Molodist’s traditional international co-production market Boat Meeting changed locations this year, but not the rules. 5 teams, 4 from Ukraine and one from Albania, presented projects for feature films. The participants were assessed by the jury of producers Catherine Dussart (France), Simona Baumann (Germany) and Oleksii Terentiev (Ukraine). 

Pitching started with the film “Voroshilovgrad” – an upcoming film adaptation of Sergei Zhadan’s novel, which the BBC has named the best Ukrainian novel of the decade. The script is being written by renowned playwright Natalka Vorozhbyt. Director Iaroslav Lodyhin plans to create a sunny, bright and positive film – the exact opposite of the images we see on the news. The story is multilayered and universal. The protagonist Herman searches for the way to change his meaningless life, and find true friends, love and values. Filming will take place in the Luhansk region – right where the story in the novel unfolds. The film will be using both contemporary music and the works of composer Sergei Prokofiev, who was born in the Donbas.

Producer Vladimir Yatsenko shared details of production. Shooting is planned for August-September 2017. It will be supported not only by the State Film Agency, which covers 50% of the budget, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. But the team believes that the film may be interesting to a much wider audience, so they are open for cooperation not only with Ukrainian, but also foreign producers and distributors.

The second project is Marina Kondratieva’s “The Tale of a New Year’s Wish”. This is a “good old” family film. It tells of two kingdoms, their ruling families and their heirs – Princess Mary and the Deaf Prince. The Princess is eager to heal her beloved and plans use a magical invention to do it. However, it would not be easy – other characters also have their desires. The film will have two finales. This is not typical for a fairy tale, but it often happens in real life.

According to the director, the film requires a lot of computer graphics and post-production of the highest quality. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian experience is not enough – they need access to international experts. If the film is not funded by public funds entirely, it would be possible to release both Ukrainian and English version for international distribution.

The Albanian team presented the film project “The Open Door” – a dramatic road movie. The film is dedicated to human relationships and the influence of customs on them. According to the director, this conflict is relevant not only for Albania, but also for developed countries like the United States. An important element of the film is the conflict of generational values. The film was supported by the Albanian and Kosovo film centres, Albanian television and a few production companies. However, the team does not stop at that and tries to find international partners.

The next Ukrainian team was director Antonina Noiabriova and producer Anna Palenchuk, who presented the film “The Hero of My Time”. It will consist of three short stories united by one character – a young provincial guy. According to the authors, the audience will easily recognize and understand this character. The film is low-budget, so the team is hoping for the support of State Film and TV channels. The production period will also be brief – the first presentation in the form of “work&progress” are planned for the summer.

The last presented film was “Sweet Illusion of Life” by director Oleksandr Zhovna and producer Regina Marianovska. The film is dedicated to the “children of the sun” – those who live with Down syndrome. They escape from the brutal reality of the world into the world of black and white cinema through the magical screen. The director has been working with people who have Down syndrome for many years, so this issue it is very close to his heart. The work on the film has just begun, but the story does not leave anyone indifferent.

After a long discussion, the judges determined a winner – the Albanian project of director Florence Papas and producer Eno Milkani “The Open Door”. They got a reward of $10 000 for post-production services from Star Media.