– We delve deeply into the five children and youth film projects presented in this segment of the Industry@Tallinn forum
Highly Inflammable by Cheryl White
The first Works in Progress (WIP) session held during this year’s Industry@Tallinn spotlighted the Just Film section, concentrating on film projects tailored for children and young audiences and was held on 15 November in Apollo Cinema Coca-Cola Plaza. The Just Film Youth and Children’s Film Festival stands as the premier sub-festival within the framework of Tallinn Black Nights. A noteworthy aspect of this section is the €1,000 monetary prize awarded to the winner, a decision entrusted to an international jury panel including Markéta Pášmová, the artistic director of Zlín Film Festival and head of Zlín Industry Days; Gert Hermans, consultant and sales agent at Attraction Distribution, European Children’s Film Association; and Josep Arbiol, the founder and director of Festival MICE. Here, we delve into a closer examination of the five projects presented this year.
Highly Inflammable – Cheryl White (UK/Spain)
Producers: Rose Kowalski (Lost for Words/Horizontal Films)
Set against the tumultuous backdrop of 1970s Britain, Highly Inflammable delves into the unravelling friendship of Jenny and Sophia, once inseparable teenage friends tested by punk rebellion, romantic interests, and political fervour. Fast forward four decades to Brexit Britain, and Jenny confronts a profound decision—reconnect with estranged childhood confidant Sophia or risk reopening old wounds. Writer-director Cheryl White explores their contrasting personalities, from Jenny’s fiery punk spirit to Sophia’s dreamy romanticism, offering a poignant examination of friendship, political divides, and the lasting impact of youthful choices. The film reflects on parallels between the 1970s and contemporary political extremism, delivering a timeless narrative of friendship and regret. Highly Inflammable, an adaptation of White’s play, seeks distributors, festivals, co-producers, sales agents, broadcasters, and gap financing.
The Inferno of the Living – Alberto Gieco (Argentina)
Producer: Azul Sioli (Muchasiesta Coop Audiovisual)
In The Inferno of the Living, 15-year-old Mariana from Santa Fe, Argentina, escapes her sexually abusive stepfather, Chano, finding refuge in a convent for troubled girls. In her pursuit to regain custody of herself and her sister, Magui, Mariana confronts the denial and protection from her mother, Estela. Despite a brief respite, Mariana faces renewed captivity, prompting her escape and police involvement, leading to residence in the convent. This film, inspired by Alicia Barberis‘ novel and writer-director Alberto Gieco‘s personal experiences, unfolds a poignant exploration of abuse, vulnerability, and self-discovery. Emphasizing the significance of friendship and solidarity, the project seeks support for post-production services, broadcasters, distributors, festivals, co-producers, foreign broadcasters, and a sales agent to raise awareness about the vulnerability of those affected by abuse.
Tartini’s Key – Vinci Vogue Anžlovar (Slovenia)
Producer: Zoran Dževerdanović (Blade Production)
In the idyllic coastal town of Piran, three teenagers—Mario, a local living with her grandmother; Robert, from a modest family at summer camp; and Barbara, affluent and vacationing with her father—serendipitously become entwined through an accidental SMS. This message triggers a medieval treasure hunt, replete with puzzles and historical tales. As they navigate challenges and outsmart caricatured bandits Grandemare and Jofa, their initially awkward acquaintance blossoms into genuine friendship. Amidst the suspenseful adventure, a budding romance emerges between Barbara and Robert. Slovenian helmer Vinci Vogue Anžlovar‘s (Grandpa Goes South [+see also:
film profile]) seventh feature aims to provide a suspenseful, witty, and educational family experience, highlighting the pleasures of analogue play and the forging of bonds among children of diverse backgrounds against the vibrant historic backdrop of Piran. The project seeks distributors, festivals, gap-financing, sales agents, and broadcasters (read the news).
Two of Me – Raul Esko, Romet Esko (Estonia)
Producers: Rain Rannu, Tõnu Hiielaid, Kirill Volkov (Tallifornia)
Two of Me explores the distinctive journey of twin filmmakers, Raul and Romet, fuelled by a fervent desire for global acclaim in the film industry. Positioned as a comedic coming-of-age tale, the narrative draws inspiration from the directors’ real-life ordeals in film school. The brothers clandestinely embark on crafting an authentic feature film, initially focused on the nuances of twinhood but evolving into a nuanced exploration of their life journey. Amidst romantic entanglements and production disagreements, the brothers realize that their strength lies in cooperation, deepening their understanding of each other. Estonian writers and directors, twin brothers Raul Esko and Romet Esko (aka Eskobros) emphasize that their film serves as a journey of self-discovery, utilizing filmmaking to shape identities and navigate decisions about brotherhood, love, and an uncertain future. The project seeks broadcasters, distributors, festivals, foreign broadcasters, and a sales agent (read the news).
Violent Butterflies – Adolfo Dávila García (Mexico)
Producers: Gabriela Gavica Marrufo (Mandarina Cine), Adolfo Dávila García (Neural)
In Violent Butterflies, Viktor, a graffiti artist, and Eva, the punk band singer, unite in their idealistic pursuit of justice amid profound social crisis. United by music and street art, they inadvertently challenge impunity until brutal police aggression makes them victims. Left battered, Viktor and abducted Eva unleash rage against corruption. Directed, written, and co-produced by Adolfo Dávila García, the film is an impassioned denouncement of ongoing injustice in Mexico. It unfolds as a love story within rebellion, reflecting pervasive social discontent and oppression across generations. Seeking gap-financing, distributors, festivals, post-production services, and a sales agent, the project resonates as a powerful exploration of societal challenges.