REPORT: When East Meets West 2021
- We profile the winning projects from this year's virtual When East Meets West co-production forum
The 2021 "Out of the Box" edition of the Trieste Film Festival's When East Meets West co-production forum took place last week and presented 21 feature-length fiction and documentary projects. Below, we profile the award winners, except for the Kazakh project A Winner Is Seen at the Start, which bagged three prizes and is described in our news story (click here).
Flow Postproduction Award
A Safe Place - Sara Summa (Germany)
Producers: Roxana Richters, Lisa Roling (Chromosom Film)
The second film by the director of the Berlinale 2019 entry The Last to See Them [+see also:
film profile], Sara Summa, is a character-focused musical that follows two young lovers, Oliver and Laura, whose "safe place" is a frozen lake at the centre of their town. But a strange, melancholy atmosphere envelops the town as its small factory closes, and these cracks in the symbolic ice affect the heroes' relationship. "I will be mixing love story, genre film and social critique in an effort to make a lively and emotional portrait that talks to people about our society," says Summa. The project is in early development.
DAE Accelerator Award
Foals - Salomé Hévin (France)
Producers: Vincent Metzinger, Beata Saboova (Pivonka)
In her first feature-length documentary, French filmmaker Salomé Hévin follows Nikita, a troubled 13-year-old boy whose single mother cannot handle him, so she sends him to a closed community in the Urals, where priest Father Boris tries to make "real men" out of such kids. For Boris, this stereotypical idea revolves around strength and protection of the homeland, so the boys spend their days immersed in prayers, horse riding and wrestling sessions. The story is told from the angle of Nikita’s relationship with his mother, and the project is at the financing stage.
Marija Dimitrova, producer of Housekeeping for Beginners by Goran Stolevski (North Macedonia)
In addition to Dina Duma's Sister, which won the Post Pitch Award at connecting cottbus last year, Marija Dimitrova is producing one of the two ongoing features by Australian-based Goran Stolevski (best known for the 2018 Sundance-winning short Would You Look at Her). Housekeeping for Beginners is about a lesbian who lives in a sort of commune and is forced to bring up her partner’s two daughters after she dies. In order to legally adopt them, she first has to convince her best gay friend to marry her. Stolevski says he is going to use a handheld camera and encourage improvisation so as to capture authentic moments between the characters. The project is already being supported by the film funds of North Macedonia and Kosovo.
Marché du Film Producers Network Accreditation – fiction
Marija Razgutė, producer of Slow by Marija Kavtaradzė (Lithuania)
Marija Razgutė is known as the producer of Nova Lituania [+see also:
interview: Karolis Kaupinis
film profile] and Summer Survivors [+see also:
interview: Marija Kavtaradzė
film profile], Marija Kavtaradzė's first feature. In her sophomore effort, the director tells the story of Greta, a professional contemporary dancer, and Dovydas, a sign-language interpreter. As their friendship veers into romantic territory, Greta learns that Dovydas is asexual, but the strength of their connection motivates her to stay in the relationship. "There will be a lot of corporeality in the film – it is important for me to see real human bodies, skin texture, sweat..." says Kavtaradzė, and adds that for this reason, she wants to film on 16mm. The project is at the financing stage.
Marché du Film Producers Network Accreditation – documentary
Matteo Pecorara, producer of Europe-East by Elena Rebeca Carini (Italy)
Matteo Pecorara is producing this documentary, which is at the financing stage, through Parma-based company Small Boss. Thirty-year-old Elena Rebeca Carini was born in Romania but was adopted in Italy, and her first feature-length documentary is autobiographical. Describing the film as an “existential road movie”, she decided to make the journey by car from Piacenza to Bucharest to discover the story of her biological family, with a surprising travel companion: her long-lost brother Gerard. It is a journey that retraces the last 30 years of European history, investigating the evolution of words like “union”, “borders” and “identity”.
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