Projects from Hungary, Serbia and Ireland win at ZagrebDox Pro
by Vladan Petkovic
- The HBO Award worth €2,000 went to the Hungarian project It's Her Story
This year, the ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival's Pro section showcased 11 projects from around the world, selected and prepared for the Pitching Forum by producer Stefano Tealdi, of Italy's Stefilm, and Leena Pasanen, director of DOK Leipzig.
The teams behind the projects, mostly consisting of a producer and a director, prepared for three days with Tealdi and Pasanen in order to pitch their future films to the panel consisting of sales agents, and representatives of film funds, festivals, broadcasters and distributers, including HBO Europe, Al Jazeera Balkans, Eurimages, Film Centre Serbia and Taskovski Films. The full list of panellists can be found here.
The HBO Award, consisting of €2,000 for project development, went to the Hungarian project It's Her Story by directors Asia Dér and Sára Haragonics, and producer Marcell Gerö, of Campfilm, known for recent documentary successes such as Harm and Cain's Children [+see also:
film profile]. The story follows a former Member of Parliament, a lesbian who leaves politics to start a family by adopting a Roma child with her girlfriend.
The ZagrebDox DCP Award went to two projects: The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid by Irish director Feargal Ward and producer Luke McManus, of FSE Films; and Speak So I Can See You by Serbian director-producer Marija Stojnić and producer Miloš Ivanović, of production outfit Bilboke.
The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid, currently in post-production, follows the titular hermit farmer who battles the Irish state and computer hardware giant Intel as they request that he sell his farm in the neighbourhood of Intel's Dublin factory. The film will include imaginative re-enactments of the trial at the Supreme Court, which, incredibly, Reid won.
Speak So I Can See You, which is at the development stage, is a mix between observational documentary and sound experiment, dealing with Radio Belgrade 2, the only radio station in Serbia and the oldest one in the Balkans, which broadcasts culture, drama and science programmes. The film's three narrative layers will cover the everyday life of the station's employees, the imaginary life of radio as a personified giant, and its listeners in their natural surroundings.
The ZagrebDox Pro Online Mentor Award, consisting of a one-year online mentorship with HBO Europe director Hanka Kastelicová, went to Moroccan director and producer Merième Addou, of IrisProd, for the project Suspended Wives. It is an observational documentary following three "suspended wives", women whose husbands have left home and who have to go through a complicated and sometimes comical procedure to be granted a divorce.
Tealdi and Pasanen also gave out two special awards. The Award for Best Trailer went to the Slovenian project Sunday Lunch, presented in Zagreb by director Urban Zorko, writer Nina Cijan and producer Marko Kumer Murč, of EnaBanda. The project, currently in development, deals with the tradition of the Sunday family lunch in Central Europe.
The Award for Best Progress During the Workshop was given to Bride in Search of Happiness by director Tea Vidović, and producers Oliver Sertić and Tibor Keser, of Croatia's Restart. Currently in development, the project follows a Zagreb-born human rights activist and director, and her husband, a Roma musician from Kosovo, as they fight prejudice in society and a culture clash with their respective families.
The full list of projects can be found here.
Here is the full list of award winners:
It's Her Story - Asia Dér, Sára Haragonics (Hungary)
ZagrebDox Pro DCP Award
The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid - Feargal Ward (Ireland)
Speak So I Can See You - Marija Stojnić (Serbia)
ZagrebDox Pro Online Mentor Award
Suspended Wives - Merième Addou (Morroco)
Sunday Lunch - Urban Zorko (Slovenia)
Best Progress During Workshop
Bride in Search of Happiness - Tea Vidović (Croatia)