Petty Thieves comes out on top at When East Meets West
- The debut project by Mate Ugrin has received the Film Center Serbia Development Award at the 12th, hybrid edition of the Italian co-production forum
The 12th edition of the Italian co-production forum When East Meets West (WEMW, 24-28 January) announced its winners during the awards ceremony, which was hosted by Alessandro Gropplero, head of WEMW, and was streamed live from the Savoia Excelsior Palace in Trieste.
The main prize, the Film Center Serbia Development Award, valued at €5,000, was granted to the project Petty Thieves by first-time Croatian filmmaker Mate Ugrin, co-produced by Julia Cöllen, Karsten Krause and Frank Scheuffele for Hamburg-based Fünferfilm, Tiphaine Robion for Bordeaux’s In The Cut and Daria Blažević for Zagreb-based Kadromat, as decided by the international WEMW jury, consisting of Una Domazetoski, Film Center Serbia; Sergio Garcia De Leaniz, Eurimages; and Francesco Giai Via, TorinoFilmLab/Annecy Cinéma Italien. The story follows a young loner who gets by doing seasonal jobs and indulging in petty theft in resorts on the Adriatic coast, until his life is thrown into disarray by Andrea, a mysterious seasonal worker.
The Danish documentary Europhoria, written and directed by Bjarke Underbjerg, and produced by Giulia Triolo (Snowglobe), picked up the Flow Post-production Award, comprising €15,000 in post-production facilities. Also, the DAE Accelerator Award was given to the US- and German-produced documentary project Who I Am Not, directed by Tunde Skovran, and produced by Andrei Zinca (Double 4 Studios) and Patrick Hamm (Bulldog Agenda).
The producers’ awards went to three projects. Polish producer Aneta Zagórska (Film Kraków) received a scholarship to participate in the 2023 EAVE European Producers Workshop for her project Man of Marble, directed by Szymon Kuriatai. Meanwhile, producers Natalia Drozd (Forest Film) from Russia — for the fiction project Short Summer by Nastia Korkia — and Italy’s Massimo Arvat (Zenit Arti Audiovisive) — for Alessandro Bernard’s documentary Unconventional Gardeners — received free accreditations to Cannes’ Marché du Film Producers Network. Nastia Korkia also received the Pop Up Film Residency Award for Short Summer. Finally, Italian filmmaker Mo Scarpelli was crowned with the European Women’s Audiovisual Network WEMW Award, valued at €1,000, for her project A Song that Slays, produced by Alessandro Amato and Luigi Chimienti (Dispàrte).
As for the sidebars of WEMW, in the documentary work-in-progress platform Last Stop Trieste, the jury comprising Lejla Dedić (Al Jazeera Balkans), Martin Horyna (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival) and Bojana Marić (Lightdox) bestowed the HBO Europe Award, a €1,000 cash prize, upon the Romanian project Too Close by writer-director Botond Pusok, produced by Irina Malcea (Luna Film). The Flow Digital Cinema Award was granted to The Body by Slovenian writer-director-producer Petra Seliškar (Petra Pan Film), while Atonal Glow, written, directed and produced by Alexander Koridze (Spark), was the recipient of the First Hand Fund Award, which offers €1,000 and distribution services.
In the This Is IT work-in-progress section, Nicoletta Romeo, the artistic director of the Trieste Film Festival, introduced the awards, and the jury comprising Virginie Devesa (Alpha Violet), Eddie Bertozzi (Locarno International Film Festival) and Andrei Tanasescu (Giornate degli Autori, Vilnius International Film Festival) decided that the winner of the This is IT Laser Film Award would be the Italian-Swedish co-production The Store by Amy-Ro Sköld, while White Road by Ella Manzheeva scooped the newly introduced This is NOW Laser Film Award.
For the fourth year running, the Italian-Baltic Development Award for Co-Production was handed out during WEMW. The €30,000 cash prize was provided by Italy’s DGCA-MIC, the Estonian Film Institute, the Lithuanian Film Centre and the National Film Centre of Latvia, and was split between Alamut by Laibach, directed by Ugis Olte and Sašo Podgoršek (Latvia/Italy/Slovenia), and I Am a Bird Now, directed by Marko Raat (Estonia/Italy).
Last but not least, of note among the CIRCLE prizes that were given out at the event was the Cineuropa Marketing Award, which went to I Want You to Know by Maja Medić (Serbia), staged by the firm Shadow Works.
This hybrid edition of WEMW drew to a close with some unexpected and impressive figures: there were 900 registered participants from over 60 countries, 150 of whom attended on site. In addition, over 700 scheduled individual meetings – both physical and digital – happened with more than 200 decision makers and 40 business angels.
Here is the full list of winners at the 12th WEMW:
WEMW co-production forum awards
Film Center Serbia Development Award
Petty Thieves – Mate Ugrin (Germany/France/Croatia)
Producers: Julia Cöllen, Karsten Krause, Frank Scheuffele (Fünferfilm), Tiphaine Robion (In The Cut), Daria Blažević (Kadromat)
Flow Post-production Award
Europhoria – Bjarke Underbjerg (Denmark)
Producer: Giulia Triolo (Snowglobe)
DAE Accelerator Award in Cooperation with the EFM
Who I Am Not – Tunde Skovran (USA/Germany)
Producers: Andrei Zinca (Double 4 Studios), Patrick Hamm (Bulldog Agenda)
EAVE Producers Workshop Scholarship
Aneta Zagórska (Film Kraków, Poland) – Man of Marble
Marché du Film Producers Network
Natalia Drozd (Forest Film, Russia) – Short Summer
Massimo Arvat (Zenit Arti Audiovisive, Italy) – Unconventional Gardeners
Pop Up Film Residency Award
Short Summer – Nastia Korkia (Russia)
Producer: Natalia Drozd (Forest Film, Russia)
EWA WEMW Award
A Song that Slays – Mo Scarpelli (Italy)
Producer: Alessandro Amato and Luigi Chimient (Dispàrte)
Last Stop Trieste
HBO Europe Award
Too Close – Botond Pusok (Romania)
Producer: Irina Malcea (Luna Film)
Flow Digital Cinema Award
The Body – Petra Seliškar (Slovenia)
Producer: Petra Seliškar (Petra Pan Film)
First Hand Fund Award
Atonal Glow – Alexander Koridze (Georgia)
Producer: Alexander Koridze (Spark)
This Is IT
This Is NOW Laser Film Award
White Road – Ella Manzheeva (Russia/Armenia)
Producers: Elena Glikman (Telesto Film), Victoria Lupik (Anniko Films)
EWA Circle Award
Searching for the Goddess - Lina Lytė Plioplytė (Lithuania)
Producer: Andrėja Čebatavičiūtė (Moonmakers)
Cineuropa Marketing Award
I Want You to Know - Maja Medić (Serbia)
Producers: Dragana Jovović, Maja Medić (Shadow Works)
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Award
Untitled Project - Ayşe Toprak (Germany/Estonia)
Producers: Ekin Çalışır, Julia Cöllen (Purple Pigeon Productions)
Beldocs Surprise Award (Invitation to Beldocs in Progress)
Searching for the Goddess - Lina Lytė Plioplytė
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