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INDUSTRY Serbia

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FEST Forward awards Serbian and women's projects

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- Belgrade FEST's co-production market has announced the winners of its second edition

FEST Forward awards Serbian and women's projects
Agnieszka Woszczynska (far left) and Agnieszka Wasiak (second from left) during the awards ceremony

FEST Forward, the industry section of the Belgrade International Film Festival FEST, which took place from 3-5 March, included three strands: the National Selection, presenting nine Serbian fiction and documentary projects; Women in Film, with eight fiction and documentary projects from around Europe, focused on films made by women or with female-focused subject matter; and the Distributors and Exhibitors Convention, aimed at educating and strengthening the sector in the territory.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

In the National Selection, the €4,000 award from Film Center Serbia went to the project Witch Hunters by director Raško Miljković, writers Marko Manojlović and Miloš Krečković, and producer Jovana Karaulić, of the company Action Productions. Miljković's first feature-length fiction film is a story about a ten-year-old boy with partial cerebral palsy who prefers to live in his imagination than to face the world limited by his impairment. A new girl comes to his class, and the two strike up a friendship through which he will help her to separate her father from his new wife, who the girl believes is a witch, while she will help the boy to open up to the real world. 

Other projects in the selection included the fiction features Domino Effect by Djordje Milosavljević (recently acclaimed for penning the script for Redemption Street [+see also:
trailer
interview: Miroslav Terzić
festival scope
film profile
]
), The Heroes Were Dancing by Nikola Ljuca (Humidity [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Nikola Ljuca
film profile
]
), So Help Us God by Slobodan Šijan (the director of what is widely considered to be the best Yugoslav film ever, Who’s Singin’ Over There?), There Will Be Hell to Pay by first-time director Gvozden Djurić and producer Uroš Tomić (Tilva Ros [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), and Trails of Chul by writer Dimitrije Vojnov, director Danilo Bećković and producer Marko Paljić (the team behind Little Buddho and The Samurai in Autumn [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

The documentaries presented were Do Not Come Home by Danilo Lazović and Miloš LjubomirovićSonia by director Marta Popivoda (Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body) and producer Dragana Jovović (Depth Two [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), and Ultra Munze Konza by directors Dušan Grubin and Jelena Maksimović (editor of Depth Two, Tamara Drakulić's Wind [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Vlado Škafar's Mother [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Vlado Škafar
film profile
]
, to name just a few recent works by Serbia's most sought-after editor).

In the Women in Film section, the €4,000 award from Film Center Serbia and the European Women's Audiovisual Network went to the Polish project Fortnight by director Aga Woszczynska (Cannes Directors’ Fortnight short Fragments) and producer Agnieszka Wasiak (21 x New York [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), of Lava Films, with co-production companies Films De Force Majeure (France) and Kino Produzioni (Italy). It is a quiet, contemplative take on the collapse of a marriage, taking place in Warsaw and a small town in the south of Italy. 

Other projects in the selection were the fiction films Closed to the Public by Croatian director Vanja Sviličić (Zagreb Cappuccino) and producers Ana Grbac and Damir Terešak, of Maxima Film (These Are the Rules [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
); From Space with Love by Bulgarian writer-director Yassen Genadiev (short Rules) and producer Gergana Stankova, of Menclips; Sister by Macedonian director Dina Duma (The Last Act) and producer Marija Dimitrova, of List Production (the project has also been selected for Less Is More – see the news); Son by Bosnian writer-director Ines Tanović (Our Everyday Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ines Tanović
film profile
]
) and producer Alem Babić, of Dokumenta Sarajevo; and Vesper Seeds by writing-directing-producing team Kristina Buozyte (Vanishing Waves [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kristina Buozyte
film profile
]
) and Bruno Samper, with the company Natrix Natrix.

The documentaries in the section were The Black Wedding by Serbian writer-director Dragan Nikolić and producer Jovana Nikolić, of Prababa Production (The Undertaker, Caviar Connection); and Zenit, a co-production between Germany, Austria and Serbia written, directed and produced by Serbia's Miona Bogović and Austria's Ana Hoffner, who are working on the project through the German Film and TV Academy Berlin (DFFB).

Finally, the Distributors and Exhibitors Convention gave out its first ever annual awards. Most notably, Blitz received the Award for Best Distribution Results for a European Film (Of Sheep and Wolves, which sold 14,079 admissions), and Con Film scooped the Best Local Film Distribution Results Award, for Nikola Kojo's comedy Stado (157,207 admissions). Distributor Megacom Film received the Award for the Most Diverse Slate, with 88 Serbian and European titles distributed or screened at festivals in 2016. 

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