The winners of KVIFF Eastern Promises
Works in Progress, Eurimages Lab Project, Docs in Progress and Works in Development – Feature Launch + Nespresso Talents
KVIFF Eastern Promises, the festival's Industry section, has the exciting mission of being a bridge between talented filmmakers from the East and their potential Western partners, festivals and audiences. This year, a total of 33 projects were screened on the 4 platforms dedicated to feature films, documentaries and new cinematographic forms in development. The juries announced the winners at the ceremony that closed the festival's industry program in Little Versailles in Karlovy Vary tonight. The winners of the Czech round of Nespresso Talents were announced as well.
Works in Progress Award
Khalil Benkirane, Producer, Head of Grants Programme, Doha Film Institute, Qatar
Aija Berzina, Producer, Tasse Film, Latvia
Virginie Devesa, CEO and Sales, Alpha Violet, France
In this years' Works in Progress, nine projects from countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and North Africa were presented. The jury chose the film PIGEON’S MILK by director EUGEN MARIAN as the winning project. A prize in the value of 100,000 Euro will be given to the project. The 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.
“Our choice went for a film in which we felt the director created a unique realm filled with a prophetic dimension. With strong cinematic language, this first-time filmmaker offers a visual and harmonious world through a story with resonance, announcing a unique voice from a country we do not see much cinema from.”
Docs in Progress Award
Pierre-Alexis Chevit, Doc Corner & Doc Day industry program, Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes, France
Lejla Dedić, Program Producer, Al Jazeera Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina Patricia Drati, Creative producer and Film Development Consultant, Denmark
This year saw a strong selection of 8 documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, North Africa, and the Middle East. The Docs in Progress prize went to the winning project THE SILHOUETTES by Afsaneh Salari, Jewel Maranan and Giles Gardner, along with a cash prize in the amount of 5,000 Euro.
The selection was extremely tight and it took us two hours to decide, as we went through each project thoroughly. The highly current subject of migration is one that we all are familiar with - we discover new angles and uniqueness, while breaking away from an imposed destiny, facing the past in order to continue to the present and on to the future. The ability to talk about your own nation despite the fact that you are making the film in a different country. The director has a clear vision, style and sensibility. She is capable and willing to invite us to a world that we can all understand and feel.
Works in Development - Feature Launch Award
Hugo Rosák, Head of Industry Office, KVIFF, Czech Republic
Danijel Hocevar, producer, Head of Studies MIDPOINT Feature Launch, Slovenia
Katriel Schory, producer, MIDPOINT Feature Launch Expert, Israel
On this award, KVIFF has partnered with the Midpoint script and project development program as well as When East Meets West co-production market and Trieste Film Festival. Together they showcased eight projects from Central and Eastern Europe that have gone through development within the Feature Launch 2019 program. The jury decided to award the 10,000 Euro cash prize for further development to Hungarian project SOME BIRDS by director Daniel Hever, writer Zsanett Kertesz and producer Laszlo Dreissiger.
“For a story about two characters that are trying to find a place in the world creating a special bond which transcends generations.”
Eurimages Lab Project Award
Majlinda Tafa, Albanian National Center of Cinematography, Representative at Eurimages, Albania
Tereza Nvotová, Film Director, Slovakia / Czech Republic
Frank Peijnenburg, Head of Screen NL Netherlands Film Fund, Netherlands
From the 8 projects screened this year at the Eurimages Lab Project, the prize in the value of 50,000 Euro went to the winning project BOTTLED SONGS by directors Kevin B. Lee and Chloé Galibert-Laîné. KVIFF is the first of four international film festivals of the festival season to be awarding the Eurimages prize - a prize dedicated to films that surpass traditional film frameworks and language and are based on international cooperation.
“A courageous desktop documentary raising questions of privacy and identity by exploring online propaganda of the Islamic State.”
Nespresso Talents CZ
Darina Křivánková, Journalist, Reflex, Czech Republic
Michaela Pavlátová, Animation Department, FAMU, Czech Republic
Karel Kovář alias Kovy, YouTuber, Czech Republic
The topic of this year's Nespresso Talents - a competition for vertically shot movies by young talents – was “We Are What We Eat”. The jury awarded the prize of 3,000 Euro to Nina Ovsová and Adela Križovenská, the creative duo behind the animated story called “Tell Me Your Flavour”. Second place went to another animated film “Hunger” by Jáchym Bouzek, and also to David Bukva for “We Are What We Eat”.
Karel Kovář: “It was pretty tough to choose only 3 finalists from such a diverse group, and the competition managed to attract very original submissions playing with the vertical format.”
Michaela Pavlátová: “The awarded films seduced us not only by their high formal level, but mainly their humor, playfulness and originality used to describe the topic of food. Personally, I was pleased by the proportion and quality of the animated submissions.
More information on the awarded projects:
Pigeon's Milk (Moloko Ptitsy)
Countries: Russia, Moldova
Directed by: Eugen Maryan
Scriptwriter: Eugen Maryan
Producer: Roman Borisevich, Alexander Kushaev, Anna Shalashina
Camera: Nikolay Zheludovich
Runtime: 80 min
Shortly before Easter, in search of a better life, ANDRIAN (16) is planning to escape to Europe with his gypsy friend. He has five days to prepare. The teenage boy has a tough time pondering over the future separation with his MOTHER (36) and his new classmate ANNA (16). Anna makes no secret of the fact that she likes a local thug SERJIU (22), whom Andrian works for. Andrian suspects that his mother is having an affair with Serjiu’s father. He decides to seek revenge against the people who have taken away the two women he loves. He secretly kills their dog, then botches Serjiu’s important deal and becomes closer to Anna. His revenge, however, doesn't quite go as planned and his escape runs the risk of failing.
The Silhouettes (Saayeha)
Countries: Iran, Philippines
Directed by: Afsaneh Salari
Scriptwriter: Afsaneh Salari, Jewel Maranan, Giles Gardner
Producer: Afsaneh Salari, Jewel Maranan
Camera: Afsaneh Salari Music: Shida Shahabi
Release date: 01/12/2019
Taghi, an engineering student in Iran is finishing his studies. At first glance, he’s a young man with a promising future ahead of him. However, he carries the burden of a history that is older than him. When the USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1982, Taghi’s parents fled to Iran together with 1.5 million Afghans.
Taghi’s parents feel he is lucky not to have experienced war. For Taghi, however, safety is no trade-off for freedom and a bright future, as Afghans in Iran are only allowed manual-labour jobs. Taghi crafts a plan to go and pursue his dream in Afghanistan — the motherland he never knew — while facing strong opposition from his parents. As wars continue in Afghanistan, what future awaits him and in which land?
Some Birds (Valami Madarak)
Directed by: Dániel Hevér
Producer: László Dreissiger
Release date: 2021
Aging, lonesome Béla (78) is moved to a nursing home against his will by his estranged son, where he must spend his days with an impulsive teenage girl Zoé (17), who is sentenced to do social work at the home. They both struggle with their families: Béla wants to prove to his son that he is capable of living independently. Zoé’s fear of becoming like her promiscuous and deeply unhappy mother is so strong that she keeps rejecting the boy she likes. When Béla decides to get out of the home, Zoé embarks on a journey with him through the bureaucracy of the Hungarian health care system to prove that he is selfsufficient. The time they share and the experiences they encounter turns them into allies, enabling them to confide in each other. Although Béla fails to achieve his goal, the trust and warmth they gain from this friendship enables them both to accept reality and find the strength to face their fears.
Bottled Songs (Bottled Songs)
Countries: Germany, France, USA, Finland
Directed by: Kevin B. Lee, Chloé Galibert-Laîné
Scriptwriter: Kevin B Lee, Chloé Galibert-Laîné
Producer: Kevin B Lee, Chloé Galibert-Laîné
Camera: Kevin B Lee, Chloé Galibert-Laîné
Release date: 01/06/2020
Runtime: 100 min
Film synopsis Bottled Songs is a desktop documentary exploring the online propaganda of the Islamic State. Through intimate video letters shared directly from their screens, researchers Chloé and Kevin reveal how their initial viewings have left them bewildered about the role of mainstream media in producing everyday states of terror. Further investigation leads them to develop creative methods of coping with extremist media while exploring the complex dynamics of filmmaking, gender and power behind their production and circulation. Through an encounter with a professional research group, they find more methods to withstand the psychic violence of contemporary media and possibilities to produce images to counter the persistent spread of online terrorism.