice International Film Festival. His 2014 feature documentary Beats of the Antonov premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the People’s Choice Documentary Award.
Goodbye Julia – Sudan, Egypt, Sweden
Director: Mohamed Kordofani
Producer: Amjad Abu Alala
Goodbye Julia is a social drama/thriller about how Sudan split into two countries back in 2011, through a story of two women; one from each side. It portrays the complex relation between the North and the South as well as the racism and classism, through a story of a present-day friendship haunted by a dark past. The film begins in July 2005, just 6 months after the signing, when a wave of violence and riots sparks in the capital Khartoum. Many people die from both sides and tension builds. Mona, an upper middle class retired singer from the north, accidentally hits a southern child with her car and drives away. To make amends she offers the childs mother, Julia, a job as a housemaid – without revealing that she was the one driving the car.
Mohamed Kordofani has directed the award winning short film Nyerkuk. His short Kejers Prison was screened during the Sudanese revolution at the sit-in square in front of thousands of protesters and his documentary A Tour in Love Republic was the first pro-revolution film to be broadcasted on Sudan’s national TV.
Lily’s Mecca – Sudan, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Qatar and France
Director: Marwa Zein
Lily’s Mecca tells the story of an immigrated Sudanese family who is forced to adapt to many changes socially, politically, economically and physically. The family tries to find ways of surviving the challenges and to move forward in the demanding daily life. The story mainly focuses on the middle child Lily who is mirroring the contradictions in her family and in her city. She is holding a hero journey in facing the limitations, fears and threats. She rebels against many of the restrictions due to her young age using many ways from being adventurous, friends to the boys, questioning god and pleasing her both opposing parents until all her ways doesn’t serve her anymore. Nightmares visit her and her physical body surrenders and gets sick.
Marwa Zein has directed the short fiction films A game and One week, Two days. Her debut documentary feature Khartoum Offside had its premiere at Berlinale Forum 2019 and went on to many prestigious international festivals. This is her fiction feature debut.
Sukkar – Sudan
Director: Mohamad Hanafi
Producer: Alyaa Musa
Black Balance Artistic Production
Sukkar is s suofi musical taking place in a small village in Sudan, the community is controlled by the desires of the village mayor, who misuses his power to force Sukkar to marry him. Alustaz, the young teacher, is in love with her and wants to marry her. Almamur; the charming Sufi priestess provides Sukkar with spiritual guidance and teaches her to be independent, and is planning to leave the village taking Sukkar with her. Sukkar finds herself trapped in this triangle of power; the political power of the mayor, spiritual power of Almamur and the teacher’s power of science.
Mohamad Hanafi has written and directed the short musical documentaries Nomads and Diversity, and the short experimental musical The Offering. He has been working within the theatre as a director, writer and actor for more than fifteen years. Sukkar is his feature debut.
The House That My Mother Built – Sudan
Director: Alyaa Musa
Black Balance Artistic Production
From Dec 2018 to April 2019, the Sudanese protest accelerated into full swing. The House That My Mother Built revisits this particular period which culminated in the tumbling of a 30 years’ dictatorship under the Albashir regime between 1989-2019. While the revolution’s defeats and victories were mainly captured and therefor seen from outside in the streets, this series is entirely focused on the unseen and untold stories which took place behind closed doors. It restructures precarious moments of emotional and overwhelming encounters between the young protesters and the inhabitants of the homes that received them as they escaped from the severe violence chasing them in the streets. The eight episodes of the series are set in eight random households across Sudan, prior to the fall.
Alya Musa is a director, producer and cinematographer. She has directed and produced several shorts and is working with several projects in different stages in her company Black Balance Artistic Productions.
Kai – Ukraine
Director: Oleh Sentsov
Producer: Denis Ivanov
Kai is a story about overcoming midlife crisis, based on Oleh Sentsov’s own life experience –the struggle for the future of a child diagnosed with autism, and many other vicissitudes, which the director rethought in an artistic form. On the one hand, the history of the film is unique, connected with the Ukrainian reality of the beginning of 2000. On the other hand, the project is universal, as it raises the problems of heroes, which are understandable in all modern cultures and societies.
Oleh Sentsov debuted with Gamer (2013) which had its premiere at the Rotterdam festival. He was then sent to 20 yers of prison due to his activism within the ”AutoMaidan” movement. He was released in 2019 as part of a prisoner exchange deal. His second feature Rhino (2021), was screened in the Venice Orrizzonti section.
Nuthouse Road – Ukraine
Director: Oleksandr Techynskyi
Producers: Oleksandra Kravchenko, Darya Bassel
Nuthouse Road is a social horror-drama, based on the author’s personal experience as a paramedic in the psychiatric ambulance crew at the beginning of 2000’s. Plot compresses various recollections of that period into one 24-hour shift, during which a naïve young man faces the dehumanized reality of post-soviet apocalypse, falls under influence of his older mentors and crosses the line into the abyss of dark human instincts. This twisted coming of age story becomes a metaphor for society, where a personality so easily gets corrupted by demoralized authorities, devoid of any sense of purpose, value or dignity.
Oleksandr Techynskyi worked as paramedic of a psychiatric emergency team but left medicine, to start working with photography and documentary film. He has directed the awraded documentaries Delta, All Thing Ablaze and Sirs and Misters. Nuthouse Road is the debut fiction feature.
Sasha, Take Out the Trash – Ukraine
Director: Nataliia Vorozhbyt
Producer: Ivanna Dyadyura
IDAS International Film
Sasha, take out the trash is based on the play, written by Nataliia Vorozhbyt. It shows modern Kiev, its ordinary inhabitants with their fear of war and living. The story – based on her own family; herself, her stepfather, her mother – is about overcoming fears and exploring personal and societal traumas.
Nataliia Vorozhbyt has written over 15 theatre plays that have been staged around the world, at the Royal Court Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in the UK in particular. She has also created a number of screenplays for TV and movies. Her debut feature Bad Roads was awardet at the Film Critics’ Week, at the Venice Film Festival.
Symphony of Donbas – Ukraine
Director: Elena Rubashevska
Producer: Veronika Kryzhna
Donbas, once a locomotive of the industrial power and glory of the Soviet Union, whose motto used to be ”Power and Beauty”, now lies frozen. It’s time to come back there and to try and find the lost memories hidden behind the brownfield’s exterior. Symphony of Donbas is an artistic rethinking of the abandoned industrial heritage of the region in the format of a poetical documentary in order to restore the identity and revitalize the cultural significance of the region.
Elena Rubashevska is a journalist, author and director. She directed the short films Pretty Ballerina (2017), Humans of Christiania (2017), S(HE) (2019), Alpha (2020). Symphony of Donbas is her feature debut.
Tangier – Ukraine
Screenwriter: Maxym Kurochkin
Producer: Natalia Libet
Production Company: Esse Production House
(SEK 50 000)
Tangier is an adaptation of the novel by Ukrainian author Yvan Kozlenko, about searching one’s own borders while questioning a boundary between art and life. At the very beginning of the 2000:s, a young man Orest, is chosen to play in the screen version of his favourite book. However, during preparation for the filming, a love triangle from the book, from the 20’s in Odessa, ceases to be a fiction while turning into a new dramatic dimension in Orest’s life in the present reality.
Maxym Kurochkin is a well-established screenwriter who works for cinema and theatersince the mid of the 90’s. His numerous works have been filmed and put into a play in Kiev, Ukraine as well as in major cities in CIS countries. He teaches at the Terrarium screenwriting private initiative in Kiev as well as in CinemaLab, Academy of Visual Arts Kharkiv.
The Innovative distribution selection:
Vitrine Lab – Expanded Experience – Brazil
(SEK 120 000)
Vitrine Lab was created to form professionals. Besides being characterized as a residence for young talents in cinema and the audiovisual industry, the project is a training program focused on the commercialization and distribution of films. Through an intensive immersion of a few weeks, participants will join conversations and take classes to learn about the value chain of national cinema, distribution and curatorship principles, contractual and business aspects in the commercialization of a film, digital and offline marketing, public policies, and much more. The lesson plan and exercises were developed to contemplate the macro logic of the audiovisual market, the workflow inside Vitrine, as well as fostering thinking in the target audience of the works starting from the project’s conception.
Chuvisco project, the active distribution network for A Bruddah’s Mind – Brazil
(SEK 120 000)
The release of the film A Bruddah’s Mind in theaters and on VOD is scheduled for the second half of 2021, and aims for distribution based on methodologies that come from the black movement and community. The main strategy is to create a disruptive, innovative and creative distribution campaign, which will be mainly headed by a team of black professionals and agents, creating the network Chuvisco.
Chuvisco will be a collective action for the formation of vocal agents, essentially composed of students and educators from different cities in Brazil, who will act as a network in the film’s distribution campaign. They have been participating in the work with creating materials for the campaign and also holding extra-cinema screenings for schools, simultaneously with the release in theaters and VOD, expanding the film’s arrival in public schools and institutes focused on the discussions of race and decolonialism.
Rewend – Wandering Cinema – Syria
Rojava Film Commune
(SEK 120 000)
Rewend aims at increasing the opportunities for Kurdish cinema by promoting and distributing the works of the Rojava Film Commune in Italy, Catalunya and the Basque country through touring events which will establish a distribution network of venues and the creation of a streaming program.
Rojava Film Commune’s van will visit a number of “stations.” At each station a screening and a special event will be organised by local communities, as well as other related cultural activities. The tour will be the premise to a permanent distribution network of venues (cinemas, theatres, open air venues) for Kurdish cinema. All venues visited by the Rewend tour, will subsequently host special screenings and events with directors (with a minimum of one film every 3 months) in a sustained effort to connect Kurdish film with new audiences in Italy and Spain.
Mobile Cinema – Sudan
(SEK 120 000)
Cinema has the power to bring the community together for a communal emotional experience. When a film screening is followed by a discussion, it opens the door for raising awareness, communal healing and changing mindsets. The project Mobile cinema aims to bring this experience to communities that are on the margin.The screening team will be traveling in a funky colorful mobile cinema van, with a sound system, a projector, a screen and a small generator. The team will be led by volunteers who will set up the screening and facilitate the discussions, sharing the behind the scene work that went into making these films. The aim is to encourage and open the door for people to create their own films, connecting them through social media and encouraging the creation of theater and filmmaking collectives. Local ocal works from these groups will then be screend as opening to the main feature. The goal is to cover all the seven districts of Khartoum over a period of six months concentrating on the poorer neighborhoods. All screenings will be free and followed by a discussion and when possible with the director in attendance.
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