SPi’s project selected for Heart of Europe Festival & Forum
The Last Blue Summer, an SPi project that brings Portugal and Ukraine together, was one of those selected to pitch in the feature film category at the 3rd edition of the Heart of Europe Festival & Forum, which took place from September 25 to 28 in Warsaw.
The pitching session was held by Pedro Lopes, author of the project, and Olesia Lukyanenko, co-producer, who represented the production companies SPi and Film UA, respectively. Inspired by current events, The Last Blue Summer tells the story of a widow who tries to regain her joy in life with the help of a boy who fled the war in Ukraine and was forced to grow up before his time. Still in the development stage, the film is directed by actress Margarida Vila Nova.
This selection to pitch "shows us that we're on the right track, looking for quality projects that are deeply personal but have the ability to travel and reach a wide audience," says Pedro Lopes. The public's reaction was positive and it also aroused "the interest of some Polish production companies, and other countries bordering Ukraine, which could become co-production partners, allowing us access to a more robust budget", he adds.
As a market dedicated to Central and Eastern European projects, promoted by Polish Television, this festival was attended by the main stations and production companies from Central and Eastern Europe. Manuel Claro, SPi's Business and Co-productions Director, who was also present, told us that this was "a very interesting and enriching experience for a Portuguese production company like SPi. As it is especially focused on Eastern European projects, the co-production project we submitted to the competition, and which was selected for the Pitch, makes perfect sense at this event."
This market also features the most recent and best content from Central and Eastern European countries, including "feature films, fiction series, documentaries, as well as entertainment, children's and youth programs and digital projects produced by the public television organizations of Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Georgia", according to the Festival's official website.