REPORT: Pitching du Réel @ Visions du Réel 2020
- We profile the winning European projects from Visions du Réel's Pitching du Réel section
The Party Film Sales Award
Paradise - Alexander Abaturov (France/Russia)
The second feature-length documentary by Alexander Abaturov, the director of the 2018 Berlinale Forum entry The Son [+see also:
film profile], is set in the South Siberian region of Altai, home to the world's largest boreal forest, known in Russia as the taiga. This is one of the places where last summer's fires consumed huge areas of forest, largely due to the 2015 law under which the authorities are no longer required to extinguish a fire if the costs of extinguishing it are higher than the
material damage the fire will cause. Here, we find 11-year-old Aliona and her family, and the story about environmental and systemic threats is told from her point of view. The Son producer Rebecca Houzel is again working with Abaturov through Paris-based Petit à Petit Production.
Nightcrawlers - Petter Aaberg, Sverre Kvamme (Norway)
This unorthodox autobiographical documentary by the two young Norwegian filmmakers Petter Aaberg and Sverre Kvamme starts in 2017, when Petter was on the verge of committing suicide. Petter and Sverre roam the streets of Oslo, camera in hand, and discover other characters who have shared or share experiences of self-doubt and chaos. Faced with panic attacks, overdoses and stories of suicide attempts, Petter’s fragile psyche is further destabilised, and his relationship with Sverre is put to the test. The project is being produced by Carsten Aanonsen and Even Benestad for Oslo-based Indie Film.
MFI SCRIPT2FILM Workshops Project Development Award
Machtat - Sonia Ben Slama (France/Lebanon)
In her second feature-length documentary, writer-director Sonia Ben Slama (Maktoub) follows the lives of three women in the small town of Bir Beranek in Mahdia, Tunisia. Fatma and her two daughters, Najeh and Waffeh, work in the fields during the winter season, and in summer they become machtat, or traditional wedding musicians. They go from one wedding to another, celebrating and blessing young women’s marriages, guiding them and preparing them for their new life as a wife. The project is being co-produced by Cécile Lestrade and Elise Hug for the French company Alter Ego Production, and Tania El Khoury for Lebanon's Khamsin Films.
DOK Leipzig Talent Development Award
The Mission - Tania Moilanen (Finland)
Director Tania Moilanen's first feature-length documentary is an intimate story that reveals the inner lives of four young Mormon missionaries who travel to the other end of the world in an attempt to convert some of Europe’s most non-religious, private and sceptical people: the Finns. Moilanen has a personal history with this community, as her father was raised in a Mormon family, and she says that her aim is “to make contact with the naive, vulnerable and courageous teenager that lies behind the religious apparatus”. The project is being produced by Isabella Karhu and Juho-Pekka Tanskanen for Helsinki-based Danish Bear Productions.
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Award
A Little Love Package - Gastón Solnicki (Austria/Argentina)
The fifth feature-length outing by Argentinian filmmaker Gastón Solnicki is set in Vienna, just like his previous film, the Venice 2018 title Introduzione all'oscuro [+see also:
interview: Gastón Solnicki
film profile]. Solnicki is working without a script, and the very short synopsis reads: "In the context of the end of an era, a woman in her forties arrives in Vienna and makes a strong impact on the love lives of a few young women." The director's note reveals that it is going to be a docu-fiction hybrid of sorts, in line with Solnicki's uniquely specific form of artistic expression. Paolo Calamita is producing for Viennese company Little Magnet Films, and the Argentinian company on board is Filmy Wiktora.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.