Les Arcs’ Work in Progress crowns To Sail Close to the Wind and Figures in the Urban Landscape
- Gregoris Rentis' film wins the TitraFilm prize, while the Eurimages Lab Project Award goes to Ekaterina Selenkina. Luàna Bajrami, Mareike Engelhard, Dana Lerer and Thessa Meijer are also awarded
On Monday evening, as part of the Industry Village of the 11th Les Arcs Film Festival, the jury in charge of weighing up the 16 features duking it out in the Work in Progress section handed out two awards. Three other prizes were given (another one in the Work in Progress section, and two for the best projects in the Coproduction Village and the Talent Village, with an extra special mention).
In the Work in Progress section, the TitraFilm prize (worth €10,000 in image and sound post-production services) went to To Sail Close to the Wind, from Greek director Gregoris Rentis. Produced by Greek companies Asterisk* and Byrd with French company Good Fortune Films, this feature debut seduced the members of the jury (Mark Adams, Mathilde Henrot and Azize Tan) who were "amused by its very slapstick comedy elements inserted into a documentary context, its original and tragi-comic approach to situations. The film is a reflection on the human condition and on the current state of the world." Its topic? Since the multiplication of piracy incidents off Somalia’s coasts, an industry of maritime security has taken root in the region. The film explores a narrative of good and evil, following characters who live in the grey zone between the two, spending the better part of their lives waiting for a threat that may never come.
Still in the Work In Progress section, the Lab Project Award prize (courtesy of Eurimages and worth €50,000 in cash) singled out Figures in the Urban Landscape by Ekaterina Selenkina. Produced by Vladimir Nadein (Russia) and Dutch Mountain Film (Netherlands), this feature debut already supported at the development stage by the Hubert Bals Fund sees Denis hides small packages of drugs in the outskirts of a city in Russia, taking pictures of these spots and sending out this information to customers while intimate moments of day-to-day life unfold.
Handed out for the first time, the Alphapanda Audience Engagement prize (worth €5,000 and meant to go towards developing an online marketing strategy and putting in place a social media campaign for the film’s festival premiere) went to The Hill Where Lionesses Roar from France/Kosovo director Luàna Bajrami, produced by OrëZanë Films (Kosovo) and Vents Contraires (France). The script centres on Qe, Li and Jeta, three friends who cannot see any future for themselves and who, in order to escape this daily lives, decide to create a gang and to bypass local traders. But the excitement of independence will prove dangerous…
As for the projects in the Coproduction Village, another feature debut was the winner, with the ArteKino International prize (worth €6,000) going to Rabia from German director Mareike Engelhard, produced by French company Films Grand Huit.
Finally, the Best Project Award (which comes with €1,500 courtesy of T-Port) of the Talent Village (established to help young filmmakers make the leap to their feature debut) went to Double Happiness from Israeli director Dana Lerer, with a special mention for Volcano Girl from Dutch director Thessa Meijer.
Here is the full list of winners:
Work In Progress
Eurimages Lab Project Award
Figures in the Urban Landscape - Ekaterina Selenkina (Russia/Netherlands)
Production: Vladimir Nadein, Dutch Mountain Film
ArteKino International Award
Rabia - Mareike Engelhard (Germany/France)
Production: Films Grand Huit
Double Happiness - Dana Lerer (Israel/Canada)
Production: Firma Films, Serendipity Pint Films
Volcano Girl - Thessa Meijer (Netherlands)
Production: Halal Pictures
(Translated from French)
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