Provincial Town of E the big winner at the East Doc Platform 2017 awards
by Tina Poglajen
- The Russian documentary by Dmitry Bogolubov, currently in production, scooped the main EDP Award, the DOK Preview Award and the Current Time TV Award
East Doc Platform 2017, the largest documentary industry event in Central and Eastern Europe, which ran from 6-12 March in Prague, came to a close on Sunday, with the awards ceremony being held on Saturday at the Komedie Theatre. Nine awards were given out to select documentary projects in development and production.
The main EDP prize for the best project in development and production – the East Doc Platform Award, which includes a financial sum of €7,500 – went to Russia’s Provincial Town of E, directed by Dmitry Bogolubov and produced by Vlad Ketkovich (of Ethnofund). This year’s jury of international film-festival and sales representatives was composed of Nicolas Feodoroff (FID Marseille, France), Maëlle Guenegues (CAT&Docs, France), Gitte Hansen (First Hand Films, Switzerland), Anna Hoffmann (Berlinale, Germany), Loïc Valceschini (Locarno Film Festival Critics’ Week, Switzerland) and Agnés Wildenstein (Doclisboa, Portugal).
The film tells a story about a town in the very heart of Russia that is completely unremarkable, except for its abundance of patriotic military events, making it a haven for the growing number of Putin supporters. Through the political views of parents who force their convictions on their children without leaving any room for reflection, the political situation of the whole town is symbolised, as is the politics of Russia as a country. The project, which is now in the final stages of shooting, is still open to co-producing partners, but is also already seeking pre-sales and world sales.
In the words of the jury, “Offering insight into everyday life in a small town, the project captures the relevant social and geopolitical issues of contemporary Russia. Through different layers of history and human stories, the filmmakers invite us to observe how the past shapes the present, thus making us think about the future.” In addition to the main award, Provincial Town of E also received the DOK Preview Award and the Current Time TV Award (worth €3,500).
Besides DOK Preview, there were other awards given out, which included invitations to present the projects at other festivals or pitching forums, such as DocsBarcelona and DOK Leipzig. Most notably, the IDFA Forum Award for the most promising project includes free participation in the IDFA Forum Academy for both the director and the producer. This particular prize went to the Slovakian project Yours Sincerely, Social System by Martin Tokár, a documentary about an African social worker who devotes his time to helping the people of Somotor, Slovakia, but struggles with the absurdities of the country’s social system. “Most of our team is working on a project for the first time, so this means a lot to us,” said producer Ivana Hucíková upon receiving the award.
Previously, on Friday 10 March, at the presentation of the Doc Tank projects at the Cervantes Institute in Prague, the Interactive Documentary Workshop Award for the most promising Doc Tank project went to Teslafy.me (Slovenia/USA/Germany) by director-producer Janja Glogovac, a transmedia project recreating the mindscape of Nikola Tesla, the inventor and scientist responsible for the state of much of contemporary civilisation (read the news).
Here is the full list of EDP 2017 award winners:
East Doc Platform Award
Provincial Town of E – Dmitry Bogolubov (Russia)
Producer: Vlad Ketkovich (Ethnofund)
Czech TV Post-production Award
Before Father Is Back – Marine Gulbiani (Georgia/France/Germany)
Producer: Tekle Machavariani
HBO Development Award
The Earth Masters – Alba Sotorra (Germany/Spain)
Producer: Nadja Smith ([N]Smith Film)
The Golden Funnel Award
Satanic Girls: Women on the Move – Bohdan Bláhovec (Czech Republic)
Producers: Pavla Janoušková Kubečková, Anna Herza Tydlitátová (nutprodukce)
IDFA Forum Award
Yours Sincerely, Social System – Martin Tokár (Slovakia)
Producer: Ivana Hucíková (Mirakl)
The Smuggler – Ivars Zviedris (Latvia)
Producer: Marta Bite (Documentarist)
DOK Preview Award
Provincial Town of E
DOK Leipzig Co-Production Meeting Award
Bare Handed – Stefano Obino (Italy)
Producers: Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino (TFilm)
Current Time TV Award
Provincial Town of E
Interactive Documentary Workshop Award
Teslafy.me – Janja Glogovac (Slovenia/USA/Germany)
Producer: Janja Glogovac