We Are Pretty Loud wins the top prize at Beldocs in Progress
- The project by Joey David Jovanović has received the Al Jazeera Award, with the rest of the prizes going to projects from Ukraine, Georgia, North Macedonia and Serbia
Beldocs in Progress, the pitching section of Beldocs Industry (9-15 May), handed out its awards on Saturday 14 May during a ceremony presented by the head of Beldocs Industry, Ieva Ūbele. The programme is part of the 15th Belgrade International Documentary Film Festival Beldocs, which is still ongoing and runs from 11-18 May.
The jury members (Simone Baumann, head of German Films; Rada Šešić, head of the documentary competition programme at the Sarajevo Film Festival; and Djani Hasečić, head of reversioning at Al Jazeera Balkans) handed the main award by Al Jazeera Balkans, accompanied by €2,000 in cash, to the Serbian project We Are Pretty Loud, directed by Joey David Jovanović. According to the jury, in “a playful, charming manner, [the project] deals with a serious sociopolitical topic. Strong characters and great access to them, a well-structured narrative and the proactivity of the storyline promise a film with strong international potential – a film that really matters and puts a relevant issue on the social agenda.”
Produced by Jelena Tadić, the project follows “Pretty Loud”, a group of six young Romani women from Zemun who are using rap music to fight two battles: one against ongoing prejudice towards Roma people in Serbia and worldwide, and another for the rights of women within their own tight-knit, patriarchal community. The documentary is expected to be delivered by the end of the year.
The Networking Award from the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival went to the Ukrainian project Listening to the World by Yelizaveta Smith, which homes in on “a sensitive subject and social problem, yet one which is unsolved in many countries – including in Ukraine. But meanwhile, on top of that, Ukraine was attacked by Russia and is in the middle of a horrible war. This makes life for people with disabilities all the more unbearable. The director has intimate access to his main female character, Iva, who cannot hear but fights for a normal life with her family and friends, and also other disabled people.”
The DAE Award was handed to I Don't Want by Macedonian director Hanis Bagashov, for its “delicate, touching and personal approach to the characters, family relations and ageing, as well as the ability to offer a fascinating look at growing up in a seemingly pastoral environment”. The Pitch the Doc Award was given to How to Talk to Lydia? by Georgian director Rusudan Gaprindashvili, which “touches on different levels of relations, and reflects the issues at the intersection of migration, society, economics and modern technologies”.
Finally, the East Silver Caravan Award was bestowed upon Flotacija by Eluned Zoë Aiano and Aleksandra Tatić, from Serbia. The film explores the conflicts between nature/tradition and industry/modernity with a high level of cinematic language and a rich narrative that bridges past and present.
The full list of Beldocs in Progress award winners is as follows:
Al Jazeera Balkans Award
We Are Pretty Loud - Joey David Jovanović (Serbia)
Producer: Jelena Tadić
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Award
Listening to the World - Yelizaveta Smith (Ukraine)
Producers: Olga Beskhmelnytsina, Eugene Rachkovsky (Tabor)
I Don’t Want - Hanis Bagashov (North Macedonia)
Pitch the Doc Award
How to Talk to Lydia? - Rusudan Gaprindashvili (Georgia/Germany)
Producers: Hans Gralke (Black Market Film Production), Anna Dziapshipa
East Silver Caravan Award
Flotacija - Eluned Zoë Aiano, Aleksandra Tatić (Serbia)
Producers: Greta Rauleac (Wild Pears Arts), Miloš Ljubomirović (Servia Film)
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