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CYPRUS FILM DAYS 2020 Dot.on.the.map Industry Days / Premi

The Three of Us vince il premio principale ai primi Dot.on.the.map Industry Days

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- Il progetto albanese diretto da Suela Bako è stato considerato il migliore dei sei partecipanti all'evento, che si è tenuto interamente online. Premiato anche il progetto croato Four Days at the Sea

The Three of Us vince il premio principale ai primi Dot.on.the.map Industry Days
Uno screenshot della sessione di pitch di Dot.on.the.map Industry Days

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At its first edition, the Dot.on.the.map Industry Days co-production and networking platform succeeded in eliminating physical borders and uniting industry professionals across the Mediterranean and Europe. The platform, which was forced to run digitally from 9-11 April, owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is organised by the Cyprus Film Days International Film Festival, the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth and the Rialto Theatre.

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At the pitching session, which was attended by more than 40 professionals from 17 countries, the six projects (see the news) were presented by their producers and directors, and the jury, comprising French producer Guillaume De Seille, Moroccan producer Lamia Chraibi and connecting cottbus co-production market representative Martina Bleis, decided to grant the Best Project Award to Albanian director Suela Bako’s debut project, The Three of Us, as the jury members were “convinced of the dedication of the artistic team, their urge to tell a contemporary woman’s story in a matter-of-fact, yet humorous, way, and the solid basis for a necessary European co-production”. The film is being produced by Sabina Kodra for Tirana-based company Erafilm, and the award consists of colour correction and DCP mastering services worth €11,000 by Full Moon Productions and a cash prize of €1,000, offered to the director by the Directors Guild of Cyprus.

The story revolves around 35-year-old Soni, a jobless woman who is living with her teenage daughter and her retired mother-in-law, Leta, in Tirana. One day, she gets a phone call out of the blue and learns that her uncle, who brought her up, has passed away. As she tries to pay her last respects to him, she discovers that she owes his family members the funeral money, which Leta had borrowed. Soni has to find a way to get the cash within a day.

The Agora Networking Award, offered by the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and including accommodation and free market accreditation, went to producer Tena Gojić, of Croatia’s Dinaridi Film, for Ivana Škrabalo’s debut feature, Four Days at the Sea. The jury was “touched by this approach that uses the setting and plot in a personal way to draw the delicate portrait of a generation”. Set on a remote Adriatic island, the story follows Maša and her boyfriend, Boris, both in their thirties, who spend a few days of their holiday at the house of Maša’s childhood friend, Jagoda, who lives there with her new boyfriend, Žare. But things will soon start to become more complicated.

Regarding the organisation of the first Dot.on.the.map Industry Days, its head, Cypriot filmmaker Danae Stylianou, stated: “Dot.on.the.map aims to build bridges between ideas, stories and people through the powerful medium of film, while giving voice to Mediterranean filmmakers and providing a platform for them to promote their vision. For this reason, we had selected expert professionals from the field of co-production and sales, and we were truly excited to be hosting them on Cyprus. The events of the pandemic led us to make the decision to move the event online. Without a moment's hesitation, and knowing that all must not be lost, we started building the online event in less than a month. More than 40 professionals from 17 countries connected at the same time for the online pitching session. The act of eliminating the borders that this virus has forced us to be constrained by created a feeling of hope – not only for us as the organisers, but also for all of the professionals who are stuck at home, with all their filmmaking plans on hold. It was a smooth and uninterrupted online process, and it would be sad to have to replace real human contact and connections with this in the future, as well as social and professional relationships, but it is certain that this current situation is a turning point in terms of how we develop projects, how we hold industry events and how we make films.”

Furthermore, Tonia Mishiali, one of the artistic directors of the Cyprus Film Days IFF, added: “I remember that back in 2017, when Cineuropa first interviewed me (see the interview), I talked about exploring the possibility of initiating a mini-film market, which, in conjunction with a more systematic series of co-production workshops, could gradually make the festival a central meeting point for Europe, Asia and Africa, the three continents that surround the island. Three years later, we have accomplished this goal. I am happy that after much hard work, devotion and perseverance, we have managed to launch Dot.on.the.map Industry Days, starting with the co-production forum Dot.on.the.map Meeting Point, with the precious support of the Thessaloniki Film Festival Agora and Initiative Film. However, we would never have imagined having our very first market online, but given the circumstances, we adapted and we are very proud that the first edition of Dot.on.the.map was successful, with six participating projects and more than 40 international professionals attending our virtual pitching session, leaving everyone with great impressions.”

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