Projects from Hungary and Jordan awarded at Karlovy Vary’s Works in Progress
- Hajni Kis's Wild Roots has received the TRT Award, while Bassel Ghandour's The Alleys picked up the Post-production Development Award
The Works in Progress segment of Karlovy Vary's Eastern Promises Industry Days section, which took place online earlier this week, has announced its award winners. Two out of the eight projects (find the full list and the composition of the juries in this news story) received prizes, and we profile them below.
Works in Progress TRT Award (€10,000)
Wild Roots - Hajni Kis (Hungary/Slovakia)
The first feature by writer-director Hajni Kis, whose 2016 short Beautiful Figure was nominated for the Student Oscars, is a semi-autobiographical story starring non-professionals. The lead character, Tibor, is an ex-con who works as a bouncer in a club, and is played by Gusztáv Dietz, a former MMA world champion and bodyguard. He has financial difficulties, and because of his vehement nature, he’s always in conflict with his surroundings. He and his daughter, Niki (11-year-old Zorka Horváth), who lives with her grandparents, have not seen each other for seven years. When Niki finds out that Tibor has been released from prison, she goes to find him.
The film is being co-produced by Julie Berkes and Balázs Zachar for Hungary's Proton Cinema, which again accessed the Hungarian National Film Institute's Incubator programme, through which it financed the 2014 Karlovy Vary title For Some Inexplicable Reason [+see also:
film profile], and Slovakia's Mphilms, which got funding from the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and minority culture fund Kult Minor. Now in post-production, the feature should be ready as soon as the end of August.
Post-production Development Award from UPP and Soundsquare
The Alleys - Bassel Ghandour (Jordan/Qatar/France/Saudi Arabia)
The directorial debut by Theeb [+see also:
interview: Naji Abu Nowar
film profile] co-writer and producer Bassel Ghandour, The Alleys tells the story of a gossip-ridden, violent neighbourhood in East Amman. At its heart is a charming hustler pretending to be a white-collar career man. He is secretly involved in a relationship with an innocent and playful young lady, but their romance is caught on camera by an extortionist, and the embarrassing video is sent to her mother. Hoping to avoid public embarrassment, the mother discreetly convinces a gangster to put a stop to it all… But things don’t go according to plan, and all of their lives collide not just with each other, but with others in the neighbourhood.
Produced by Rula Nasser, of Amman-based Imaginarium Films, who says they raised the budget through a number of small regional funds in co-production countries, the film is picture-locked, and with this award it can be completed soon and ready for its premiere.
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