Future Frames Showcase at Karlovy Vary Casts the Spotlight on Promising Creative Talent

European Film Promotion selects ten new filmmakers

Future Frames, a next-generation showcase, spotlights short works by students and recent graduates of European film schools. The selection is curated by the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival in cooperation with European Film Promotion. The selected directors and their films will be introduced to the public, press and industry July 2-5 in the spa town. Canadian director Denis Coté will mentor the group and teach a masterclass. The Sundance Channel and Nespresso are partners of Future Frames 2017.

Icelandic helmer Elsa Maria Jakobsdóttir (“Atelier”) neatly sums up the opinion of all the young participants: “I’m looking forward to meeting the filmmakers and seeing what they are up to. I think directors should network more and have each other’s back. Producers are generally amazingly good at this. And look where they’re at!”

Michal Blaško
“Atlantis, 2003”
Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava
Slovak Republic
Blaško’s B.A. project, the gripping drama “Atlantis, 2003,” screened in the recent Cannes Cinefondation competition. It asks a universal question: “How responsible are we for each other?” Blaško is interested in the theme of human conscience. “I find it so interesting to build characters and, after knowing them for some time, to place them in situations where they have to prove their inner strength, neutrality or weakness,” he says. He is preparing his M.A. degree film, “Victims,” and co-directing a short animation “Wild Beasts.” The busy Blaško is also developing a feature with producer Jakub Viktorín.

Maria Eriksson
“Schoolyard Blues”
Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts, Sweden
Eriksson completed her masters in film direction with the sensitive drama “Schoolyard Blues,” featuring impressive performances by child actors. “I make films that focus on the relationships between us, the small things we do that have big consequences,” she says. “I want my films to have an emotional impact. I want to hit the heart first, then the mind. Not the other way around.” After another short based on the same themes as “Schoolyard Blues,” she plans to move into features. She’s drawn to poetic realism and influenced by filmmakers such as Andrea Arnold and Bo Widerberg.

Elsa María Jakobsdóttir
“Atelier”
National Film School of Denmark,
Iceland
Jakobsdóttir, who has a background in sociology and journalism, was the first Icelandic woman to be accepted into the directing program at the National Film School of Denmark. Her potent drama “Atelier” is her graduation project. “I’m a researcher at heart,” Jakobsdóttir says. “Lately I’ve been interested in modern self-help culture and creepy Scandinavian minimalism.” She knows which film she wants to make next and is looking for the right producer. “I also want to try for once to write together with a screenwriter. So, I’m people scouting these days. I’m also looking for an office in Copenhagen. Anyone?”

Liene Linde
“Seven Awkward Sex Scenes”
Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia
A filmmaker and critic, Linde wants to push cinematic boundaries. She says: “We live in a world of very simplified narratives; what I want to get across with my films is the idea that life is a complex, beautiful and funny mystery.” Courageous artists inspire her. “Possibly the biggest influence for me in recent years has been the animated feature ‘Rocks in My Pockets’ by the New York-based Latvian animator Signe Baumane. She was so brutally honest about herself and her past in this film; this honesty, coupled with the black, sharp sense of humor resonated deeply in me.”

Matei
Lucaci-Grunberg
“Bones for Otto”
National University of Theater and Film I.L. Caragiale, Bucharest, Romania
Lucaci-Grunberg is a theater and film director, screenwriter and playwright, who is also pursuing his doctorate. “Bones” offers a surprising, lightly comic night out with a veteran of the world’s oldest profession and a newbie. “Momentarily I am exploring comedies,” Lucaci-Grunberg says. “I would like to try different types of comedies: from social comedies to dark comedies to dialogue-based comedies and even slapstick. I think that in comedy you can find a lot of truth and you don’t have to take yourself too seriously. Also, I consider comedies very hard to write and direct, which represents an interesting challenge.”

Joren Molter
“Greetings From Kropsdam”
Netherlands Film Academy, Netherlands
“I try to make films with an ecstatic value in the storytelling and a form that reflects on our society,” Molter says. “Films where you can feel the hand of the author in the stylistic choices. I’m fascinated by themes such as dark human urges and weaknesses.” He’s working as a commercial director and developing a film for television. The Dutch Film Fund is backing his next short “Kind,” which will shoot this fall. “I’m also developing a screenplay for my first feature film together with my screenwriter and the production company Family Affair Films.”

Katarina Morano
“Ljubljana-München 15:27”
Academy for Theater, Radio, Film and Television, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Morano’s previous short, “Where To (Kam),” was nominated for a student Oscar. The ambitious drama “Ljubljana-München 15:27,” about a young couple that ultimately realizes that everything they thought was temporary has suddenly become permanent, is her graduation project. “I would love to make films that, for a brief moment, stop us, stop the time, make us question our path and beyond all make us see what we so often try not to see,” she says. Although her academic career is complete, she observes, “the more time I spend with films, the more I see that film school never finishes.”

Giorgi Mukhadze
“Waiting for Ana”
Shota Rustaveli Theater and Film Georgia State University, Georgia
Tbilisi-based Mukhadze has worked as a director, assistant director and screenwriter for several production companies. “Waiting for Ana” is his graduation film. He’s working on a new short and writing a script for his first feature. He says: “I never think of the type of film I want to make. I think of the story behind it and the form comes along. It is not a very rational and consciousness decision.” Asked about his influences, he cites “a sequence of my life and observations. The books I have read, the films I have watched, but reality affects me most.”

Kirsikka Saari
“After the Reunion”
ELO Helsinki Film School, Finland
Saari is a co-founder of the production company Tuffi Film and previously worked as a journalist. Before making her directing debut, she penned several prize-winning scripts. She aims to create films that make people laugh and cry at the same time, something epitomized by her rueful dramedy “After the Reunion.” Saari says: “Everyday life is my inspiration, I see a lot of humor in the everyday struggle of people.” She’s working on a feature-length comedy about an extended family and several short film projects. She also wrote the screenplay for Selma Vilhunen’s next feature, titled “Stupid Young Heart.”

Damián Vondrášek
“Imprisoned”
FAMU, Czech Republic
Vondrášek is finishing his third year at FAMU and would like to get a master’s degree. He’s preparing his B.A. project. “The story is a reaction to the rising extremism in Europe,” he says. Meanwhile, “Imprisoned” is an intimate, realistic drama treating various forms of imprisonment. He cites Tobias Lindholm from Denmark and Corneliu Porumboiu from Romania as filmmakers that inspire him. “I would like to make films that have something important to say, that are authentic to reality and my personal experience. … Realistic drama is something which I naturally tend to.”

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