Eastern talent ready to breakthrough

Ten Europeans on the brink of major film success

Vinko Bresan
Bresan relishes taking on hot topics, as he’s shown in six pics since 1993, most notably in “Witnesses,” a series of conflicting war accounts compared to “Rashomon,” and in 1999 black comedy “Marshal Tito’s Spirit,” which won best director kudo at Karlovy Vary that year. He competes at Karlovy Vary this year with “Will Not Stop There.”

Robert Glinski
The veteran Polish director has been on the radar of critics ever since his drama about the alienation of a young girl, “Hi, Tereska,” wowed the fest circuit in 2001, nabbing a special jury prize at Karlovy Vary. His bold look at the sex trade, “Piggies,” competes for Karlovy Vary’s Crystal Globe this year.

Balint Kenyeres
Hungarian director who has built a strong festival presence with early shorts such as “Closing Time” (2001) and “Before Dawn” (2005), his latest 17-minute short, “The History of Aviation” set in Normandy in 1905, unspooled in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight this year. His next project, “Hier,” is the first Zentropa-Hungarian co-production. Produced by Laszlo Kantor of Uj Budapest Filmstudio and Ib Tardini of Zentropa, e1.6 million drama is being sold by Kantor for Uj Budapest Filmstudio.

Chulpan Khamatova
Russian-born Tatar actress’s face graces billboards across the country for a Western-owned chain of pharmacies and has a wide range of Russian and German film and TV credits to her name, including 2003’s “Good Bye Lenin!” Recent work includes Karen Oganesyan’s “The Ghost” and Alexei German Jr.’s Karlovy Vary’s East of the West section’s “Paper Soldier.”

Anna Katchko
Russian co-producer on “Newsmakers,” the first ever Swedish-Russian remake of an Asian film, based on Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s “Breaking News.” A producer on director Slava Tsukerman’s “Perestroika,” she’s on the lookout for “strong Russian-set detective scripts,” but says there is a dearth of good material.

Veiko Ounpuu
Estonian Ounpuu charmed and disturbed auds worldwide with his 2007 debut, offbeat comic character study “Autumn Ball.” That pic won a prize at Venice, and his follow-up, “The Temptations of St. Tony,” which recently wrapped, tackles more disturbing questions, specifically about the co-existence of morality and consumerism.

Anatoly Maksimov
Co-producer of hit Russian sci-fi films “Night Watch” and “Day Watch,” Maksimov is less-well-known than his former boss, Russian public TV head Konstantin Ernst. The producer, in his latest film, “Admiral,” which is set during the Bolshevik Revolution, tackles a previously politically taboo subject, making a hero of Czarist Admiral Kolchak.

Corneliu Porumboiu
Romanian helmer Porumboiu has been a key figure in his country’s new wave — his gritty, minimalist “Police, Adjective” took Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Jury Prize this year as well as the top prize at May’s Cluj fest. In 2006 he won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for “12:08 East of Bucharest.”

Maria Prochazkova
Czech helmer Prochazkova started as an animator (and garnering awards along the way) but this year is winning kudos with her live-action second feature, “Who’s Afraid of the Wolf,” a chilling riff on fairy tales and the modern dysfunctional family. Pic shows major strides since her preem, “Shark in the Head,” a 2005 study of a middle-aged Praguer increasingly drawn to inner fantasies.

Igor Voloshin
Russian director whose first feature, “Nirvana,” explored St. Petersburg’s exotic underground criminal punk scene; his new film, “Ya,” is a bleak but stylish story of the generation destroyed by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll set in a filthy Russian psychiatric unit make for a shocking sophomore film.