The pitching forum takes place on November 15 and is organized by The Films from the South Foundation in cooperation with the Norwegian Film Institute. It is held during Films From the South-festival November 9–19, the biggest film festival in Oslo.
The purpose is to provide main producers from developing countries with the opportunity to present their film projects to Norwegian producers, with the aim of establishing co-production agreements so that the projects may apply for support through the next round of SØRFOND in March 2018.
The Pitching Forum is a unique possibility for Norwegian producers to get to know exciting and carefully selected new projects from Latin-America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East who are all looking to partner up with a Norwegian co-producer.
Norwegian producers can sign up for the forum here.
We received 148 applications for our 7th edition of Sørfond Pitching Forum in November 2017. The level of the submitted projects was very high, and it has been a challenge for us to choose the 8 projects that will be invited to Oslo to present their pitch in November. 5 projects were selected from the application round. In addition, 3 projects have been selected by Sørfond-representatives attending partnering film markets at the Dubai Film Connection, Durban FilmMart and APM-Asian Project Market in Busan.
The 8 selected projects represent great variety in terms of themes, genre, form and expression. Projects from Egypt, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Kenya, Georgia, Lebanon and Nepal will be represented at Sørfond Pitching Forum 2017.
Egypt, fiction, director: Hala Lotfy
Total budget: 575.000 €, secured: 158.000 €
The project will be pitched by producer Mohamed Samir.
She lost her son for the most absurd reason; a hole in a bridge. She’s the only one who believes that he can be rescued. Although she was the only woman among all men she’s is the only one who showed resilience in the face of the oppressive bureaucratic system. A story that captures the plight of a mother, facing a huge ordeal, balanced only by her resilience in the face of great odds. It’s also a story about the absurdity of living in Egypt. How an untimely death is treated as an everyday normal event, and how the pathos and emotions of a death collides with the petty officialdom of the Egyptian bureaucracy. Director Hala Lofty gained a lot of attention for her debut film Coming Forth by Day, The Bridge will be her second feature.
Argentina, fiction, director: Celina Murga
Total budget: 1 200.000 €, secured: 800.000 €
The project will be pitched by producer Felicitas Raffo.
Irene, a 50-year-old woman, unexpectedly loses her 11 year old son. In the mourning process she decides to go back to university and try to rebuild herself by meeting new people and making new friends. In this new world and in human contact with others, she finds the possibility of giving new meaning to her life. Irene will be Celina Murga’s sixth feature film, and after the success of films like The Third Side of the River and Ana and the Others, there is much anticipation towards Murgas’ next project.
The Erection of Toribio Bardelli
Peru, fiction, director: Adrian Saba
Total budget: 550.000 €, secured: 251.000 €
The project will be pitched by producer Carolina Denegri and director Adrian Saba.
Toribio, a sixty-nine-year-old recent widow, lives distanced from his three troubled children. While his friends die one by one, he grows an obsession with the idea of regaining an active sex life, leading to absurd situations that bring together his broken family. A film about quirky characters that will find a way to accept themselves as they learn to live with their flaws and the flaws of others. Director Adrian Saba is one of Peru’s young and upcoming film-talents.
The Invisible Border
Colombia, documentary, director: Alejandro Quijano Alvarez
Total budget: 185.000 €, secured: 36.000 €
The project will be pitched by producer Nicolás Van Hemelryck and director Alejandro Quijano Alvarez.
This immersive documentary portrays the daily life of an Afro-Colombian community living in a context of cyclical violence within invisible borders. The region and its population has been marginalized and forgotten by the national authorities, having no way out – as the main character states «the only way out is prison, death or a wheelchair». This is a much anticipated feature film debut by an exciting filmmaker with a background as a successful and acclaimed journalist.
Kenya, documentary, director: Sam Soko
Total budget: 168,856 € Secured: 83,276 €
The project will be pitched by director Sam Soko.
The film follows the political activist nicknamed Softie, a term relegated to those deemed harmless, even weak. However, Softie has risen to become the most notorious social justice activist in Kenya. After several years criticizing politicians, he has decided to join politics and become a member of parliament. With a clean conscious and empty pockets he fights for justice in a game characterized by deep tribal divisions, corruption and death threats from opposition members. This is a story of fear and courage in Kenya’s past, present and future. This is the story of Softie. Sam Soko has been following the charismatic main protagonist for 5 years, in this project that wows to be a political thriller of a documentary.
Georgia, fiction, director: Rusudan Chkonia
Total budget: 750.000 €, secured: 343.000 €
The project will be pitched by producer Vladimer Katcharava and director Rusudan Chkonia.
After seven years of stagnation, owners of apartments in an unfinished residential building "VENICE" have a chance to solve their problems, but it means one of them must cede the space. A stylistic dark comedy about corruption, social hierarchy and mob mentality. The second film of young Rusudan Chkonia, the director of Keep Smiling - Georgia's Foreign Langauge Oscar entry in 2012.
Girl Made of Dust
Palestine/Lebanon, fiction, director: Hiam Abbas
Total budget: 1 227.000 €, secured: 399.000 €
The project will be pitched by producer Sabine Sidawi.
In a village of the Lebanese Chouf, ten-year-old Ruba lives in dreams filled with witches and fantasies she shares with her friend Karim. While war gets closer everyday, Ruba is aware of the danger that looms. In her own way, she will try to gather her loved ones together in these times of adversity. A story of how war invades the world and the mind of a little girl.
A Year of Cold
Nepal, fiction, director: Min Bahadur Bham
Total budget: 700.000 €, secured: 155.000 €
The project will be presented by director Min Bahadur Bham.
In the rural parts of the Northern Himalayas of Nepal the practice of polyandry still exists. Here an innocent, young pregnant girl, forcibly married to three brothers due to fateful circumstances, embarks on a quest to find her missing first-husband. The journey teaches her lessons about love and loss, and ultimately strengthens her, as she discovers her own self-reliance and independence. Talented Min Bahadur Bham’s debut film was the first Nepalese film to screen at the Venice Critics’ Week, where it was awarded the FEDEORA-critics award in 2015, it was also Nepal’s Foreign Langauge Oscar entry in 2015.