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KARLOVY VARY 2019 KVIFF Eastern Promises

KVIFF’s Eastern Promises Industry Days hands out its awards

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- Bottled Songs has snagged the Eurimages Lab Project Award, while Pigeon’s Milk and The Silhouettes triumphed in Works in Progress and Docs in Progress, respectively

KVIFF’s Eastern Promises Industry Days hands out its awards
Director-producer Chloé Galibert-Laîné (centre) and director-producer Kevin B Lee (second from right) collecting the Eurimages Lab Project Award for their project Bottled Songs (© Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary)

The 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) has announced the winners of the KVIFF Eastern Promises Industry Days, which took place from Sunday 30 June-Tuesday 2 July.

The Eurimages Lab Project Award, worth €50,000, was bestowed upon the desktop documentary Bottled Songs, written, directed and produced by Kevin B Lee and Chloé Galibert-Laîné. The doc, which is a co-production between Germany, France, the USA and Finland, explores the online propaganda of Islamic State. Through video letters that are received on the researchers’ screens, the documentarians reveal the role of mainstream media in generating everyday states of terror. The jury, comprising Albanian Eurimages representative Majlinda Tafa, Slovak writer-director Tereza Nvotová, and head of Development and Production at Screen NL Frank Peijnenburg, had a difficult job picking just one project from among the eight in this year’s selection.

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In Works in Progress, nine projects were presented from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. The jury, which included head of the Doha Film Institute’s grants programme Khalil Benkirane, president of the Film Producers’ Association of Latvia Aija Berzina, and founder of the Alpha Violet sales agency Virginie Devesa, picked the Russian-Moldovan co-production Pigeon’s Milk by first-time director Eugen Marian as the recipient of the prize, valued at €100,000. Written by Marian, and produced by Roman Borisevich, Alexander Kushaev and Anna Shalashina for Koktebel Film Company, the movie follows teenager Andrian, who lives in a remote Moldovan village and plans to escape to Europe with his Gypsy friend.

Finally, the Docs in Progress jury – comprising Pierre-Alexis Chevit, head of the Doc Corner and Doc Day industry programme at the Marché du Film; Lejla Dedić, programme producer at Al Jazeera Balkans; and creative producer Patricia Drati – decided to give the section's award (a €5,000 cash prize) to the project The Silhouettes. The Iranian-Filipino co-production, directed by Afsaneh Salari and produced by the director and Jewel Maranan for Tehran-based Docmaniacs, was selected from among eight projects. The documentary focuses on Taghi, an engineering student in Iran whose parents fled Afghanistan when the USSR invaded in 1982. As Afghans in Iran are only allowed manual-labour jobs, Taghi will seek his fortune back in his homeland.

Here is the list of KVIFF Eastern Promises Industry Days award winners:

Eurimages Lab Project Award
Bottled Songs - Kevin B Lee, Chloé Galibert-Laîné (Germany/France/USA/Finland)

Works in Progress Award
Pigeon’s Milk - Eugen Marian (Russia/Moldova)

Docs in Progress Award
The Silhouettes - Afsaneh Salari (Iran/Philippines)

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