Winners of the 10th Baltic Pitching Forum Announced

This year, the 10th Baltic Pitching Forum celebrated ten years of showcasing new talent and continued to build upon the momentum which has made it one of the most important industry showcases in the Baltic region today.

Over the past three days, twelve short film projects were presented by participants from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and this year’s guest country, Norway. These projects were pitched in front of two panels of international film experts who bestowed prizes at an award ceremony held on Friday night.

The Toilet by the directors Ragne Mandri and Sushant Bhat and producer Nevena Semova was the winner of participant rights at the European Short Film Co-production Forum Euro Connection 2023, ​​which is a part of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France. The story of the project tells about a 5-year-old Colombian boy who overcomes his struggles while navigating and understanding the new world around him. The award was given for a very universal and personal topic, tinted by the complexity and poetry of multiculturalism.

The projectSauna Day by directors Anna Hints and Tushar Prakash and producer Johanna Maria Paulson received an invitation to the Talents and Short Film Market 2022 and its Pitching Session “You Only Pitch Twice.”  The award was given for the solidity of the project and positive energy of both directors and the producer. The film story follows two men who are secretly connecting with each other through the ritual of whisking in the smoke sauna. The ritual helps two men explore their more sensitive sides. 

The winners were selected by Baltic Pitching Forum Panel members: festival distributor at Raina Films (Finland), Andy Norton, Euro Connection, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival coordinator, Julie Rousson (France), sales agent at Radiator IP Sales Ben Vandendaele (Belgium), producer at Portokal Vanya Rainova (Bulgaria), TV commissioning editor at Yle TV Sari Volanen (Finland), managing director of the Talents and Short Film Market Eugénie Bottereu (Italy) and sales agent at Film Agency Varicoloured and advisor of programmes for Venice International Film Festival Carla Vulpiani (Italy).

The Baltic Producers Jury MEDIA Award – initiated by the Creative Europe offices in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia and coming with a 1000 EUR cash prize – went to the project The Toilet (dir. Ragne Mandri, Sushant Bhat, prod. Nevena Semova). The award was given for their smooth, engaging and dramaturgically strong pitch, which covered all the key elements of the project.  

A special mention went to the project Conductor by director Antanas Skučas and producer Justė Michailinaitė. According to the jury, a passionate and well connecting director-producer duo is developing an artistically engaging project. The film follows a prison warden in a dystopian city who has broken his instrument. Without him, he thinks, the whole city will come crashing down. 

This year’s Baltic Producers Jury was made up of Marianne Ostrat (Alexandra Film, Estonia), Aija Bērziņa (Tasse Film, Latvia), and Uljana Kim (Studio Uljana Kim, Lithuania). 

A new prize – Yle TV Pre-buy Award worth 2500 euros – went to LIMO, a dystopian story between a human and artificial intelligence, by director Tīna Zariņa and producer Alise Ģelze. The animation project Offside by director Sander Joon and producer Aurelia Aasa, which touches imaginary childhood games in a funny and genuine way, won the Radiator IP Sales Distribution Award, consisting of consultancy and guidance for filmmakers.

“This year’s edition was very special, giving us a chance to explore the newest short film projects from the Baltic and Nordic regions with the greatest potential, as well as to evaluate the achievements of the Baltic Pitching Forum alumni over the 10 year of existence. I am sure that this year’s projects will contribute to these achievements turning into successful films and continuing their journeys through international film festivals and markets,” Rimantė Daugėlaitė, Head of the Baltic Pitching Forum and Lithuanian Shorts, commented.

The 11th Baltic Pitching Forum will take place on October 4-7, 2023.

The Baltic Pitching Forum is organised by Lithuanian Short Film Agency “Lithuanian Shorts” in partnership with Riga International Film Festival, Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, PÖFF Shorts (Tallinn International Film Festival Black Nights) and Estonian Short Film Center ShortEst. “Lithuanian Shorts” is supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. Sponsors of the event: Lithuanian Film Centre, Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture, Audiovisual Works Copyright Association “AVAKA”, Vilnius City Municipality. Partners – Creative Europe Desk MEDIA Offices in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Norwegian Film Institute, Vilnius Film Office. 

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