REPORT: When East Meets West 2020
- We profile the winning projects of the co-production forum that was held during the 2020 edition of Trieste’s When East Meets West
The tenth-anniversary edition of When East Meets West (WEMW) has just wrapped. Taking place during the 31st Trieste Film Festival, from 19-21 January, the industry section was once again divided into three main sections: the co-production forum, with 22 fiction and documentary projects in development; Last Stop Trieste, for documentaries at the advanced editing stage; and This Is IT, a work-in-progress section for films produced or co-produced by Italian companies. The event also included First Cut Lab, a programme designed for fiction features in the editing phase, and the First Cut+ showcase, the awards for which were announced earlier (see the news).
Here, Cineuropa profiles the seven winning projects of the WEMW co-production forum. For the competitive sidebars, you can also read the news about the winners.
Film Centre Serbia Development Award
Women Do Cry – Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova (Bulgaria)
The sophomore feature-length fiction film by Bulgarian directorial duo Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, whose debut fiction, Cat in the Wall [+see also:
interview: Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
film profile], premiered at Locarno last year, is based on a true story and follows three sisters and three nieces who form an all-female family ensemble that centres on their father. The daughters, who are being supported financially by their dad, witnessed his aggression towards their late mother, and they pressure him emotionally while at the same time trying to oppose the notions of “mother” and “woman” in a society where “gender” is an unknown word. The film is written by the directors and is being produced by their Sofia-based company, Activist38.
Flow Postproduction Award
Strandzha – Pepa Hristova (Germany/Bulgaria)
The debut documentary by Bulgarian-born German resident and renowned photographer Pepa Hristova is set in the Strandzha mountains, the natural border between Bulgaria and Turkey. In that sparsely populated land and in one of the last primeval European forests is a crossroads between ancient rituals, nationalism, migration and anarchy, as the bleak past blends with modern-day threats in a terra incognita for the West. Written by Hristova, the documentary is being co-produced by Julia Cöllen for Hamburg-based Fünferfilm and Martichka Bozhilova for Bulgaria’s Agitprop.
EAVE Producers Workshop Scholarship
Ion Gnatiuc, of Niste Filme (Moldova)
Project: Electing Miss Santa - Raisa Razmerita
Electing Miss Santa is the debut feature-length documentary by Moldovan director Raisa Razmerita. Written by her and producer Ion Gnatiuc, the film follows a 42-year-old woman from a small Moldovan village who decides, against her family’s wishes, to run for mayor in a country where presidential elections are generally won thanks to misogynistic discourse.
Marché du Film Producers Network
Ivan Đurović, of Artikulacija Film (Montenegro)
Project: Valley of Monuments - Srđan Vuletić
Bosnian director Srđan Vuletić’s (It's Hard to Be Nice) third feature, Valley of Monuments, is a coming-of-age story about a young girl, Hana, who believes that she is having the best day of her life, as the boy she’s secretly in love with, YouTube star Mario, invites her on an excursion to shoot a video. However, that day, Hana’s father dies. Written and co-produced by the director, the film is being produced by Ivan Đurović, Marija Vlahović and Nikolina Vucetic Zecevic for Artikulacija Film, ABA Film, Refresh Production and Biberche Production.
Isabella Karhu, of Danish Bear Productions (Finland)
Project: The Last Misfits by the Golden River - Juho-Pekka Tanskanen
The sophomore feature-length creative documentary by Finnish director Juho-Pekka Tanskanen (Waiting for Barcelona [+see also:
film profile]) is set in the wilderness of Northern Lapland and follows the twilight years of the misfit gold miners living there. With nothing but an old television set as their only messenger bringing news of the outside world, the protagonists try to make the most of the last vestiges of their peculiar way of life.
EWA European Women’s Audiovisual Network Award
Irene’s World – Mery Aghakhanyan (Armenia)
The feature-length fiction debut by Armenian director Mery Aghakhanyan, who is currently shooting her debut documentary, Inhabitants, is set in a small village where 15-year-old Irene discovers that her belly is growing larger, and she’s unaware of the cause. When the villagers decide to marry her off against her will, Irene disappears without a trace; soon after, though, women and men suddenly start getting pregnant. Written by Aghakhanyan, the film is being produced by Victoria Aleksanyan for Yerevan-based Hoshkee Film.
Pop Up Film Residency Award
Ordinary Failures – Cristina Groșan (Czech Republic)
Hungarian-Romanian filmmaker and visual artist Cristina Groșan is currently in post-production with her debut feature, Things Worth Weeping For, and Ordinary Failures is her sophomore project. When a series of mysterious explosions happens around a big city, the lives of three women, unknown to each other and from different generations, intersect and are transformed irreversibly. Written by Klára Vlasáková, the film is being produced by Marek Novák for the Czech Republic’s Xova Film.
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