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VENICE 2020 Venice Production Bridge

Final Cut in Venice hands out the awards of its eighth edition


- VENICE 2020: The initiative is intended to back films in post-production from Africa and the Arab countries; two of the winning titles are being co-produced with France and Belgium

Final Cut in Venice hands out the awards of its eighth edition
The Sea Ahead director Ely Dagher accepting his award by video link (© La Biennale di Venezia/foto ASAC/Matteo Losurdo)

Final Cut in Venice has announced the winners of its eighth edition. The initiative is intended to support films in post-production from Africa and the Arab countries (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria). Two of these titles are also being co-produced with France and Belgium.

The Award for Best Film in Post-production (a cash prize of €5,000, granted by La Biennale di Venezia) went to Ely Dagher's The Sea Ahead [+see also:
film review
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, staged by French, Lebanese, Belgian, Qatari and US firms, and produced by Arnaud Dommerc. The jury, comprising Marie-Pierre Macia (MPM Film), Antonio Medici (BIM Distribuzione) and Michel Zana (Sophie Dulac Distribution), decided to single out Dagher's project “for the strength of his cinematic proposal and for his original look at the existential questions of the new generation in his country today”, and they recognised the director “as an emerging talent. [...] Considering that the film is still at the editing stage, the jury hopes the director will find the right and necessary length,” they added.

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Meanwhile, the “jury of the supporters” decided to back The Sea Ahead and two other projects – namely, Salah Issaad's Soula (an Algerian-French co-production) and Zeina Daccache's The Blue Inmates (a Lebanese production).

Soula will receive €15,000 for colour correction from Laser Film; up to €15,000 for sound mixing from Mactari Mixing Auditorium; up to $10,000 for marketing, publicity and distribution in the Arab world from MAD Solutions; up to €10,000 for colour-grading, the production of a DCP master as well as iTunes, Google or Netflix files, and French or English subtitles from Titra Film; the acquisition of the non-commercial and non-exclusive broadcasting rights for seven years with a value of €4,000-€6,000 from the Cinémathèque Afrique of the Institut Français; €2,500 each from the Amiens International Film Festival and the Fribourg International Film Festival for the production costs of a DCP; and a €2,500 promotional bursary offered by Eye on Films.

Moreover, The Blue Inmates was offered $5,000 from El Gouna Film Festival and €5,000 from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.

Finally, The Sea Ahead was offered up to €7,500 for the production of the DCP master and Italian or English subtitles by Sub-Ti Ltd, and up to €7,500 for making the content of the film accessible to audiences with sensory disabilities, along with €5,000 for the purchase of two-year broadcasting rights from Rai Cinema.

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