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HFM Work-in-Progress titles receive feedback and finishing support


- Terence Davies' and Marion Hänsel's new films are the winners of the third edition of the Work-in-Progress Session at the HFM Co-Production Platform

HFM Work-in-Progress titles receive feedback and finishing support
l-r: Moderator Marten Rabarts, award-winning director Marion Hänsel and her producer Digna Sinke (Man's Films), German director Max Zähle and producer Andrea Schütte (Tamtam Film)

At the Work-in-Progress Session, which took place for the third time at the HFM Co-Production Platform, European filmmakers and producers presented initial clips and teasers of the films that they had pitched as projects over the last few years. The Filmmore Work-in-Progress Prize, valued at €5,000 in facility services, went to A Quiet Passion [+see also:
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by British writer-director Terence Davies. The biopic about the famous poet Emily Dickinson stars Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City), Keith Carradine and Jennifer Ehle.

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Marion Hänsel and her producer Digna Sinke showed a teaser and some early clips from their upcoming film En amont du fleuve [+see also:
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interview: Marion Hänsel
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(Upstream), which won them the Haghefilm International Post-Production Prize, worth €5,000. “Two women made a film about two men with a company called Man's Films,” underlined Belgian writer-director Hänsel. The movie stars Olivier Gourmet, Sergi López and John Lynch. “We tailored the parts for them.” The project was supposed to be shot in Cambodia, but owing to a lack of financing, it was lensed in Croatia instead. “Thanks to my producer, I didn't give up,” stated the director.

Funding was also a tricky issue for the German debut feature Schrotten (Wreck it!) by German Student Oscar winner Max Zähle. In this story, two brothers are trying to save the scrapyard that their late father has left them. “It is a comedy with a dramatic backdrop,” explains Andrea Schütte, a producer from Hamburg-based Tamtam Film. After the project had been received positively at the HFM Co-Production Platform in 2014, they wanted to make a co-production with Dutch partners. “Three weeks before principal photography started, our funding application was turned down by the Netherlands Film Fund,” reported the producer. Although there was a financing gap, Tamtam Film managed to complete the picture, which stars actors such as Lucas Gregorowicz and Frederick Lau (Victoria [+see also:
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interview: Sebastian Schipper
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), who won Best Actor at this year's German Film Awards. The film will be released in Germany by Port-au-Prince. “It is very helpful to get some feedback,” said Zähle. “We appreciate any kind of inspiration.”

Further films that were presented as works in progress include the drama Dew by Denijal Hasanovic, which is a co-production between Skorpion Arte in Poland, SCCA/PRO.BA in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Focus Media in Croatia. “We are looking for post-production support and sales,” stated the writer-director.

Also in search of post-production of the sound design as well as a world sales representative is the team behind Waterboys, by writer-director Robert Jan Westdijk (Little Sister). In his new family drama, a father takes his son on a trip after his wife has kicked him out. The music of the band The Waterboys takes the father back to his roots. “It reminds him of the time when he met his wife,” explains the filmmaker. “It's a Waterboys film.” The band liked the script so much that they put on a concert where Westdijk was able to shoot a scene. Furthermore, the production was granted all the music rights for free. “Our budget was €400,000,” summed up Maarten van der Ven, a producer from Venfilm in Amsterdam. “We are looking for alternative distribution models.”

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