CineLink Drama presents new drama series projects at Sarajevo
- 14 drama series in development have been presented to TV professionals at this year’s Sarajevo CineLink
Five of them were part of the CineLink Drama Pitch, coming from Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia and Austria, with Eilon Ratzkovsky moderating the session. Running its TV Launch workshop in Sarajevo, MIDPOINT presented nine additional projects (hailing from Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, Serbia and the USA) and two development executives at a separate pitching session.
Aiming to boost the development process for drama series from the region, CineLink Industry Days will award one of them with a €10,000 cash prize sponsored by the Film Center Serbia, while HBO Europe will grant an award of $5,000 to one of the nine MIDPOINT projects to celebrate the Best Television Series Project.
Here is a rundown of the CineLink Drama Projects:
Created by Blerta Zeqiri (who will also co-direct the series with Lendita Zeqiraj) and Triera Kasumi Berisha, 548 is the story of Kosovo’s first and most famous scuba diver, who has recovered 548 bodies from lakes in his career, without using any equipment or receiving any payment for his work during the rise and fall of Yugoslavia. Starting in the 1970s, the three-season TV drama by production company Dynamic LLC will have elements of fantasy, horror and comedy. The second and third season will continue to investigate the history of the region through the war in the 1990s and the independence of Kosovo. Zeqiri noted that the series will explore the question of what makes “a hero, a hero – a hero of one system can be the enemy of the other”. The project is looking for partners.
The Counsellor (Croatia)
From production company 3D2D Animatori comes a project aiming to address the high rates of teen pregnancy in Croatia due to low education levels, rigid societal norms and a lack of communication. The creator, Višnja Skorin, presented the story of a young woman, torn between abortion and putting the baby up for adoption, who runs away from home to Zagreb to escape the pressure of her parents. Suffering a miscarriage, she funds a centre for pregnant teenagers, and has to fight against pro-life activists to keep it running. Croatian actor Zrinka Cvitešić will star in the main role. Producer Lado Skorin noted that this is a story about a family with a political subtext. The project is looking for co-producers and distributors who would like to be involved in the development of the show.
Aiming to create a series that would reflect the changing needs of the younger generation, writer and creator Daria Keršić presented the story of a 14-year-old girl whose adoption falls through, while she is struggling to fit in at the grammar school she is attending. “Family issues are still a taboo topic, which opens up the space for religious groups to interfere,” she noted together with Nebojša Taraba, who will produce the series with Miodrag Sila. The company Drugi Plan has already produced eight TV series, some of them broadcast by Netflix and HBO. The project, planned for four seasons, one for each school year, is looking for co-producers, broadcasters and distributors.
Based on an important event in recent Serbian history, the assassination of prime minister Zoran Đinđić, who tried to change the corrupt system in the country, this political thriller focuses on a female journalist investigating the murder, with actor Goran Bogdan playing the police inspector. “We were 18 at the time it happened and felt our future had been hijacked,” said Goran Stanković and Vladimir Tagić, the creators, writers and directors of the series. The project, based on real events, which recently had MEDIA funding approved, is being produced by Snežana van Houwelingen, of This and That Productions, and is currently looking for co-producers.
A mystery-drama set in the Alps sees a couple moving into a mountain village in an attempt to save their dying relationship. Soon after, a dead woman’s body wearing clothes from the 1990s is found under the melting ice, and the people of the village don’t seem to be ready to deal with the questions her body brings up. The first season of the series is at the script and treatment stages, and there is already an outline for the second season. Created by Michaela Taschek and produced by Ursula Wolschlager, of Witcraft Filmproduktion GmbH, the series has two renowned arthouse directors attached: Barbara Albert and Sandra Wollner. It is looking for co-producers.
A list of the MIDPOINT projects follows below:
100% Fine Crystal (Slovenia)
Creator/producer: Ana Trebše
Three aspiring artists in their twenties in Ljubljana struggle to overcome inner obstacles that are blocking their creativity.
Creators: Dianne Jones, Martichka Bozhilova, Simona Nobile
Producer: Martichka Bozhilova
Production company: Agitprop
Kyiv, 2020. Natasha has created Babyland, a luxury hotel where fertile women give birth for infertile couples.
The Border (Hungary)
Creators: Judit Banhazi, Cyril Tysz
When the strange curse of his family catches up with him despite his best attempts to escape from it, a depressed single father agrees to undergo an unconventional therapy session.
Convictions (Slovakia/Czech Republic/USA)
Creator: Tereza Nvotova
Producers: Daniel Turcan, Johnny Galvin, Zuzana Mistrikova, Lubica Orechovska
Production company: PubRes
Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia, 1951. Jo’s life collapses when her devoutly communist husband is unjustly imprisoned by his own party.
The Hitchhiker (Hungary)
Creator: Marcell Pátkai
Producers: Viktória Petrányi, Patricia D'Intino
Production company: Proton Cinema
A paraglider is raped and her life takes a U-turn. She tries to remember the traumatic evening and find the rapist.
Life Unexpected (Cyprus)
Creators: Stelana Kliris, Tonia Mishiali
Producer: Tonia Mishiali
Production company: Meraki Films
A married woman discovers that she and her husband will have to undergo IVF, while her single, career-driven best friend accidentally becomes pregnant.
Creator: Panos Iossifelis
Producer: Labis Charalambides
Under the direct sun, the shadows are darker.
Creators: Michaela Pnacekova, Marijana Verhoef
Lost in the fast-paced city of Berlin, where intimacy has the lifespan of a mayfly, two young women develop an unusual relationship full of drugs, sex and video games.
Willows (Czech Republic)
Creators: Milada Tesitelova, Jan Tesitel, Julie Zackova
Producer: Julie Zackova
Production company: Unit and Sofa Praha
Young Anezka loses her beloved groom on the day of their wedding. To her surprise, he returns from the dead.
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