Transylvania Film Festival Launches TV Genre Lab 5

This year’s Transylvanian Film Festival includes a new industry focus on genre projects from Central and Eastern Europe. The Full Moon Creative Lab, initiated by the festival together with Romanian Film Promotion launches this year with a focus on thriller, horror and fantasy TV series projects.

The Lab builds on the festival’s Full Moon Script Contest, launched in 2020, which awards three creative residencies a year to winning writers in Transylvania. Full Moon Creative Lab project manager Ileana Cecanu said the response to the new TV program, first unveiled a year ago, has “exceeded all expectations.” Cecanu said she trusts we’ll soon seen the projects pitching at Full Moon this year on a TV or streaming platform in the near future. “I’d definitely be the first one binging them,” she says.

The three projects selected for the Full Moon Creative Lab program, which focuses on enhancing creators’ collaborative series writing skills within a European context, are the Slovenian mini-series thriller Negative Split written by Barbara Skubic, the supernatural horror series Immortal Care Unit from Italian screenwriter Giulio Rizzo, and the Romanian thriller series Aurora, written by Adina Istrate.

Additionally, nine other talented screenwriters from around Europe were chosen from the open call and assigned to one of the three projects, forming three writers’ room groups. The yearlong creative collaboration had its grand finale with a pitching session at the Transylvania International Film Festival in front of influential producers, broadcasters, sales agents, TV and major streaming platforms representatives. The winning project will receive the Full Moon Creative Lab Award, a €5,000 ($5,300) bursary, co-funded by the European Union, for further development.

Launched in 2014 as a workshop for young filmmakers from Romania and Moldava the Transylvania Pitch Stop has since transformed into a premiere co-production platform for regional filmmakers from the Balkans and the Black Sea regions. Over 100 projects selected over the years have landed at major international festivals including Berlin, Cannes and Venice.

In its 11th edition, the Transylvania Pitch Stop featured film projects in development from Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine pitched to producers and financiers, sales agents, film funds, and other industry professionals, followed by one-to-one meetings.

“Key themes of the selected projects include relationships, personal struggles, social issues, and historical contexts and we also emphasize diversity with female voices and coming-of-age stories,” says Dumitrana Lupu, now in her third year as head of the Transylvania International Film Festival industry program. “We had a special treat this year before the pitch: a short showcase of some of the finished films that previously participated in TPS, offering a glimpse into their journey.”

Drawn from around 40 submissions, the genre eclectic selection includes three debuts: Turkey’s Alkim Özmen drama My Happy Family about a tween who secretly films rare moments of joy and happiness in his abusive home; Ukrainian drama Curtain explores intimate relationships and self-growth following the outbreak of war; and Romanian drama A Flower Is Not A Flower, a powerful story about 11-year old Ana who escapes from an orphanage in the 1980’s communist Romania. There were three more local projects: Razvan Marinescu’s warm-hearted adventure Kid Hazard, Ioana Mischie’s darkly humorous dystopian drama Die, Please, and Mihai Dragolea’s Grained, a wild story about two women in the eastern plains of Romania in 1946.

Transylvania Pitch Stop projects will be competing for the Chainsaw Europe award (worth $27,000 (€25,000) in post-production services), the Transylvania Pitch Stop Development award offered by Avanpost, valued at $5,500 (€5.000), the National Center of Cinematography Republic Of Moldova Award award, worth $1,600 (€1,500), the VILLA KULT Development award ($550/€500), and the Connecting Cottbus cocoLAB Award given to an up-and-coming Romanian or Moldovian producer to participate in the new upcoming cocoLAB program at the 2024 Connecting Cottbus Co-Production Market.

The Full Moon Creative Lab and Transylvania Pitch Stop awards will be handed out Friday night at the Industry Gala Awards, ahead of Transylvania Film Festival‘s gala closing awards event Saturday evening.

A full list of Full Moon Creative Lab and Transylvania Pitch Stop
projects is below.

The 2024 Full Moon Creative Lab

ICU – Immortal Care Unit (Italy)
Genre: Supernatural, Horror
Head writer: Giulio Rizzo
Co-writers: Sînziana Cojocărescu, Greg Simmons, Nadya Todorova

Negative Split (Slovenia)
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Head writer: Barbara Skubic
Co-writers: Cristina Iliescu, Rafael Alberto Garciolo, Attila Veres

Aurora (Romania)
Genre: Religious Horror
Head writer: Adina Istrate Co-writers: Barry Murphy, Richard Karpala, Rossella di Campli

The 2024 Transylvania Pitch Stop


Divorce Room (Hungary)
Directed by Otto Banovits

Produced by Anna Sípos, Veronika Gál (Stranger Films)

Winemaker’s Daughter (Moldova)
Directed by Ivan Naniev

Produced by Sergiu Scobioala (Shepherd Company)

Die, Please (Romania)
Directed by Ioana Mischie

Produced by Andra MacMasters (STUDIOSET)

A Flower Is Not A Flower (Romania, Latvia)
Directed by Cristian Pascariu
Produced by Adriana Răcășan (Point Film), Antra Gaile and Liga Gaisa
(Air Productions)

Grained (Romania)
Directed by Mihai Dragolea

Produced by Velvet Moraru (ICON Production)

Kid Hazard (Romania)
Directed by Răzvan Marinescu
Produced by: Irina Enea (Baking Films)

Termites Have Wings Of Approximately The Same Length (Serbia)
Directed by Svetislav Dragomirović
Produced by Nevena Savić (Cinnamon Films), Svetislav Dragomirović (Gray Tree Film)

Dancing Angels (Turkey)
Directed by Ferit Kilic
Produced by Diloy Gülün; Beste Yamalioglu (Karma Films)

My Happy Family (Turkey)
Directed by Alkim Ozmen

Produced by Olena Yershova (TatoFilm), Alkim Ozmen (Meraklı Hayalperver)

Curtain (Ukraine)
Directed by Valeria Sochyvets
Produced by Inna Lastochkina (Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema)

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