Forum Projects

Coutry of origin Title of the project Producer /Director / Company Synopsis
Dir. Christy Garlandnapafilms oy
Arctic City Spirit is a positive and life-affirming portrayal of a teenage cheerleading team and their dedicated coach in Rovaniemi, in the Finnish Lapland. The team always places last in the national qualifying competition, but in 2012 they will be unbeatable.
Dir. Maria MiroAvantis promo
A film about the phenomenal power of the song, which helps people to live, preserve the youthfulness in their soul, and overcome the most awful diseases – the majority of the vocalists of the “Buranovskie Babushki” ensemble from Udmurtia have overpowered cancer.
ESTONIA BLOOD TYPE Prod. Erik Norkroos 
Dir. Leeni LinnaRühm Pluss Null
A documentary about the responsibility of a soldier – responsibility for themselves, their brothers in arms, their friends and relatives, the Afghan people. This is a story of soldiers who have a solid wish to take part in the foreign missions, with no guarantee they will return alive and well. After returning the soldiers wait for understanding from society and their close ones, and the care and support they need in order not to have a breakdown.
Dir. Ilinca CalugareanuVernonfilms
The film charts the incredible story of the pirated VHS tapes that turned one woman’s voice into a symbol of freedom and allowed millions of Romanians to subvert a brutal regime.
Dir. Katrine PhilpKlassefilm.
Mie (14) from Denmark is an elite dancer. When her partner stops dancing, the family decides to search for a new partner abroad. Russian Egor (15) is sent to Denmark to dance with Mie and to become the best dancer in the world. When everything is at stake, is failure an option?
Dir. Ugis OlteVFS FILMS
A dreamer by nature, Quanqi Zhu decides to set up a unique installation at the foot of the famous Song Shan Mountain. Despite the language and culture barriers, his best companion is the Latvian architect Austris Mailitis. Will the newly-built Shaolin Flying Monks Temple be able to justify its name?
LATVIA FORTY TWO Prod.,Dir. Laila Pakalniņa

Hargla Company

As soon as I finished the marathon in May of 2011, I wanted to become a tripod. In order to make this film, I not only ran hundreds of kilometres with a camera attached to my head, I also ran two official marathons in order to run the third – as they said, the easiest one during shooting. However, it turned out that the film will not be about my easiest marathon, because the easiest was the second. But who knows – maybe the more difficult it is for me the better for my film.
Dir. Jurģis TūbelisJuris Podnieks Studio
A teen in Florida makes friends over the airwaves with a ham in Germany. An aircraft engineer in Washington exchanges call signs with hams in 100 countries… Amateur radio enthusiasts come from all walks of life. Every year in November the championship of radio amateurs take place. It means 48 hours of the most intense attempts to establish contacts over radio waves. The Latvian team is among the leaders in this world competition. We are going to join the competition in November 2012, to learn more about these guys and to make a seriously positive and ironic fairytale about tLatvians and their counterparts in other countries – big boys with their dream hobbies.
RUSSIA HARD TO BE A GOD Prod. Vladimir Sokolov
Dir. Svetlana StrelnikovaNovyi Kurs
In Russia, 56% of deaths are due to cardiac disease. Renowned cardio surgeon Serguei Sukhanov established a big cardio-centre in Perm, and fights for the lives of his compatriots. He was never interested in the political situation in his country. However, in January 2012 he received an offer from Kremlin to lead the electoral headquarters of Vladimir Putin in the Perm Region.
GEORGIA MADONA Prod. Natia Guliashvili 
Dir. Nino GoguaCineMark
Madona (55) is the only female public bus driver in Georgia. Breaking conventional social roles by doing a “man’s job”, she struggles to be accepted as a woman.
POLAND MAXIMUM PLEASURE Prod., Dir. Katarzyna Trzaska


Malgosia, Krysia, Ela and Bogusia – four charming old-age pensioners and friends from the Polish town of Torun are fascinated by the very expensive quasi-medical devices sold at special commercial “shows”. This is a documentary-comedy, in which poverty coincides with richness, kitsch with false luxury, laughter with tears.
ESTONIA NEW SILK WAY Prod. Marianna Kaat
Dir. Evdokia MoskvinaBaltic Film Production
NEW SILK WAY follows a group of middle-age Russian women, hired by Chinese market sellers, at their weekly Vladivostok – Suifenhe round-trip; a short journey to Chinese nirvana and back.
UKRAINE/ LATVIA NIZHYN ROBINHOODS Prod. Dar’ya Averchenko, Uldis Cekulis 
Dir. Roman BondarchukSouth / VFS Films
Vlad started the war. His younger brother tried heroin and fell into a coma. Vlad sparked fellow-athletes with the idea to punish the drug dealers. Six “Robin Hoods” made a raid against the drug dealers of their town. They were beaten, identities were recorded on video. It was discovered that the traders were shielded by the police.
ESTONIA NOT MY LAND Prod. Sergei Trofimov 
Dir. Aljona SurzhikovaDiafilm
A documentary about people who have worked on illegal allotments near the airport for more than 30 years, but soon the allotments are to be destroyed because of technical progress and the development of the area.
LITHUANIA/ ESTONIA PARADISE GOWNS Prod. Margarit-Gajane Kalatshjan-Kirejeva, Vygantas Kirejevas 
Dir. Albina GriniuteBenjamin River Productions
The film focuses on Helbe, a Finnish woman who lives on a small rocky island in the Finnish archipelago. She designs clothes that people wear on their last journey, a journey to the afterlife. She calls them “paradise gowns”.
Dir. Olga Yakovlevaaugust26studio
“Paper games” could be a kind of entertainment at parties. But when the authorities play with your votes, try to break your will and transform the elections into a bad reality-show you cannot stand it. The new and free generation has grown up. Stop playing “paper games” with our lives!
Dir. Joosep MatjusExitfilm
The gulls come to town to shelter from the storm and discover that it is easier to survive here as there is plenty of food about. They build nests on the roofs and soon feel at home. Their screeching noise annoys people and makes them feel uncomfortable.
LATVIA THE LOST CITY Prod. Guntis Trekteris
Dir. Viesturs KairišsEgo Media
Chernobyl is a lost zone in most people’s perception. But there are some who think that this will be the new world. It might become a shelter for the ones who cannot find a place for themselves in the turbulent modern world. We will demonstrate a kind of life, which would be possible after the end of the world.
Dir. Anne MagnussenEMBLA FILM
Learning a language is like falling in love. But when this great linguist’s love for a princess was denied, he fell in love with her 75 times more. The remarkable life of Georg Sauerwein (1831-1904), and his life-long love for Princess Elisabeth, later Queen of Romania.
GERMANY/ RUSSIA/ CZECH REPUBLIC THE PIPELINE Prod. Vitaly Mansky, Simone Baumann, Filip Remunda
Dir. Tereza HorskaVertov Studio / Saxonia Entertainment / Hypermarket Film company
The gas that forms an important basis for Russia’s wealth in the present day flows through a pipeline which was built back in the last days of socialism, as one of the last giant construction projects. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Urengoy-Pomery-Uzhgorod pipeline was built with the help of Western investment. Today, it fuels the Russian economy and the profits it yields helps gloss over up the contradictions inherent in today’s Russian society – it also solves a significant part of the geopolitical problems of Russia’s foreign politics.
RUSSIA/ ESTONIA THE TERM Prod. Pavel Kostomarov, Alexey Pivovarov
Dir. Maxim TuulaAviator Production / Marx Film
Vladimir Putin’s new presidential term began in May 2012. Six months before that Putin’s stability had expired. Time has sped up. Time has changed. Time is flowing in a different direction. What’s going to happen next? Who’s going to be tomorrow’s hero? When we started shooting this film, we wanted to answer these very questions. We are neither keeping a chronicle of the protest rallies, nor making a news report. We record the thoughts and emotions of the opposition leaders. We want to understand where they lead us. What they call on us for. Even when also facing a term – in jail.
GEORGIA TIME FORWARD Prod., Dir. Zaza Rusadze


To leaf through visual memories is a pleasant activity. It awakens a sense of nostalgia in the audience, as it resembles browsing through family albums. But how often does a melancholy reviewing of our past bring us to a better comprehension of what really happened? By revealing forgotten nostalgic images the series aims to assess the question of if and how cultural symbols have changed throughout the course of history in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
POLAND TO SING Prod. Dorota Roszkowska 
Dir. Olga KorotkayaArkana Studio
Two twenty-year-old girls from Tuva want to become throat singers, but in this region only men are allowed to sing by throat. Women who perform throat singing in public are expelled from their families. So girls have to make a choice: singing or family.
Dir. Julija ZubavicieneFilm Republic
Lida, Vanda, Liusia, our three grandmother protagonists, decide to embark on a road-trip across Europe, starting from their hometowns in Lithuania and onto England to connect with their grand-daughters. Through their journey they come to terms with their loss and identity across a pan-European landscape of change, economic and social differences, broken identities, and a common love.




Lars Brask has been working with documentary films since 2007. Prior to that he was co-founder of celleffect, which produced content for cell phones, and has been working as a manager for an American organization in Denmark. He has studied film and media science and is the co-founder of



Sergio Fant, born 1971, is an Italian film programmer, working mainly in the fields of shorts, experimental cinema, artists’ films and videos, and documentaries. After graduating in film studies and gaining experience as a film archivist and researcher at the Bologna Cinematheque, he went on conceiving, organizing and curating programs for several Italian venues and festivals. He’s currently the head of programming of the Trento Film Festival and a programmer at the Film Forum Festival hosted by the University of Udine and Gorizia. In 2010 and 2011 he collaborated with the Venice Film Festival curating the short and medium-length film selection of the Orizzonti sidebar. He has a weekly column on documentary films in the Italian news-magazine Internazionale, and is co-founder of the innovative film distribution platform CineAgenzia, focusing on non-theatrical distribution and touring documentary film series. In 2012 he joined the Locarno Film Festival as program advisor on experimental and artists’ films, and is a selection committee member for the Leopards of Tomorrow short film competition.



Born in 1968, has been trained as print and radio journalist before working as TV-producer and editor-in-chief for Me, Myself & Eye (MME) in Hamburg from 1994-1999. Managing Director at Kloos & Co. Medien and Rise and Shine World Sales based in Berlin, Germany. Kloos & Co. Medien was launched in 2002 and in 2007 the world sales branch was added. Among the titles produced by Kloos & Co. are Of Sharks and Fish (Rolf S. Wolkenstein, 2011), The Other Chelsea (Jakob Preuss, 2010), The Day We Danced on the Moon (Tristan Daws, 2010), 89 Millimetres (Sebastian Heinzel, 2005), and the ARTE-transmedia project Planet Galata – A Bridge in Istanbul (Florian Thalhofer and Berke Baş, 2010), and among the titles in the Rise and Shine catalogue are besides the company’s own productions Punk in Africa (Keith Jones, Deon Maas, 2011), Out of the Darkness (Stefano Levi, 2010), A Still Jacket (Ramòn Giger, 2010), Ameer Got His Gun (Naomi Levari, 2011), Life in Stills (Tamar Tal, 2011) and Peak (Hannes Lang, 2011). Besides producing documentaries for TV and cinema with a focus on creative docs the company has also since 2007 written and produced high-quality corporate and educational films.



Founder and Chief Scientist at Valdis is a management consultant, researcher, trainer, author, and the developer of InFlow software for social and organizational network analysis [SNA/ONA]. InFlow maps and measures knowledge exchange, information flow, emergent communities, networks of alliances and other connections within and between organizations and communities. Since 1987, Valdis has participated in over 500 SNA/ONA projects.
Hundreds of independent consultants and not-for-profit organizations use software and services to map and measure networks in organizations, communities, and other complex human systems.
Before starting his own business, Valdis held various HR management positions at Disney, TRW, Toyota, and Ford. Valdis works from his office in Cleveland, Ohio with a network of colleagues in the USA, Canada and Europe.
Valdis has undergraduate degrees in Mathematics & Computer Science, and a graduate degree in Organizational Behavior/Human Resources and has studied applied Artificial Intelligence.
He has given invited lectures on a variety of network topics at many universities and events around the world.



Born 1947. 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. Articles for national and international newspapers and magazines. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, and the Documentary of the EU. Has given documentary courses and seminars in more than 40 countries. In 2004 was awarded the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. From 1996 (when it began), to 2005 – director of EDN (European Documentary Network). Given the EDN Life Achievement Award in 2005. From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in Danish and European documentary matters, including Head of Studies at Ex Oriente, Prague until 2008. Consultant for Parallel40, Barcelona, and Head of Pitching Forum of DOCSBarcelona. Selecting consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DoxBox in Damascus, and DOKLeipzig. Teacher at the documentary film school Zelig in Bolzano, Italy. Head of Studies at the European training programme Storydoc for film projects from the Mediterranean. Tutor at other training programmes such as Archidoc, DocuRegio, DOCMeeting Buenos Aires, and Bridging the Gap in Edinburgh. Writes for



Mikael has been a dedicated documentary filmmaker since he made his first S-8mm documentary in 1977, now hidden from the public in his cellar. Through most of the 1980s Mikael worked with the distribution and theatrical release of documentaries.
In 1988 he studied scriptwriting at the Danish Film School. Worked as a freelance production manager up through the 90s, and organized the film festival Films from the South from 1995 – 1998. Made a desk-cross-over from 1998-2002, working as production adviser at the Danish Film Institute. During the same period Mikael began his exclusive career as tutor at EDN workshops. Attended EAVE 1998-99. From 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 – 2009, with the last year as Chairman. He now serves as the Head of Studies at EDN.



Jesper Osmund edited his first feature film in 1991 after years of working as an assistant editor. He then continued editing several feature films, short films, mini series, and hundreds of commercials until the mid 90s, when he decided to turn more to documentaries.
Today he has edited more than 50 documentaries, many of them internationally awarded. In the later years he has focused mainly on internationally co-produced feature length documentaries. He also began to hold seminars and tutoring the Pitching and RoughCut workshops arranged by EDN, IDF and IDF Academy.
Among his recent films you’ll find: Harbour of Hope (Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Poland/Germany)
The controversial BANANAS!* (Sweden/Denmark/Finland/Germany/USA) shown at more than 100 festivals.
And the award winning films: Long Distance Love (Sweden), Imagen Final/Final Image (Argentina/Chile/Sweden/ Denmark/USA), The Well (Sweden/Italy/Norway/Denmark/Switzerland), and Juntos/Together (Denmark/Norway/Finland/Italy).



Marketplace Director (Sheffield Doc/Fest), coordinating the MeetMarket – a unique opportunity for filmmakers and digital media producers to present their most innovative and passionate ideas to commissioners, buyers, funders and distributors. He also runs all other marketplace activities at the Sheffield Doc/Fest, including public pitches, industry meetings, matchmaking and mentoring sessions, and year-round workshops. Prior to that he was the Editor of FourDocs, Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning online documentary channel, and he continues to bring an interactive and cross-platform perspective to Sheffield’s marketplace activities.



Rada is a filmmaker, lecturer, critic and curator. She is a mentor at the Master of Film Studies at the Netherlands Film Academy, Amsterdam. Born in the former Yugoslavia (Croatia), lived in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), directed several documentaries and shorts in her home country, worked as a film critic and a journalist for Radio-Television Sarajevo and for the film magazine Sineast. Was a member of FIPRESCI.
From 1993 lives in Utrecht. Since 2000 works as a program advisor for the IFFR Rotterdam and is on a selection committee of the IDFA Amsterdam. Involved in selection from the beginning of the Jan Vrijman Fund, in the last four years is also a commission member of the Hubert Bals Fund. Head of the Competition Documentary Programme at the Sarajevo Film Festival. Tutor at several international workshops / pitching sessions (Dragon Forum, Doc Lisboa, Docs Thessaloniki, Baltic Sea Documentary Forum Riga, Ex Oriente Prague/Warsaw, Damasc Dox Box), and Doc Edge Kolkata in Asia. A tutor at the Balkan Documentary Centre in Sofia. For six years was a lecturer at the Dutch Institute for Film Education (NIF).
A programme advisor for two years at DOK-Leipzig for Balkan and South Asian cinema, and a programmer for the Indian Film Festival in Kerala for more than a decade. Lived in India; directed four documentaries while there. Started two film festivals with a group of friends, heading the festival programming: Eastern Neighbours FF held in the Netherlands which is focused on non-EU European cinema, and the Doku Art documentary film festival in her birthplace, Bjelovar, Croatia.
For several years taught at the University of Amsterdam – media and culture, on South Asian cinema, and has guest lectured at film schools and universities abroad: Anadolu University in Eskisehir, the Art School in Genève, the Sristi Institute in Bangalore, FDU Belgrade, and the ASU Sarajevo.
Directed four films in the Netherlands: Room without a View, 1997, Soske, 2001, In Whitest Solitude, 2001, and The Way to School, 2007. Her films have been screened at 60 festivals worldwide and awarded at several. Her work was also presented and archived at the MoMA New York .Writes for Skrien (The Netherlands), Dox (Denmark), Film Guide-Variety (UK), Documentary Encyclopedia (USA), Film Annual (Croatia), and collaborated on the books: Dina Iordanova 24 Frames (UK), a book on Bhimal Roy (India) and on Mani Kaul (India).



Member of the European Documentary Network and European Film Academy. Made 19 films as an independent filmmaker and producer. His films have received many international film awards, among them: Public Prize in Nyon, Grand Prix in Split, prizes in Bornholm, Florence, Gyor, Neu Brandenburg, Oberhausen, Bilbao and San Francisco. In 1992, the film Earth of the Blind received a European Film Academy Award as Best European Documentary film of the year.
From 2004-2005 documentary teacher at the European Film College, Denmark. Presented lectures and master classes in Calcutta, Tokyo, Moscow, Belgrade, Barcelona, San Francisco, Carpi Modena and Paris. Retrospectives: Switzerland, Russia, France, Israel, Czech Rebublic, Germany, the USA, Belgium, Spain, Turkey and Italy.



Cecilia Valsted has been working with documentary filmmaking since 2004. She graduated as an EAVE producer in 2009, studied Film and Media Sociology at the University of Copenhagen, and is one of the leading persons behind the digital distribution platform

Decision Makers



Andrea studied economics in Vienna, London and Paris and holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing & Sales. She worked in several marketing agencies in Austria and in the Public Relations department at the Cultural Secretary in Oaxaca / Mexico, before joining the Autlook team as a Festival Manager. Since 2009 Andrea is in charge of worldwide TV Sales at Autlook, together with her colleague Salma Abdalla. In her position she attends all important TV markets, festivals and pitching forums. She‘s a EURODOC 2010 graduate.

AUTLOOK FILMSALES is a worldwide sales agent for powerful, daring and acclaimed docs. We select around 25 TV-documentaries a year and up to 6 docs with worldwide theatrical potential. Autlook is a full-service sales agent, 5 people strong, handling festivals, TV-, theatrical-, educational-, DVD- and digital sales worldwide.
We look for auteur-driven, cinematic docs with international appeal. Our line-up includes Morgan Spurlock‘s Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan‘s Hope; Bananas!*; Big Boys Gone Bananas!*; El Bulli – Cooking In Progress; Meet The Fokkens; The Punk Syndrome; The Pipe; Disco&Atomic War.



The Estonian Film Foundation (EFF) is responsible for supporting professional Estonian film production and promoting Estonian film culture. It operates under the auspices of the Estonian Ministry of Culture and its budget for 2012 is EUR 3,88 million, which is mainly used to finance features, shorts, animation, and documentaries (EUR 515 500). International productions are supported only with Estonian co-producer on board.



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.
Main documentary film slots:
Current affairs docs: weekly, 1 hour
dokkaader (docframe): creative author films, weekly, open end
AegRuum (TimeSpace): scientific docs, weekly, 1 hour
Natural History: weekly, 1 hour
Music documentaries: weekly, 1 hour



After her bachelor’s degree in Hungarian Language & Civilisation, Esther studied Architecture for a few years. She had a short career as songs-writer, melodist and singer, and she’s still writing songs today. After two years at Cinedoc & Paris-Films Cop, an Association distributing and showing experimental movies, she joined ARTE where she had different jobs, notably the elaboration of the Performing Arts Repertoire. Since 2003, Esther Lehoczky is one of the commissioning editors of the Culture and Performing Arts Department at ARTE France – from now on Arts Department – where she’s in charge of productions and acquisitions for the ARTE channel.

ARTE is a European public-service cultural television channel. Its originality lays in the fact that it targets audiences from different cultural backgrounds, in particular French and German.
ARTE core values are quality, variety and depth. Top-quality, topical evening schedules, documentaries, feature films, TV films, music, theatre, informative programmes and a lot more can be seen on ARTE, with the exceptions of talk shows and sports programmes. The different programmes invite you to discover other people, regions and ways of life, to experience culture in Europe and to better understand political and social developments in today’s world.
Approximately 41% of all programmes are documentaries, 21% are feature films and 10% are films made for television. 20% of our programming is assigned to information programmes and a further 10% to music, theatre and dance. 3% are short films.
The number of new productions on ARTE is particularly significant, since 75% of ARTE evening programmes are first runs.



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. He also worked as a member of the research group at the USSR Film Fund where he gave lectures and translated films. 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. From 1994 – 2003 Grigory was the Program Director at Internews for the Open Skies Program. This project helped to disseminate 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 the Free Thought Documentary Programme of the Moscow International Film Festival, buyer for TV Kultura, as well as other broadcasters in Russia and Ukraine.



Luke works as a Grants Officer at BRITDOC Foundation, particularly focusing on the PUMA.Creative Catalyst Award – a EUR 5 000 development fund for 20 projects per year. With a background in Fine Art and Anthropology he supports international filmmaker outreach and develops funding resources for the BRITDOC website. In his spare time he raises money for emerging creative filmmakers by running marathons and the like.

BRITDOC Foundation
Supports development, production, investigative journalism documentaries and outreach:
– THE BERTHA BRITDOC CONNECT FUND is the first European-based fund for outreach and engagement, it helps inspiring documentaries continue to inspire and change the world with £5 000 – £50 000 per project (documentaries like Gasland, Give Up Tomorrow and Call Me Kuchu);
– THE BERTHA BRITDOC JOURNALISM FUND is for long-form investigative filmmaking (documentaries like Big Boys Gone Bananas!*and The Square);
– THE PUMA. CREATIVE CATALYST AWARD is our development fund (20 x EUR 5 000 per year). We can award both established and emerging filmmakers;
– THE CHANNEL 4 FUND is for British or British based filmmakers, we support a wide range of films through this fund from development to completion with £20 000 to £50 000 per project.



Hjalmar Palmgren is the commissioning editor for K Special, a strand for documentaries on art and culture at SVT. Palmgren previously held a position as film commissioner at the Swedish film institute.

Info on K special:
Documentaries and Portraits within the field of: art, architecture, literature, music, dance, photography, film, theatre and history of culture. As the concept of Beaux-Arts nowadays has a much more diversified meaning, it is of great interest to SVT, Arts and Culture programmes, to co-produce projects that can be accepted by a younger generation of viewers. Therefore SVT, along with more traditional documentaries, especially look for unpredictable subject matters that reflect new currents in the cultural life of the world.

Commissioned hrs/year 52
Recent titles Searching for Sugar Man, Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, At Night I Fly, Marina Abramovic, Mama Africa, How Are You, Paul Simon – Under African Skies, Into Eternity
Average amount € 6.000
Preferred length 56-58 min
Budget for research and development Yes
Allocated budget Co-productions 50% / license commissions 10% / acquisitions 40%
New proposals New proposals via our web site:
Other platforms streaming 30 days for Sweden (Geo blocked)
New media dept.



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.



Latvian Television is the national broadcasting company receiving part of the assets from the state. It broadcasts on two channels – LTV1 and LTV7.
The priority of LTV1 being documentaries produced in Latvia or films reflecting a subject related to Latvia’s society, history, politics, etc., as well as documentaries tackling relevant current affairs issues. LTV7 has several 52 min documentary slots (weekdays at 20:00) for programmes dealing with unconventional travel, lifestyle, popular science, wildlife, history and civilisation as well as current affairs. LTV 7 has also a Sunday daytime 26 min slot for travel diaries.



Born on April 29, 1961. Has been working as a director and author of TV documentaries and magazines for different TV channels from 1992 – 2002. As of 2003 is working as a commissioning editor with specialization in History & Social Life at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, Television, Potsdam. Among others has commissioned and co-produced documentaries by Rosa von Praunhaim Two Mothers: The Search Began in Riga (87 min, 2008) and Rent Boys (84 min, 2011).



Esther van Messel, born 1965 in Vienna, lives in Switzerland and holds a Bachelor’s degree in film & television production and in history from the University of Tel Aviv. In 1990, she joined Warner Bros. Israel and became Head of Distribution. From 1992 she produced international feature films and documentaries as Head of Co-Production and Sales for an independent production company in Zurich. Since 1998, Esther van Messel runs her own company FIRST HAND FILMS in Zurich and Berlin for international distribution of documentaries, TV series and fiction films. In 2012, the company represents around 250 films and producers from all over the world. First Hand Films acts as executive producer for selected projects. In 2011, KISS THE FROG FILMS was founded for development and production of smart non-fiction.

Esther van Messel has been working as lecturer, consultant panel participant and moderator on all five continents: EAVE Brussels, IDFA Amsterdam, MipDoc Cannes, Cinemart Rotterdam, Eurodoc Montpellier, Toronto Documentary Forum & HotDocs, Avea Johannesburg, Eureka Warszaw, Estonian Film Foundation Tallinn, Another Finland Lathi, TV Media Business School Lübeck, Discovery/Documentary Campus Munich, FÁS Screen Training Dublin, Filmacademy Ludwigsburg, the Erich Pommer Institut Potsdam, WIFT Toronto, IFA-SC Tbilisi, IBAIA San Sebastian, the Yamagata Filmfestival, the Scottish Documentary Institute Edinburgh, Copenhagen Dox, Sheffield Docfest, Nordisk Panorama Bergen, Malmö and ÅRHUS, Britdoc, DocsBarcelona, DocsLisboa, IFP New York, the Korean Documentary Association AND, Sunny and Asian Side of the Doc, AIDC Adelaide, the Co-Production Forum Tel Aviv, Diagonale Graz, the Berlinale Talent Campus, Dokfest Leipzig and the Austrian Parliament Vienna, a.m.o. She has served on juries in Europe and abroad and has been appointed member of the Eurodoc Steering Committee, the Selection Committee for the Austrian Film Institute and currently the Swiss Film Subsidy Commission.

Love good television. And Cinema. And any other Media. Love to make people watch it. First Hand Films sells and produces accessible and passionate programmes worldwide combining unique international intelligence with practical knowledge and experience. As international producers, FHF are world sales agents and executive producers at the same time. Ambitious and realistic, FHF can sell one-offs and series, and programme slots, theme nights, and strands.
FHF has access to stories, directors, producers, broadcasters and funding bodies anywhere – aiming for the best, and for vision. FHF finds finance and partners, facilitates and coordinates international co-productions.
The current catalogue includes around 250 hand-picked films from all over the world and is constantly renewed. In its first decade, FHF sold hundreds of licenses, turned over close to ten million Euro, solved zillions of problems, and remained autonomous.
First Hand Films have competed in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Rotterdam, Locarno, San Sebastian, Sundance, Toronto and many other festivals. Its very first pick-up went on to receive the Oscar© for Best Documentary Feature. Since then, most First Hand Films have won awards: Emmy, Prix Europa, numerous IDFA main awards, Biarritz, Banff, Grimme, Grand Prix Nyon, National Film Awards, European Film Awards, Silver Leopards, Golden Rose Montreux and more. In 2010, the company represented yet another Oscar Nominee.
FHF staff has in-house TV- and independent production experience and are always curious about business, technology and arts. They teach, consult and publish about filmmaking, marketing and distribution. And are fluent in more than ten languages.



YLE is the national public service broadcasting company in Finland with duties laid down by law. YLE operates 4 national television channels, 6 radio channels, and growing internet service. YLE ranks first in television viewing in the country. YLE is the main purveyor and producer of domestic culture, and 48% of its television programs are made in Finland. YLE is a limited company mainly owned by the Finnish state and principally financed through television fee revenues. YLE is a media company free from commercial and political affiliations, and its programs carry no advertising. YLE was established in 1926 and joined EBU, the European Broadcasting Union, at the very beginning in 1950.

JENNY WESTERGARD is a graduated journalist from Helsinki University and has been working for YLE since 1985. She is currently working as Commissioning Editor for documentaries in the YLE Co-production department. She is mainly commissioning for YLE FEM, the Swedish language channel on YLE. YLE FEM offers full service 7 days a week and all programs are subtitled to Finnish. At the moment YLE FEM has two weekly slots for documentaries; focusing on contemporary, human interest stories with strong storylines and good characters in a social, political context.



Dr. Katja Wildermuth is Head of Documentaries in the editorial office “History and Society” at MDR Television in Leipzig, Germany. Katja is responsible for historical documentaries, docu-dramas, contemporary feature length documentaries for MDR, ARD and arte – and for international co-productions.

Before heading “History and Society” Katja Wildermuth worked for several other editorial offices, commissioning documentaries as well as news magazines. Beside that she worked herself an author and director for several TV formats. In the early nineties she was engaged for several years as a scientific researcher and lecturer at the University of Munich and graduated 1994 with a Ph.D. in History.

Recent documentaries Dr. Katja Wildermuth commissioned are e.g. A Film Unfinished (dir. Yael Hersonski, Hot Docs Toronto Winner Best International Feature Award 2010, Sundance Festival Winner World Cinema Editing Award 2010), Rabbits à la Berlin (dir. Bartek Konopka, shortlisted for the Academy Award 2010), Durakovo. Village of Fools (dir. Nino Kirtadze; Sundance Festival Winner World Cinema Directing Award 2008), Alone in four Walls (dir. Alexandra Westmeier; Locarno Winner Semaine de la Critique 2008; Max Ophüls Festival Winner Best Documentary 2008; New Berlin Film Award 2008), Do Communists Have Better Sex? (dir. André Meier; Prix Circom 2007), Letter to Anna – The Story of journalist Politkovskaya’s death (dir. Eric Bergkraut; Vaclav-Havel-Award 2008).


Directed by Emad Burnat (Palestine) and Guy Davidi (Israel), ALEGRIA PRODUCTIONS / BURNAT FILMS / GUY DVD FILMS, 90 min, 2011, France / Palestine / Israel


Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, from the West Bank village of Bil’in, famous for its non-violent resistance against the Israeli army, bought his first camera in 2005 to document the birth of his fourth son, Gibreel. Five cameras – each telling a powerful story – are one by one shot at or destroyed.
Constant arrests, violent attacks, bulldozers, lost lives and night raids on the village frighten Emad’s family. 500 hours of material in 90 minutes – a bitterly candid documentary film portraying the other side of the coin of this seemingly familiar conflict is a testament to the humanity that exists outside of politics and the absurdity of military might.

The reality is wonderfully complicated and that is beautiful. “5 Broken Cameras was created to inspire people,” state the film directors.

Palestinian Emad Burnat is a freelance cameraman and photographer who continually works with Reuters News Agency and has filmed for Al-Jazeera and for Israeli and Palestinian television. Israelite Guy Davidi has worked in film since the age of 16 and has directed many documentaries; he also teaches film. “If you are injured, you will remember your injury even after it has healed. But if you are injured over and over again…you will forget your wounds. But the camera remembers. I film in order to heal.” Emad Burnat.

Directed by Mads Brügger, ZENTROPA REAL APS, 93 min, 2011, Denmark


A strange, enigmatic and decadent white European, who looks like a mixture of Henry Stanley and Karl Lagerfeld, arrives in the former French colony of the Central African Republic (CAR) with diplomatic credentials to spearhead a diplomatic mission representing Liberia. Morals soon evaporate, and rampant greed spreads at the speed of light.
A tragic comedy and screamingly provocative insight into life in Africa, where the lowest in society struggle with abject misery while the elite prosper, where blood diamond buyers and corrupt politicians walk hand in hand, and where “gin and tonic” is an integral part of official visits.

The Central African Republic is like the Switzerland of Africa. It has it all – gold, huge quantities of diamonds, oil and cobalt, but all of the resources that should be dedicated to development are spent on battling rebel armies. The EU, especially France, remains stubbornly silent and refuses to help as “for the time being everything is going according to plan”.

Film director, writer and TV host Mads Brügger, a stellar representative of guerrilla journalism, regularly infiltrates various parts of society in order to highlight unwanted truths. Touted as the most reckless director in the world, he received the Jury Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for his film Red Chapel, which was filmed in North Korea with Brügger posing as a communist theatre director. In August, 2012, the Liberian government threatened to prosecute Brügger.

Directed by Wojciech Staroń, STARON FILM, 61 min, 2011, Poland


In 1998 Wojciech Staroń made a film about a young teacher who emigrated to the Lake Baikal region to teach Polish deportees’ descendants their native tongue. More than ten years later, the director’ s wife, Wojciech himself, and their two children head to a small Argentinean village to teach Polish to the inhabitants.
For little Janek this isn’t just an encounter with a foreign language and unfamiliar environment… With the help of his new Argentinean friend, he enters a world of imagination and is introduced to the girl’s prematurely lost childhood. With breathtaking poeticism, Janek’s father, director Wojciech Staroń, captures his son’s experience.

More than 200,000 inhabitants have left Latvia in the last few years. Most of the emigrants reside in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Scandinavia. Heading to work abroad, parents often leave their offspring behind in Latvia – in the care of grandparents or older siblings, but sometimes even on their own. 450 Latvians live in Argentina.

Directed by Inese Kļava and Ivars Zviedris, VFS FILMS / ANSIS EPNERS STUDIO AVE, 82 min, 2012, Latvia


Inta is a brusque, lonely woman who lives in isolation on the edge of a marsh. One day her solitude is shattered by the arrival of a documentary filmmaker. Though in his eyes Inta is an outstanding would-be film protagonist, the untamed woman would rather put a curse on the intruder than let herself be filmed. Inta’s opinion of the filmmaker’s profession is hardly flattering, but his persistence finally succeeds in melting Inta’s heart… just to break it soon afterwards. The result is an intense interaction between two people over the length of the film, with emotional ebb and flow, and fights and making up, just like in any relationship.

“An incredible though discomforting work of art, not only about one’s nature. A single scene – an entire life: the devil of the Ķemeri marsh blows his reed pipe and calls us to task. Who is manipulating who? In art, and in general.” Critic Normunds Naumanis, daily Diena, April 20, 2012.
The film The Documentarian was named the Best Feature-length Documentary at the Lielais Kristaps National Film Awards, and also won the Viewer’s Choice award and the Delfi portal special award.

Directed by Gaukur Úlfarsson, ENJOY, 96 min, 2010, Iceland


Never before has a politician been portrayed in this manner, because there’s never been a politician like this one! An unbelievable story full of laughter, hope, inspiration, great Icelandic music and joy.
In 2009, during Iceland’s economic collapse and depression, Jon Gnarr, a famous comedian and former member of the Sugarcubes, decided to parody the political system by founding The Best Party. The party platform included such promises as building a Disneyland in Iceland, adding more polar bears to the zoo, and a drug-free parliament by 2020. This joke caused a snow-ball effect and people became interested in politics! The desire of Icelanders to break away from their alienated and corrupt political system culminated in the victory of The Best Party in the municipal elections. Jon Gnarr is now the Mayor of Reykjavik.

“As often politicians are giving false promises, is how much this film amuses.” At the 2011 Traverse City Film Festival (the festival founded by Michael Moore), Gnarr received the Best Foreign Documentary award, and director Gaukur Úlfarsson received the award for Best Director.

Directed by Patricio Guzman, ATACAMA PRODUCTIONS / BLINKER FILMPRODUKTION / WDR, 90 min, 2010, France / Germany / Chile


In the Atacama Desert, 3,048 m above sea level, astronomers from all over the world gather to explore the Universe. For 25 years, the wives and sisters of the disappeared political prisoners of the Pinochet regime at the same time search for the remains of their loved ones at the foot of the observatory.
Melding the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the women, Nostalgia for the Light is an epic as well as deeply emotional odyssey in time and space.

From 1973 to 1990, Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte was the Chilean army general and dictator during whose regime many types of human rights violations occurred, including the murder of 3,197 people and the torture of 29,000 political opponents. At least 200,000 Chileans were forced into exile. Pinochet’s concentration camps were located in the Atacama Desert in the Andean Mountains, on the border between Chile and Argentina.

The Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world. The soil is similar to the surface of Mars, and the otherworldly landscape regularly attracts cinematographers. The Atacama Desert is also the base for NASA exploration and experiments.

Directed by Jukka Kärkkäinen and J-P Passi, MOUKA FILMI OY, 85 min, 2012, Finland


A film about the Finnish punk rock band Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day (Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät), whose members are not only linked by their huge output onstage, but also because they all have Down Syndrome. Their songs herald problems in society as well as their daily challenges in living in opposition to most of society, and everything that is seemingly normal.
Punk Syndrome, a story of the battle of the atypical against mainstream fallacies, allows us to experience punk lifestyle-worthy moments and to shatter inner stereotypes.

Myth: Persons with Down Syndrome are emotionally stunted.
Fact: The IQ of most people with Down Syndrome is only slightly lower than the average. In all developed countries children with Down Syndrome are successfully integrated into schools and some even graduate from university. They work in offices, hotels, restaurants, hospitals and many other places, and do their work with precision, enthusiasm and responsibility.

In many countries adults with Down Syndrome live independently from their parents, mainly with friends or in group homes. They fall in love, go on dates, get married, and some raise their own children.

Directed by Lukasz Borowski, WAJDA STUDIO, 28 min, 2011, Poland


After 15 years Piotr has a 3-day pass to leave the prison walls. But now, even the simplest activity is a real challenge for him. Bewildered, yet fascinated, Piotr tries to understand today’s world, because nothing is the same as it was 15 years ago. This, however, will turn out to be the least of his problems – he will have to re-evaluate the past, consider his prospects for the future, and accept that time cannot be halted.

“A man incarcerated for many years allows us to take a look at all that surrounds us with fresh, clear eyes. Like a child. The film isn’t only about a prisoner or a criminal, but also about a human.” Lukasz Borowski.

Directed by Axel Danielsson, PLATFORM PRODUKTION, 80 min, 2011, Sweden


For ten years Danielson filmed his nephews – Gustaf and Oskar – in the Swedish countryside. Although the boys are twins, they are as different as two people can be, as Oskar suffers from a form of dwarfism. The film is a nuanced chronological string of episodes that is at the same time a dedication to the growing pains of childhood, and an ode to the openness of the heart and the wonder of teenage years.

Prior to becoming a film director Axel Danielson was a fire fighter and truck driver. His short film Summer Clouds became an international festival hit in 2005. Twin Brothers, 53 Scenes from a Childhood is his first feature length documentary.