My Best Friend’s Baby wins the MIDPOINT Feature Launch Award
- The project by Sophie Vuković has received the €10,000 prize, while Dolphin by Sonja Orlewicz-Zakrzewska snagged the other two gongs handed out by the training and networking platform
The MIDPOINT Feature Launch programme has wrapped this year’s edition during the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s industry section, Eastern Promises, as it does every year. A total of nine projects from Central and Eastern Europe were showcased this time around (see the news), and three script-consultant trainees came along, too, having met industry professionals on 3 July during Works in Development – Feature Launch, a project showcase and networking event organised in partnership with Karlovy Vary.
The main KVIFF & MIDPOINT Development Award was bestowed upon the Swedish project My Best Friend’s Baby, the debut fiction feature directed and written by Sophie Vuković, and produced by Eliza Jones for Stockholm-based Grand Slam Film. The prize is worth €10,000, and the members of the jury – Ukrainian producer Julia Sinkevych (JS Films, Ukrainian Film Academy), Slovenian producer Danijel Hocevar (Vertigo) and Paul Ridd, head of Acquisitions for Picturehouse Entertainment – stated: “Although the level of the projects in development was pretty high this year, the jury was, in the end, convinced by the clear vision of one of the creative teams. Their take on queer parenthood and culture clashes is specific yet universal, and last but not least, it's fun!”
This joint financial award from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and MIDPOINT aims to support emerging talents mainly from Central and Eastern Europe and to help further develop their feature-film project.
The connecting cottbus Award, which invites the winner to a pitching session at the German co-production market in November, went to the Polish project Dolphin, written and directed by debutant Sonja Orlewicz-Zakrzewska, and produced by Magdalena Sztorc for Before My Eyes. Marjorie Bendeck and Katharina Stumm, from connecting cottbus, commented: “We have chosen a project that talks about the struggle for personal happiness and self-fulfilment in a unique and quirky way – a struggle that is best faced with a little help from an aquatic friend.”
Dolphin did not make do with just one award, however, as its producer, Magdalena Sztorc, will attend the Rotterdam Lab professional training programme for producers, which will run next year during International Film Festival Rotterdam. The jury underlined: “The MIDPOINT projects represent a very inspiring new generation of filmmakers, writers and producers. Magdalena Sztorc demonstrated a collaborative spirit, thinking beyond borders. She stood out as a true creative producer who can support the artistic vision behind the project in a unique way.”
Attendees were also reminded that all of the participating producers are invited to the next edition of Trieste’s When East Meets West in order to have a chance to widen their networks even further, and seek financial and artistic partners during the Feature Launch Spotlight.
Here is the list of the MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2022 winners:
KVIFF & MIDPOINT Development Award
My Best Friend’s Baby (Sweden)
Writer/director: Sophie Vuković
Producer: Eliza Jones
connecting cottbus Award
Writer/director: Sonja Orlewicz-Zakrzewska
Producer: Magdalena Sztorc
Rotterdam Lab Award
Magdalena Sztorc – Dolphin
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