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TRIESTE 2017 Industry

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Peter Kerekes’ project wins When East Meets West


- The Slovak filmmaker's Wishing on a Star has won the CNC Development Award, while other winners include Austrian, Turkish, Swedish, Georgian and Bosnian projects

Peter Kerekes’ project wins When East Meets West
The winners of When East Meets West 2017

Wishing on a Star by Slovakian writer-director Peter Kerekes (Velvet Terrorists [+see also:
film review
film profile
Cooking History
) has won the biggest prize at the seventh edition of the Trieste Film Festival's When East Meets West industry programme, the CNC Development Award, worth €5,000.

Wishing on a Star is listed as an Italian project, with Videomante's Erica Barbiani on board, and is being co-produced by Austria's Mischief Films and Kerekes' own company. It is a documentary-comedy about a peculiar astrologist who offers to her clients a simple but effective way of changing their destiny by taking a trip, often to remote places, on the day of their birthday.

Another producer from Mischief Films, David Bohun, won the grant for participation in the EAVE European Producers Workshop with the project Queens, a comedy about a strange and thought-provoking situation a Viennese family finds itself in. The project was written and will be directed by Bohun's brother Stefan.

The Flow Postproduction Award, worth €10,000 in services, went to the Turkish project Zuhal by writer-director Nazli Elif Duru, and producers Anna Maria Aslanoglu and Ziya Demirel. It is a story about the titular English tutor, a 40-year-old single woman whose daily routine is suddenly interrupted and her life turned upside down after she apparently starts hearing a cat meow.

The TRL Espresso Award, which entails an automatic selection for the MIA - New Cinema Network co-production market, and also the Film London PFM in October 2017, was awarded to the Swedish project Madame Luna, directed by Eritrean-born Binyam Berhane, and produced by David Herdies and Vicky Miha, of Momento Film. It is a drama about an Eritrean refugee who becomes one of the most notorious people smugglers, with deep ties to the Sicilian Mafia.

The Producers Network Award went to Georgia's Tekla Machavariani (with the documentary Before Father Is Back by director Marine Gulbiani) and Italy's Cecilia Frugiuele (with the Bosnian-Croatian-Italian co-production Alfa, directed by Una Gunjak).

Finally, Italian director Michela Occhipinti received the EWA Network Best Woman Director Award for Flesh Out, a drama set in Mauritania about a woman who, under pressure from local customs, has to put on 20 kilos to impress her future husband's family.

The jury, comprising Matthieu Darras (TorinoFilmLab), Marge Liiske (Industry@Tallinn/Baltic Event), Nikolaj Nikitin (SOFA – School of Film Agents), Kristina Trapp (EAVE) and Marie Pierre Valle (Wild Bunch), had to pick from among 22 projects that were selected from almost 300 submissions. The seventh When East Meets West attracted 200 decision-makers and 400 registered participants from over 40 countries.

For the full report on the most interesting projects, come back to Cineuropa next week.

Here is the full list of winners:

CNC Development Award
Wishing on a Star – Peter Kerekes (Italy/Austria/Slovakia)

Grant for Participation in the EAVE European Producers Workshop
Queens – Stefan Bohun (Austria)

Flow Postproduction Award
Zuhal – Nazli Elif Duru (Turkey) 

TRL Espresso Award
Madame Luna – Binyam Berhane (Sweden) 

Producers Network Award
Before Father Is Back – Marine Gulbiani (Georgia/France/Germany)
Alfa – Una Gunjak (Bosnia-Croatia-Italy)

EWA Network Best Woman Director Award
Flesh Out - Michela Occhipinti (Italy)

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