Connect with us


Fresh Talent from Eastern European in Focus at 10th Annual Transylvania Pitch Stop



The 10th anniversary edition of the international co-production platform Transilvania Pitch Stop will kick off at the Transylvania international film festival in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, this week, with ten selected projects in development, coming from first and second-time directors from Romania. , Georgia, Greece, Turkey, Hungary Ukraine, Bulgaria and Republic of Moldova, being pitched to producers, distributors, sales agents, representatives of film funds and other industry professionals, followed by one-to-one meetings.

“This year, 45 projects were submitted to Transylvania Pitch Stop and after a very, very long deliberation, our selection committee carefully reviewed and handpicked 10 projects for further consideration”, says Transylvania International festival festival’s Head of Industry Dumitrana Lupu.

The festival’s main industry event, launched in 2014 as a workshop for up-and-coming directors from Romania and Moldova, is now one of the leading co-production events aiming to foster cross-border cooperation between the Balkans and the countries from across the Black Sea region. Some of the Transilvania Pitch Stop success stories include Russian-French-Estonian co-production The Man Who Surprised Everyone by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov, which premiered in the Venice Film Festival’s Orrizonti section in 2018; Romanian drama Monstersby Marius Olteanu screened at Berinale’s Forum in 2019; Apples by Christos Nikou, Greece’s Oscar nominee and executive produced by Cate Blanchett, which screened at the Venice Film Festival’s Orrizonti sidebar in 2020; Romanian director Teodora Ana Mihai’s La Civilwhich premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2021, and the Ukrainian drama Butterfly Visionn by Maksym Nakonechnyim which bowed in the same Cannes section last year.

This year’s Pitch Stop selection included, for the first time, a documentary: Second Line from Ukrainian director-producer Olga Stuga, is an intimate family chronicle looking at life after the Russian invasion. Romania is represented with two projects: The dark comedy FEZZ by Teodor Mirea and the postwar drama Pyrrhic by Cosmin Nicolae. The line-up also includes Little Death by Greece’s Efthimis Kosemund-Sanidis, produced by Yorgos Tsourgianniso of Yorgos Lanthimos’Dogtooth fame, which won Cannes’ Un Certain Regard award in 2009 and went on to secure an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

“All 10 projects demonstrate artistic excellence, strong storytelling, and a unique vision. Mystery and unexpected is the common ground to all projects, and in terms of genres, they are very different, from drama to thriller and war documentary,” notes Lupu.

Projects will be competing for the Chainsaw Europe award ($27,000/€25,000 in post-production services), the UPFAR-ARGOA Award ($3,300/€3,000), the Transylvania Pitch Stop Development award offered by Avanpost in the amount of $5,500/€5.000 , the CNC Moldova award valued at $1,600/€1,500, the VILLA KULT Development award for a Romanian/Moldavian project in development, which comes with a $550/€500 bursary, and the 5-day residency CoCo Award for a Romanian/Moldavian project in development offered by Connecting Cottbus Co-Production Market. The awards will be handed out at a ceremony on Friday, June 16, ahead of TIFF’s gala closing awards event on Saturday, June 17.

Projects selected for 2023 Transylvania Pitch Stop

FEZZ (Romania)

Directed by Teodor Mirea

Produced by Liviu Marghidan, Ruxandra Flonta (Scharf Film Production)

Just One Drop (Georgia)
Directed by Stefan Tolz

Produced by Martichka Bozhilova (agitprop), Karine Jana Sardlishvili (Studio 99) Stefan Tolz (Filmpunkt)

Little Death (Greece)
Directed by Efthimis Kosemund-Sanidis
Produced by Yorgos Tsourgiannis (Horsefly Films), Anamaria Antoci (Tangaj Production)

Pastoral (Turkey)

Directed by Michael Önder

Produced by Jozef Erçevik Amado (Bluff Film)


Directed by Cosmin Nicolae
Produced by Velvet Moraru (Icon Production)

Second Line (Ukraine)

Directed and produced by Olga Stuga

Soft Hours (Hungary)

Directed by Anna Gyimesi

Produced by Zsuzsanna Gyurin

The Circle (Republic of Moldova)

Directed by Vareriu Andriuta

Produced by Iulia Andriuta (Amprenta Films), Carmen Rizac (Avanpost Media)

The Life We Never Had (Bulgaria)

Directed by Martin Markov

Produced by Vanya Rainova (Portokal)

Veha (Turkey)

Directed by Elif Sözen

Produced by Elif Sözen (Elves Films), Soner Alper (Nar Film)

Check the latest Hollywood news here.