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Visions du Réel 2021 - VdR-Industry

Country Focus: Switzerland

Projects from the Americas and China dominate Visions du Réel industry awards


- The main prize goes to Science Fiction from Argentina, Chinese entry Yoga Village gets two awards; awarded European projects hail from Georgia, France and Serbia

Projects from the Americas and China dominate Visions du Réel industry awards
But Dear Lord Why? by Rati Tsiteladze

Visions du Réel’s pitching competition took place online last week, and the awards were given out Tuesday night in three sections: VdR-Pitching, VdR-Work in Progress, and Opening Scenes, which is dedicated to completed student films taking part in the festival's programme.

In the VdR-Pitching section, only two European projects grabbed prizes: But Dear Lord Why? by Georgian filmmaker Rati Tsiteladze bagged the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Award, consisting of an accreditation and accommodation at TDF and access to its industry programme AGORA for one person, while Senegalese director Rama Thiaw received the CHF 10,000 visions sud est Award for The Vanishing, a co-production with France.

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Ezeguiel Yanco's Science Fiction (Argentina) got the CHF 5,000 VdR-Pitching Award, while The Party Film Sales Award, consisting of acquisition of international rights by the sales agent, went to King Coal by the American filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon.

The Chinese project Yoga Village, directed by Rongfei Guo, picked up two prizes: the RTS Award, consisting of a pre-buy of the film, and the HEAD–Genève Postproduction Award, which includes colour grading and creating of files for distribution.

The Cannes Docs Award, which provides two accreditations to the director and producer for the Marche and participation in Cannes Docs, went to the Chinese-US co-production The Last Year of Darkness by Ben Mullinkosson.

Chilean project Malqueridas [+see also:
film review
interview: Tana Gilbert
film profile
by Tana Gilbert received the DOK Leipzig/DOK Industry Networking Award, consisting of accreditation and accommodation at the German event and observer access to the DOK Co-Pro Market.

In the VdR-Work in Progress segment, the CHF 3,000 VdR-Work in Progress Award went to the French-Colombian co-production Transfariana [+see also:
film review
interview: Joris Lachaise
film profile
by Joris Lachaise.

Serbian director Mladen Kovačević's Another Spring bagged the Raggioverde Subtitling Award, while Rafiki Fariala's We, Students! [+see also:
film review
film profile
(Central African Republic/France/Congo) got the Freestudios Award, meaning the company will make the DCP package for the film.

The Lightdoc Award, worth CHF 3,000, was handed to Blue Island by Chan Tze Woon, a co-production between Hong Kong and Japan.

The Peruan project About Everything That Is There to Know by Sofía Velázquez got the EFM Award, consisting of two market badges and consultations at the Doc-salon.

The DAE Encouragement Award, comprising two memberships to the network and four free consultations, went to the South Africa-US co-production The Home by Jessie Zinn and Chase Musslewhite.

And in the Opening Scenes section, Anna Artemyeva's Don't Hesitate to Come for a Visit, Mom (Belgium/Hungary/Portugal/Russia) got the IDFA Spotlight Award which takes the director to the next edition of IDFA Industry.

The TËNK Award, meaning purchase of distribution rights and an editing residency in Lussas, was given to Rokhaya Marieme Blade for Seeking Aline (Switzerland/Senegal) and Swiss artist and filmmaker Elisa Gómez Alvarez, respectively.

Finally, the META Cultural Foundation Award, which includes a residency at Slon in Romania, went to Brazil's Monise Nicodemos for Not Over Yet.

Full list of VdR Industry Awards:


VdR-Pitching Award
Science Fiction - Ezequiel Yanco (Argentina)
Producers: Ana Godoy, Ezequiel Yanco (Isoi Cine)

The Party Film Sales Award
King Coal - Elaine McMillion Sheldon (USA)
Producer: Shane Boris (Cottage M)

RTS Award
Yoga Village - Rongfei Guo (China)
Producer: Wenxin Zhong, Galaxion Films LLC

HEAD–Genève Postproduction Award
Yoga Village - Rongfei Guo (China)

Cannes Docs Award
The Last Year of Darkness - Ben Mullinkosson (China/USA)
Producer: Sol Ye (Florence)

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Award
But Dear Lord Why? - Rati Tsiteladze (Georgia)
Producers: Olga Slusareva, Nino Varsimashvili, Rati Tsiteladze (ArtWay Film)

DOK Leipzig/DOK Industry Networking Award
Malqueridas [+see also:
film review
interview: Tana Gilbert
film profile
- Tana Gilbert (Chile)
Producer: Paola Castillo (Errante)

visions sud est Award
The Vanishing - Rama Thiaw (Senegal/France)
Producers: Hortense Maunoury (Boul Fallé Images), Jean-Laurent Csinidis (Films de Force Majeure)

VdR-Work in Progress

VdR-Work in Progress Award
Transfariana [+see also:
film review
interview: Joris Lachaise
film profile
- Joris Lachaise (France/Colombia)
Producers: Line Peyron (Mujo), Guillermo Quintero (Romeo)

Lightdox Award
Blue Island - Chan Tze Woon (Hong Kong/Japan)
Producers: Catherine Chan, Peter Yam (Blue Island Production Company)

Raggioverde Subtitling Award
Another Spring - Mladen Kovačević (Serbia)
Producer: Iva Plemić Divjak (Horopter Film Production)

EFM Award
About Everything There Is to Know - Sofía Velázquez (Peru)
Producer: Carolina Denegri (Mercado Central Asociación Cultural)

DAE Encouragement Award
The Home - Jessie Zinn, Chase Musslewhite (South Africa/USA)
Producers: Jessie Zinn, Chase Musslewhite (Red Coat Films)

Freestudios Award
We, Students! - Rafiki Fariala (Central African Republic/France/Congo)
Producers: Daniele Incalcaterra, Boris Lojkine (Makongo Films)

Opening Scenes Awards

IDFA Spotlight Award
Don't Hesitate to Come for a Visit, Mom - Anna Artemyeva (Belgium/Hungary/Portugal/Russia)

TËNK Award
Seeking Aline - Rokhaya Marieme Blade (Switzerland/Senegal)
Elisa Gómez Alvarez (Switzerland)

META Cultural Foundation Award
Not Over Yet - Monise Nicodemos (Brazil)

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