Balkan Fund goes with known scribes

Competition takes place November 14-16

Some of southeast Europe’s leading screenwriters are among those with projects selected for the Thessaloniki Film Festival’s seventh annual Balkan Fund script development competition.

The competition, which takes place Nov. 14-16 during the 50th edition of the Greek fest, pitches 11 projects from 10 different countries competing for a $15,000 prize.

This year’s selection will feature the first screenplay from Ismail Kadare, considered Albania’s most important living author, as well as scripts from Balkan Fund regulars Tudor Giurgiu, Predrag Velinovic and Darko Lungulov.

Lungulov’s award-winning first feature “Here and There,” which won a Balkan Fund award in 2006 and is Serbia’s foreign-language film Oscar entry, will screen at the festival.

The projects nominated for this year’s Balkan Fund are:

“Border Line,” writer-director Emmanuel Economou, producer Andreas Siadimas, Dangerous Prods. (Greece)

“The Girl From Slaveikov Square,” writer Georgi Danailov, director Radoslav Spassov, producer Gergana Stankova, Menclips Ltd (Bulgaria)

“Halima’s Path,” writer Fedja Isovic, director-producer Arsen Anton Ostojic, Ars Septima (Croatia)

“Home, Sweet Home,” writer Panos Stathoyiannis, director Corinna Avraamidou, producer Kyriacos Tofarides, Avra Prods. (Cyprus)

“Made in Romania,” writer Ionut Teianu, director-producer Tudor Giurgiu, Libra Film (Romania)

“Monument to Michael Jackson,” writer-director Darko Lungulov, producers Snezana Penev & Darko Lungulov, Kino Kamera (Serbia)

“Motel Nana,” writer Ranko Bozic, director-producer Predrag Velinovic, Sirius Production (Serbia)

“Mother of Asphalt,” writers Dalibor Matanic & Tomislac Zajec, director Dalibor Matanic, producer Ankica Juric Tilic, Kinorama (Croatia)

“Orange Gardens,” writer-director Ozkan Kucuk, producers Suncem Kocer & Ozkan Kucuk, Mesopotamia Cinema & Yapim 13 Film Prod. (Turkey)

“Romanian Spring,” writer-director Anca M. Lazarescu, producer Verona Meier, Razor Films (Germany / Romania)

“Russian Women,” writer Ismail Kadare, director Lidia Bobrova, producer Loreta Mokini (Albania / France)

The Balkan Fund has developed a reputation for picking winners in recent years with scripts that include Cannes Intl. Critics’ Week winner “Snow,” directed by Aida Begic; Un Certain Regard winner “California Dreamin’,” directed by Cristian Nemescu, and Berlin Golden Bear winner “Grbavica,” directed by Jasmila Zbanic.

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