This year two projects will end up with the opportunity of visiting Euro Connection, the pitching forum connected to the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and the European Short Pitch, part of Nisi Masa and one will receive the newly launched prize - Lithuanian Producers MEDIA Award - initiated by the Creative Europe Desk Lithuania MEDIA office.
Beginning in 2013 as an initiative between film industry bodies in the Baltics - amongst them Lithuanian Shorts, PÖFF Shorts and Short Riga – the Baltic Pitching Forum is an event that allows filmmakers across the Baltics to learn more about the process of pitching, get valuable feedback on their projects from a number of industry leading lights and network amongst their peers as they strengthen the ties amongst the Baltic filmmaking community and beyond.
This year, the participants will once again benefit from the invaluable tutelage of BPF Trainer Gabrielė Brunnenmeyer who will spend the first day instructing them on the art of the pitching and giving them tips on presenting their projects. This advice will be used the next day when pitching in front of the invited panel of experts.
This year’s panel – who will provide immediate feedback to the presented projects as well as choosing the two winning projects – consist of Gunhild Enger (Norway, BAFTA Nominated filmmaker), Marcin Łuczaj (Poland, New Europe Film Sales), Aneta Ozorek (Poland, Visegrad Animation Forum), Julie Rousson (France, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival), Wim Vanacker (France, NISI MASA – the European Network of Young Cinema), Sari Volanen (Finland, YLE Finnish Broadcasting Company) and Stine Wangler (Germany, KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg).
Previous winners of the Baltic Pitching Forum have gone on to win plaudits in the film industry. These include Latvian filmmakers Lauris and Raitis Ābele whose film Castratus the Boar, pitched at the first Baltic Pitching Forum, ended up winning the Grand Prix at the Tampere Film Festival. This year also saw Lithuanian filmmaker Laurynas Bareiša’s By The Pool, a winner of the 2015 Baltic Pitching Forum, have its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival. In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Baltic Pitching Forum we will invite these, and other alumni, back to talk about their experiences.
Marija Razgutė, Head of Lithuanian Shorts and chief organiser of the Baltic Pitching Forum said: “We’re excited about how far the Baltic Pitching Forum has come over the past five years. Now encompassing live action and animation, we have developed a network of alumni over the Baltic region whose experiences at the BPF have helped them enormously. We look forward to continuing developing and nurturing talent and helping promote great Baltic short films to industry professionals and audiences. A big thanks to all alumni, organisers and sponsors of the past five years and we look forward to your continued support.”
Baltic Pitching Forum is organised by Lithuanian Short Film Agency Lithuanian Shorts in partnership with Riga International Film Festival (Latvia), Riga International Film Festival 2ANNAS (Latvia), PÖFF Shorts (Estonia) and Estonian Short Film Center ShortEst.
It is supported by the Norden – Nordic Culture Point, Audiovisual Authors and Producers Rights Association AVAKA and Lithuanian Council for Culture. Other partners – Lithuanian Film Centre, Creative Europe Desk Lithuania MEDIA Office, Estonian Film Institute and National Film Centre of Latvia.