The winners of the KVIFF Eastern Promises

Works in Progress, Eurimages Lab Project, Docs in Progress

Works in Progress Award


  • Matthijs Wouter Knol, Director of European Film Market - Berlinale
  • Rossitsa Valkanova, Director and Producer, Bulgaria
  • Rickard Olsson, Picture Tree International, Sweden

Works in Progress Award

On Works in Progress, eleven projects were presented from countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, and now also the Middle East. The jury chose ALL THIS VICTORY by director Ahmad Ghossein as the winning project. A prize in the value of 100,000 Euro will be given to the project. The whole award consists of post-production services in UPP (60 000 Euro), Soundsquare (30 000 Euro), and a cash prize of 10,000 Euro from Barrandov Studio.

Jury statements:

Matthijs Wouter Knol: The “Eastern Promises” Work in Progress Award 2018 goes to ALL THAT VICTORY by director Ahmad Ghossein, produced by Myriam Sassine, Abbout Productions, Lebanon.

Rossitsa Valkanova: After a long and thorough deliberation, one project stood out in its creative approach to a complex idea and a highly relevant topic. The director and producer of this project presented it with precision and deep personal involvement, convincing us of their ability to build a multi-layered film world within a limited space, using minimalistic yet cinematic methods of storytelling. We expect this film to impress and resonate with audiences, as it manages to rise above the particularities of a military conflict, implying questions of existential importance with a bitter smile.

Rickard Olsson: The 11 “Eastern Promises” of this year’s Works in Progress filled us with great expectations and made the Jury decision extremely difficult. In our hearts, we give 10 Special Mentions, as the generous award could only go to one of the projects.

Eurimages Lab Project Award


  • David Kořínek, Director, Co-founder of Supermedia Studio at the Czech Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design
  • Dorien van de Pas, Netherlands Film Fund
  • Christoph Terhechte, Artistic Director of Marrakesh International Film Festival

The Eurimages Lab Project prize went to the winning project NORMAL by director Adele Tulli. KVIFF is the first of four international film festivals in Europe to be awarding the Eurimage prize. KVIFF has selected projects for the Eurimage prize that surpass traditional film methods and are based on international cooperation. The prize was awarded in the value of 50,000 Euro.

Jury statement

The jury thinks this was the most convincing pitch and the images correspond perfectly with the introduction. All three clips were very strong and together they are part of a visual journey through gender norms in contemporary Italy.

Docs in Progress Award


  • Tanja Georgieva, CEO and Producer at Elemag Pictures
  • Noemi Schory, Independent Producer and Director, founder of the Documentary Filmmakers Forum, Israel
  • Shane Smith, Director of Programming at HotDocs, Canada

The Docs in Progress prize went to the winning project THE PROJECTIONIST. For this section, projects are chosen from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, and the Middle East. The winning film received a cash prize in the amount of 5,000 Euro.

A Special Mention was awarded to the Polish project Little Poland.

Jury statement

First of all, we saw very different and interesting projects and our judgement is based only on the presentation and what we saw today. We would first like to acknowledge the project “Little Poland” with a Special Mention for its humor and humanity.

The 5,000 Euro cash award goes to a documentary that takes us on a journey with a very special and charismatic protagonist. This film reminds us of what stands at the heart of documentary filmmaking – people. “The Projectionist”.

More information:


90 min, Lebanon, France, Germany

Directed by: Ahmad Ghossein
Scriptwriter: Ahmad Ghossein, Abla Khoury, Syllas Tzoumerkas
Producer: Georges Schoucair, Myriam Sassine, Marie-Pierre Macia, Claire Gadéa, Fabian Massah
Camera: Shadi Chaaban
Music: Charbel Haber
Cast: Karam Ghossein, Adel Chahine, Boutros Rouhana, Issam Bou Khaled, Sahar Minkara Karame, Flavia Juska Bechara, Eli El Choufani, Charles Hbailiny
Language: Arabic
Website: www.abboutproductions.com/filmInternalAbbout?id=4022
Genre: fiction
Release date: 07/03/2019


Lebanon, July 2006. War is raging between Hezbollah and Israel. During a 24-hour ceasefire, Marwan heads out in search of his father, who has refused to leave his Southern village, leaving his wife Rana alone to prepare their immigration to Canada. Marwan finds no traces of his father and the ceasefire is quickly broken, forcing him to take shelter in the house of Najib, his father’s friend. Marwan finds himself trapped under a hail of bombs with Najib and a group of elders, who are friends of his father. Tension rises inside and outside of the house. Suddenly, a group of Israeli soldiers enter the first floor. The next three days sees the situation spiral out of control.


70 min, Italy, Sweden
Directed by: Adele Tulli
Scriptwriter: Adele Tulli
Producer: Valeria Adilardi, Laura Romano, Luca Ricciardi
Camera: Clarissa Cappellani, Francesca Zonars
Music: Andrea Koch
Language: Italian
Genre: creative documentary
Release date: 01/10/2018

What’s missing: final editing, sound post-production, color grading, international promotion, production financing gap


An unsettling visual journey through gender norms in contemporary Italy. Blending realist and experimental aesthetics, Normal sketches a disorienting portrait of the accepted ideas of normality. A kaleidoscopic mosaic of everyday-life scenes observes the ritualized performance of femininity and masculinity in ordinary interactions, from birth to adulthood, interpreting gender as a corporeal and performative practice, a social ceremony, a collective mise-en-scène affecting our gestures, desires, behaviours, and aspirations. With an innovative and visionary film language, Normal meditates on the everyday constraints of gendered reality, producing a poignant reflection on a current and crucial matter.


70 min, Ukraine, Germany, Poland

Directed by: Yuriy Shylov
Scriptwriter: Yuriy Shylov
Producer: Gennady Kofman, Olha Beskhmelnytsina, Dirk Simon
Camera: Yuriy Shylov, Serafim Kusakin, Illya Ehorov
Language: Ukrainian, Russian
Website: www.magikafilm.com.ua
Genre: dramedy, documentary
Release date: 02/11/2018

What’s missing: sales agent, distributors, broadcasters, festivals


Valentin is an eccentric projectionist. For 44 years, he’s been working in one of the oldest movie theatres in Kiev’s city centre. In his projection booth, he drinks with war veterans, dances with the show girls from next door or cuts his friend’s hair. Every day at work seems like another adventure. The turmoil on Maidan Square and the war remain behind the scenes, while the life on screen creates an alternative reality. It all comes to an abrupt end when a fire breaks out in the cinema and Valentin is forced to retire. He looks after his dying mother, rushing to help her the moment she calls. With an average life expectancy for men in Ukraine of 64 years, Valentin is aware that he does not have much time left. Still, he fights desperately to find a new meaning in life in a rapidly changing country.