I know it looks stupid and tabloid, but I have been using that headline so many times and I do believe that there is a lot of documentary talent and originality to be found in the Eastern European countries. More than in the West where many filmmakers play according to television format requirements. And there is an interest in getting together as the news from IDF (Institute of Documentary Film) in Prague demonstrates:
… We are happy to announce the final selection of projects picked for the upcoming 15th edition of East European Forum, held in Prague within the fourth East Doc Platform. The board of experts went through more than 200 applicants and eventually picked 10 projects. These will be joined by 12 more projects that took part in 2014 Ex Oriente Film workshop. Together all the filmmakers will take part in a five-day-long preparatory workshop and get ready for their public presentations. After the weekend of public project pitching they will all eventually get to the round tables as well as individual meetings, where they will face the industry professionals (TV, funds, festivals and distribution and production companies representatives) from the whole Europe and North America and negotiate support for their documentaries…
10 from 200… and I am happy to see some projects presented by people I know so well and appreciate. Like Vesela Kazakova and Mina Mileva with ”The Beast is Still Alive”, a project the two have been working on for a long time and have come back to after ”Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service”. Equally Salomé Jashi (if you want to see how she looks – take a look at the top of this page, she is the one in the middle) presents ”The Station” after her international success with ”Bahkmaro”. Estonian Jaak Kilmi is there with a project to be produced by Latvian company Mistrus Media, it’s called ”People from Nowhere”. And of course Vitaly Manski (photo) will be there with his personal Ukranian story to be produced by Guntis Trekteris, Ego Media, Latvia.
”Sometimes it turns out that borders of political events in your country come so close to the borders of your own creative work that you have no other chose but to step over and participate. That is what happened to Oleg Sentsov, Ukrainian film director from the Crimea who is now in Russian jail. The secret services of the Russian Federation are trying to prove that Sentsov has been preparing a series of terrorist acts on the territory of the Crimea, such as explosion of the Lenin monument and the “Eternal flame”… A quote from the description of the film project by Askold Kurov, ”Release Oleg Sentsov” that will be presented in Prague as well.