The Elf’s Tower

Cannes Docs

The Elf’s Tower

Original title: Elfova Vezha

Directed by: Polina Kelm

Produced by: Rok Biček (Cvinger Film, Slovenia)

Country of production: Ukraine, Poland, Slovenia

Runtime: 120'

Expected release: February, 2025

Production stage: Post-production

Budget: €448 959 (73% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Sales Agents, Buyers, Festivals


In a mental health institution in Kyev, a theater troupe of patients stages a prophetic play, as the full invasion of Ukraine is about to happen. In an endless loop, they rebel against the theatre director Serhiy, but always come back to rehears with him. The play is never ready for the premiere as if an invisible force stands in the way. Time seems to have stopped, it’s constantly snowing outside the windows and inside the institution -unnatural sounds start filling the air. We begin to understand that the play’s plot is unexpectedly more realistic and large-scale than we thought. Miracles require great faith and work. Dark times are coming and the hospital suddenly becomes the brightest place around

Director’s profile:

Polina Kelm graduated from Kyiv National I.K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and TV University as a film director in 2010. Works with fiction and documentary projects. She played as an actress in the film by O.Balagura ‘Lifespan Of The Object In Frame’ (special mention at the FIDMarseille) in 2012. She is one of the founders of the Ukrainian Guild of Directors. Member of DAE, EWA, Ukrainian Film Academy. She created a laboratory to support Ukrainian documentarians at the development stage–UkrDocLab, in 2021. The first session was held by Mikael Opstrup with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund. Her films and projects were awarded at East Silver Caravan Award, Beldocs in Progress, Ukrainian DocPreview, EWA Circle Award, selected for ATLFF, Krakow FF, Jihlava IDFF, DOK Leipzig, HotDocs, Berlinale, Nordisk Panorama, ESoDoc, were supported by IDFA Bertha Fund, ESFUF, Göteborg Film Fund

Producer’s profile:

Cvinger Film was founded in 2011 by award-winning Slovenian director Rok Biček (Venice Critics ́ Week 2013 & Locarno Critics ́ Week 2017), with the main objective to produce globally relevant author-driven films by new talents from the region, both fiction and documentary story-led films dealing with social issues, with a strong potential for critical and international audience success. Having previous experience as director, producer and editor of feature fiction and documentaries, Rok focuses on the creative aspects of production, financing and outreach. He regularly produces young talented Slovenians living abroad: Olmo Omerzu, Sara Kern and Lun Sevnik.

Cvinger Film productions and co-production were awarded at Venice, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, selected for Berlinale, TIFF, TIFF Kids, IDFA, DokLeipzig, Sarajevo, Palm Springs, True/False, etc.