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Four Work-in-Progress titles try their chances at the HFM


- Two Dutch, one Belgian and one Brazilian project competed for two prizes valued at €5,000 each

Four Work-in-Progress titles try their chances at the HFM
The team behind In Blue present their work in progress

After the long pitching sessions of the Co-Production Platform, on its third day, the Holland Film Meeting (HFM) hosted a session dedicated to projects already pitched at previous editions, which are currently at the post-production stage. The four projects presented were competing for the two Work-in-Progress Awards: the Filmmore HFM Work-in-Progress Prize (€5,000 in facility services) and the Haghefilm International Post-Production Prize (also €5,000 in facility services).

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Charlie and Hannah’s Grand Night Out is a surrealistic black-and-white tale about two girlfriends hanging around on a Friday night. Fresh from Flanders to attend the session, producer Tomas Leyers (Minds Meet) and director Bert Scholiers presented a 12-minute excerpt of the film and introduced themselves as “professional amateurs”, referring to the very purest meaning of amateurs: in love with their art. The film will be the feature debut by Scholiers, whose CV includes several works as a scriptwriter.

Two Dutch projects also made it to the Work-in-Progress selection. Producer Iris Otten (who had also pitched the project Dreamscape the day before at the Co-Production Platform – read more) went on stage to introduce Quality Time and read a letter from director Daan Bakker describing his new film as a “rhapsody in five parts”, focused on five different men who could easily be described as losers. The stories could be seen separately as shorts, while all underline the absurdity of human existence in very different visual styles, as the audience could clearly see from the excerpts shown. 

The second Dutch project in progress was In Blue by Jaap van Heusden. Starring Dutch actress Maria Kraakman and Romanian newcomer Bogdan Inancu, the film focuses on a flight attendant who gets involved in a confusing mother/lover relationship with a 16-year-old male prostitute from Bucharest. Marc Bary (IJswater Films) is co-producing the film alongside Belgium’s Caviar, and is attempting to find an international sales agent.

Finally, Brazilian producer Leonarno Mecchi and director Marina Meliande presented extracts from their film Sultry, which is set in pre-Olympics Rio de Janeiro and follows a young attorney who develops a strange skin disease. A fantastic film with hints of documentary, Sultry already has a local distributor – the same one as the controversial hit Aquarius [+see also:
film review
film profile
 had – and is hoping to premiere at a European festival in 2017.

Former HFM Work-in-Progress projects were under the spotlight this year. Dust Cloth [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Ahu Öztürk
film profile
by Ahu Özturk and A Quiet Passion [+see also:
film review
film profile
 by Terence Davies both world-premiered at Berlin, while Wreck It! by Max Zähle got theatrical distribution in the Netherlands in May.

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