Every year, a group of young talented directors and/or producers attending the Talents Sarajevo program have the unique opportunity to pitch their scripts in development to a wider audience of the CineLink Industry Days, consisting of various professionals scouting for talents, their colleagues, as well as a three-member jury that awards two of their projects. This year the jury members were director Aida Begić; last year's Pack&Pitch winner – director Silva Ćapin; and producer as well as documentary director Noemi Schory. The group of young talents was mentored by project and pitching consultants Gabriele Brunnenmeyer and Selina Ukwuoma.
The first to pitch his project on Wednesday afternoon was Vagelis Zouglos, a young director from Greece, who presented his project Tin Pest, a drama portraying a Syrian refugee working in a recycling centre who, having lost his home once because of the war, is now in danger of losing everything once again. Zouglos highlighted that his film is not a story about the refugee crisis, but rather a post-refugee tale of a brave man trying to survive in a contemporary world by persisting in extremely difficult work conditions.
Patricia D’Intino, a Hungarian producer went on to pitch a coming-of-age drama Pinkler by the director Zsofia Zsemberi. Pinkler is a story of a young tomboy girl from a foster home searching for her own place in the big world. With Pinkler’s mother being out there and a strong wish to belong somewhere, she is on an ongoing quest in which she experiences both abuse as well as unexpected kindness from a peculiar gypsy family.
The third pitch was about a project titled Bunker by a Macedonian director Marko Crnogorski. The drama deals with a war veteran whose head injury makes him think that he is still in a bunker with his co-soldiers although he is living with his son. It is a claustrophobic story of a dysfunctional healthcare system and a family left alone to deal with their close one’s condition.
I Hate Berlin is the title of a dark Romanian comedy directed by Valentin Hotea that deals with a film director in a middle life crisis, during which he has to decide between two cities and two women, and most of all, start dealing with his past, and take responsible decisions. The project was pitched by Diana Paroiu, a Romanian producer, who emphasized that the film aims to be light-hearted, cleverly humorous, all the while dealing with a complex topic in a subtle manner.
Montenegrin director Senad Šahmanović was next with pitching his drama Sirin, a narrative discussing the discrepancies between the Montenegrin expats and the ones who stayed back home, as well as the consequences of being somewhat stuck in-between. The film wants to explore the topic of belonging and the socio-political context of the situation, and is set to do so in a narrative frame of an expat lawyer returning home in order to solve an intricate inheritance case.
The last but not least was a pitching duo: Serbian director Sonja Rakić and producer Ana Renovica who went on to present their creative documentary So, Where is My Prince Charming?, an account about Danica, a hopeless romantic in her sixties, whose never-ending search for mister right is tangled with a traumatic past that a therapist will help her resolve. The documentary will use various narrative associative techniques to go through the therapy process with Danica, thus portraying her in all of her complexities and life vigour.
The Pack & Pitch got its conclusion with the CineLink Industry Days award ceremony on Thursday, where the lucky winners announced was Senad Šahmanović with the project Sirin, who received the invitation for the participation in the next year’s co-production market CineLink, and Patricia D’Intino with Pinkler, who won the postproduction of sound services in the amount of 4000 euros. Congratulations!