The European Short Pitch hands out its awards
- The 14th edition of the pan-European initiative dedicated to short films ran online, with new projects from Hanis Bagashov and Hilke Rönnfeldt receiving the main awards
Organised for the 14th time, the European Short Pitch (ESP) ran online from 12-13 November. At this edition — the first organised by a new team, with Julie Marnay as the head of the programme and Olga Lamontanara as the head of the Coproduction Forum — the ESP invited 12 projects currently at script stage and 2 works in progress. The teams behind the projects were mentored by a team of consultants including Britta Krause, Juho Kuosmanen, Antonio Piazza, Roshanak Behesht Nedjad, Gabrielle Dumon, Una Gunjak, Wouter Jansen and Matthieu Taponier in various sessions.
On 12 November, the participants pitched their projects in front of a handpicked audience of film professionals, while their one-on-one meetings were held the next day. For the first time at the ESP Coproduction Forum, these events were organised in collaboration with the Festival Européen du Film Court de Brest, with a jury comprising Sarah Schlüssel (Berlinale Talents), Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun (Stank), and Radka Weiserová (Prague Shorts) handing out two prizes to the participating projects in development.
The ESP First Prize, valued at €2,000 and granted by Région Bretagne, went to Grasshoppers by Macedonian writer-director Hanis Bagashov. The story follows a mute 19-year-old girl, Nora, who decides to escape from a family gathering in order to meet her secret admirer, the lonely but wild 14-year-old grasshopper hunter Amir, and to make love for the first time. The project is co-produced by Jérôme Blesson (La Belle Affaire Productions) and Ilija Tiricovski (OXO Production) and is looking for co-producers, sales and distribution.
The ESP Second Prize of €1,000, also provided by Région Bretagne, was bestowed upon Duty Free by German filmmaker Hilke Rönnfeldt. Focusing on the essence of unconditional love, the film follows the shop manager of a floating duty-free container who cuts the chains connecting the container to the ferry terminal when intruders threaten the universe of love that she has created inside. The film is produced by Johanna Jannsen (North Ship Film) and is looking for co-producers, post-production, sales, and distribution.
Furthermore, four more projects received in-kind awards from ESP partners. The Music & Cinema Aubagne International Film Festival Award was given to Stick Together by Laura Vandewynckel from Belgium and to Traitors of The Eyes by Saad Dnewar and Abdelrahman Dnewar, a Germany-Egypt production. Belgium’s Radiator IP Sales will offer distribution and promotion strategy to Romanian coming-of-age drama When Night Meets Dawn by Andreea Bortun, which was one of the two works in progress presented at the ESP. The other WIP of the session, Mothers by Birutė Kapustinskaitė from Lithuania, received DCP mastering and 4K upscaling offered by post-production company The Fridge.
Here is the complete list of winners at the 14th European Short Pitch:
ESP First Prize
Grasshoppers - Hanis Bagashov (North Macedonia/France)
Producers: Jérôme Blesson (La Belle Affaire Productions), Ilija Tiricovski (OXO Production)
ESP Second Prize
Duty Free - Hilke Rönnfeldt (Germany)
Producer: Johanna Jannsen (North Ship Film)
Music & Cinema Aubagne International Film Festival Award (ex aequo)
Stick Together - Laura Vandewynckel (Belgium)
Producer: Joyce Palmers (De Wereldvrede)
Traitors of The Eyes - Saad Dnewar, Abdelrahman Dnewar (Germany/Egypt)
Producers: Georg Neubert (Reynard Films), DeNoir Films
Distribution Award - Radiator IP Sales
When Night Meets Dawn - Andreea Bortun (Romania)
Producer: Gabriela Suciu (Atelier de Film)
Mastering-in-kind Award - The Fridge
Mothers - Birutė Kapustinskaitė (Lithuania)
Producer: Rūta Petronyte (Artbox)
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