Ex Oriente Film

Successful projects

d. Olha Zhurba, prod. Darya Bassel
2021, UA, NL, DK
After his mother was deprived of parental rights, 13-years-old Roma escapes to the heart of the Ukrainian revolution and quickly becomes a star there. His childhood experience of survival in a devastating environment turns into his advantages. Here, for the first time in his life, Roman boy Roma is accepted by society. In the aftermath of the revolution, Roma ends up at an orphanage. He slowly grows up in the system that provides only some conditional assistance, leaving him alone with his traumas. When he turns 18, Roma is expelled from the orphanage and doesn’t get any support either from the social services or from his family. He returns to his native town Yahotyn and gradually immerses in the criminal world. His older brother Kolya, who was just released from prison, is among the few people who care about him. The independent life is a challenge for Roma: he tries to find a job and to abstain from drugs, but his efforts are futile. However, hope is always looming somewhere in the future.

* International premiere at Hot Docs Canada 2022

d. Bogna Kowalczyk, prod. Tomasz Morawski, Katarzyna Kuczyńska
PL, CZ, 2022
Even a short gaze into Lula's eyes reveals a volcano of energy, which lies hidden behind his aging body.
In 1970s communist Poland, Lula was known for organizing subversive, underground parties. After curfew, in private apartments, he and his ever-growing group of friends felt liberated from the correctness required of everyone in the People's Republic of Poland. Lula had ideas, was a leader. His inner energy and persistence may have saved him from a fate that Maciek, his closest friend, unfortunately met. Maciek's suicide left Lula in pain and mourning. However, knowing that remaining active is the only thing that can save him from growing bitter and stagnant, he decided to move on.

* International premiere at Hot Docs Canada 2022

d. Nikola Ilić, Corina Schwingruber Ilić, prod. Franziska Sonder, Karin Koch
CH, 2021
Fifteen years ago Nikola left Serbia to follow his heart to Switzerland. Since then his life is shared between two countries and three women: his mother, his grandmother and his wife. His mother has learning disabilities and has been dependent on the grandmother since ever. As grandmother is getting older, Belgrade is now calling Nikola back home. A heartwarming balkan documentary about a son who’s trying to step into grandmother shoes.

∗ Visions du Reel 2021
∗ Modolist Kyiv IFF 2021
∗ Dokufest Prizren 2021
∗ Beldocs 2021
∗ Dok Leipzig 2021
∗ RIDM Montreal 2021




d. Antonia Kilian, prod. Frank Müller, Antonia Kilian, Guevara Namer, Merja Ritola
DE, FI, 2021
In order to avoid a forced marriage, 19-year-old Hala finds shelter across the Euphrates (North-East Syria), at a Military Academy for women. While learning how to fight, she gets inspired by the promise of freeing every woman. After the Kurdish military takes over her city from ISIS, Hala returns as a police force entitled to protect other women in danger. Hala finds herself ready to fullfil her greatest dream: to free her younger sisters from her father’s hand. Τhe threat of a forced marriage and the brutal stories of female oppression lead more and more women to the other side of the river. They are trained in a strict military-style, taught that they have to protect themselves with weapons against the patriarchic society. But is there freedom to be found in a military system in the middle of war?

∗ CPH:DOX -F:act Award 2021 & world premiere
∗ DOK.fest München 2021 – German premiere
∗ Baltic Sea Docs 2021
∗ Chicago International Filmfest 2021 – US premiere
∗ Docs Valencia – Spain premiere
∗ Espo Cine 2021 – Finnish premiere
∗ São Paulo International Film Festival 2021
∗ DOCS.MX 2021– Mexico

d. Martin Páv, prod. Zuzana Kučerová
CZ, 2020
"Wolves at the Borders" takes the controversy around the reintroduction of wolves to the Czech countryside to tell a broader tale of humankind’s ambivalent relationship towards nature. It has been more than two hundred years since the last wolf was killed in the Broumov region, where the story takes place. It is also the area with the largest concentration of sheep in the Czech Republic. No sooner did the wolves arrive than they began harming the herds. The public is divided – on one side there are farmers and inhabitants who feel threatened and want to get rid of the wolves again. On the other side are people who welcome them as natural predator necessary to restoring the balance of nature - a stance that would mean giving up a degree of control over the environment and transforming mindsets about human safety and property. This film looks at the wolves as providing an opportunity to transform our society into one that is more open and tolerant. Will we step up to the possibilities, or lose them?

∗ Visions du Reél 2020
∗ Palic Film Festival 2020
∗ Pelicam Film Festival 2020
∗ MFDF Jihlava 2020
∗ Festival Jeden Svět 2021
∗ Astra Film Festival 2021
∗ FIPADOC 2021
∗ Black Nights Film Festival Tallin 2020

dir. Jindřich Andrš, prod. Miloš Lochman, Augustina Micková
CZ, 2020
Tomas has been working underground as a coal miner for 25 years. When the mine has to close due to the general decline of coal mining, he is offered a new career as a computer programmer. Tomas takes up the challenge and gets ready to transform his life radically. But will a forty something long-haired, subterranean punk rocker who has spent his whole life performing hard physical labour ever fit in with the young and trendy digital crowd?

∗ Ji.hlava IDFF 2020 - the Best Czech Film in the Czech Joy Competition, Silver Eye Award, Audience Award
∗ DOK Leipzig 2020 - MDR Film Prize, the Golden Dove in the Competition for the Audience Award
∗ Moscow IDFF DOKer 2021 - The Best Director Award
∗ FIPADOC 2021 - Grand Prix CNC Impact
∗ European Film Awards - select



dir. Carlos Eduardo Lesmes López, prod. Liis Nimik
EE, CO, SE, 2020
Eeva enters the underground world of Bogotá, Colombia under pressure from her mother to find Lauri, her estranged brother. While her mother waits for daily updates back in their home in Estonia, Eeva navigates her brother’s dark world—she is determined to find this ghost who only lives in the whispered rumors far beneath the city of 12 million.

∗ HOT DOCS 2020
∗ Bogota International Film Festival 2020
∗ DocsMX 2020





dir. Malgorzata Goliszewska, Katarzyna Mateja, prod. Anna Stylinska
PL, 2019
In Cafe Smile - a dancing club for seniors in Szczecin, Poland, glamorous Jola is the brightest star on the dancefloor. But behind her cheerfulness there’s a tragic story – 30 years with an alcoholic husband, raising 6 children on her own, working hard to survive. 

∗ IDFA - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2019 - IDFA Competition for First Appearance
∗ HOT DOCS 2020
∗ DOK.fest München 2020
∗ One World IHRDFF 2020
∗ Iceland Documentary Film Festival 2020
∗ Sydney Film Festival 2020
∗ New Zeland Intern. Film Festival 2020
∗ Moscow International Documentary Film Festival DOKer 2020 - Best Directors Award
∗ Millennium Docs Against Gravity 2020

dir. Johana Ožvold, prod. Kristýna Michálek Květová (Cinémotif Films)
CZ, FR, SK, 2019
When does sound become music? THE SOUND IS INNOCENT invites you on an audiovisual journey into a dreamlike space that explores the meaning, function and significance of the world of electronic and experimental sound. Across five distinct chapters, the film guides us through an oscillating maze of creative figures and moments that’s as bracingly original as the pioneering music it so passionately documents.

∗ Visions du Réel 2019
∗ DOK.fest München 2019
∗ Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019
∗ Ji.hlava IDFF 2019
∗ SoundTrack_Cologne 2019 - SEE THE SOUND / Music Documentary Award: Special Mention




d. Michal Varga, prod. Marek Novák
CZ, SK, 2018
Rosťa Novák, the principal of Cirk La Putyka ensemble, artistic workaholic and perfectionist, agrees to make a joint project with a group of acrobats from Rwanda. First time in his life, Rosťa travels to Africa, to create a circus show about clash of different cultures. How will he cope with the hit of his expectations and Rwandese reality?

∗ Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2018
∗ Warsaw IFF 2018
∗ Cinergia IFF 2018
∗ Istanbul IFF 2019
∗ Neisse IFF 2019
∗ Finále FF 2019
∗ IDFF One World 2018



dir. Marta Prus, prod. Maciej Kubicki, Anna Kepinska
PL, DE, FI, 2017
Over the Limit shows how the successful Russian system for training athletes transgresses boundaries. Elite rhythmic gymnast Rita Mamun has reached a crucial moment in her career. She’s soon to retire, but has one final goal set out for her: winning Olympic gold. A nail-biting behind-the-scenes drama about the intense physical and mental labor put into a sport that thrives on its beautiful aesthetics.

∗ IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentaries, the Netherlands (2017) - world premiere
∗ ZagrebDox, Croatia (2018) - Little Stamp Award
∗ Krakow Film Festival, Poland (2018) - Silver Horn for the best feature film in the International Documentary Film Competition and the Silver Hobby-Horse for the director of the best documentary film in the National Competition
∗ Luxembourg City Film Festival (2018) - Best Documentary Award + Special Mention

∗ Other festival screenings include: Hot Docs (2018), Toronto, Canada;
Visions du Réel (2018), Nyon, Switzerland, One World IHRDFF (2018), Prague, CZ; Berlinale, Germany (2018) - European Film Market

dir. Andrei Dăscălescu, prod. Anamaria Antoci
RO, 2016
In Petrila, a coal mining town in Transylvania (Romania), an ex-miner turned artist and activist uses art and absurdism to stop local authorities from demolishing the historic buildings of the oldest coal mine in the country after its' closure in 2015, at EU's recommendation. His quest is not only to preserve the history and the identity of his hometown, but also to find new ways of keeping the community from irreversibly falling apart.

∗ Transilvania International Film Festival, Cluj Napoca, Romania (2017) - Romanian Days Competition - Audience Award
∗ Pelicam International Film Festival, Tulcea, Romania (2017) - Black Sea Docs Competition - Best Film Award
∗ Apricot Tree International Ethnographic Film Festival, Yerevan, Armenia (2017) - Special Jury Prize
∗ Urban Eye Film Festival, Bucharest, Romania (2017) - Jury’s Special Mention
∗ Premiul Gapo Award, Romania (2018)


dir. Ksenia Okhapkina, prod. Riho Västrik
EE, 2016
A poetic documentary about life in a war‑torn Chechen village, with the cemetery as its symbolic focal point. The village lives and breathes in unison. The Chechen gravediggers are always busy. Death is an everyday visitor. It does not even matter that yet another war has ended. The people live stuck in a circle of vengeance. They also gather into circles to chant prayers to God.

∗ IDFA, the Netherlands (2017) -  Special Jury Award for Mid-Length Documentary
∗ Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema (2017) - Special prize of the Russian Guild of Cinema Critics
∗ XXVIII Open Documentary Festival "РОССИЯ" (2017) - Prize for the best full length film and Prize for the Cinematography
∗ EFTA National Film and TV Award (Estonia, 2017)


dir. Bartek Konopka
PL, DE, 2009
The untold story about wild rabbits which lived between the Berlin Walls. For 28 years Death Zone was their safe home. Full of grass, no predators, guards protecting them from human disturbance. They were closed but safe and happy. Their population quickly grew up to thousands. Guards started to remove them. But rabbits survived and stayed there.

∗ Academy Award nominee in mid-length category (2010)
∗ HOT DOCS, Canada (2009) - The best mid-length film
∗ Ji.hlava IDFF, Czech Republic (2009) - The best mid-length film
∗ Krakow Film Festival, Poland (2009) - The best mid-length film
∗ Hamptons IFF, USA (2009) - The best film


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