European Film Promotion has been playing host at the Cannes Film Festival to 20 up-and-coming European producers, selected for its Producers on the Move program. Variety invited the producers to share details of their upcoming projects.
Maarten Schmidt, Belgium
Project: “Under the Surface”
Director: Guido Verelst
Anne, born premature, has Asperger’s and wants nothing more than to be able to live underwater as a mermaid. But she has to learn how to live independently above the surface with her new boyfriend.
Katya Trichkova, Bulgaria
Writers: Konstantin Bojanov and Petar Krumov
Director: Konstantin Bojanov
Nina, a criminally minded young woman, spots a weakness in the security system of an art museum and concocts a plan to rob it. Soon, however, she finds herself caught between her desire to cash in on the bounty and her deepening feelings for her lover Philip, whom the police unjustly accuse of being part of the heist.
Janine Teerling, Cyprus
Project: “Embryo Larva Butterfly”
Director: Kyros Papavassiliou
How would life be if we could foresee certain elements of our future whilst elements of our past are still unbeknown? In a world where time changes arbitrarily, a couple’s relationship is tested as their individual and shared recollections of the past, present and future change unremittingly.
Vladimír Lhoták, Czech Republic
David and Berta are 12 and meet during the summer holidays in Prague. On a journey to discover the truth about their family history, they enter into the mysterious timelessness, where they need to set free the souls of their grandparents. This is a summer holiday they will never forget.
Evelin Penttilä, Estonia
Project: “At Your Service”
Director: German Golub
Writers: Livia Ulman, Andris Feldmanis (“Compartment nr 6”)
A tragicomedy about a young mother and a patrol officer Helen, who finds herself in a predicament when deciding who to save – her family, her career or herself.
Ketie Danelia, Georgia
Project: “City Noise”
Director: Papuna Mosidze
Pukho, a 38-year-old man, leads a double life. His usual life is being an archivist at the public TV station. He leads a secret life on social media, transforms himself into his acquaintances, steals identities of women and chats with men. One such identity thefts turns out to be tragic for Margo – his actions ruin the life of a young woman without her realizing the reality behind it.
Alexander Wadouh, Germany
Project: “Time of the Monsters”
1914, Togo: Full of hope, nurse Elsa (17) begins her service working with human experiments at a remote infirmary in the German colony of Togo. Born with a deformed hand, this looks like a unique opportunity for her, but doctor Alexander fails in his trials and people are dying. Elsa is demoted and feels betrayed. When World War I breaks out, her time at the colony has come to an end and she has to decide either to join Alexander in war or to go back to an unknown future in Germany.
Ioanna Bolomyti, Greece
Project: “The Boy with the Light Blue Eyes”
Director: Thanasis Neofotistos
A coming-of-age Greek tragedy about sexual awakening, diversity and acceptance.
Jessie Fisk, Ireland
Project: “This is the Country”
Director: Mark Noonan
A coming-of-age romantic thriller about a young Irish couple forced on the run to escape a vengeful brother, leaving a trail of destruction across Ireland.
Alessandro Amato, Italy
Project: “A Song That Slays”
Director: Mo Scarpelli
Developed through Berlinale Talents Script Station and LIM, the project marks the debut of the documentary director Mo Scarpelli and tells the story of Chesang, a teenager of a Pokot tribe in Kenya, and of her fight between tradition and freedom.
Derk-Jan Warrink, The Netherlands
Director: Eché Janga
The gripping story of youngster Franklin, who receives an unexpected phone call from his Curaçaoan father whom he has never spoken to before. He is offered the chance to leave detention and go to Curaçao, where he can serve his sentence by helping his father on his bee farm. He agrees, until he is faced with an unexpected and irreversible choice.
Marija Dimitrova, North Macedonia
Project: “Housekeeping for Beginners”
Director: Goran Stolevski
A story about the lesbian couple Suada and Dita, their friend Toni and his new boyfriend, Ali, who is Suada’s two daughters’ favorite. When Suada dies of cancer, Dita has to act quickly to save the unusual patchwork family, even if it means her marrying Toni and adopting her wife’s children.
Kuba Kosma, Poland
Director: Łukasz Ronuda
An ex Camorra boss, Luigi, escapes from Italy to Poland to find a shelter in a refugee camp led by charismatic nun Emilia. Both characters come from completely different backgrounds, but in a way are very alike. The awkward infatuation begins.
Diana Păroiu, Romania
Project: “And Then We Took Berlin”
Creator: Peca Ştefan
An ensemble comedy-drama series set in the late 70s and early 80s East and West Berlin and Bucharest. In order to renew their East Berlin contract, a group of Romanian musicians must find the snitch selling them out to the secret police only to discover that the rat is one of them.
Jakub Viktorín, Slovak Republic
Director: Michal Blaško (in early development)
An immigrant family has to decide their future during a single night at their apartment. Young Sydu gets home and confesses to his parents that he and his friends hurt someone. As the night unfolds, Sydu’s family slowly uncover the extent of his guilt.
Felipe Lage Coro, Spain
Project: “Wild Is the Wind”
Director: Eloy Domínguez Serén
In “Wild Is the Wind,” to be shot in Galicia, Spain in 2024, a wind power company will threaten what’s left of Ana’s family – their land.
Stefan Eichenberger, Switzerland
Project: “Antonia’s Garden”
Director: Christine Repond
Thirty-five-year-old Antonia wants nothing more than to lead a normal life with a husband and child. But how is that possible if she only feels sexually attracted to under-age boys?
Shown in the photo, from left: Felipe Lage Coro (Spain), Vladimír Lhoták (Czech Republic), Judith Lou Lévy (France), Derk-Jan Warrink (The Netherlands), Jakub Viktorín (Slovak Republic), Ioanna Bolomyti (Greece), Evelin Penttilä (Estonia), Alessandro Amato (Italy), Diana Păroiu (Romania), Stefan Eichenberger (Switzerland), Maarten Schmidt (Belgium), Darya Bassel (Ukraine), Marija Dimitrova (North Macedonia), Janina Teerling (Cyprus), Katya Trichkova (Bulgaria), Jessie Fisk (Ireland), Ketie Danelia (Georgia), Johannes Schubert (Austria), Kuba Kosma (Poland). Not in the picture: Alexander Wadouh (Germany) and Andrea Berentsen Ottmar (Norway). Courtesy of European Film Promotion/Kurt Krieger.