Venice Gap-Financing Market Fields Wide Range of Projects

Bosnian filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic’s upcoming drama about a family trapped in war-torn Srebrenica, Polish director Agnieszka Holland’s postwar film chronicling the rise and fall of a mysterious Czech healer, and Luxembourg helmer Jacques Molitor’s tale of a wealthy and bloodthirsty clan of wine-growing lycanthropes are among the projects taking part in this year’s Venice Gap-Financing Market.

The 6th edition of the market section, which runs during the Venice Film Festival from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, presents 51 international projects in the final stages of development and funding, including 28 feature films and documentaries.

Among the projects selected for the market, part of the Venice Production Bridge program, is Zbanic’s tentatively titled European co-production “Quo Vadis Aida.” In the film, the director of the Golden Bear-winning “Grbavica” revisits the horrors of the Bosnian War in a story about a family trapped in Srebrenica during the city’s occupation by Serb forces.

In “Charlatan,” Holland, whose historical drama “Mr. Jones” premiered at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, explores the fact-based story of Jan Mikolášek, a Czech healer who cured millions even as he suffered under both Nazi and Communist rule.

Molitor’s “Kommunioun,” described as a “socially conscious genre film,” follows a single mother who discovers her young son’s aggressive behavior is linked to his late father’s family – not only the biggest winegrowers in the Moselle region, but also a ferocious clan of werewolf-like creatures.

Also taking part in the Gap-Financing Market is “Alam,” by Palestinian filmmaker Firas Khoury. The film follows a 17-year-old Palestinian-Israeli whose political apathy is challenged when he falls for a beautiful and politically engaged new classmate, leading him into a dangerous act of protest against the Israeli government.

Award-winning Russian filmmaker Aleksey German (“Dovlatov”) presents his World War II drama “Air,” about a group of young female fighter pilots defending the USSR from advancing German forces and dealing with military men not used to the presence of women on the battlefront.

Emre Kayis addresses the consequences of more than a decade of conservative rule in Turkey in “Anatolian Leopard,” a black humor laced drama about a lonely manager at an Ankara zoo who goes to excessive lengths to stop the facility’s privatization.

Czech director Michaela Pavlátová’s animated feature, “My Sunny Maad,” based on the novel “Freshta” by Petra Prochazkova, follows a Czech woman who, after moving to Kabul to marry the man she loves, is forced to deal with cultural and generational challenges and the upheavals her Afghan family must face, including the arrival of an orphan who is to become her son.

In “King Crab,” directors Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis tell the mysterious tale of a 19th century rebel who, after a terrible crime, flees Italy for Tierra del Fuego, where he embarks on a search for a hidden treasure on the most remote island in the world.

Likewise seeking gap funding is Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce for his drama “Saint-Narcisse,” about an attractive young narcissist who discovers that his self-obsession is not just about his own physical beauty, but also about his long lost twin.

Two of the film projects in the market explore the fates of young men in African prisons.

In “Night of Kings,” Philippe Lacôte embraces the mystical and poetical in a story about a young man in an overcrowded Ivory Coast prison forced to tell captivating stories in order to survive the night of the red moon, only to see his words become an instrument of liberation.

“Sharaf,” by Egyptian-German filmmaker Samir Nasr, follows a destitute young man, described as a modern-day Candide, who, after accidentally killing an Englishman in Cairo, ends up in prison, where he wakes up from his dreams of wealth and consumption to the fact that class differences are a very real part of Egyptian society.

In addition to the 28 feature and documentary projects, the three-day Venice Gap-Financing Market will present 12 virtual reality immersive story projects as well as eight Biennale College virtual reality projects and three Biennale College feature film projects.

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