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INDUSTRY Albania

Balkan Film Market announces its winners

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- The Tirana-based event has revealed the winners of Pitch Balkan, Albascript Plus, and minority co-production funding through the Albanian National Centre of Cinematography

Balkan Film Market announces its winners
Director Enkelejd Lluca (left) and producer Sebastian Sgodzai, winners of Best Pitch for My Grandfather's Ashes

The second Balkan Film Market (BFM, which took place in Tirana from 3-7 October, has announced the winners of its Pitch Balkan section, as well as six projects that the Albanian National Centre of Cinematography (ANCC) will fund through its minority co-production scheme. 

Pitch Balkan featured 15 projects from ten countries, and the Best Pitch Award went to My Grandfather's Ashes by Albanian-born, German-based director Enkelejd Lluca. It is a story about a 30-year-old bouncer in a red-light district in Germany who suddenly has to go back to his native Albania to attend his grandfather's funeral. The film is being produced by Marvin Rössler and Sebastian Sgodzai, of Frankfurt-based behind the screens UG. 

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The Serbian project Christina by director Nikola Spasić and producer Milanka Gvoić, of Inkubator Rezon, came in in second place, while Romanian director-producer Andreea Valean's Life Beats Reality and Sister by Macedonian filmmaker Dina Duma and producer Marija Dimitrova, of List Production, shared third place. 

At Albascript Plus, a script development workshop that included 15 feature-length projects and five shorts, the Stan Award (from this year on named after recently departed US-Albanian filmmaker Stan Dragoti) went to Sex Cuts by Albania's Eno Milkani in the feature-length category, and to Is Aunt Bozana My Dad? by Macedonia's Eva Kamchevska in the shorts section. The projects will receive €1,500 and €500, respectively. 

The BFM also serves as a platform for the ANCC to choose the projects it will fund through its minority co-production scheme, and this year, Kosovo was the big winner with four out of the six projects selected, while the other two hail from Greece and Macedonia. Among the winners are the new projects by Isa Qosja and Milcho Manchevski. The full list can be found below:

Albanian minority co-production funding 

Hive (Kosovo/Macedonia/Albania)
Director/writer: Blerta Basholi
Production company: Ikone Studio
Co-production companies: Black Cat Production, Albasky Film

Pack of Sheep (Greece/Albania/France)
Director/writer: Dimitris Kanellopoulos
Production company: Graal SA
Co-production companies: ARTALB FilmMezzanine Films 

The Dusk Rhapsody (Kosovo/Albania)
Director: Agim Sopi
Writers: Zymber Kelmendi, Agim Sopi
Production company: AS Film Production 
Co-production company: MMS NOSITI

Vera Dreams of the Sea (Kosovo/Albania)
Director: Kaltrina Krasniqi
Writer: Doruntina Basha
Production company: Puntoria Kreative ISSTRA 
Co-production company: Papadhimitri Film Production 

Willow (Macedonia/Albania/Belgium/Hungary)
Director/writer: Milcho Manchevski
Production company: Banana Film
Co-production companies: Tirana Film Institute, Saga FilmPioneer Films

Skype (Kosovo/Albania/Montenegro)
Director/writer: Isa Qosja
Production company: 4MM shpk
Co-production companies: Tunnelfilm shpk, ABHO Film

Pitch Balkan awards

1st Place
My Grandfather's Ashes - Enkelejd Lluca (Albania)
Producer: Sebastian Zgodaj

2nd Place
Christina - Nikola Spasić (Serbia)
Producer: Milanka Gvoić 

3rd Place
Life Beats Reality - Andreea Valean (Romania)
Producer: Andreea Valean 

Sister - Dina Duma (Macedonia)
Producer: Marija Dimitrova

Albascript Plus awards

Stan Award for Feature Film
Sex Cuts - Eno Milkani (Albania)

Stan Award for Short Film
Is Aunt Bozana My Dad? - Eva Kamchevska (Macedonia)

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