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Roma sweeps the East Doc Platform awards


- Directed by Olga Zhurba, the project won the East Doc Platform Award, along with the Sunny Side of the Doc, DocsBarcelona and Ex Oriente Fine Cut Awards

Roma sweeps the East Doc Platform awards
The winners of the EDP Award, Roma director Olga Zhurba (right) with producers Darya Bassel and Viktoriia Khomenko

The ninth edition of East Doc Platform (EDP), the largest industry platform for Central and Eastern European documentaries, organised by the Institute of Documentary Film, welcomed industry professionals to Prague from 7-13 March. This year, the event had to modify some of its schedule owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. One part of the event’s meetings was held online, while the pitching session of the East Doc Forum was also streamed for those guests who could not be present. Before that, the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, which the EDP is an integral part of, was forced to bring its screenings and events to a halt on 10 March.

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The EDP announced its awards online, and Ukrainian filmmaker Olga Zhurba’s project Roma (working title) was the winner of the main prize, the EDP Award, as decided by the jury comprising Natalia Arshavskaya (Current Time TV), Myrocia Watamaniuk (Hot Docs) and Barbara Bouillon (ARTE), who “recognised the filmmaker’s bravery with which she combines artistry and authentic storytelling. Roma presents a compelling anti-hero who, at 18 years old, has already understood more of the world’s loneliness and isolation than most his age and older.” The award, powered by Current Time TV, is worth €5,000 and will help the filmmakers with the further development of their film.

The project, which is being co-produced by Darya Bassel and Viktoriia Khomenko for Kyiv-based Moon Man LLC with the Netherlands’ Tangerine Tree and Denmark’s Final Cut for Real, also won the DocsBarcelona Award, and shared the Sunny Side of the Doc Award with The Mothers' Crusade by Alexander Mihalkovich and Hanna Badziaka. Furthermore, Roma, along with the winner of the traditional Golden Funnel Award for the Ex Oriente Film project that made the most progress during the year-long training session, How I Became a Partisan [+see also:
interview: Vera Lacková
film profile
by Vera Lacková, snagged the new Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award, and each received €1,500 for editing consultations by renowned editors Miroslav Janek and Niels Pagh Andersen.

The Special Mention of the Jury was bestowed upon Comfortable Century, directed by Jaroslav Kratochvíl and co-produced by Jaroslav Bláha for Czech studio Petrohrad with France’s Films à Cinq. According to the jury, “a truly unique style of art documentary, this project renders an impressive and complete visual world of its own”. The project will also be presented at the upcoming DOK Preview at DOK Leipzig, while Too Close by Botond Püsök will participate in the festival's Co-production Meeting.

The Czech TV Co-production Award, worth 150,000 CZK (€5,600), went to Nenets vs Gas by Sergio Ghizzardi, produced by Valérie Montmartin (Little Big Story). The jurors, Czech TV representatives Markéta Štinglová, Petr Morávek and Věra Krincvajová, mentioned that the project “tells the current and topical story of the Nenets people from the Northwest of Siberia and the loss of their original environment where they have lived according to their traditions for 200 generations”. The executive producer of HBO Europe Documentaries, Hanka Kastelicová, presented the HBO Europe Co-Production Award, worth €2,000, to The Taste of Celibacy, directed and co-produced by Czech filmmaker Libuše Rudinská.

As for the other partner festivals’ awards, the IDFA Forum Award, which provides the winning team with travel, accommodation, and access to the market and the training programme at Europe’s biggest documentary festival, went to Black Spot Karabash by Olga Delane, while the Sheffield Doc/Fest Award, which offers the best Czech project a pass to the British event, went to The Visitors [+see also:
film profile
 by Veronika Lišková.

Finally, two pitching prizes were handed out. Firstly, the Documentary Association of Europe (DAE) Pitch Talent Encouragement Prize, presented by goEast Film Festival director Heleen Gerritsen, was given to How I Became a Partisan, which “uncovers parts of unknown Roma history and is closely linked to the director's own family history”. The team will receive two free, year-long DAE memberships. Also, The Schubert Effect by Aleksander Elkan received the Pitch the Doc Award, for “the warm approach to the film’s hero, and for introducing a rare spark of humour in showing his passionate fight to make his dreams come true, despite all the adversity”.

Here is the full list of award winners at the ninth East Doc Platform:

East Doc Platform Award
Roma (working title) - Olga Zhurba (Ukraine/Netherlands/Denmark)
Producers: Darya Bassel, Viktoriia Khomenko (Moon Man LLC), Nienke Korthof, Willem Baptist (Tangerine Tree), Monica Hellström (Final Cut for Real)

Special Mention
Comfortable Century - Jaroslav Kratochvíl (Czech Republic/France)
Producers: Jaroslav Bláha (studio Petrohrad), Sally Blake (Films à Cinq)

Czech TV Co-production Award
Nenets vs Gas - Sergio Ghizzardi (France/Belgium/Norway/Finland)
Producers: Valérie Montmartin (Little Big Story), Sergio Ghizzardi (Domino Production), Christian Falch (UpNorth Film), Liisa Karpo, Marianne Mäkelä (napafilms)

HBO Europe Co-production Award
The Taste of Celibacy - Libuše Rudinská (Czech Republic/Slovakia)
Producers: Libuše Rudinská (Rudinska Film), Wanda Kaprálová (VIRUSfilm)

Golden Funnel Award
How I Became a Partisan [+see also:
interview: Vera Lacková
film profile
- Vera Lacková (Slovakia/Czech Republic)
Producers: Jan Bodnár (Media Voice), Jarmila Poláková (Film & Sociology)

Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award
How I Became a Partisan - Vera Lacková
Roma (working title) - Olga Zhurba

IDFA Forum Award
Black Spot Karabash - Olga Delane (Germany/Poland)
Producers: Frank Müller (Doppelplusultra Film und TV Produktion), Dorota Roszkowska (Arkana Studio)

DOK Leipzig Co-Production Meeting Award
Too Close - Botond Püsök (Romania)
Producers: Irina Malcea (Luna Film), Melinda Boros (Peripatos Film)

DOK Leipzig Preview Award
Comfortable Century - Jaroslav Kratochvíl

Sunny Side of the Doc Award
Roma (working title) - Olga Zhurba
The Mothers' Crusade - Alexander Mihalkovich, Hanna Badziaka

DocsBarcelona Award
Roma (working title) - Olga Zhurba

Sheffield Doc/Fest Award
The Visitors [+see also:
film profile
 - Veronika Lišková (Czech Republic/Norway)
Producers: Kristýna Michálek Květová (Cinémotif Films), Christian Falch (UpNorth Film)

DAE Pitch Talent Encouragement Prize
How I Became a Partisan - Vera Lacková

Pitch the Doc Award
The Schubert Effect - Aleksander Elkan (Russia)
Producer: Ksenia Gapchenko (Docs Vostok)

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