Oldenburg: New Projects From Cristi Puiu, Nicolas Roeg at Co-Production Lounge

Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival
Cristi Puiu's last feature, 'Sieranevada' premiered in competition in Cannes last year.

The German film festival's Matchbox co-production event returns with financing delegations from Luxembourg and Norway.

The Oldenburg Film Festival, Germany's leading international indie fest, is again this year inviting producers and directors to a one-day co-production meet to pitch their latest projects.

The so-called Matchbox co-production lounge, which will run Sept. 16, will this year include a mix of industry veterans and newcomers to the indie scene. Among the veterans are acclaimed Romanian director Cristi Puiu, whose The Death of Mr. Lazarescu won Cannes Un Certain Regard award in 2005 and who was in Cannes competition last year with Sieranevada. Together with his long-time production partner Anca Puiu, he will be coming to Oldenburg to seek backers for his latest drama, Hora Staccato.

Son of a Very Important Man, the new project from Palestinian director Najwa Najjar, whose previous work includes The Eyes of a Thief (2014) and Pomegranates and Myrrh (2008), will be presented in Oldenburg, as will The Seventh Magpie, from a script by 1970s directing legend Nicolas Roeg (Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth).

Luxembourg producer Paul Thiltges (Kirikou and the Sorceress) will present Najjar's project and a delegation from state subsidy body Film Fund Luxemburg will also attend Oldenburg to pitch the tiny European nation as an ideal partner for indie co-productions. Norway's subsidy group Filminvest will also send a delegation to Matchbox.

Other highlights of this year's co-production event include Fake Oxygen, a modern-day retelling of Madame Bovary from Dunja Kusturica, daughter of two-time Palme d'Or winner Emir Kusturica, which is planned as her directorial debut; and Inside Me, a thriller from U.S. director Matthew Berkowitz, whose latest, A Most Violent Man, will have its world premiere at the Oldenburg festival.

The 2017 Oldenburg Film Festival runs Feb. 13-17.