Every year, the East Doc Market connects Central and Eastern European filmmakers with over 70 broadcasters, festival representatives, distributors, sales agents and other key decision-makers from all around the world. Over two days more than 400 curated individual meetings take place. The filmmakers get the opportunity to pitch their projects in the production and post-production stages.
This year's selected projects are:
The Last Balkan Cowboy (dir. Dragana Jurišić, prod. Zlata Filipovic, Anna Rodgers, IRL)
In search of cult hero Hari Džekson, a film director of Westerns from Yugoslavia before the war, artist and photographer Dragana Jurišić retraces his mythical story and decides to reenact one of his films using the local population as actors from both sides of the ethnic divide. Returning to the home which she fled, she follows a ghost through a country that has long since disappeared.
New Adam (dir. Máté Takács, Declan McGrath, prod. Judit Sós, Lara Orsoni, Michael Mallie, HU, FR, IRL)
Hungarian film editor Adam Fiers, at fifty, lost all memories to a rare virus. With no past, he relies on filmmaker Máté Takács to craft a new life. Adam's neurologist, shocked by the rarity, reveals two prior cases ending in suicide. Adam persists, determined to rediscover his life story.
Divia (dir. Dmytro Hreshko, prod. Polina Herman, PL, UA)
With the beginning of military aggression in 2014 and the full-scale invasion by Russia in 2022, the state of the ecology in Ukraine has deteriorated catastrophically. The main characters of the visually and sound-driven observational documentary are the nature of Ukraine and the war which brings destruction and death.
Fiume o Morte! (dir. Igor Brzinovic, prod. Vanja Jambrovic, Tibor Keser, HR, IT, SI)
In September 1919, the flamboyant Italian poet and military officer Gabriele D’Annunzio entered the city of Fiume (Rijeka) and ruled it for the next 16 months while waiting for Italian politicians to annex it to Italy. One of the most photographed events of the pre-war gets re-enacted and reshot on the streets of Rijeka, solely by its citizens. The story is told from the perspective of the participants of the film, in the local languages from the past and the present.
Hand to Mouth (dir. Zsófia Paczolay, Bálint Bíró, prod. Anna Tóth, Gábor Osváth, HU)
In the past 10 years, Budapest has changed. In some parts, it expanded and grew, in others it emptied, got abandoned, or rearranged. The city, just like a body, lives and moves as an entity on its own, it breathes, consumes, excretes, digests and defecates. The film's protagonists have a close and dependent relationship with Budapest. All of them have suffered some kind of injuries in their bodies in the course of their lifestyle and work. Their physical injuries are the injuries of the city.
And Suddenly the Revolution Has a Female Face… (dir. Cordelia Dvorák, prod. Sylvia Nagel, DE)
Capturing post-2020 Belarus, the film unveils tales of heroines. Initially unrelated, these women united in Belarusian resistance, facing imprisonment and exile. Despite losses, their courage grows against Lukashenko's terror, aligning with Ukraine's fight for freedom amid Putin's war.
Panic Button (dir. Samara Sagynbaeva, prod. Veronika Janatková, KG, CZ)
Director Samara Sagynbaeva has been documenting how her husband, Ali Toktakunov, one of Kyrgyzstan’s most prominent investigative journalists, challenged the ruling nomenklatura by exposing to the public a case of corruption within the government. The film discusses the value of public good, freedom and free speech at the cost of sacrificing the private life of one family.
Last Letters From My Grandma (dir. Olga Lucovnicova, prod. Frederik Nicolai, BE, NL, RO, MD)
With the urge to unravel a deep-rooted family secret, director Olga Lucovnicova travels to a remote town in the Urals. During her search and her attempt to reconnect with the past, Russia started a war. She systematically dives into the collective past discovering how her family experienced the different eras of Stalin, USSR disintegration and now, the war in Ukraine.
Scent Trail (dir. Zuzana Piussi, prod. Vít Janeček, CZ)
Dogs can be trained to possess abilities such as illness detection, seizure alerts, and even scent identification for crime-solving. Unlike some countries where it's supplementary, scent evidence in the Czech Republic often becomes the crucial or even a sole piece of evidence leading to the conviction of the accused, often with catastrophic consequences.