The co-production screenplay workshop European Short Pitch starts this week, and among the 12 projects selected by the jury, the only film from the Baltics is Dzīvoklis īsiem cilvēkiem/Penthouse for Short People by the Latvian director Anna Zača.

European Short Pitch (ESP) is an initiative aimed to promote the European co-production of short films.  The 13th edition of the ESP will help young filmmakers to develop short film projects as well as support co-production and distribution. The programme consists of a screenplay development workshop and co-production forum and brings together screenwriters, directors and industry professionals from all over Europe. The screenplay development workshop where screenplay consultants will edit, comment and discuss the participants’ screenplays in group sessions and individual consultations will take place this September. It will be followed by individual work on the screenplay until November, when the Co-production Forum will take place (12-15 November) and the developed screenplay ideas will be presented to producers and industry professionals from all over Europe, thus attracting potential co-producers to the projects. Since 2007, the European Short Pitch has produced 287 screenplays and completed 135 short films, which have later helped many directors embark on successful international careers.

2020 is a special year for the European Short Pitch because the organisers have managed to exceed the set goal – to provide at least half of the seats for female authors, this time it is 60% or seven of the twelve selected project authors. In addition to gender equality, the ESP’s mission is to include participants from as many different European regions as possible; this year, a selection of the best projects includes applications from young authors from Latvia, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Finland, Ukraine, Macedonia, Croatia and Hungary. The programme is supported by the Brittany region (France) and the AVEK or Promotion Center for Audiovisual Culture (Finland).

Twelve projects on current topics have been selected for participation in the programme, ten of them are short fiction films, two – animation projects. Director Anna Zača has also chosen animation for her project Penthouse for Short People – a 10-minute 3D puppet animation for adults. It is a story about the 30-year-old artist Indra, who is expecting her first child and is looking for a new home. She has found an embodiment of her dreams – an attic in the very heart of Riga. But as Indra inspects the flat, it becomes clear that the flat is not suitable for her. Through amusing and absurd solutions of rebuilding and inhabiting the flat going on in Indra’s imagination, the viewer, together with the main character, experiences the process of acceptance and surrender, served with a light dose of self-irony.

Anna Zača has been working in the Latvian film industry for more than ten years, she is known as a curator of short film programmes and animation specialist, currently also the curator of the Riga International Film Festival (Riga IFF) programme Short Riga.

She returned to animation filmmaking in 2019, creating the short film All My Friends Are Dead with Nils Skapāns, and is currently working on two projects simultaneously – Gluten Morgen and Penthouse for Short People. She took part with the latter in the short film project presentation at the Baltic Pitching Forum and won one of the main awards – participation in the European Short Pitch 2020.


Prepared by

Zane Kauliņa

Senior Officer for Promotion of Domestic Films Abroad

The Latvian National Film Centre
(, +371 6735 8866, +371 2672 9414)