Les Arcs' Eurimages Lab Project Award goes to The Hidden City
by Fabien Lemercier
- The third feature by Spanish director Víctor Moreno wins Work-in-Progress and Daniel Sandu’s project takes home the Arte Development Prize
On Monday evening the professional section of the 8th Les Arcs European Film Festival awarded three prizes. Two of them, which were awarded by a jury including French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello, went to films from Work in Progress that were unanimously judged as being of exceptionally high quality, from among 15 films with very eclectic styles. The Lab Project Award given by Eurimages, which comes with a cash prize of €50,000, went to The Hidden City (La Ciudad Oculta), the 3rd feature film by Spaniard Víctor Moreno after Holidays and The Building (which was nominated for the 2015 Goya Award for Best Documentary). Currently being filmed, this documentary, which is approached through science fiction, is being produced by El Viaje Films and co-produced by French company Pomme Hurlante Films. The film explores the underground world of the modern town: a labyrinth of passageways, tunnels, systems for lighting, water, gas and telephone lines, transport networks and metro stations. A functional and necessary space that also reflects the subconscious of the town, and a film whose sequences, shown at Les Arcs, promise a literally hypnotic journey into the depths of the urban setting.
Also within the context of Work in Progress, the Hiventy Prize (which comes with €10,000 in post-production services) went to another documentary project: Good Luck by Ben Russell, which plunges us into the world of two mines, one State-run mine in Serbia, and another illegal mine in Suriname. This 3rd feature by the American director acclaimed for Let Each One Go Where He May (shown in competition at Rotterdam in 2010) and the multi-award-winning A Spell to Ward off the Darkness [+see also:
film profile] (which he co-directed with Ben Rivers and was featured at Locarno) is being produced by Parisian company Kinoelektron and co-produced by German company CaSK Films.
Also worth noting with regard to the other films presented in the Work in Progress section are the positive reactions received by The Real Estate by Swedish duo Mans Mansson - Axel Petersen, Dovlatov by Russian director Alexey German Jr, and British-French production I Am Not A Witch by Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni, without forgetting the buzz generated by clips from My Happy Family by Georgian filmmaker Nana Ekvtimishvili and German director Simon Gross, and by debut features Yesterday by Hungarian filmmaker Balint Kenyeres and The Gulf by Turkish director Emre Yerksan. Also worth mentioning are the highly intriguing Koko-Di Koko-da by Swedish director Johannes Nyholm, and the currently title-less film by Slovenian director Olmo Omerzu.
Awarded to one of the 20 projects shown in the Co-production Village, the Arte International Development Prize went to The Father who Moved Mountains by Romanian director Daniel Sandu (whose debut feature, One Step Behind the Seraphim, is currently in post-production – see news article), a project being produced by Mobra Films. The screenplay centres around a former secret service agent in his fifties, who learns that his son from a previous marriage has disappeared in the mountains. So he throws himself into searching for him, embarking on a determined and increasingly stubborn quest pitting man and nature against one another.
(Translated from French)