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CANNES 2020 Marché du Film

Cannes Docs-in-Progress awards first-time filmmakers

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- CANNES 2020: The winners include Joseph Magnat's Holy Craft, Anna Nemes' Beauty of the Beast, Nicholas Levesque's The Free Ones and Theo Montoya's Anhell69

Cannes Docs-in-Progress awards first-time filmmakers
Beauty of the Beast by Anna Nemes, which won the Impact Award in Cannes Docs-in-Progress

The Docs-in-Progress section of Cannes Docs took place last week with the presentation of 32 projects, split into eight showcases: International Documentary Film Festival of Buenos Aires (FIDBA), Canada, CIRCLE, Italy, New Zealand, ParisDOC – Cinéma du Réel, Philippines and Ukraine.

Four projects from four different showcases, all of them first feature-length documentaries by their directors, received awards, and we profile them below.

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Docs-in-Progress Award (€10,000 cash prize and professional project follow-up, supported by IEFTA)
Holy Craft - Joseph Magnat (Philippines/USA)
(from the Phillipines showcase)

Produced by the prolific Alemberg Ang, of Filipino company vy/ac Productions, the documentary by the Brooklyn- and Manila-based director examines the peculiarities of religion, labour, capital and gender all intersecting at a Catholic figurines factory in the Philippines, where devout LGBTQ workers and outcasts pray to the same items they make. The film is expected to be released in November this year.

Impact Award (in partnership with Nordisk Panorama, providing a two-hour consultation on the film’s impact and outreach strategy)
Beauty of the Beast - Anna Nemes (Hungary)
(from the CIRCLE showcase)

The documentary explores the world of female bodybuilders. Their sexually extreme appearance makes them outcasts, but the filmmaker goes under the tanned skin to look for the reasons lying behind their lifestyle. "We want to explore bodybuilding through empathy and understanding, and at the same time, to provide the viewer with a rare angle from which to observe our society," says Nemes. The film is being produced by Ágnes Horváth-Szabó and András Pires Muhi, of Budapest-based ELF Pictures, and is expected to be ready in early 2021.

Cineli Digital Award Professional (DCP offered by Cineli Digital)
The Free Ones - Nicolas Levesque (Canada)
(from the Canada showcase)

Expected to be ready as soon as this coming September, Levesque's prison documentary focuses on four inmates who are dealing with the end of their sentence in a sawmill. Can a factory job help them to make the necessary transformation and become free men? Through meetings with their instructors, psychotherapists and other participants, they talk about their hopes and fears during this six-month transition period. The film is produced by Levesque and Jean-Philippe Archibald, of Canada's Canopée.

VOSTAO Award (French and English subtitles offered by VOSTAO)
Anhell69 - Theo Montoya (Colombia/Argentina/Romania)
(from the FIDBA showcase)

Some weeks after members of the queer scene in Medellín, Colombia, were cast for a vampire movie, the film’s protagonist – Camilo Najar – dies of a heroin overdose at the age of 21. As the youth in Colombia grapple with suicide and drug overdoses, the film tries to explore this generation’s “nonfuture” mindset. A co-production between Colombia's Desvío Visual, Argentina's 996 Films and Romania's Monogram, it should be ready for release in November 2021.

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