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REPORT: When East Meets West 2019


- We profile the winning projects from the various sections of the 2019 edition of Trieste’s When East Meets West

REPORT: When East Meets West 2019
(All photos © Katja Goljat/Matjaz Rust)

The ninth edition of When East Meets West (WEMW) has just wrapped. Taking place during the 30th Trieste Film Festival, the industry section was once again divided into three main sections: the co-production forum, with 22 projects selected; Last Stop Trieste, for documentaries at the advanced editing stage; and This Is IT, a work-in-progress section for films produced or co-produced by Italian companies. The event also includes First Cut Lab, a programme designed for fiction features in the editing phase, whose teams receive consultations from renowned industry experts. Here Cineuropa profiles the winning projects in the various competitive sections (you can also read the news about the winners).

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The pitch for Brotherhood

WEMW co-production forum

Film Centre Serbia Development Award

Brotherhood - Francesco Montagner (Czech Republic)
The sophomore feature-length documentary by Italian filmmaker Francesco Montagner, whose debut feature doc, Animated Resistance, co-directed with Alberto Girotto, won the Venezia Classici Award for Best Documentary in 2014, is set in a Bosnian village and follows three young brothers raised in a Sunni Muslim family of shepherds. Brought up by their father to follow the strict Salafi way of life, glorifying mujahideen, and sensing the danger of being a Muslim, the children have only one way of believing in Islam. When their dad is imprisoned, they will get their first chance to either follow the path of jihad or abandon their insular community. Written by Montagner, the project is being produced by Pavla Janouskova Kubeckova, of Nutprodukce.

The pitch for Methusalem

EWA European Women’s Audiovisual Network Award

Methusalem - Floor van der Meulen (Netherlands)
The fiction feature debut by Dutch director Floor van der Meulen, who is currently shooting her debut documentary, Last Male Standing, is an existential drama that focuses on 33-year-old Iris, who’s all ready to announce her pregnancy to her family when her 74-year-old father Jan breaks the news that he has decided to end his life. He prefers to bring a rich and fulfilling life to a conclusion before things start to go downhill. It is written by Bastiaan Kroeger, and is being produced by Derk-Jan Warrink, also the recipient of the Producers Network Prize, and Koji Nelissen for Amsterdam-based KeplerFilm.

The pitch for Victim

EAVE Producers Workshop Scholarship

Jakub Viktorin - Nutprodukcia (Slovakia)
Project: VictimMichal Blasko (also the winner of the Flow Postproduction Award)
Victim is the debut feature by Slovakian director Michal Blasko, who has enjoyed a successful run with his shorts, and whose bachelor project Atlantis, 2003 was premiered in the Cinéfondation competition at the 70th Cannes Film Festival. Written by Jakub Medvecky and Tomas Hruby, the story is set in a small Czech border town, where Irina, a Ukrainian immigrant and single mother, is raising her teenage son. One night, her son claims that he was assaulted by three young Roma, and Irina will seek justice for him.

Producers Network Prize

Magalie Dierick - Cassette for Timescapes (Belgium)
Project: All-In - Volkan Üce
This is the sophomore documentary by Volkan Üce, whose debut doc, Displaced [+see also:
interview: Volkan Üce
film profile
, had its premiere at DOK Leipzig in 2017. Two shy young men, Ismail and Hakan, decide to abandon their Anatolian villages and come to work at an all-inclusive hotel on the Turkish Riviera. The camera observes their adaptation to the new environment, as well as all of the challenges and the changes as they are exposed to an experience that will alter them forever. Written by the director, the documentary is being produced by Dierick and Emmy Oost for independent Belgian production company Cassette for Timescapes.

Asterisk Visual Marketing Award

Her/His - Anna Kazejak (Poland)
The fourth feature by award-winning Polish writer-director Anna Kazejak (The Word [+see also:
film profile
Flying Pigs) is set in Warsaw in the late 1980s. Irena is a skating pair coach who is preparing to participate in the Winter Olympics in Calgary, while her husband, Jacek, is a sports journalist working on the radio. They seem like the perfect couple. Although she wants a chance to be free and follow her passion, he loves only her and believes in the sanctity of their marriage. Their story will be told by both sides. The script was co-penned by Kazejak and Marta Parlatore, and Mariusz Włodarski is producing for Łódz-based Lava Films (The Harvesters [+see also:
film review
interview: Etienne Kallos
film profile

Pop Up Film Residency Award

Le Paradis C'est Ici - Giovanni Troilo (Italy/Netherlands)
Italian director-photographer Giovanni Troilo’s sophomore feature takes place in Paradis, a sleepy Belgian town where only one event can lift the mood: the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo. When the Napoleon impersonator dies suddenly, the whole event is doomed to fail – until his beloved nephew and a group of teenagers decide to take immediate action. Co-written by the director and Gaia Baldini, the film is being co-produced by Ognjen Dizdarevic (Bright Frame) with Maarten Schmidt for the Netherlands’ Storyhouse.

Last Stop Trieste

Film Centre Serbia LST Award, HBO Europe Award, Flow Digital Cinema Award

Heat Singers [+see also:
interview: Nadia Parfan
film profile
 - Nadia Parfan (Ukraine)
Ukrainian documentarian Nadia Parfan explores the central heating system of her country – a place where music is also born. A team of devoted pipe fitters rushes from home to home to tame hot fountains and to sing. Once their duties at the municipal heating company are over and done with, the workers, who are all virtually the same age as the company itself, gather every Wednesday in their union choir. Illia Gladshtein of Phalanstery Films is producing.

Dox Consulting Award

Never Whistle Alone - Marco Ferreri (Italy)
Italian director Marco Ferreri creates a collective story narrated by seven whistle-blowers. Through a series of interviews, employees from different fields of business tell of the illegal activities they have discovered inside their companies. Their stories lead us into the rooms where illicit agreements constitute signed proof of regular corruption. The documentary is being produced by Priscilla Robledo and Francesco Crespi for Milan-based firm Candy Glass.

This Is IT

Laser Film Award

Tony Driver [+see also:
film review
interview: Ascanio Petrini
film profile
 - Ascanio Petrini (Italy/Mexico)
The debut feature film by Italian writer-director Ascanio Petrini is a creative documentary about Pasquale Donatone, aka Tony, who lives in a small town on the southern Italian coast. After migrating to the USA as a child, he recently returned to Italy when he got deported. His second “job” was as a smuggler of illegal migrants into the USA. Scripted by the director, the documentary is a co-production by Marco Alessi and Giulia Achilli for Italy’s Dugong Films, with Giorgio Blasi for Mexico’s Fulgura Frango and Lucia Ferrante of Bari-based Rabid Film.

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