Projects from Greece, Syria and France win Thessaloniki’s Doc Market awards
by Vladan Petkovic
- Katerina Patroni's Four Seasons has scooped the 2|35 Award, Salah Al Ashkar's Our Choices got the MuSou Award, and the Greek Film Centre Award went to Dimitra Kouzi's School 54
The 2|35 Award, consisting of post-production services from post-production company Two Thirty Five (2|35), worth €15,000, went to Four Seasons by Greek director Katerina Patroni. The film features parallel monologues by four strangers that bring to light issues such as loss, guilt, faith and the pursuit of atonement. Their inner worlds form a cinematographic arrangement within the city’s landscape, through which they wander, performing their private rituals and revealing some unexpected facets of Athens. The film is being produced by Eleni Chandrinou and Maria Kontogianni, through Steficon.
The MuSou Award for music and sound services, amounting to €3,500, was handed to Aleppo-born, Paris-based filmmaker Salah Al Ashkar's Our Choices. The film chronicles the siege of Aleppo in 2016 by Bashar al-Assad’s forces, up until the evacuation of the city. It is shot from within Aleppo by one of its inhabitants: simultaneously witness and protagonist, fearless and bewildered, Al Ashkar brings us up close to his fellow citizens who are struggling to stay alive in a world blown to pieces. The film is being co-produced by Etienne de Ricaud and Ariel Cypel, through companies Caractères Productions and L’atelier des artistes en exil, respectively.
Finally, the Greek Film Center Award, worth €3,000, went to Greek director Dimitra Kouzi for School 54 (working title). It is the story of Fotis Psycharis, a teacher who has been working at a public elementary school in central Athens for 27 years, and who has developed his own educational approach. He uses drama to build teams, thus overcoming the linguistic and cultural barriers that exist between his pupils, who are mostly refugees and immigrants. Following Fotis as he teaches his class and develops a play that he has written for the graduation ceremony, this humorous, positive film is a rare opportunity to witness a school microcosm in a deteriorating city centre from within. Kouzi is producing the film herself through her company Kouzi Productions.
Of the ten projects that took part in this year's Docs in Progress, 50% are being directed by women.
Here is the full list of Docs in Progress award winners:
Four Seasons - Katerina Patroni (Greece)
Producers: Eleni Chandrinou, Maria Kontogianni, Steficon
Our Choices - Salah Al Ashkar (Syria/France)
Producers: Etienne de Ricaud, Caractères Productions; Ariel Cypel, L'atelier des artistes en exil
Greek Film Center Award
School 54 (working title) - Dimitra Kouzi (Greece)
Producer: Dimitra Kouzi, Kouzi Productions
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