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CINEMED 2021 Cinemed Meetings

It's a Sad and Beautiful World wins at the Cinemed Meetings


- Cyril Aris' first feature film project wins the Main Development Grant of the Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival

It's a Sad and Beautiful World wins at the Cinemed Meetings
The jury and the winners of the 2021 Cinemed Meetings

At the end of two days of pitching, the jury of the 31st edition of the Development Assistance Grant awarded in the framework of the Cinemed Meetings of the 43rd Festival du Cinéma Méditerranéen de Montpellier awarded the main prize to It's a Sad and Beautiful World by Cyril Aris from Lebanon. Noted for his short films (notably The President's Visit) and the documentary The Swing (in competition at Karlovy Vary in 2018), the filmmaker who is also an editor (of, among others and most recently, Costa Brava, Lebanon [+see also:
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) has written a first feature-length screenplay centred on the unlikely love story between Nino, a warm-hearted idealist, and Soraya, a bruised cynic, who is tested by the tumultuous history of Lebanon over the past 40 years, and in which an impending cosmic event turns the course of history upside down. The production is directed by Georges Schoucair for Abbout Productions, with co-producers Cinenovo of France and Reynard Films of Germany.

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Awarded by a jury composed of Georges Goldenstern (director of the Cannes Film Festival's Cinéfondation), producer Gabrielle Dumon (Le Bureau), Catherine Bizern (Céci Moulin d'Andé) and Swiss consultant Michel Merkt, this 8,000€ development grant is provided by the CNC. In addition, TitraFilms will provide 2,500€ in sound post-production services.

The second grant, 4,000€ from the Occitanie region (plus 5,000€ in post-production services from French Kiss Studio and Saraband) went to another first feature project: Birth Right by Israeli director Inbar Horesh.

The director has concocted a plot where what was supposed to be a heritage trip to Israel connecting diaspora Jews to their roots turns into a journey of sexual maturing and search of identity that exceeds the borders of nationalism and faith. Production is by Alona Refua for Green Productions.

Finally, a writing residency offered by the Moulin d'Andé distinguished The Dream Betrayed Me, the first feature project by Syrian director Mohammad Shaikhow. Produced by Camille Laemlé for the Parisian company Les Films d'Ici, the film will feature Mesto, a young Kurd. Promised a future as a talented footballer, he becomes the symbol of the oppressed Kurdish people and their political struggle, scoring a goal for the opposition in a final match in a nationalist and tyrannical Syria.

For its part, the jury of the 7th edition of the "Du court au long" scheme (open to filmmakers showcased in Montpellier in the short film competition and who wish to propose a feature film project) awarded a writing residency offered by Méditalents to Heparin Killer by Turkish director Serhat Karaaslan. The plot? Nuray, 40 years old, divorced, lives in a suburb of Istanbul with her only son Emre, 12. A hospital nurse, she dreams of a new youth through plastic surgery. But the operations are accelerating and the debts are piling up. A mobster offers her a large sum of money if she poisons a paralysed patient by increasing the dose of heparin in his treatment. Nuray accepts and the situation escalates. How far and until when? A special Meditalents mention goes to the project Aisha Can't Fly Away Anymore by Egyptian Morad Mostafa (produced by Sawsan Yusuf).

Finally, a residency at the Moulin d'Andé was won by Northern Macedonian Marija Apcevska's Spring Cleaning (produced by Robert Naskov) for a story centred on Suzana, a woman who has lost the ability to feel sad and who returns to her small hometown because her mother has committed suicide. But it seems that the mother has also returned from the afterlife to teach her a few lessons...

The full list of winners:

Development Grant

Main Grant
It's a Sad and Beautiful World
 - Cyril Aris (Lebanon/France/Germany)

Second grant
Birth Right - Inbar Horesh (Israel)

Residency at the Centre des écritures cinématographiques du Moulin d'Andé
The Dream Betrayed Me - Mohammad Shaikhow (France)

"Du court au long" scheme

Méditalents writing residency
Heparin Killer  - Serhat Karaaslan (Turkey)

Special mention
Aisha Can't Fly Away Anymore - Morad Mostafa (Egypt)

Residency at the Centre des écritures cinématographiques du Moulin d'Andé 
Spring Cleaning - Marija Apcevska (Northern Macedonia)

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(Translated from French by Manuela Lazic)

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