Finnish project The Unforgiven gets the HBO Adria Award at ZagrebDox Pro
by Vladan Petkovic
- The French title Solenzara, An Ode to Nostalgia has won Best Project in the competition involving 11 projects at the ZagrebDox Pro Pitching Forum
The Pitching Forum of the industry segment of the International Documentary Film Festival ZagrebDox – ZagrebDox Pro, a short-term training programme consisting of a preparatory workshop for creative documentary projects at different stages, a pitching forum and individual meetings – ended with Finnish and French projects winning the main awards.
The HBO Adria Award for Best Pitch, which includes €2,000 for further project development, went to The Unforgiven by Finnish director Lars Feldballe Petersen and producer Ari Matikainen, of production company Kinocompany Ltd. It is a story about a repentant war criminal from the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and his journey back to a normal life, asking the questions of whether he can and should be forgiven.
The French project Solenzara, An Ode to Nostalgia by directors Stephan and Pascal Regoli and producer Pierre Le Blow, of Chjachjarella Produzione, won the ZagrebDox Pro Award for Best Project, which includes a one-year-long project mentorship. This year’s mentor is Hans Robert Eisenhauer, a producer and longstanding editor at ZDF/Arte.
The project deals with the legendary Corsican song Solenzara, an international hit back in the 1960s when it was recorded in 13 languages and later appeared on the soundtrack for Emir Kusturica's Arizona Dream as the song In the Deathcar, performed by Iggy Pop and “written by” Goran Bregovic – who actually re-wrote it without permission.
Equipped with a 1964-vintage record player, the filmmakers set out to meet listeners and artists from different countries across Europe who encountered Solenzara at some point along their way, and try to find out what they all have in common.
Finally, because of the outstanding progress it made during the workshop and the excellent project presentation, the Special Mention went to the Serbian project How Dragan Gathered His Band by director Nikola Spasić and producer Lidia Teleki, of Inkubator. It tells the story of a single father who forms a band with his three sons not only to make a living, but also to keep his family together.
The Pitching Forum included ten other projects from Russia, the UK, Poland, Georgia, Palestine, Croatia and the USA, all selected by Leena Pasanen, director of DOK Leipzig, and Stefano Tealdi, a director and producer with Stefilm, and chairman of the European Documentary Network.
The mentors, lecturers and speakers included Dana Budisavljević, David Charap, Alessandro Gropplero, Hrvoje Hribar, Vjeran Hrpka, Vanja Jambrović, Kim Longinotto, Mikael Opstrup, Martina Petrović, Marija Ratković Vidaković, Sanja Ravlić, Jožko Rutar, Rada Šešić, Paolo Vidali and Želimir Žilnik.