connecting cottbus (coco) is an East West co-production market and a networking platform focusing on Eastern European cinema during the FilmFestival Cottbus.
We select 13 feature film projects in development and 6 works in progress / post-production. These are presented to a professional audience of experienced producers, buyers, commissioning editors, world sales and financiers. Projects must have a connection to Eastern Europe in subject or production context.
The 22nd edition of coco will take place on 4-6 November 2020 in Cottbus, Germany.
Aside from offering industry participants the chance to discover new projects and discuss possible partnerships, coco’s framework programme gives insights into current trends and challenges in film financing, production and distribution. The industry topics are explored in the form of panels, round-table discussions, lectures and workshops. Various networking events bring together project representatives and industry participants and also give an opportunity to meet filmmakers from the parallel running FilmFestival Cottbus.
The cocoPITCH project presentations are public to all registered coco participants, while the screenings of cocoWIP (works in progress) are reserved for an audience of sales agents, distributors and other industry experts only. During the closed cocoLAB(LINK) on the market‘s first prep day, project representatives receive feedback in tailor-made consultancy sessions. The last day of coco is all about the one2one meetings with projects.
The industry audience will vote for the best public presentation of a project during the pitching session. The “coco Best Pitch Award” cash prize of 1.500 Euros goes to the producer of the awarded project.
The winner of the “coco Best Pitch Award” will also receive the “Producers Network Award”, free accreditation to the Producers Network at the Marché du Film in Cannes 2019.
The production arm of the renowned Romanian post-production facility Avanpost will offer the “Avanpost Proof of Concept Award”, in-kind services up to 15.000 Euros which may include financing strategy consulting, the project look-book as well as production/post- production for a proof of concept.
Three projects in development selected for cocoPITCH will receive an in-depth script consultancy with MIDPOINT experts. The consultancy will include two parts, starting in Cottbus during the cocoLAB and a second follow-up session online. The recipients of this award are notified before the event.
A jury of film industry professionals will present the “D-Facto Motion WiP Award” to a Work in Progress project after the cocoWIP session, consisting in €35,000 in-kind services plus €5,000 granted for additional expenses, sponsored by D-Facto Motion, the renowned post-production studio with branches in six major German cities and the latest high-end technology.
The cocoLAB offers in-depth prep meetings to our selected projects, together with group sessions to explore relevant industry topics. The aim of the cocoLAB is to actively support and strengthen each project and the makers behind them.
As an added value to their participation, selected cocoPITCH and cocoWIP representatives receive advice and preparation to pitch their projects in front of our industry audience. In closed cocoLAB sessions, projects also receive individually tailored consultancy from experts in the fields of script development, financing strategies, sales, marketing, training opportunities and funding. Prior to the market, all promotional material will be edited with the project representatives for publication in our catalogue.
Founded in 1999, coco was the first co-production market facilitating co-production specifically for the Eastern European region and resulted in notable collaborations that are still thriving to the present day. We are proud that half of the projects pitched at coco have been realised as of now, and more than half of them have had an A-festival competition premiere.
Recent alumni highlights include Ognjen Glavonic's THE LOAD, which premiered at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2018. ZANA (Kosovo/Albania/USA) by Antoneta Kastrati was pitched at coco as part of the Midpoint Spotlight in 2017, presented at cocoWIP 2018 and premiered in the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival 2019. Also in 2019, CAT IN THE WALL (Bulgaria/UK/France) by Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, winner of the coco Best Pitch Award 2017, had its world premiere in competition at the Locarno Film Festival, and Ines Tanovic’s THE SON (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia/Romania/Slovenia/ Montenegro) opened the Sarajevo Film Festival. The cocoWIP alumni project MY THOUGHTS ARE SILENT (Ukraine) by Antonio Lukich won the Special Jury Prize in Karlovy Vary's East of the West competition as well as the Audience Award and Fipresci Prize for Best Ukrainian Film at Odessa International Film Festival 2019. In 2020, Ivan Ostrochovsky's SERVANTS (Slovak Republic/Romania/Czech Republic/Ireland) premiered in the Encounters section of the Berlin International Film Festival.
For a list of all completed coco alumni projects click here.
For press releases, lists of selected projects per year as well as an overview of completed alumni projects, have a look at our archive.