Six documentary films that participated in the Ex Oriente Film workshop are available to film professionals from all over the world starting today via the renowned portal Festival Scope PRO. It is the first step of a long-term cooperation, aiming to get the selected films to a wider range of film producers, distributors, sales agents, film funds, and festival representatives.
"In the long run, we are trying to assist the projects developed within the Ex Oriente Film workshop even after the workshop sessions are over, and provide the filmmakers with support till the distribution phase. Several years ago , we launched the Ex Oriente Film Follow -up Programme, which aims to bring the workshop participants and their projects to the key European festivals, markets, co-production forums, partner training programmes and VOD platforms and thus further boost their promotion, broaden their network of contacts and know- how acquired at the workshop. I am delighted that we have now managed to arrange cooperation with a renowned portal Festival Scope PRO and believe that this partnership will help the selected films to find new ways to reach audiences," says the project manager of Ex Oriente Film, Veronika Lišková.
Within the 14 years of its existence, more than 150 projects have participated in the international workshop for creative documentaries, Ex Oriente Film, and many of them have later been awarded at key world festivals. For example, one of the six films chosen for Festival Scope PRO, Brothers, won the main prize at Dok Leipzig and the Grand Prix of the La Semaine de la Critique in Locarno. In it, its director, Wojciech Staroń tells a story of a fascinating, bittersweet relationship between two brothers, who are getting old and they attempt to make the best use of the time they have left with spirited effort.
Very successful is also the German - Polish documentary called Domino Effect, which was selected for a wide range of prestigious festivals and has won numerous awards already, e.g. at Visions du Réel, DOK Leipzig, and festivals in Krakow, Yerevan and Kosovo. This formally elaborate film follows the love relationship between the Abchazian Minister of Sports Rafael Ampar and his Russian bride Natasha on the background of the World Championship in Domino, taking place in devastated sceneries of the present - day Abkhazia, where, despite Russian promises, almost nothing works properly. The award-winning Polish director Piotr Rosolowski and the co-director Elwira Niewiera spent over three years working on the film, whose core was decided during their participation in the Ex Oriente Film workshop.
Another film that will be available online to film professionals at Festival Scope PRO is the Czech documentary Dangerous World of Rajko Doleček. Its director Kristýna Bartošová sets off for a road trip to Balkans with the 90 year old Rajko Doleček, an obesity-fighting expert who is proud of his friendship with the war criminal Ratko Mladić and is convinced that there was never a genocide in Srebrenica.
In the selection there is also the pilgrimage film balancing on the edge between documentary and fiction called Escaping Riga. In it, one of the most significant Latvian directors, Davis Simanis explores how the 20th century events influenced the lives of two Riga-born men; the British philosopher Isaiah Berlin and Russian director Sergei Eisenstein. The second Latvian representative in the selection is the documentary The Invisible City, in which the director, Viesturs Kairish, shows the Chernobyl zone where, surprisingly, a group of people find an ideal oasis for a life in close communion with nature. The last film which is being released on Festival Scope is the Lithuanian documentary aptly named When We Talk About KGB, in which the creators Maxime DeJoia and Virginija Vareikyté bring the viewers to the former KGB headquarters in the center of Vilnius, and through interviews with former dissidents recall the KGB’s dark past.