BDC Discoveries 2014

After four successful editions, which proved to be successful, productive and important professional start-up for emerging documentary filmmakers from the Balkans, it is our pleasure to announce the upcoming BDC Discoveries 2014 – a project development workshop, aimed at uniting professionals with documentary projects with an international potential, and helping them to get exposed to potential financiers and partners on the European film market.

We are happy to have the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union for this year’s edition, which is yet another indication for the importance of BDC Discoveries.


The goal of the Balkan Documentary Center is to contribute to the formation of an active and informed civil society in the region through the development of the independent media and documentary sector. On the Balkans the documentary sector suffers from low level of professionalism, weak technical capacity and no skills of working in the international framework and marketplace. The purpose of the Center is to train and support emerging Eastern European documentary filmmakers and media professionals in international practices, providing know-how and in-house project development.

For a second year we are taking an even more ambitious step by opening up the workshop to a wider applicant profile, appealing primarily to European professionals aiming at a co-production partnership with the Balkans or working on a Balkan-related topic. In doing so, we believe to add another strategic tool for completion of our mission to make BDC a creative laboratory for linking European professionals and their production with Balkan documentary artists.

The key objective of BDC Discoveries 2014 is to supply documentary professionals with high-quality educational training of non-traditional and in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge in order to secure the necessary level of documentary audiovisual industry.


BDC Discoveries 2014 will take place within three modules, welcoming tutors, participants and observers from more than 13 European countries:

Module Sofia (4-11 May 2014) is the most intensive session. The first week-long module in Sofia has as a central topic a general script and project development. Participants work together with tutors and observers on their own projects, attend lectures, join discussions and case studies. We are glad to have for the module in Sofia the support of Sofia’s Municipality “Culture” Programme, Goethe-Institute in Sofia, Creative Europe Media Desk Bulgaria and the Bulgarian National Film Center.

Module Prizren (20-24 August 2014), hosted by our partner DokuFest, is focused on preparing on packaging the projects for the international market. A final presentation in front of a jury, consisting of decision-makers, experts and funders, is being organized, in order to give the participants the pitching experience. Many awards are given during that module, incl. a cash-prize for best pitch and nomination to participate in DOK Leipzig Co-production meetings!

Module Malmo (20-24 September 2014), hosted by our partner Filmkontakt Nord, is an important follow-up session, dedicated to the successful exposure of our project to the industry. Nordisk Forum will be an excellent possibility for the participants to network with colleagues from the Nordic countries, to benchmark on the international scene and to see their own projects in context of successful documentary professionals.


We are thrilled to announce the selected projects for this year’s edition of BDC Discoveries:

THE FUTURE IS NOW (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Italy, Switzerland)
Directed by Vanja Celebicic
Produced by Vittoria Fiumi / Fiumi Film

Directed by Milena Kaneva
Produced by Milena Kaneva / MK Production

Directed by Marija Ratkovic Vidakovic
Produced by Marija Ratkovic Vidakovic, Isa Zivanovic / Croatian Film Association

Directed by Matija Radeljak
Produced by Bojan Kanjera / Aning Film

Directed by Silvia Poeta Paccati
Produced by Luigi Pepe / Jump Cut

Directed by Ada-Maria Ichim
Produced by Cristina Badea / Adenium Film

ON MY OWN FEET (UK, Macedonia)
Directed by Eleonora Veninova
Produced by Alessandro De Marco / Aldemar Productions
and Eleonora Veninova / Tri Tocki


BDC Director and Head of Studies Martichka Bozhilova has been producer of AGITPROP since 1999. Her films include the multi-awarded Georgi and the Butterflies (Silver Wolf Award, IDFA 2004), The Mosquito Problem and other stories (World Premiere: Cannes 2007; Grierson Award, London Film Festival 2007; Grand Prize, Sunny Side of the Doc 2008), Corridor #8 (World Premiere: Berlinale 2008 – FORUM, Ecumenical Jury Award; HOTDOCS 2008 – HBO Documentary Film Emerging Artist Award). She is also producer of the first original Bulgarian productions for HBO, Concrete Pharaohs and Paradise Hotel. Among her latest films are Love&Engineering (Premiere at Tribeca IFF New York, opening film at Visions Du Reel 2013, HotDocs 2013), The Last Black Sea Pirates (Premiere at Visions Du Reel and HotDocs 2013, FIPRECI Award Krakow FF 2013), Tzvetanka (CphDox 2012, MoMA 2013, more than 10 awards), Dad Made Dirty Movies (World premiere: Visions du Reel 2011) and The Boy Who Was a King (World premiere: Toronto IFF 2011, The Times BFI London FF 2011, IDFA 2011). AGITPROP’s films are broadcast and have cinema release worldwide. In 2006 Martichka Bozhilova received the International Trailblazer Award, launched by Robert Redford and Sundance Channel at MIPDOC in Cannes for creativity, innovation, originality and breakthrough in the field of documentary cinema. Lecturer at various European workshops and events in the field of documentary cinema. Member of the European Documentary Network (EDN) Executive Committee.  In 2012 Martichka was ranked on the 49th place in the prestigious selection “100 Most Influential Women” of Bulgarian newspaper “Capital” and in top 7 of the most influential Bulgarian visionaries in the creative sector, according to business magazine “Forbes”. In 2013 she was nominated for “Woman of the Year” in the sector of Media&Culture.

Ilian Metev was born in 1981 in Sofia, Bulgaria. In part growing up in Germany, he initially pursued a career as a classical violinist. Yet, his curiosity in visual art led him to explore moving images. He graduated from the National Film and Television School, UK, in 2008 with the short documentary “Goleshovo”, which won the Talent Dove at DOK Leipzig 2008 and the Don Quixote Award at Krakow FF 2009. His first feature “Sofia’s LastAmbulance” (2012) is a close-up portrait of three Bulgarian medics at work. “Sofia’s Last Ambulance” premiered at the Critics’ Week at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the “Camerad’Or” and won the “Visionary Award”. Ilian’s work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has received over 30 awards, including the German Documentary FilmAward 2013.

Rada Sesic is a filmmaker, critic, lecturer and curator. Born in Bjelovar (Croatia), lived in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), now lives in the Netherlands. Rada collaborates on the programme of two biggest film festivals in The Netherlands: IFF Rotterdam and IDFA in Amsterdam and is on a selection of IDFA’s Jan Vrijman Fundsince its beginning. She is also one of commission members for the Hubert Bals Fund, and head of the Documentary Competition Programme of Sarajevo IFF. Rada is one of tutors of EDN at several international workshop-pitching sessions in Europe and Asia. Served at several juries at the film festivals around the world, including the Joris Ivens Jury at IDFA, Moscow, Krakow, Bombay, Toronto Hot Docs. Since last year is program advisor of DOK-Leipzig for South-East European and South Asian cinema. In the Netherlands Rada directed four films: Room Without a View (1997), Soske (2001),  In Whitest Solitude (2001), The Way to School (2007). Her films were awarded at international festivals, screened and bought by MoMa New York.

Paul Pauwels is Director of European Documentary Network. Paul has 30 years experience in the world of audiovisual production as unit manager, production manager and producer.  During the larger part of his career he has combined production and teaching/tutoring. Paul studied at RITCS film school in Brussels where – in 1979  – he got his degree as director and producer. He worked in feature film production until 1987, when he founded his own production unit: Periscope Productions. The company produced commercials, short feature films and prize-winning documentaries. In 2005 Paul Pauwels left Periscope Productions NV to become Programme Manager at the Flemish Public Broadcaster VRT/CANVAS. There he was in charge of the science and history department, and responsible for the relations with the independent producers and directors. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the director of the “European television and media management academy” in Strasbourg, France. From March 2012 until May 2013 he was managing director and later (from September 2012 onward) manager/owner/producer of the production company Congoo bvba. In May 2013 he accepted the invitation to become the director of the European Documentary Network. He is now based in Copenhagen and Brussels. During his active time as a producer, Paul Pauwels was a respected expert on matters of European documentary co-production.  He shared his knowledge acting as a tutor and an expert for several organizations. Amongst them: Documentary Campus (Germany), the European Documentary Network (Denmark) Greenhouse (Israel), Balkan documentary center (Bulgaria), International documentary institute (Czech republic), docEdge (India) and Documentary in Europe (Italy).  Paul has been giving lectures and managing workshops on documentary development and production worldwide. He has also been moderating pitching sessions all over Europe. Today, Paul is a member of the General Assembly of the Flemish Film Fund (VAF) for whom he also acts as an expert reader for documentary projects. He is teaching at the Media and Design faculty in Genk, Belgium.

Boris Mitic was born in 1977 in Leskovac, southern Serbia. Lived on a few continents, graduated in mass communication, settled back in Belgrade, fought a war, worked for 5 years for top-level international media, understood some things and dedicated the rest of his life to his family, football and creative documentaries. His three films were shown at 150+ festivals around the world, received 18 awards and were broadcast on 25 international TV channels. Writes satirical columns for Playboy and DOX magazine and lectures at film schools in Europe, China, the US and the Middle East. Started a new 5-year doc project about Nothing. His filmography includes:  PRETTY DYANA (2003), UNMIK TITANIK (2004), GOODBYE, HOW ARE YOU? (2009).

Peter De Maegd is an independent film producer who focus on the opportunities of the converging media. Over the last decade, Peter was involved in the production and marketing of over a dozen feature films. His company Potemkino is now producing the feature film Cub by Jonas
Govaerts which successfully combines traditional financing with crowdfunding. Potemkino focusses on innovative projects and formats like Where is Gary?, Miss Homeless and Jean Save Europe. These experiences, the partnership with Caviar Films and 7 broadcasters resulted in the Emmy nominated participative drama series The Spiral. Peter is the producer and story architect of The Spiral which was simultaneously broadcast in 8 countries and invited the audience to experience the story on tv, online and in reality.
Peter is currently co-producing three European feature film: Eisenstein in Guanajuato by Peter Greenaway, Ich & Kaminski by Wolfgang Becker & Moonwalk by Antoine Bardou Jacquet. Peter gives lectures on storytelling for the converging media at universities, conferences and training programs.

Simone Baumann was born in 1963 in Zschopau/Saxony. She graduated from Rostov-upon-Don State University (Russia), where she studied philosophy from 1982 till 1987. After graduating she has been lecturing at the philosophy department of Humboldt University and working as a researcher at the Hegel Institute in Berlin, Germany. At the early ‘90s she started as a production assistant at the domestic politics department of MDR in Dresden, Germany. In the following years she has been a managing director and producer fro Pro7 Network and LE Vision. Since 2003, Simone is board member of AG DOK – the German Association of documentary producers. Since 2005 she is a representative of Eastern Europe for German Films. Since 2009 Simone is head of the German managing committee of the Friends of the German-Russian Film Academy. She is currently working as an executive producer at Saxonia Entertainment GmbH, Germany.

Aleksandar Manic was born in former Yugoslavia and moved at the age of 10 to Germany, where he studied philosophy at the Cologne University, moving on to FAMU in Prague. His graduation film Shooting Days – Emir Kusturica directs Underground premiered at IDFA and was nominated for the Joris Ivens Award. Picked up by Jane Balfour Ltd., the film was subsequently sold to TV stations in a number of countries. Since 1996, Aleksandar Mani? has focused on making documentary films mainly concerned with Balkan-related and human rights topics, often combining the comical with the tragic. He has made films for both cinema and television, including The Walls of Kosovo – a province at war, The Orphans of Enver Hoxha, and The Shutka Book of Records.

Melody Gilbert is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker and educator, whose work is noteworthy for featuring a rare intimacy with her subjects as she unearths previously hidden worlds. She works mostly solo, querying her subjects from behind the camera, giving voice to ordinary people with extraordinary stories. She has the uncanny ability to get people to open up and reveal their innermost thoughts, whether it’s the family of a child who can’t feel pain, a couple who gets married at the world’s largest shopping mall, a former vice president of the United States or a physically healthy person who desperately wants to become an amputee. She has directed, shot, produced, filmed (and sometimes edited) five independent feature-length documentaries since 2002: Married at the Mall (2002), Whole (2003),  A Life Without Pain (2005), Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness (2007), Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story (2008). Her latest film as producer – The Starfish Throwers by Jesse Roesler premiered at Thessaloniki International FF 2014 and is now traveling the festival circuit worldwide.


Dimitra Kouzi is a journalist and author. A Communication expert from Munich’s LMU University, she has been a TV and Radio journalist at the Hellenic Broadcast Corporation (ERT) from 2001-2013 (until ERT’s closing down). Since 2009, she has been a founding member and co-director at CineDoc (, an innovative festival designed to screen European and international documentaries throughout the year in Greece. She also co-organizes special CineDoc events and theme evenings concurrently to the screenings. She blogs about documentaries and documentary-making on Since 2012, she has been working for Prix Europa (TV Documentary Award). She conceived the original idea and conducted research for the documentary Little Land, developed and produced by Anemon Productions, broadcast in ARTE Greek Theme Day, in August 2013, for which Dimitra conceived the script and presented in German as host. Since November 2013 she has been a freelance Correspondent for Greece, producing stories for the Deutsche Welle and organizes her own Media and Communication Training courses.

Hristina Stoyanova has rich experience as Account and Sales Executive in leading Bulgarian media companies such as bTV Media Group and NetInfo. She is proficient in project management, strategic and business planning, as well as in marketing, advertising and analysis. Hristina has a MA degree in Journalism, Producing and Financing. She is currently studying Professional Executive Management Program at the BEIED – Business Education for International Economic Development. She has project management background with sponsorship and online media platform of The Voice of Bulgaria, Bulgaria’s Got Talent, films like Glass Home, Seven Hours Difference, Citizens in Excess, etc.

Lefteris Fylaktos been active since 1997 in the conception and production of audio-visual content as Television Director, Independent Documentary Filmmaker and Freelance Director/Producer. His expertise includes several award-winning documentaries and video projects for public, private and international organizations. Additionally, he has large experience in cross-media projects and web-documentaries, and has served as jury and delegate for socially responsible media organizations. Lefteris recently completed a MA in Visual and Media Anthropology, which broadened his theoretical, methodological and conceptual foundation. He can offer strong leadership, managerial and organizational skills, that come from years of experience in both the world of public, service-oriented programming and independent documentary filmmaking.