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IFFR 2021 – IFFR Pro/Awards

Country Focus: The Netherlands

The digital 38th CineMart reveals its winners


- Greece’s Cora by Evi Kalogiropoulou has taken home the €20,000 Eurimages Co-production Development Award from the 38th CineMart awards ceremony, which was held online

The digital 38th CineMart reveals its winners
Director Evi Kalogiropoulou and producer Amanda Livanou receiving the Eurimages Co-production Development Award for the project Cora (© Jan de Groen)

The IFFR Pro awards ceremony (5 February) marked the end of the 38th edition of International Film Festival Rotterdam’s CineMart co-production market, which, for the first time, was entirely digital. Marit van den Elshout, head of IFFR Pro, underlined: “We’ve seen two weeks of interaction and connection with producers in the Rotterdam Lab, project teams in CineMart, filmmakers with films in the festival programme and attending film professionals. We felt the energy transcend the screen and believe we have been able to foster new collaborations that will drive our industry forward.” The international juries handed the five IFFR Pro Awards to some promising film projects.

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The winner of this year’s Eurimages Co-production Development Award, worth €20,000, is Greek filmmaker and visual artist Evi Kalogiropoulou with her debut feature project, Cora, produced by Amanda Livanou for Neda Film. Set in the industrial outskirts of Athens, the film follows Maria, a young factory worker, and her lover Eleni as they navigate a chaotic, barren and masculine landscape. The jury, comprising Greek producer Maria Drandaki (Homemade Films), sales agent and director of LuxBox Fiorella Moretti and Pablo Perez de Lema, representative of Eurimages in Spain, stated: “The jury chose to support a supernatural drama featuring two unexpected female characters struggling for freedom and identity in a unique and colourful industrial setting.”

The ArteKino International Award, valued at €6,000, went to the project A Dutiful Wife by Chinese-born first-time writer-director Haolu Wang, which is being produced by Lian Ying for Shanghai-based Factory Gate Films. The story follows a psychiatrist who attempts to hide the fact that her abusive husband has been trapped in her closet, until he escapes and she finds the courage to follow him. The jury – Annamaria Lodato, Anton Scholten, Ada Solomon and Julie Savary – stated: “We decided to give our award to a first feature by a female filmmaker who creates immersive, subjective narratives in order to explore the characters’ psychological and emotional journeys, often blurring the boundaries between reality and imagination. We believe European support can help them defend the project and give the filmmaker more freedom to speak up.”

As for the Filmmore Post-production Award, which offers visual effects and post-production valued at €7,500, this went to Kabul Jan, the third project by Afghan filmmaker, writer and producer Shahrbanoo Sadat (The Orphanage [+see also:
film review
interview: Shahrbanoo Sadat
film profile
), co-produced by Katja Adomeit (Adomeit Film UG, Germany), Jeppe Wowk (Adomeit Film ApS, Denmark) and Wolf Pictures (Afghanistan). “It is rare to see a comedy where a woman falls in love with a married man twice her age. Against the backdrop of a violent city and a strict Islamic society, where war is part of everyday life, the lovers have to find ways of meeting each other. As director Shahrbanoo Sadat puts it: Afghanistan deserves to be seen differently, and it is a duty to do so,” mentioned the jury.

The Wouter Barendrecht Award of €5,000 for the best project from an emerging filmmaker under the age of 35 and with no more than three features under their belt went to De Maalstroom, the sophomore project by Dutch director Teddy Cherim, produced by Marten van Warmerdam (Graniet Film). “A project about a personal family history coinciding with, and set against the background of, contemporary social issues. The makers strive for an optimistic approach, and their guiding principle is light humour with a twist,” underlined jury members Ellis Driessen and Nelleke Driessen.

Finally, the IFFR Young Film Critics Award of €2,500 went to Viêt and Nam, the new project by Vietnamese filmmaker Truong Minh Quý (The Tree House [+see also:
film review
film profile
), produced by Bianca Balbuena and Brandley Liew (Epicmedia Productions Inc). The jury mentioned that the story “promises an inimitable narrative that places queer male bodies within Vietnam’s natural landscape, a place marred by colonial scars, environmental devastation and the aftermath of war”.

Here is the full list of winners at the 38th IFFR CineMart:

Eurimages Co-production Development Award
Cora - Evi Kalogiropoulou (Greece)
Producer: Amanda Livanou (Neda Film)

ArteKino International Award
A Dutiful Wife - Haolu Wang (China)
Producer: Lian Ying (Factory Gate Films)

Filmmore Post-production Award
Kabul Jan - Shahrbanoo Sadat (Germany/Denmark/Afghanistan)
Producers: Katja Adomeit (Adomeit Film UG), Jeppe Wowk (Adomeit Film ApS), Shahrbanoo Sadat (Wolf Pictures)

Wouter Barendrecht Award
De Maalstroom - Teddy Cherim (Netherlands)
Producer: Marten van Warmerdam (Graniet Film)

IFFR Young Film Critics Award
Viêt and Nam - Truong Minh Quý (Vietnam/Philippines)
Producers: Bianca Balbuena, Brandley Liew (Epicmedia Productions Inc)

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