Festival fund to back projects

Balkans-based scriptwriters are being urged to submit their projects to Greece’s Thessaloniki Film Festival.

The festival’s 49th edition won’t open until Nov. 14 but now is the time for screenwriters to enter its sixth Balkan Fund script development project, festival head Despina Mouzaki said.

The fund “addresses a geographical area not fully covered by any other festival fund: South-Eastern Europe and specifically Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Macedonia,” Mouzaki said in a statement.

Aimed at feature-length projects with the potential for theatrical release, four out of 12 pre-selected projects will win $14,500 (10,000) in script development awards following a three-day workshop and open jury sessions that runs Nov. 15-17.

Previous notable films supported by the fund include Berlinale Golden Bear winner “Grbavica” by Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic and Turkish director Handan Ipekci’s acclaimed “Hidden Faces.”

New projects that the festival anticipates at this year’s Balkan Fund include: Cristian Mungiu’s “Baby Photo,” Constantine Giannaris’ “Welcome Aboard,” Kutlug Ataman’s “The Coat,” Srdjan Dragojevic’s “Kingdom Cum,” Catalin Mitulescu’s “A Heart Shaped Balloon” and Razvan Radulescu’s “First of All, Felicia.”

The 49th edition of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival runs Nov. 14-23.

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