Forum Projects

Coutry of origin Title of the project Producer /Director / Company Synopsis
FRANCE 180 beats per minute Prod. Rebecca Houzel
Dir. Olga Darfy
Petit à Petit Production
In 1991 the Soviet Union disappears. Between the corpses on the streets, the Gagarin Parties and the youthful dreams of a better future, I reveal my experience of a life at 180 beats per minute.
LITHUANIA Acid Forest Prod. Dovydas Petravičius
Dir. Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
A Laukas
Can you imagine a tourist spot where people come to see death? Where they are not only observers, but also the observed. The surrealism of reality reveals itself with humour, sadness and wit.
ESTONIA/USA Ash Mountains Prod. Margus Õunapuu
Dir. Ivar Murd
Co-writer/cinematographer Madis Luik
A documentary about East-Virumaa’s most notorious town, Kohtla-Järve, whose population has dropped from 62 000 in 1989 to 36 000 in 2013. Since the demise of the Soviet Union there hasn’t been growth in any sector. The signs all point to one thing: Kohtla-Järve is a dying city.
ESTONIA/FINLAND Behind the Fence Prod. Jaak Kilmi
Dir. Ken Saan, Jaak Kilmi
Kuukulgur Film
A film consisting of several short stories about the fences and walls that affect people’s lives – both physically and conceptually. We are all curious and fantasize that perhaps somewhere, on the other side of a fence, there’s a better life.
POLAND Birdwatching Prod. /Dir. Katarzyna Trzaska
A group of ecology activists from Berlin plan to spend their holidays in the beautiful Polish Biebrza National Park to seek unity with nature. Their aim is to uncover the Polish farmers’ mentality and their reflections on the unspoiled wildlife that surrounds them.
RUSSIA Close Relations, A Ukrainian Home Movie by Vitaly Mansky Prod. Natalia Mansky, Simone Baumann, Guntis Trekteris
Dir. Vitaly Mansky
Vertov. Real Movie /Saxonia Entertainment/ Ego Media
A Russian director born in Soviet Ukraine returns to the country of his birth, revealing an utterly personal story of his family then and now – a look at Lviv, Odessa, Harkov and Crimea from an individual living in Moscow.
LATVIA Dangerous Liaisons. Russia’s Soft Power Prod. Gints Grūbe, Elīna Gediņa Ducena
Dir. Juris Pakalniņš
Script: Inga Sprinģe, Sanita Jemberga
Mistrus Media
An investigation of the massive propaganda machine that Russia quietly built after the Georgian War and set in full motion before the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Nothing is what it seems: NGO’s supporting Russian policies and their actions in Europe are fake, independent experts are anything but, public opinion on the internet is manipulated. What unites them is the money – Russia’s money. The film will follow the various regulations in place since 2006, when Russia announced its new foreign policy doctrine – to take care of its compatriots in the former Soviet republics. President Putin has declared that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century
LATVIA Era of Dance Prod. Elīna Karule, Uldis Cekulis
Dir. Viktors Buda
Cinematographer Ritvars Bluka
VFS Films
The true story of the western music and lifestyle invasion into Soviet Latvia (USSR), and a search for the spirit of a nation by exploring the history of Soviet Latvian dance music and the people who danced to it. Now is the time to tell a story that has been widely ignored by ‘serious’ mainstream media, and take a look at this invasion from today’s point of view, 25 years later.
POLAND Genius on Demand Prod/Dir. Aleksandra Skowron and Miroslaw Skowron
Mediolia / Kalejdoskop
In the near future will we be able to shape the human mind in the way we shape faces and bodies thanks to plastic surgery? How capable are the scientists, and how far should they go?
FINLAND Grey Violet Prod. Liisa Juntunen
Dir. Reetta Aalto
napafilms ltd
Russian transgender art activist Grey Violet, 28, applies for political asylum in Finland while anti-Russian sentiments are rising in Europe due to the war in Ukraine
LATVIA Inga Can Hear Prod. Ieva Goba
Dir. Kaspars Goba
Elm Media
Inga, a 15-year old girl, is the only hearing person in a deaf family living in the remote Latvian countryside, and has been the family’s interpreter in the hearing world since the age of 7. The film explores what it takes to be the ears of your family.
GERMANY/POLAND Johanna’s Secret Prod. Jan Kaczmarski
Dir. Wladek Jurkow, Gerburg Rohde-Dahl
Arkadia Film / Rohde-Dahl Filmproduktion
The unknown story of Johanna Langefeld, Chief SS-guard at the Auschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps, who escaped from a Krakow prison in 1946 with the help of former Ravensbrück prisoners. Who was Johanna Langefeld? Why did the Polish prisoners of KL Ravensbrück help an SS-guard avoid the death penalty?
SWEDEN Language of Silence Prod. Anna Weitz
Dir. Frans Huhta Karlsson
Mantaray Film
Swedish filmmaker Frans Huhta Karlsson is confronted with a suitcase full of unexpected contents. A note with the address of his mother’s home village and a tape with a Finnish tango lead him on an odyssey through Finland and through the mind.
RUSSIA My Beliefs Prod. Vlad Ketkovich
Dir. Tatiana Chistova
Modern Russia still keeps an army of conscripts. Serving in the army can be exchanged for civil service if the Recruitment Commission members, after listening to the inductee, confirm that he has beliefs that do not let him serve in the army.
ESTONIA No Adressee Prod. Riho Västrik
Dir. Ksenia Okhapkina
OÜ Vesilind
Chechnya. Nearly everyone in this North Caucasus republic lost someone in the long spanning Russian-Chechen conflict. Now people must choose between blood feud and forgiveness. Whether it is possible to nurture peace depends on the choice the nation makes.
GEORGIA/FRANCE No Train To Germany Prod. Alexander Kvatashidze
Dir.Tamara Mshvenieradze
Lokokina Studio
A young man from Nigeria arrives in a part of the world he thinks is Europe, or very close to it. But the country of destination has little to offer: cold basements for sleeping and dusty streets for begging. The dream of becoming a well-known football player or a Master of Science quickly turns into the reality of becoming a member of one of the opposing black communities.
UK Red Roofs Prod. Emilia Bromiley
Dir. Zuzka Markova
Rooftop Films
A film about Czechoslovakian, Polish and Hungarian cinema from 1950 until 1990, and its political and social impact – featuring interviews with filmmakers and footage from films typical of this era as well as new contemporary footage of places and trademarks significant to these countries. The purpose is to use a dynamic framework in which to introduce an international audience to these films, their history and the legacy they’ve left behind.
DENMARK Returning to Riga Prod. Ulrik Gutkin
Dir. Casper Høyberg
Copenhagen Film Company
As part of the 2014 European City of Culture events, the KGB house in Riga is opening to the public for the first time. A theatre play that is a key event will be performed in the KGB house, opening a Pandora’s Box of old tensions. National trauma meets Europe.
POLAND Staring at the Sun Prod./Dir. Maciek Hamela
Impakt Film
Four different activists, four different stories of civil engagement – a look behind the scenes of the Maidan Revolution. Stories of people who left their jobs without hesitation to fight for a better future, and found themselves searching for the meaning in life in the aftermath of the revolution.
LATVIA Tal Prod. Guntis Trekteris
Dir. Stanislavs Tokalovs
Ego Media
A documentary exploring the unpredictable and tragic life of world chess champion and genius, Mikhail Tal, Riga’s native son. Mikhail Tal became the youngest world chess champion at 23. The same year he was diagnosed with an incurable kidney disease and given only one year to live. Through sheer will and reckless abandon he managed to live another 40 years, filling them with a string of remarkable chess successes, unexplainable failures, amorous conquests, and a life-threatening cat and mouse game with the KGB.
GERMANY Tchaikovsky on The Edge Prod. Christian Beetz, Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Dir. Ralf Pleger
Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion
Marking the anniversary of Tchaikovsky’s 175th birthday, Tchaikovsky on the Edge transfers Russia’s most famous composer to the present time. The film draws a psychological profile and seizes existential moments of his biography. Renowned international artists reveal their personal approach to Tchaikovsky and his music in interviews and artistic interpretations.
LITHUANIA Thanksgiving Day Prod. /Dir. Giedrė Žickytė
In 1970 a Lithuanian sailor made a dramatic leap for freedom that changed American history. He is 80 now, and has returned to live in a small village in Lithuania. Could he go back to a normal life after that?
BELGIUM We’re Going The Same Way Prod. Steven Dhoedt
Dir. Pieter-Jan Van Damme
Seragedin is a retired Kyrgyz soldier who never received the pension he was promised by his government. In order to provide for his family and to pay for his son Rahkman’s education, he drives second hand cars from Lithuania back to Kyrgyzstan. An investigation into the added value of honesty.


Film Director, Scotland


Emma is a film maker and teacher, based in Scotland where she is programme director of film for Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh University. Her last film I am Breathing which she co-directed with Morag McKinnon , won a Scottish BAFTA for Best Director and played in over 50 countries. Previously, she directed for many years for BBC, Ch4 and others – observational documentaries and films on art- work which has been nominated for a Grierson and other awards. She used to direct and act in experimental theatre, collaborating with others such as Robert LePage, and directed large scale multi media performances after studying English at Oxford.



With a journalism and communication degree and a European master’s degree in film writing and analysis, Thierry has a journalistic background for the press and specialized cinema press, and was a reporter-producer for radio magazines prior to working internationally in 1998 with documentary films, initiating the commercial unit of Belgian documentaries’ incentives CBA-Centre de l’Audiovisuel à Bruxelles and WIP-Wallonie Image Production. He actively participates in decision making at events for coproduction and pre-sales at the East European Forum, Prague, Visions du Réel, Nyon, Sheffield Meet Market, Baltic Sea Forum, Medimed pitching and Dok Leipzig coproduction meetings, as well as for IDFAcademy or Forum IDFA. The Belgian export and pre-sales catalogue Ventes-CBAWIP-Sales provides Belgian creative documentaries with a P.O.V. on society, history, geopolitics, arts & culture, with a priority for feature-length with an hour–long TV version. Thierry’s international selection with Visible Film, favours current affairs with creative cinematography and a human angle on society and geopolitics, keeping world sales, pre-sales and international co-productions in mind

Executive Producer of Documentaries, HBO Europe, Hungary


Based in the Budapest head office, Hanka works closely with HBO Europe’s production centers in Warsaw, Prague and Bucharest, and is responsible for the development and production of HBO Europe’s documentary films.
She earned a Master of Arts degree from the Faculty of Film and TV Documentary Department at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She continued her professional career in Slovenia, where she worked for more than 25 years as a documentary director and producer, latterly as commissioning editor and Head of Development of documentary programming. As an experienced and dedicated documentary film-maker, she has lectured on documentary filmmaking, and participated in the organization of master classes, industry seminars and courses.
She has also served as a moderator and participant on numerous industry panels and other documentary events in many countries

Chief Editor, CINEUROPA, Belgium


During daytime, Domenico La Porta is a film journalist based in Belgium working as an industry reporter and Chief Editor of the EU co-financed press platform CINEUROPA.ORG. With more than 40,000 daily visitors, CINEUROPA has been successfully promoting European film industry in the world since 2002.
In the evening, Domenico is co-hosting the movie talk show CINE STATION on Belgium’s public TV channel RTBF where he has been working as a film critic for the last decade.
At night, he’s the founder and CEO of KWEB, a stealth company dealing with Transmedia storytelling, cross-platform movie promotion, crowd strategies, media and a/v production. This new experimenting ground fuels him with all the excitement needed to kickstart the next day.
As a story architect, Domenico has shaped numerous cross media campaigns for movies including Patrice Leconte’s Suicide Shop (Entre Chien et Loup prod.), Hitler in Hollywood (Saga Films Prod.), Bye Bye Blondie (Frakas Prod.), Ernest & Celestine (StudioCanal & Les Armateurs Prod.), Moroccan Gigolos (Frakas Prod.), Loulou’s Secret (Prima Linea Prod.), Cub (Potemkino prod)… With the support of the MEDIA programme of the EU, he is currently developing an international mobile app that gamifies the movie experience in theatres (Mobie Hunters) and he is slowly turning into the showrunner of an upcoming TV Series and transmedia story world (Talion).
Since 2014, he has been nominated Head of Transmedia at WALLIMAGE, the Belgian economical fund known as a pioneer in dedicating part of its financing to cross media storytelling.
Occasional panelist, teacher and digital entrepreneur, Domenico is also an international consultant in crowdfunding, social media, community building and cross-media strategies for the audiovisual sector

Founder & CEO Alphapanda, Switzerland


Mathias is a film marketing strategist with extensive experience in PR, advertising and branding. He is the founder of Alphapanda, a film marketing agency specialised in digital, based in London and Berlin. In this role, Mathias works on the development of marketing strategies and the implementation of promotional campaigns, viral marketing activities, buzz monitoring projects and PR campaigns. Alphapanda’s client list includes Koch Media, UniversCiné, 20th Century Fox, Filmin, Volta and many independent European production companies. Recent projects Mathias has worked on include Under the Rainbow, Au Bonheur des Ogres, Die Erfindung der Liebe, Oro Verde and documentaries A Ciel Ouvert and Bastards.
Before founding Alphapanda, Mathias ran online promotional campaigns in seven European territories for films such as Toy Story 3, Black Swan, The A-Team, Gulliver’s Travels and Piranha 3D. He has also worked for the Swiss national film promotion agency. Today, Mathias is also a film marketing tutor for many training organisations and workshops, including the NFTS in the UK, MEDIA Desks in Germany, Spain and Belgium, The Producers’ Workshop in Israel, Transilvania Talent Lab in Romania and FOCAL in Switzerland

Head of Studies, EDN, Denmark


Mikael has been a dedicated documentary filmmaker since he made his first S-8mm documentary, in 1977, now hidden for the public in his cellar. Most of the 80′s Mikael worked with distribution and theatrical release of documentaries.
In 1988 he attended script writing at the Danish Film School. Worked as a freelance production manager up through the 90′s and organized the film festival ‘Films from the South’ from 1995 – 1998. Made a desk-cross-over from 1998-2002, where Mikael worked as production adviser at The Danish Film Institute. Mikael started his exclusive career as tutor at EDN workshops in the same period. Attended EAVE 1998/99. 2002-2008 was a co-owner and producer at Final Cut Productions in Copenhagen. Has produced a number of international documentaries, among them The German Secret, Joris Evens Competition at IDFA 2005. An EDN Executive Committee Member from 2005 – 09, the last year as Chairman. Now serves at Head of Studies at EDN

Documentary Script Editor, Czech Television


Ivana was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She graduated in Macroeconomics and Political Science at Charles University and in Documentary Film (directing) at FAMU in Prague.Since the fall of 2012, she has been working in the Film Center of the Czech Television as a documentary film script editor. In years 2003 through 2012, she worked in the Institute of Documentary Film as head of the Ex Oriente Film program and of the East European Forum. Since 2009, she has been lecturing at the Prague Film Academy (FAMU). In 2009 she was elected a board member of the European Documentary Network (EDN).
Ivana has been working as a script editor and documentary film director as well. Her documentary films have been focused mainly on social and political issues. She directed for example, feature documentary Never Been Better, which dealt with the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the war, and the hour-length documentary Damas de Blanco on a women’s dissident movement in Cuba. Or also co-directed an hour-length documentary on the new EU members, E Day.



It started as a love of film before Phil turned it into an unhealthy obsession with its construction. Part of the last generation of editors to physically cut actual film, Phil has pursued the architecture of great stories for the past 20 years. He’s cut independent and international feature films, labour of love shorts, and art installation media. But his love for documentary keeps him coming back to help tell real stories about human rights abuses, and everyday injustice.
Recently transplanted to Sweden from his native Canada, Phil has continued to edit documentary and fiction, including Setareh Persson’s Cutting Loose, which recently screened to Sweden’s parliament as a cautionary tale on child abuse. He’s brought his experience on the international market to bear in workshops across Europe and Asia, and is currently consulting on several projects in production and development, as well as editing his own co-production with director Annika Gustafson, whose previous collaborative film, Killing Time, won the grand prix at Montreal’s Human Rights Film Festival in 2008.

Documentary Consultant, Denmark


Born 1947. Danish. He worked with short and documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board – as press secretary, head of distribution and information and as a commissioning editor.
He’s co-founder of Balticum Film and TVFestival, Filmkontakt Nord and Documentary of the EU. He has travelled to European short and documentary festivals often to be seated as a jury member. He has given documentary courses and seminars in more than 30 countries.
In 2004 he was awarded the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. In 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”.
From 1996 until 2005 he was director of EDN (European Documentary Network). He has written articles for national and international newspapers and magazines. From 2006 he has been a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc as well as programme consultant for the festivals
Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. From September 2007 he has taught at the Zelig Documentary Film School, Bolzano, Italy. He writes (almost) daily about documentaries in English on

Decision Makers

Polish Television, Poland


TVP S.A. is the only public broadcaster in the territory of Republic of Poland. Launch date is 1952. Channel 1 – TVP1 is one of the 12 channels currently operate in TVP S.A. TVP1 broadcasts mostly news, current affairs, movies, dramas, sports and documentaries. It is intended for viewers of all ages. Programs are broadcast in HD. Our slogan is “TVP – Created with passion”.
Magdalena Borowska – responsible for documentaries for TVP1 where the audience is very demanding. We are focused on strong Human Stories, high quality docs, emotional, shocking and spectacular. We are also looking for Wild Life, blue chip docs, stories about nature and incredible animals.
For us, it is very important to have a fascinating story with great shooting, editing and directing. At the moment we prefer to talk about finished projects or pre-sale. But we can discuss coproduction too.

DR Sales, Denmark


DR Sales, the sales department of DR (the Danish Broadcasting Corp.), is Scandinavia’s largest international TV-distributor. We distribute and sell films and TV programmes produced by DR as well by independent production companies around the world. Our focus is great stories in all genres, but we specialise in documentaries as well as handling projects in production for international co-productions and pre-sales. We are looking for new, engaging projects with contemporary stories – unique stories and strong narratives for an international audience.

Taskovski Films, UK


Taskovski Films is a London based international sales and production company producing independent documentary films. We welcome innovative, playful and risky forms of filmmaking capable of engaging and surprising audiences around the globe. Our passion is discovering new talent and creative, author-driven stories. Our portfolio includes multi-award winner documentary Czech Dream by Vit Klusak & Filip Remunda; People I Could Have Been and Maybe Am by Boris Gerrets – winner of IDFA, Visions du Réel, Hot Docs; Cooking History by Peter Kerekes – Special Jury award at Hot Docs 200; Work Hard – Play Hard by Carmen Losmann – FIPRESCI award, Ecumenical Jury award at DOK Leipzig 2011. We are looking for author-driven, creative docs with a strong authorial point of view. Our focus is on social and human rights issues, politics, history, people & society, gender equality, personal stories, culture and arts.

SVT, Sweden


SVT is the Swedish public service broadcaster with the widest range of programming in Sweden. SVT operates a total of eight channels, including the two main channels SVT1 and SVT2, a children’s channel, an educational and an international channel.
Charlotte Gry Madsen is commissioning editor for K special, SVT’s weekly arts & culture strand. K special broadcasts Swedish and international documentaries on architecture, film, theatre, fine arts, literature, etc. and is known for a wide interpretation of what makes the best arts and culture documentaries.
SVT in general has a strong documentary tradition and SVT’s documentary department serves three weekly slots with an output of more than 100 new titles a year. Additional international programming is acquired by SVT’s acquisition department.
Charlotte Gry Madsen has a background in distribution and international documentary financing and worked as editor of documentaries and co-productions at DR Sales before she came to SVT.



Nikki is the Production Coordinator for POV. She interned with POV’s Programming and Production Department prior to joining the staff in early 2014. Before becoming a part of the POV family, she was the documentarian for The Odyssey Initiative, a non-profit traveling education project. Nikki also worked at the Apollo Outreach Initiative in Oberlin, OH to help children of all ages become active creators of media and to effectively express themselves through film. She has served as an Assistant Director, Production Manager, and Camera Operator on professional feature films, shorts, and student films, and has garnered recognition for her own documentaries. Nikki holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema Studies from Oberlin College, and belongs to the Phi Beta Kappa society.

ERR, Estonia


General: Estonian Public Broadcasting consists of 5 radio channels and 2 television channels, ETV and ETV2. ETV main channel is for general audience while ETV2 is more for children, educational, Russian language and cultural programmes.
Acquisitions: Average yearly budget for acquisitions – about 1 million EUR.
Co-Productions: Mostly local co-productions but open to pre-buys (for creative documentaries mainly). Can only support international co-productions involving an Estonian independent production company.

Documentary Buyer, Russia


Studied history of Art at Moscow University, for more than two decades worked as fellow researcher and film interpreter at the Illusion, The USSR Film Archive Theatre. In the 70-80s Grigory Libergal worked at the All-Union Radio where he produced more than 500 music programs. In 1990s he worked for the Soviet Export Film Agency where he participated in joint projects with Paramount and 20th Century Fox. Mr. Libergal is one of Russia’s top specialists in cinematography, TV programming and the history of cinema. In 1994 – 2007 Grigory was the Program Director at Internews for the Open Skies Program. This project helped to distribute more than 2500 of the best Russian and foreign documentaries to hundreds of Russian TV stations. Grigory Libergal produced more than 30 documentaries, including such well-known films as Everything About Vertov (2002), Dreams about Alfeon (2002), Dziga and his Brothers (2002).
Now Grigory is the curator of Documentary Programs of the Moscow International Film Festival, buyer for TV Kultura creative documentary Smotrim Obsuzhdaem show, as well as other broadcasters in Russia and Ukraine. He is also one the owners of The Right Film Company which distributes documentaries on BluRay, DVD and new media.

LTV, Latvia


Rita Ruduša is the commissioning editor for news, current affairs and documentaries at the Latvian Television (LTV), a public broadcaster with two channels. She works with both in-house content producers and a broad network of independent producers in the genres ranging from TV debates to current affairs documentaries to travel shows. Rita is closely involved in the annual short documentary competition Latvijas Kods (The Latvian Code), held jointly by the National Film Centre of Latvia and LTV, and is also in charge of developing partnerships with public broadcasters in other countries. This year, one such partnership – between LTV, ERR and LRT – resulted in a documentary Rue de la Baltique, the first-ever Baltic TV co-production, a project Rita has led since its inception. Rita has also worked for the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague and has an extensive news editor’s experience in both newspapers and news agencies.

HRT, Croatia


He was born in Pula in 1972. He’s been working as a journalist and editor in Croatian publications for 18 years and he was awarded twice by the Croatian Journalist Society. During the last 8 years he’s mostly been doing journalistic work for Croatian Radiotelevision and investigating social and humanitarian topics mostly through his TV show “Mission”. Through his career, he started filming documentary films. 2001. he directed his first documentary film, “Na stanici u Puli”, which was the most watched documentary in cinemas that year. His second autobiographical documentary, “An Accidental Son”, shot as a part of UNICEF’s “Every Child Needs A Home” action and received the award Oktavijan for the best documentary of the year on the Days of Croatian Film. The last film he directed, “Mila Seeks Senida” received an award at Sarajevo Film Festival, in the category of human rights. Today he is the Commissioning Editor for the documentary programme on Croatian Radiotelevision.

LTV, Latvia


Anna Rozenvalde is Head of Acquisitions at Latvian Public Television (LTV), responsible for selecting and acquiring the content for both channels, covering all genres.
Before moving to LTV in 2006, Anna has worked as a Program Coordinator and Head of Programming at Riga International Film Festival “Arsenals”. Studied philosophy and social sciences at the University of Latvia and University of Hull (UK), as well as took course in European Cultural Management. Anna is Commissioning Editor and Manager of the project “Latvia’s Code”.

MDR, Germany


MDR is a public service channel in the ARD Network, based in Leipzig. It is financed mainly by license fees. MDR broadcasts to Eastern Germany and contributes with a share of approximately 10% to the national ARD programme. It also delivers programme to ARTE and 3sat. MDR is being broadcast by cable, satellite and terrestrial network.
MDR produces documentaries (from 30’ up to feature length) for regional broadcast and for the nationwide ARD Network and ARTE. The Culture and Society department produces and commissions documentaries with topics ranging from History and Society to Current Affairs, from Science to Arts and Religion. Special focus is laid upon the local history and stories from Eastern Europe and Russia.
Heribert Schneiders was born in 1954 in Mesenich, West Germany. In 1988 he graduated from the Department Drama, Theatre, Media of University Gießen, Germany. He worked as freelance producer for fiction and documentary, and since 1992 as commissioning editor at MDR.

First Hand Films, Switzerland


Some think that all Esther does is traveling a lot, playing with the computer and talking on the phone (mostly these thoughts are harbored by rather youngish people who used to be living in her household. They didn’t pay any rent but insisted on being fed regularly and then suddenly they were adults and moved out, or went on endless travels around the world). Some other people know that Esther owns and runs a distribution company for documentaries, fiction films and TV series since 1998. First Hand Films works out of Zurich and Berlin and offers the best films available, impeccable service, and true dedication to authenticity, relevance and fun. First Hand Films have competed at all major festivals and have won most awards available, including the Oscar© for Best Documentary Feature. FHF also produces transmedia through Kiss the Frog Films (the name is a story already), and distributes films in theatres nationwide (in Switzerland, a small nation, but with three language regions).
Today, Esther van Messel also works as a consultant and creative Executive Producer for projects, companies and public institutions around the world, and serves regularly on juries of all sorts. She advises on business strategies, communication campaigns and many other things people want to hear about (or not, if you ask those young ‘uns again). She does so fluently in English, German, French, Dutch and Hebrew. Her Danish albeit suffices only for screening rough cuts and ordering some smørrebrød med øl.

YLE, Finland


Commissioning Editor Jenny Westergard is a graduated journalist from Helsinki University and has been working for Yle since 1985. She has working experience from a large range of programming, including news, current affairs, children and educational programming, 1994-2000 as head of the Documentary Department and 2003-2005 as head of the Acquisitions- and coproduction Department. She is currently working as Commissioning Editor for documentaries in the Yle Co-production team. Jenny Westergard has also been chairman for the Documentary Group within the Nordvision, the Nordic television co-operation, and a board member of the Documentary Group within EBU, the European Broadcasting Union.

Lithuanian Television


Lithuanian National Radio and Television – LRT is Public broadcaster. LRT operates 2 national TV channels, 1 satellite channel and 3 Radio channels.

The TV first – has few slots, which consist of wild-life and travel type of docs.
The LTV2 is a culture channel with 52 min. slots for docs.
The LTV World is channel for Lithuanians in United States with 52 min. slots for docs about Lithuania.
Number of co-productions per year, average budget
LRT, its Film Studio department is making approx. 8-10 films/year. 6-7 of them are national or international co-productions. LRT’s input mostly is technical equipment, and technical assistance. The financial input is not available.
Special demands and new initiatives: The preferences in international co-productions are given to projects related to historical, cultural, political, social issues, with stories related to Lithuania.


Dir. Katrine Philp, Klassefilm, 78 min, 2012, Denmark


At the age of 15 Russian dancer Egor moves to Denmark to team up with Mie. He gives up his regular teenaged life together with his parents, and tries to fit into his host family and the strange new culture. A coming-of-age story intertwined with loneliness, a passion for dance, ambition, and the sweet yet fleeting taste of victory.

At the 2012 world championships in China, Egor and Mie placed 26th out of 54 pairs. A year later they managed to make the quarter finals but came in 14th place. After that the young dancers decided to look for other dance partners.

Dir. Ryan White, Tripod Media, 86 min, 2013, USA/UK


The soul of the Beatles for the entire ten years of their existence – the enchanting Freda. Secretary and friend, she had no idea when she accepted the challenge that the four boys from Liverpool would change the way the world listened to music. A true and unique look at the lives of the renowned musicians during the 1960s and 1970s.

One of the most expensive Beatles’ collectors item is the 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band record signed by all four group members. It was sold at a Texas auction a year ago for USD 290 500. A drawing by the 11-year old John Lennon was bought for USD 123 000 by a fan. Freda has never attempted to capitalize on her friendship with The Beatles.

Dir. Eline Helena Schellekens, KRO Youth, 17 min, 2013, The Netherlands


Lydia is a small girl with strict views and adult-level confidence. She feels good where she resides with her family – an environment that is both territorially and emotionally her true home. Lydia fears leaving and constantly moving, so she really needs to hear attestations of friendship and hope settling in The Netherlands.

In the last four years some 84 000 immigrants have arrived in The Netherlands, while some 56 000 Dutch nationals have left the country.

Dir. Sebastian Mez, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, 84 min, 2013, Germany


The Majak factory is located in the Ural region in Russia, an area with one of the highest levels of radiation on the planet. In 1957 an explosion took place within the nuclear weapons plant, causing a leak of radioactive material across a large area within the territory. The Soviet Union kept the accident a secret. The locals continued on living their normal lives in abnormal circumstances – in the breathtakingly beautiful and seemingly clean environment. Unable to escape the radioactive sheath surrounding them, people have learned to live with it. But the radioactive waters from the Ket River are constantly flowing into the Oba River system, reaching as far as the Artic Ocean.

The largest nuclear disaster in history took place on April 26, 1986, at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in what is now Ukraine. Latvia imported 1/4 of its electro-energy from the now-closed Ignalina Power Plant in Lithuania. The Baltic States and Poland are currently working on a project for a new nuclear power plant, with construction slated to begin in 2015 in Visaginas, Lithuania.

Dir. Farida Pacha, Leafbird Films GmbH, 92 min 2013, Switzerland/India


In the bleak Indian desert, where there is no sign of life, there is the whitest salt of all. Each autumn some 40 000 Indian families converge upon the area to harvest the salt crystals. It’s an existence with its own set of rules and requirements, a daily pace unrelated to the outside world and a different take on happiness. When April rolls around again, the salt seekers tie their rubber boots into plastic bags and bury them in the ground along with their tools before the monsoon rains flood the land. And then they wait for autumn.
India is the third largest producer of salt in the world. Salt has been harvested from Little Rann of the Kutch Desert since 1872. For 100 kg of salt, the Indians earn approx. 20 eurocents (15 rupees). 32 000 tonnes of salt was used to maintain roads in Latvia during the winter of 2013/2014.

Dir. Jehane Noujaim, Noujaim Films, Worldview Entertainment, Roast Beef Productions, 108 min, 2013, Egypt/USA/UK

Not recommended for ages 16 and under


The film documents events in Egypt from 2011 to 2013, when the 30 year-long dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak was finally toppled, triggering the country’s first democratic elections that brought Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to power. With the rising corruption of the new government and public dissatisfaction with his leadership, Morsi was forced to resign. Those leading the revolution are young people who are fighting with the aid of digital age tools, and their fervent dream of the triumph of a new and thinking society in Egypt. A very personal story about beliefs, doubts, sacrifice and friendship.

Mohammed Morsi’s resignation reignited bloody unrests in the country. The interim government appointed by the Egyptian army declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. In May 2014, another election took place in Egypt, and this time former army commander Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected. In June 2014 he sentenced 183 members of the Muslim Brotherhood accused of organizing the protests to death.

Dir. Mona Friis Bertheussen, Moment Film AS, 58 min, 2013, Norway


China assured them: “They are not twins!” And so began the fateful story of two families who fulfilled their dream of becoming parents. One family from a remote Norwegian village adopted the charming Alexandra, while the other took beautiful Mia to America. A film about sisters, distance and bonding. An far-reaching connection between people brought together by miracle.

Each year some 250 children are adopted in Latvia, with about a third remaining in the country. Two thirds of the children move to new lives in America, France, Italy and elsewhere. Data from the July 2014 statistics listed 1,379 children to the age of 18 as up for adoption in Latvia.

Dir. Håvard Bustnes, Faction Film, EiE Film, Fridthjof Film, 78 min, 2013, Norway/Italy/Denmark


Two active grannies and best friends, Shirley (90) and Hinda (84), are more interested in future economic growth than the average American. To determine if perpetual economic growth is possible, they return to university after a 30-year hiatus to meet with specialists in the field. In spite of their lack of success, this quest reflects the determination, vitality and mutual trust of these old friends.

The total global GDP in 1960 was 1.36 billion dollars – in 2011 it was 69.98 trillion. The drive for new highs in global economy has resulted in an upset in ecological balance. There are currently more than a billion inhabitants on earth without access to clean drinking water.

Dir. Vesela Kazakova, Mina Mileva, activist38, 87 min, 2014, Bulgaria


Three Fools is the highly-popular Bulgarian animation series that gained international acclaim in the 1970s. While the communist-loyal director Donio Donev toured the film festivals receiving accolades, no mention was made of the hand Antony Trayanov had in the creation of the films. In opening box after box of his drawings, Uncle Tony reflects on the order of things and the significance of censure and politics in an artist’s life. Then and now.

Six months after the documentary premiered, Donev’s heirs cancelled the copyright agreement with the creators of Three Fools. Active discussions over copyright and censure issues erupted in Bulgaria. International film organizations have become involved in the conflict, in defense of directors’ rights and the freedom of artistic speech.