Eight documentary projects move forward at Civil Society Pitch 5 follow-up workshop
10 November 2023


Civil Society Pitch, the intensive development program for documentary filmmakers and NGO representatives organized by One World Romania Association, continues its year-round 5th edition with a follow-up workshop on November 18. Eight projects coming from all four partner countries – Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova and Romania – will participate in a full day of presentations and tailored feedback from documentary producer Elena Martin and filmmaker Alexandru Solomon.



Waste Side Story – Dana Coțovanu & AltArt Foundation (Romania)

Zemstvei's Home – Cristian Doroftei & Oberliht Association (Moldova)

Happy People – Fanni Hatházi (Hungary) & Romanian Ornithological Society (Romania)

Life on pause – Anthoniy Hristov & Single Step (Bulgaria)

White, Green and Queer – Kosta Karakashyan & Deystvie (Bulgaria)

Demon on two wheels – Alexandru Oiță & Motivation Romania Foundation (Romania)

Spread your wings – Anelise Sălan & Romanian Ornithological Society (Romania)

Bittersweet Roots (Brazilhungarians) – Boglárka Varga (Hungary)

The projects cover a diverse range of social issues and human rights topics, such as an independent laboratory for art and activism in Moldova, Bulgaria's hidden LGBTQIA+ history, birdwatching as a form of therapy, personal cultural heritage, the strength of people living with disabilities or integration through art.


The workshop will take place in a hybrid format, both in Bucharest, at KAS Rule of Law Programme South East Europe, one of One World Romania’s traditional partners, and online. The projects have come a long way since being selected in the program in March, when 16 NGO representatives and 18 directors took part in the first stage of the program – three days dedicated to matchmaking and shaping a documentary film story. 

Over the course of the initial stage workshop, participants were mentored by documentary filmmakers Mona Nicoară, Oliver Sertic and Radu Ciorniciuc, along with anthropologists Ileana Szasz and Bogdan Iancu. Each NGO first presented a pitch outlining the causes they advocate for; the directors then chose the subjects they wanted to develop in a documentary film project, forming teams together with the NGOs. Next, the teams reunited during monthly mentoring sessions with their tutors, while further researching their ideas.

The follow-up workshop taking place in November aims to bring the projects closer to development: each filmmaker will have one dedicated hour to showcase video materials, talk about the current status of the project and receive guidance and insights from the two trainers. This meeting will prepare them for the final stage of the program: a public pitching session in Bucharest during the next edition of One World Romania International Documentary & Human Rights Film Festival, in April 2024, when one project will receive an award of 4,000 Euros for development.



Elena Martin has a BA in screenwriting and an MA in film production at UNATC, Bucharest. Since 2019, she has been working at Manifest Film. She is an alumnus of CineLink Producers Lab in Sarajevo, East-West Talent Lab 2022, East Doc Series 2022 with the documentary series Imaginary Youth and Ex Oriente Film 2022 with the documentary project Chasing Stumps. She was part of projects such as the EFA Awards nominee Acasă, My Home (d. Radu Ciorniciuc), which premiered in Sundance Film Festival; Timebox (d. Nora Agapi), acquired by HBO, and Between Revolutions (d. Vlad Petri) which premiered in Berlinale Forum 2023. She is developing and producing features, series and shorts, documentaries as well as fiction, by established and emerging directors. Previous films: Kaimos (2020), Laila (2020).


After starting as Director of Photography on fiction films in the 1990s and working with other artists on experimental videos, Alexandru Solomon shifted towards documentaries. His long features - such as The Great Communist Bank Robbery (2004), Kapitalism – Our Secret Recipe (2010), or Tarzan's Testicles (2017) - travelled worldwide to festivals or on television, covering political stories in hybrid, creative ways. His latest film, Arsenie. An Amazing Afterlife, premiered in Karlovy Vary’s Proxima competition in 2023. In 2016 he published his monograph "Representations of Memory in Documentary Film". Alexandru is teaching at the University of Arts in Bucharest and is the president of the One World Romania Association.


Civil Society Pitch is an intensive one-year program designed to foster collaboration between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and filmmakers from Bulgaria, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, and Romania. The goal of the program is to facilitate a dialogue between activists and visual storytellers and to launch new documentary film projects that address human rights and social issues. 



One World Romania Association


Administration of the National Cultural Fund


Balkan Documentary Center (Bulgaria), VERZIO International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (Hungary), MOLDOX Lab (Republic of Moldova), National University of Theatre and Film "I.L. Caragiale" (Romania), National University of Arts Bucharest (Romania), Master of Anthropology & Master of Visual and Society Studies SNSPA (Romania), KAS Rule of Law Programme South East Europe


Program Coordinator: Raluca R. Gorgos | |  


The program does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the program, nor for the manner in which the results of the program might be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the grant.