Beldocs Pitching Forum 2024 

DOCS IN DEVELOPMENT 2024
BALCANA PRESENTA

Director Adriana Trujillo
Bosnia and Herzegovina, México, Argentina

Balcana Presenta combines auto-ethnography and docu-fiction, using reenactment and collaborative performance to recreate episodes of the lives of four Latin American women living in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the format of telenovela. The plots produced by Televisa and Venevision based on stories of strong and courageous, yet poor and underprivileged, female protagonists caused a frenzy, which is now predictable; the broadcasting of narratives in countries with vulnerable economies and a high female population during and after the Balkan War, women remained alone or widowed, turned to television as a social catharsis of surprising levels. Balcana presenta serves as a catalyst for critical dialogues on global connections, cultural diversity, and the resilience of individuals in unfamiliar environments.

Original language: Spanish
Subtitles: Serbian, English
Length: 75 min
Expected date of delivery : 3/2026
Production company : Kabinet 101
Contact information :  marko@cinemaparallels.com

BEAUTIFUL VOID

Director Andris Gauja
Latvia, Bulgaria, Estonia

Ever wondered what the universe is truly made of? Quantum physicist Carlo Rovelli, Buddhologist Robert Thurman, and performance artist Marina Abramović share a remarkable revelation: there are no material objects in the cosmos; its essence is radiant empty space, constantly exploding into existence. Emptiness doesn’t mean nothingness — on the contrary, it is the ultimate creative force behind everything. Embarking on a cinematic journey across three continents and eight countries, ‘Beautiful Void’ invites viewers to delve into this profound concept. Through breathtaking imagery and encounters with extraordinary characters, the film not only explores the ethereal nature of things but also offers a new perspective on the eternal question: What are we?

Original language: English, Latvian, Estonian
Subtitles: English
Length: 90 min
Expected date of delivery : 1/2025
Production company : RIVERBED
Contact information : elza.gauja@gmail.com

DNA OF THE NATION

Director Ivan Sautkin
Ukraine, Lithuania

Mykhailo Baidakov considers himself a direct descendant of the famous Ukrainian poet and national prophet Taras Shevchenko and is ready to prove it with the help of DNA testing. However, will the relatives of the iconic person, who have built a real religious cult around his name, like it?

Original language: Ukrainian
Subtitles: English
Length: 90 min
Expected date of delivery : 12/2025
Production company : Babylon’13
Contact information : ivanna.khitsinska@gmail.com

GLORIOUS UTOPIA

Director Marek Moučka
Slovakia

Glorious Utopia is a documentary essay that observes the citizens and kings of unofficial microstate Elgeland-Vargaland, established in 1992. While visiting their physical and mental territories, the protagonists are confronted with the director’s act of establishing his own state bounded by 16mm film stock. Through the story of two aging kings steeped in cultural and political references, the film explores the inherent human drive to define his own identity. It is a cinematic journey that simultaneously embraces and challenges the concept of borders.

Original language: English, Czech, Slovak

Subtitles: English
Length: 90 min
Expected date of delivery : 10/2025
Production company : Silverart
Contact information : tomas.gic1@gmail.com

SEROZHIK

Director Lusine Papoyan
Armenia

Fourteen-year-old Seryozha lives in one of the remote villages of Armenia. Four years ago, when Seryozha was ten years old, his father suffered a stroke and became unable to work. As a result of that, Seryozha left aside his dream, his desire to study and get an education, and assumed the role of a father in the family. Not being able to combine work with studies, Seryozha is faced with the choice of continuing to pursue his dream, devote himself to education, or work in the village and live the life of an ordinary villager, who may regret this decision for the rest of his life.

Original language: Armenian
Subtitles: English
Length: 75 min
Expected date of delivery : 10/2025
Production company : Formlab
Contact information : aramgpr@gmail.com

REAR ADMIRAL

Director Mladen Ivanović

Montenegro, Croatia

The unsolved murder of Krsto Đurović, a Montenegrin rear admiral in Yugoslav People’s Army who refused to attack Dubrovnik in the war in 1991, unravels a story about unattainable justice in the 21st century Balkans and unmasks how the society treats moral decisions when honor prevails over heroism.

Original language: Croatian
Subtitles: English
Length: 75 min
Expected date of delivery : 07/2025
Production company : Restart, Artikulacija Film
Contact information : oliver@restarted.hr

THE ABYSSINIAN CAT

Director Filip Martinović
Serbia, Spain

Serbia is the third destination where Asha has had to adapt to a new life. In Belgrade she built  a family but she has not been feeling well for some time now. She makes an important decision: going back in reverse migration steps and confronting the traumas of her childhood. In Barcelona, her reunion with her adoptive mother Rocío is not flattering. It is then that she realizes that the only way to face her past is to return to her birthplace in Ethiopia and search for her lost little sister.

Original language: Serbian, Spanish, Catalan, Amharic

Subtitles: English
Length: 90 min
Expected date of delivery : 01/2026
Production company : GULU GULU presenta
Contact information : rancproduction@gmail.com

THE MASTER

Director Marija Stonytė
Lithuania

A washing machine technician goes on a journey of healing and self-acceptance through unconventional practices of Tantra, attempts of reconciliation with his mother and finding love. In the dramatic, nonlinear journey he discovers that it is so much easier to repair a broken washing machine than a broken soul.

Original language: Lithuanian
Subtitles: English
Length: 90 min
Expected date of delivery: 11/2025
Production company : UKU films
Contact information : ruta@balticproductions.lt

VERA AND I

Director Marija Dzidzeva
Macedonia

Vera and I is a film about Vera Klichkova (1911-1998), the first female film director in Macedonia. Pioneer of visual anthropology, ethnologist and feminist. Vera lives, creates and loves in a time of historical changes and turmoil. She is a woman with vision, innovative and avant-garde. She senses that the film represents a new modern way of portraying life. She starts to use the latest technology in her work, to document life with a film camera. Fascinating the fact that her first film was filmed at the same period as the first Macedonian feature film, at 1952/53. She filmed a dozen ethnological films, participated in festivals in Yugoslavia and Europe, and was awarded. For her, the film has a high scientific value and future generations will use it for their scientific research and learn about life.

Original language: Macedonian
Subtitles: English
Length: 65 min
Expected date of delivery : 01/2025
Production company : Kadar
Contact information : alex.trajkovski@yahoo.com

ZANKI

Director Marcella Zanki
Croatia, Serbia

Marcella is a film directress who observes everything around her through some form of digital media, constantly placing a distance between herself and reality in her already chaotic city lifestyle. The result of such a life is a feeling of inadequacy, nervousness and a general lack of clarity about her place in today’s world. There is nothing to hold on to, except for her father Frane who is complete opposite – a legendary, healthy, vital spear fisherman in his 70s, hailing from the uninhabited island of Svetac, a private island owned by the Zanki family, situated in the Adriatic Sea. On the cusp of major life decisions, especially of dedicating her life to a new one, the author decides to spend a period on the island of Svetac with her father in hopes of re-connecting with nature and thus finding out what is her sea to hold on in this life.

Original language: Croatian
Subtitles: English
Length: 70 minutes
Expected date of delivery: 10/2025
Production company : Wolfgang & Dolly
Contact information : matija@wolfgangdolly.com

DOCS IN PROGRESS 2024

 

ANOTHER FILM ABOUT THE WAR, FATHER AND HOME

Director Damir Markovina
Croatia

Thirty years after the war ended, an estranged son is trying to help his father overcome his war trauma and accept returning to the city that had them exiled. A turbulent family history of fights, different lifestyles and political views stand in the way of their final reconciliation and acceptance.

Original language: Bosnian, Croatian
Subtitles: English
Length: 80 min
Expected date of delivery: 09/2025
Production company : Wolfgang & Dolly
Contact information : tamara@wolfgangdolly.com

HIDE ME IN THE LIGHT

Director Markiian Miroshnychenko
Ukraine

Eva is interviewing her friends in the transplant department at Kyiv Children’s Hospital.  They dart through the corridors, proudly showing their swollen veins to newcomers. There’s the scrappy orphan Andriy, the open-minded youngster Klevan, the respectable Liosha, and their leader Danya. They diligently do their homework, attend taekwondo classes. Every morning they are woken up and undergo hemodialysis.  Transplant surgeons wield a kind of magic in this realm. Their presence in the unit signifies the gift of a new life to someone. The transplant coordinator notifies about a found donor. Among the four young patients potentially suitable for the donor’s kidneys, the final selection remains unknown until conclusive tests are completed. Very soon Andriy discovers that he is not compatible. He remains alone in his ward on Christmas anticipating the arrival of new companions to the unit.

Original language: Ukrainian
Subtitles: English
Length: 85 min
Expected date of delivery: 12/2024
Production company : Life Map Films
Contact information : kateryna@lifemapfilms.com

MERABI

Director Liza Tezneva
Georgia

8-year-old Merabi has autism spectrum disorder and lives in a remote Georgian village near the fluctuating border of the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region. This area, known as the „Fear Zone,“ has seen incidents of people being abducted by the Russian military. Merabi’s large family – his mother, father, great-grandmother, grandfather, and two sisters – live in poverty in an unfinished house without amenities. His parents, unsure how to properly treat him, dream of teaching him to speak. This year, Merabi started first grade at a state school. The boy enters a completely new, alien space where he has to establish connections with classmates and teachers. Classmates do not understand or accept him. The film observes the boy’s search for ways to communicate when words are unavailable and his quest for a harmonious existence with his disability amid constant external threats.

Original language: Georgian
Subtitles: English
Length: 70 min
Expected date of delivery: 10/2025
Production company : FINIST.DOC
Contact information : finist@cultureconnection.world

MONGRELS OF TBILISI

Director Sasha Seryi
Georgia

Almanac of several stories-observations of different situations in which young people who came to Tbilisi and local homeless dogs found themselves. Our human heroes moved to Georgia from Russia and Ukraine after the outbreak of a full-scale war between these countries. None of them were prepared for the move or expected that soon they would have to leave behind quite a prosperous life. In Tbilisi, they have to start from zero – to find a livelihood, housing and friends. But finding themselves in a situation in which their former world is destroyed, our heroes choose the most irrational way to cope with the situation – they begin to help those who have it even harder. Every day they spend their energies on the well-being of dogs. And in return, they receive psychological support and a sense of their own importance.

Original language: Russian, Georgian, English
Subtitles: English
Length: 70 min
Expected date of delivery: 03/2025
Production company : FINIST.DOC
Contact information : finist@cultureconnection.world

MY PARTNERS

Director Eva Kübar

Estonia

Kay and Beate, Germans in their 50s, open their relationship to polyamory after 30 years of Christian marriage. Living in Berlin, they at least seem to know how poly should work. In Estonia it’s a different story. Due to the Soviet background and the popularity of conservative parties it’s hard to break the stereotype of the traditional family model. Meeting the sensual Berliner Kay becomes a relief for Estonian housewife Marianne but a never-ending burden for her husband. Riita and Taavi, a couple in their late 30s, have been struggling with an on-off relationship for 10 long years. Hoping that sharing their love unconditionally with other partners could flame the spark again, they try out polyamory. How do all these people cope with their difficult voluntary choices in current disquieting times, in Europe, where the nuclear family sometimes seems to be the only stone to rely on?

Original language: Estonian. German, English
Subtitles: English
Length: 91 min
Expected date of delivery: 07/2024
Production company: Moonwalker Film
Contact information: sara.kisari@gmail.com

PRA MILAN & THE CREATURES OF MT. RTANJ

Director Goran Sadžak
Serbia

Pra Milan (73) is a poet, philosopher and two-time presidential candidate from the 1990s. After a successful lawsuit against the state for the persecution he suffered during the communist regime, Pra Milan leases a neglected touristic complex on the mystical mountain of Rtanj. He names it „Pramilanium“ and envisions it as a hub for the cultural and spiritual revival of Serbia and the world, a place of reconciliation. Little does he know that he’s entering another battle against the system, as his vision and business model clash with the local authorities.

Original language: Serbian
Subtitles: English
Length: 90 min
Expected date of delivery: 01/2025
Production company : Altertise
Contact information : contact@altertise.com

SHIP

Director Gerda Paliušytė

Lithuania

On a cruise ship, a celebration is approaching its culmination – a performance by a contemporary street dance troupe dedicated to the legendary choreographer, the pioneer of breakdancing in Lithuania, Algirdas Stravinskas. The celebration is Stravinskas’ birthday, where different generations of dancers, as well as dance movements, attitudes and life experiences, meet. This gentle art documentary combines archival records of performances by Stravinskas’ dance troupe in the 80s, amidst the splendor of restaurants in Lithuania Stravinskas recollections and abiding urge for beauty, in the context of his current reality in social housing and the moments from the everyday life of dancers of different generations today, emphasizing their attitudes towards history and authority.

Original language: Lithuanian
Subtitles: English
Length: 90 min
Expected date of delivery: 09/2024
Production company : Smart Casual

Contact information: ruta@smartcasual.lt

THE CAPTAIN AND THE CASPIAN SEA

Director Turkan Huseyn
Azerbaijan

On the night of January 20, 1990, under the orders of M. Gorbachev, 26,000 Soviet troops stormed the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, committing a massacre of the civilian population.  Journalists Vika and Nizami braved the gunfire to document the massacres and the plight of the wounded in hospitals throughout the night. In the Caspian Sea, radio operators aboard ships of the Caspian Oil Fleet formed a blockade in Baku Bay to prevent Soviet warships from approaching. Captain Rovshan Damirov suspected that the ships may have been loaded with corpses and quickly directed his vessel towards them, intending to block the navy ships. Rovshan attempted to intercept one ship, striking it from behind, unaware that another accompanying ship was armed with a torpedo. Under fire, they were engulfed in smoke from illuminating bullets, rendering visibility almost non-existent as they braced for the worst.

Original language: Azerbaijani, Russian
Subtitles: English
Length: 45 min
Expected date of delivery: 02/2025
Production company : Chinar Film
Contact information : turkan.hs@gmail.com / emilnajafli@gmail.com

THIS IS TO BE DONE

Director Srđan Kovačević
Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia

Former electrician, social worker, and union activist unite for a seemingly impossible mission. In contemporary Europe, fueled by cheap labor, migrant workers in pursuit of a better life endure harsh working conditions, overtime hours, face employer coercion, and sacrifice their own dignity. Laura Orel, Goran Lukić, and Goran Zrnić, through their organization Delavska savetovalnica – Workers’ Counseling Office, emerge as the sole refuge and allies. Whether they hail from the Balkans, Africa, or Asia, workers turn to this extraordinary organization daily, seeking help—deceived, hungry, without earned wages, and with no hope for a better tomorrow. This is a narrative exposing the darker side of modern Europe while genuinely exploring creative forms of union activism, along with the possibilities and limitations of such endeavors.

Original language: Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian
Subtitles: English
Length: 70 min
Expected date of delivery: 11/2024
Production company : Fade In
Contact information : sabina.kresic@gmail.com

YUGO GOES TO AMERICA

Directors Filip Grujić & Aleksa Borković
Serbia, USA

The first line of this story is the travelers’ journey from NYC to LA, sharing their experiences about identity, America, Yugoslavia, Serbia – and their changing emotions and relationships throughout the journey. The second line of the story is the story of the Yugo as a character itself, experiencing a second life and fulfilling its “bucket list”. The car will encounter its “creator” in America, form friendships with other Yugos in Ohio, overcome fears in Michigan and fall in love in Chicago. After experiencing a heartbreak in Nashville, eventually reaching acceptance in Texas and facing a few breakdowns in Arizona and New Mexico, the Yugo will marry in Vegas in an attempt to stay alive – before finally reaching LA and Hollywood, where his journey will come to an end.

Original language: Serbian / English
Subtitles: English
Length: 70 min
Expected date of delivery: 11/2024
Production company : NAKED
Contact information : cvucinic@gmail.com

 

Awards 2024

Al Jazeera Balkans Award – 2000 EUR
The Beldocs Industry Award by Al Jazeera Balkans is granted to the authors of the best pitch of Beldocs in Progress decided upon by an international jury consisting of industry representatives.

Film Center of Montenegro Award – 2000 EUR
The Beldocs Industry Award by FCCG is granted to the authors of the best pitch of Beldocs in Development decided upon by an international jury consisting of industry representatives.

CurrentTime TV Award – 1000 USD
The Beldocs Industry Award by CurrentTime TV is granted to the authors of the best pitch decided upon by CurrentTime TV representatives.

Forgrade Post-production Award
The most promising project will receive a post-production services package, allowing the producers to complete the film. The Forgrade Post-production Award includes full color correction and mastering services.*

DAE – Documentary Association of Europe Talent Encouragement Award
The DAE Award consists of free memberships for one year for the director(s) and producer(s) and a tailor-made consultancy session with DAE senior consultants. The prize is a talent encouragement award and offers access to the European documentary community.

East Silver Caravan Award
One project will receive the festival distribution support for one year, starting after its completion. Through East Silver Caravan it will be submitted to international film festivals for consideration and the Institute of Documentary Film will help with the overall festival strategy.

Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival Networking Award
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival will offer to the winner of the prize 3 nights of accommodation for the producer or the director and a free Industry accreditation to participate in the Agora Docs activities of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

Ji.hlava New Visions Market Award
Two industry accreditations for the 28th Ji.hlava IDFF and the selection of the awarded project to the Ji.hlava New Visions Market 2024.

Beldocs Industry Days program is supported by the European Union through Creative Europe MEDIA.

*TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

The in-kind services by Forgrade Post-production studio can only be used for the completion of the awarded project within a period of two years. It will not be possible to claim these services for a different project or to expect completion after May 2026. Requests for different types of post-production services will be considered individually, but cannot be granted. Awarded in-kind services listed above that are not claimed cannot be interchanged or replaced. Our partners have the right to demand a specific quality level of the film material that is needed before services can be offered.

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