REPORT: CineLink Work in Progress 2019
by Vassilis Economou
- We present an overview of this year’s Work in Progress winners at Sarajevo, the selection of which included nine fiction and two documentary features from Southeast Europe and the MENA region
The CineLink Work in Progress section of the Sarajevo Film Festival is dedicated to offering a wide selection of films that are currently entering the post-production phase and have a release planned in the next few months. This year, the section invited along 11 feature-length films – nine fictions and two documentaries – hailing from South-Eastern Europe and the MENA region. Fish Eye, Neve-Shaanan and Things Worth Weeping For shared the awards, worth €95,000, as the overall winners of the section (see the news). The movies were screened during the CineLink Industry Days, and more than 60 representatives of film festivals, sales agents and distribution companies were in attendance. The section was coordinated by Alex Traila.
Here we offer a detailed presentation of the winning projects, as chosen by the international jury, comprising Frederic Boyer (Tribeca Film Festival), Bernd Buder (FilmFestival Cottbus), Petra Gobel (The Post Republic), Zülfikar Kürüm (Turkish National Radio Television) and Agathe Valentin (Totem Films).
TRT Award (€25,000, cash)
Fish Eye - Amin Behroozzadeh (Iran)
The debut feature-length poetic documentary by Iranian filmmaker-composer Amin Behroozzadeh follows the biggest industrial fishing boat in Iran, the Parsian Shila, whose objective is to catch 2,000 tons of tuna fish. The film depicts the cruelty and harsh conditions of the job, and just how nature is affected by this activity. Produced by Mina Keshavarz, of MinDoc Film Production, the film is looking for co-producers, pre-sales, broadcasters and distributors.
CineLink Iridium Award (€20,000, in kind)
Neve-Shaanan - Idan Haguel (Israel)
The sophomore feature-length drama by Israeli writer-director Idan Haguel, whose debut feature, Inertia, premiered in the Berlinale Forum in 2016, follows a gay couple in their mid-thirties who are trying to find somewhere to call home and start a family through surrogacy, in one of the most rapidly gentrifying slum neighbourhoods in Israel. After witnessing a violent racist hate crime perpetrated against a refugee from their area, their relationship is threatened, and their future plans become unclear. Written by Haguel, the film is being produced by Itay Akirav, of Film Harbor, and is looking for co-producers to finish production.
Post Republic Award (€50,000, in kind)
Things Worth Weeping For - Cristina Groșan (Hungary)
This debut feature-length absurd, self-deprecating coming-of-age dramedy by Hungarian-Romanian filmmaker Cristina Groșan follows 30-year-old Maja, who is finally going through some important changes in her life by becoming a proper adult. When she moves into her new flat, by chance she stumbles upon the dead body of a distant relative. After witnessing death and spending an entire night watching over the body, Maja will start anew, abandoning all of her previous plans (see the news for more details). Written by Groșan and Nóra Rainer-Micsinyei, who also plays the lead role, the film is being produced by Judit Stalter, who also received the EAVE+ Scholarship Award at CineLink, of Laokoon Film Group, in co-production with Vision Team Ltd, SGH Hungary Ltd, Bullion Studio and Saint Audio Ltd. The team is looking for world sales, a festival premiere, broadcasters, distributors, financing for the music and sound post-production, and creative feedback.
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