Promising projects from all over Europe presented in Cologne
by Birgit Heidsiek
- At European Work in Progress in Cologne, producers and directors presented the first footage of their new projects
With the new European Work in Progress Cologne (EWIP) market platform, AG Verleih, the association of German independent distributors, has created opportunities to collaborate with experienced sales agents, distributors, producers, commissioning editors, financiers, festival representatives and other partners. At the three-day industry event, which took place during the Film Festival Cologne, producers and directors presented the first footage of their film projects, which was weighed up by distributors, sales agents and co-financiers according to their distribution and theatrical potential.
“In the rapidly changing world of film distribution, a ‘work in progress’ is an increasingly important platform not only for our colleagues from the acquisitions department, but also for international sales agents, co-producers, film festivals and editors in order to be able to assess the market potential more realistically,” states Torsten Frehse, who is on the AG Verleih board of directors. “European Work in Progress Cologne presents film projects from all over Europe, without a regional focus.” For the first edition of EWIP, 22 projects were selected from among the more than 100 that were submitted to the market platform.
“When project partners find each other, a newly matched creative team collaborates on developing tailor-made marketing and distribution concepts that aim to significantly improve the films’ competitiveness and lead to a swifter, more successful distribution of the projects,” says Petra Müller, managing director of the Film and Media Foundation NRW, which supported EWIP Cologne. Following on from their pitching sessions at EWIP Cologne 2018, the filmmakers attached to the selected projects also had the opportunity to exchange ideas in more detail during one-to-one meetings and discuss important issues with experienced industry representatives.
The accompanying panel discussions on sales and marketing strategies as well as effective exhibition strategies for European arthouse cinema productions were also met with an encouraging response. The newly founded industry event drew to a close with an awards ceremony, where jury members Jonas Dornbach, Olimpia Pont Cháfer, Aistė Račaitytė and Pernille Munk Skydsgaard announced the prize winners.
The EWIP Eclair Award, worth 2 x €2,000 for the subtitling of a movie in two different languages, went to the French-Belgian co-production Unconditional by Stéphane Demoustier (Petit Film). The jury stressed that this was a project “with strong characters and brilliant performances, which deals with a daring topic and offers the audience the possibility to comprehend the story from different perspectives”.
The EWIP K13 Studio Award, worth €10,000 for ten days of sound mixing for an original movie, was awarded to Martin Eden [+see also:
interview: Pietro Marcello
film profile] by Pietro Marcello. The jury praised him as an “outstanding European author, whose intelligent and uncompromising filmmaking results in a very unique, personal and, at the same time, easily approachable contemporary cinema”. This 20th-century fable is being staged by The Match Factory and Avventurosa as a co-production between Italy, Germany and France.
The German-Polish co-production Taste of Pho by Mariko Saga (Rohfilm Productions/Lava Films) received the EWIP MMC-Studio Award, which covers €15,000 in post-production services. The adorable story about a Vietnamese single father and his ten-year-old daughter who live in Warsaw was highlighted by the jury as “a moving and sincere project that shows the new and traditional worlds alongside each other in a poetic and cinematic language”.
Another EWIP MMC-Studio Award, this time with €20,000 for post-production services, was given to End of Season [+see also:
film profile] by Elmar Imanov. The story of a small Azerbaijani family that is shaken to the core by a tragic incident is being staged as a co-production between Germany and Azerbaijan, by Color of May and Imanov & Blondiau Filmproduktion. The project possesses “a strong directorial voice and tells an important story in a captivating manner”, underlined the jury.
Finally, the unconventional project Nocturne [+see also:
film profile] by Viktor van der Valk, which Lemming Film is producing as a Dutch-Belgian co-production, received a Special Jury Mention. “We congratulate this year's winners and are delighted that during the EWIP, we were able to fulfil our aim of bringing together the makers of promising projects and established industry players from all over Europe,” sums up Frehse. “For us, this is a signal to continue next year.”
Here is the complete list of award winners:
EWIP Eclair Award
Unconditional – Stéphane Demoustier (France/Belgium)
Producer: Petit Film
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