Less Is More (LIM), a European development scheme for limited-budget feature films, has unveiled its selection of 16 projects, a majority of which are from women filmmakers and talents coming from theater, visual arts or documentary.

In spite of the pandemic, the 7th edition received as many as 350 applications from more than 70 countries. The final roster includes projects from territories that were not represented in previous editions, such as Uganda, Vietnam and South Africa.

Among the projects selected are “I Love My Guodoheaddji,” set in the Arctic Circle within Norway’s Sámi community; “I Matter,” about a Romany community in Romania, and “A Song That Slays,” set in a Pokot tribe in Kenya. Other projects explore a cult in Czech Republic (“Goddess), sex addiction in Lithuania (Sofia’s World), and Celtic tales (“Birds of a Feather…).

LIM, which develops first, second and third feature projects, is organized by the Groupe Ouest, a film org created in 2006 in Brittany, in Northwest France, and headed by Antoine Le Bos and Charlotte Le Vallégant. The initiative is backed by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

“The context being so heavily troubled, we were afraid the writers would be affected. But it’s not the case. LIM’s goal, today more than ever, is to highlight projects with a quest for human substance in a disturbed landscape, projects powered by a strong quest for meaning,” said Massimiliano Nardulli, LIM’s head of talent.

Nardulli said the projects selected this year are “a very consistent display of how a new generation of filmmakers grab the world with full hands.”

Le Bos, LIM’s artistic director, said the successive lockdowns have sparked a “kind of wake up call.”

“During last year’s workshops, some of the projects had to gather a new momentum, couldn’t keep on talking about our world in the same manner, and very clearly today, you can’t write films thinking the world revolves around yourself, you have to talk to humans, trapped on the same boat,” said Le Bos.

The Groupe Ouest has become a leading residency program in Europe, coaching 200 directors and auteurs every year. Alumni of the Groupe Ouest include Houda Benyamina’s “Divines,” winner of Cannes’ Golden Camera in 2016, and Ralitza Petrovae’s “Godless,” winner of Locarno’s Golden Leopard in 2013.

LIM, meanwhile, hosts three one-week workshops in residency – in March, June and October – in small villages across Europe, and was created to empower a generation of filmmakers with a mantra inspired by the Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor Igor Stravinsky.

“Like Igor Stravinsky would say, we believe that the more art is bound by limitations, the freer it is,” said Le Bos.

Filmmakers will be joined by 12 Development Angels – creative producers, development execs or film professionals from Brazil to Latvia, and from Ukraine to Wale – with the idea to build writers’ room around each project.

Recent Less Is More alumni include Nathalie Biancheri, whose feature debut “Wolf,” a mystery thriller with George MacKay, Paddy Considine and Lily-Rose Depp, is in post-production.

“The more we grow and the more we choose directors who are inhabited by the subjects of their films, preferably politically or socially engaged,” said Le Bos, adding that the Groupe Ouest has always strived to create movies with a purpose.

LIM 2021 Selection

Marija Apcevska, “Spring Cleaning”
North Macedonia
1st feature film

Marja Bål Nango, Ingir Ane Bål, “I Love My Guodoheaddji”
1st feature film

Martin Clark, “Jealous Alan”
Scotland, UK
1st feature film

Linh Duong, “Don’t Cry Butterfly”
1st feature film

Magdalena Franczuk, “The Downfalls of Bungo”
1st feature film

Nolwenn Guiziou, “Birds of a Feather…”
1st feature film

Jonas Kærup Hjort, “Disappearing Skin”
2nd feature film

Chingiz Karibekov, Anthony Nti, “The Festival”
1st feature film

Karabo Lediga, “Sabbatical”
South Africa
1st feature film

Anna Maguire, “An Empty Space”
U.K. & Canada
1st feature film

Irma Pužauskaitė, “Sofia’s World”
2nd feature film

Sebastião Salgado, “Lesser Evil”
1st feature film

Mo Scarpelli, “A Song That Slays”
Italy, U.S.
1st feature film

Alina Șerban, “I Matter”
1st feature film

Samuel Tebandeke, “Conversations With My Mother”
1st feature film

Damián Vondrášek, “Goddess”
Czech Republic
1st feature film

LIM 2021 Development Angels

Síle Culley, Ireland
An Feyfer, Flanders, Belgium
Marika Kozlovska, Latvia
Nađa Lapcevic, Serbia
Natalia Libet, Ukraine
Alice Lusher, Wales, U.K.
Almudena Monzu, Spain
Amélie Queret, Brittany, France
Michal Reich, Czech Republic
Rafael Sampaio, Brazil
Mariana Schneider, Germany
Mar Vila Barcelo, Spain, Scotland, U.K.