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Elephant wins the MIDPOINT HBO Europe Award at Tallinn Black Nights


- The last stop of the seven-month training course was rounded off by the Season Finale pitching presentation of the nine participating projects

Elephant wins the MIDPOINT HBO Europe Award at Tallinn Black Nights
From left to right, Balazs Zachar and David Csicskar with their award for Elephant

For the second consecutive year, the MIDPOINT TV Launch programme drew to a close and showcased its projects during the 25th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and its Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event industry section. This was the last stop for the seven-month training course, which was rounded off by the Season Finale pitching presentation of the nine participating projects.

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The HBO Europe Award, which comes with a prize of $5,000 granted by HBO Czech Republic, was bestowed upon the Hungarian project Elephant, written by David Csicskar and produced by Balazs Zachar. The series follows Anna, who dedicates her life to her perfect family. She keeps everything under control and provides a convenient life for her husband and their three kids. However, Anna is a functioning alcoholic who secretly sips the bottle every day. The balance of her family life is shaken overnight when Anna causes a car accident that almost kills her loved ones. Police checkup shows that Anna was drunk, but most of the family members insist on her innocence and try to trivialise the problem. It's only their adolescent daughter, Sonja, who speaks up and says it's time to stop living in denial: Mom is an alcoholic.

Steve Matthews, HBO Europe's VP and executive producer of drama development, and a development executive tutor at TV Launch, handed out the award during the closing ceremony of Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event, remarking: "This has been another year of very high-quality work from diverse teams all making amazing progress. As always, it has been difficult to choose a winner. But one project impressed us all. For its intelligent approach to unflinching exploration of a very challenging issue within the bounds of accessible and enjoyable comedy form, and for me for its palpable love and affection for its flawed leading character, the winner this year is Elephant."

All participants collaborated closely with three group leaders, namely Gabor Krigler, Ben Morris and Cyril Tysz as well as VP executive producer Steve Matthews. Furthermore, the training was enriched by the presence of several tutors and experts such as Nebojsa Taraba, Marike Muselaers, Michaela Sabo, Maggie Murphy, Ben Harris, Harald Hamrell, Rudolf Leska, and Jeff Bell.

MIDPOINT TV Launch is already preparing to welcome its future participants, and the call for applications for next year will open in a few days' time, with the deadline set for 31 January 2022.

MIDPOINT TV Launch is realised with the support of the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Czech Film Fund. It is presented in cooperation with HBO Europe, Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event, the Series Mania Forum, the Czech Audiovisual Producers' Association, Meeting Point Vilnius, New Europe Market, C21 Media, Serial Eyes and Seriencamp. The MIDPOINT Institute operates under the auspices of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

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