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SOFIA 2019 Sofia Meetings / Awards

The 16th Sofia Meetings announces its winners


- No Land for Me and Deconstruction have snagged the post-production awards, while Inkwash and Najva received the consultancy prizes at the Bulgarian industry event

The 16th Sofia Meetings announces its winners
r-l: Ram Nehari, Yifat Prestelnik and Yair Grinberg receive the Best Pitching Award for their project No Land for Me

The 16th edition of the Sofia Meetings Coproduction Market, which ran from 13-17 March, has wrapped with the announcement of the winners of seven awards handed out at the Sofia International Film Festival industry platform, which featured 26 projects (see the news).

The Best Pitching Award, sponsored by Cinelab Romania, valued at €25,000 in post-production services, was granted to the project No Land for Me by Israeli second-time filmmaker Ram Nehari (Don’t Forget Me [+see also:
film review
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), written by Yair Grinberg and produced by Yifat Prestelnik for Tel Aviv-based Yifat Prestelnik Films. The story is about two Russian teen dropouts who emigrated to Israel after the collapse of the USSR during the 1990s, and who observe the 2002 terrorist attack on the Park Hotel in Netanya.

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The Bulgarian project Deconstruction by debutant director Pavel G Vesnakov, produced by Veselka Kiryakova for Red Carpet, received the €10,000 Focusfox Studio Award, which will cover post-production services. Another local project by a first-time director, Windy Days Are Good For Flying by Petar Krumov, produced by Rositsa Valkanova (Klas Film), received the newly instigated Villa Kult Residency Award, which will cover travel expenses and five days of accommodation in Berlin.

Debutant Romanian director Sarra Tsorakidis, who presented her project Inkwash, produced by Anca Puiu for Mandragora, snagged two prizes: the Young Producer Award – YAPIMLAB, which will invite one producer for a week of project consultancy in Istanbul or Antalya during the International Antalya Film Festival, and the Mediterranean Film Institute Award, which offers a scholarship for the Script 2 Film workshop. Also, the project Luna Park by writer-director Florenc Papas, produced by Dritan Huqi (On Film Production), will be invited to MFI’s Script 2 Film workshop, with the fees covered by the National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication – ΕΚΟΜΕ, since a significant portion of the shoot will take place in Greece.

The other consultancy prize went to Turkish director Gözde Kural (Dust), who received the EastWest Filmdistribution Award, which provides script consultancy with Irish-American script doctor Steven Goldsmith, for her sophomore project, Najva, co-produced by Uğur Can Gürsözlü and the director, with Marcel Giroux for Canada’s GPA Films and Dimitar Gotchev for Bulgaria’s Dreams Industry.

Finally, the project Honey Bunny by Croatian director Igor Jelinović, produced by Rea Rajčić (Eclectica), which had already been presented in the First Films First Goethe-Institut Young Directors’ Academy, received the GoEast Award for Best Pitch and is therefore invited to the festival’s East-West Talent Lab.

It should be noted that the Cannes Film Market Producers Network will pick two producers to be invited to this year’s edition in May, while Thessaloniki’s Agora Crossroads will also select one of the Sofia Meetings projects for its upcoming event in November.

Here is the full list of winners at the 16th Sofia Meetings:

Cinelab Romania Award
No Land for Me - Ram Nehari (Israel)
Producer: Yifat Prestelnik (Yifat Prestelnik Films)

Focus Fox Studio Award
Deconstruction - Pavel G Vesnakov (Bulgaria)
Producer: Veselka Kiryakova (Red Carpet)

EastWest Film Distribution Award
Najva - Gözde Kural (Turkey/Canada/Bulgaria)
Producers: Uğur Can Gürsözlü, Gözde Kural (TOZ Film Production), Marcel Giroux (GPA Films), Dimitar Gotchev (Dreams Industry)

Young Producer Award – YAPIMLAB
Inkwash - Sarra Tsorakidis (Romania)
Producer: Anca Puiu (Mandragora)

Villa Kult Residency Award
Windy Days Are Good for Flying - Petar Krumov (Bulgaria)
Producer: Rositsa Valkanova (Klas Film)

Mediterranean Film Institute Awards
Inkwash - Sarra Tsorakidis (Romania)
Producer: Anca Puiu (Mandragora)

Luna Park - Florenc Papas (Albania)
Producer: Dritan Huqi (On Film Production)

GoEast Award
Honey Bunny - Igor Jelinović (Croatia)
Producer: Rea Rajčić (Eclectica)

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