Thessaloniki’s Agora announces its award winners
by Vassilis Economou
- Vardan Tozija and Marta Ribeiro have snagged the main prizes from Thessaloniki’s industry platform, in Crossroads and Works in Progress, respectively
Wrapping up its latest edition, which ran in parallel with the 59th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (3-10 November), Agora, the TIFF’s industry section, has announced its winners. The awards ceremony was held on 9 November and was presented by Agora’s ambassador, Greek songwriter Foivos Delivorias, in the presence of Yianna Sarri, head of the Agora. The ambassador initiative was one of the many that Agora introduced this year, including a special concert and a meet-up dinner with a master chef, along with other events that enhanced its profile as an industry event that encourages networking among professionals.
Starting with the 14th Crossroads Co-Production Forum, M (working title), a coming-of-age fantasy-drama set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world in the near future, directed by Macedonian Vardan Tozija (Amok), received the Co-Production Award from Greek post-production company 2|35, for “a certain visual ambition carried by a director who seems to us to embody what a director is: a storyteller but also a technician”. It is being co-produced by Darko Popov (Focus Pocus), who also received a free accreditation for the Producers Network session at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, together with Miroslav Mogorović (Art & Popcorn).
The CNC Award, worth €8,000 for script development, went to the Greek project Vortex by debutant Chrysanthos Margonis. The story follows Pavlos, who is stuck in a rut in his daily routine. When he meets Kelly, he decides to abandon his life and follow her on an unexpected journey to Crete. The movie has “a very cinematic form, both modern and referenced, contemporary, universal, mixing the drama with a certain form of humour”, and is being produced by Eleni Kossyfidou (Blackbird Production).
Debutant Sofia Georgovassili received a Special Mention for her project Mignon. Set in the late 1990s, the story follows two teenage girls, who end up as captives when they are caught shoplifting in the titular famous and now defunct Athenian department store. “Mixing elements of both genre film and social drama”, the movie is being co-produced by Vasilis Chrysanthopoulos (Plays2place) together with Irina Andreea Malcea (Luna Film).
The ARTE Kino International Prize was bestowed upon The Land Within Me by Kosovar director Fisnik Maxhuni, who “develops a story around war and family secrets linked to his origins and personal life”. It is being produced by Britta Rindelaub, of Alva Film Production.
The well-travelled and already awarded feature-debut project Everything in its Right Place by Turkish director Berrak Çolak received a full scholarship for the next MFI Script 2 Film Workshops. It is being co-produced by Engin Palabıyık for Harikulade Film and Müge Özen for Solis Film; the latter was also presented with a new award, the Thessaloniki EAVE Marketing Workshop Scholarship.
Finally, French consultancy firm Initiative Film will offer its services to Nancy Biniadaki’s project Maysoon, and Greece’s Heretic Asterisk will do likewise to The Nightsiren by Tereza Nvotová (Filthy [+see also:
interview: Tereza Nvotová
In Agora Works in Progress, the prestigious Eurimages Lab Project Award, worth €50,000, was handed out for the third year running. The prize went to the magical-realistic drama Undergrown by debutant Portuguese director Marta Ribeiro, which is being produced by Joana Peralta (Videolotion). The justification was: “This film surprised us with its talent, passion and humanity, and its effort to change our perception of time and space, creating a unique and visionary style.”
The Graal Award, for image post-production, went to Freedom Landscapes, the sophomore creative documentary by Marta Popivoda, which follows the life story of Sonia Vujanović, the first Partisan woman in Serbia, who was also one of the leaders of the resistance movement at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is being co-produced by Dragana Jovović (Theory at Work) together with the director.
The MuSou Award, for sound post-production, was granted to Oroslan, a film that blends fiction and documentary, directed by Slovenia’s Matjaž Ivanišin (Playing Men [+see also:
film profile]), for “its intense storytelling and innovative approach to the dialectic between fiction and documentary”. It is being produced by Miha Černec (Staragara) together with Jordi Niubó (i/o post).
Here is the complete list of prizewinners:
Crossroads Co-Production Forum Awards
2|35 Co-Production Award
M (Working Title) - Vardan Tozija (Macedonia/Serbia)
Producers: Darko Popov - Focus Pocus Films; Miroslav Mogorović - Art & Popcorn
CNC Development Award
Vortex - Chrysanthos Margonis (Greece)
Producer: Eleni Kossyfidou - Blackbird Production
ARTE Kino International Prize
The Land Within Me - Fisnik Maxhuni (Switzerland/Kosovo)
Producer: Britta Rindelaub - Alva Film Production
MFI Script 2 Film Workshops
Everything in its Right Place - Berrak Çolak (Turkey)
Producers: Engin Palabıyık - Harikulade Film; Müge Özen - Solis Film
Initiative Film Award
Maysoon - Nancy Biniadaki (Germany)
Producer: Christopher Zitterbart - Watchmen Productions
Heretic Asterisk Award
The Nightsiren - Tereza Nvotová (Slovakia/Czech Republic)
Producers: Peter Badač – BFILM; Moloko Films
Thessaloniki EAVE Marketing Workshop Scholarship
Müge Özen - Solis Film (Turkey)
Agora Works in Progress Awards
Eurimages Lab Project Award
Undergrown - Marta Ribeiro (Portugal)
Producer: Joana Peralta - Videolotion
Graal Post-Production Award
Freedom Landscapes - Marta Popivoda (Serbia/Germany)
Producers: Dragana Jovović - Theory at Work; Marta Popivoda
Oroslan - Matjaž Ivanišin (Slovenia/Czech Republic)
Producers: Miha Černec - Staragara; Jordi Niubó - i/o post
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