Agora presents ten Works in Progress
by David González
- Films from the Mediterranean countries, from Spain to Palestine, are looking for completion help in the Works in Progress part of the festival's industry section
The 56th Thessaloniki International Film Festival's industry section, Agora, continues in full swing in the city that has been the centre of the Mediterranean film industry for one week now. After having presented the projects in the Crossroads Co-production Market (read more), Agora introduced participating professionals to a juicy selection of Works in Progress that provide a timely and insightful overview of the area. From Spain to Palestine, ten works in progress from new and promising filmmakers have grabbed the financiers', producers' and sales agents' attention.
The only Greek project selected, Fellini, portrays the ordeal of a young Greek who wakes up after an accident not knowing who he is, and who tries to find a mysterious man. Directed by Karolos Zonaras (Charlie's Son, Big Hit) and produced by (and also starring) Katia Leclerc O'Wallis for Zonaras Productions, the film plays with a dark atmosphere and music by a famous Greek musician, enveloping a thriller-like plot.
The Balkan countries have a much stronger presence in this section. Croatian filmmaker Nevio Marasovic, whose second film, Vis-à-Vis [+see also:
interview: Nevio Marasovic & Rakan Rus…
film profile], made waves at European festivals throughout 2013, presented his new film Goran [+see also:
interview: Nevio Marasović
film profile], produced by Danijel Pek for Antitalent DOO and executive-produced by Katarina Jankovic (read more). The film is a Scandinavian-style thriller that follows the misfortunes of a taxi driver and his blind wife. On the other hand, Ivan Marinovic's The Black Pin [+see also:
interview: Ivan Marinovic
film profile], a Montenegrin-Serbian title self-produced through his company Adriatic Western, veers towards comedy, following a rural priest with a belief crisis and a parish that wants to take revenge on him. The project's screenplay has already been awarded at the Jerusalem Film Lab and Sarajevo's CineLink. Comedy is also the vehicle for Romanian filmmaker Gabriel Achim to, allegedly, cope with his own depression: after his first feature, Adalbert's Dream [+see also:
interview: Gabriel Achim
film profile], he is preparing his new film, The Last Day [+see also:
interview: Gabriel Achim
film profile], also self-produced, through his company Green Film (read more).
The biggest-budget production among this crop of titles was the German-Romanian-Hungarian-Swedish co-production That Trip We Took With Dad [+see also:
interview: Anca Miruna Lazarescu
film profile], directed by Romanian filmmaker Anca Miruna Lazarescu and produced by David Lindner Leporda for Filmallee, both on board for their first feature film. The story follows the odyssey of a German family living in Romania that travels to the GDR during the turbulent year of 1968 (read more). Another co-production between a Balkan country and the rest of Europe is the bleak Hristo [+see also:
interview: Grigor Lefterov
film profile], by Bulgarian directors Grigor Lefterov and Todor Matsanov. The film, produced by the directorial duo through their own Lema Film, alongside Federico Saraceni's IdeaCinema, portrays the life of a homeless young man struggling to live through the tough Eastern European winter. Their fellow countrywoman Sophia Zornitsa also introduced her new project, her third fiction film, Voevoda, a movie about a female fighter who rebels against the brutal man's world of the 19th century, produced by herself for MQ Pictures alongside Croatian outfit Focus Film (read more).
Western Europe was also represented in the section through the Spanish production The City With No Compass. Directed by Antonio Savinelli and produced by Ismael García López and the director himself for Savinelli Films, the film follows the peculiar love story of a young man and a young woman, a Hungarian immigrant, who are trying to find their place in the world.
Lastly, the selection welcomed two projects hailing from the Middle East. Egyptian film Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim, directed by Sherif El Bendary and produced by Hossam Elouan for Transit Films and Mohamed Hefzy for Film Clinic, is a comedy that focuses on the strange relationship between a young man who believes his girlfriend has been reincarnated as a goat and another who hears voices that scare him to death. The second one is the Israeli-Palestinian co-production Land of the Little People, directed by Yaniv Berman and produced by Tony Copti for Fresco Films, a film that explores the relationship between a strongly militarised society and childhood, through the unsettling experiences a group of young kids must go through.
The Works in Progress section will hand out its awards, sponsored mainly by Greece's Graal Post Production House and decided upon by an international jury, on Friday evening.