The 15th Meetings on the Bridge hands out its awards
- The winners of the Istanbul Film Festival’s co-production platform include the upcoming project by Ziya Demirel, and the debuts by Gözde Yetişkin, Emre Sert, Selman Nacar and Nazlı Elif Durlu
The 15th edition of Meetings on the Bridge was compelled to adhere to the measures declared by the World Health Organization in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, hence it transferred its entire programme online. Running from 14-17 April, the international co-production, training and networking platform organised as an integral part of the Istanbul Film Festival drew to a close with the online announcement of the awards, where the head of Meetings on the Bridge, Gülin Üstün, thanked the team, the supporters, the awards sponsors, the jury members and the participants. Afterwards, the director of the Istanbul Film Festival, Kerem Ayan, sent his own video message. The winners were chosen from among 19 film projects in development and eight in post-production, hailing from Turkey and its neighbouring countries (see the news).
Starting with the Film Development Workshop and Neighbours Platform, the jury, comprising German producer Jamila Wenske (Achtung Panda), Greek screenwriter Nicos Panayotopoulos (Mediterranean Film Institute), Polish sales agent Marcin Luczaj (New Europe Film Sales), Romanian producer Oana Giurgiu (Libra Film), co-production manager at TRT Faruk Güven and Israeli producer Yaël Fogiel (Les Films du Poisson), selected the award winners after their online pitches.
The main prize, the Meetings on the Bridge Award, valued at 30,000 Turkish lira (€4,000), was bestowed upon the project Two Eyeds, directed by Ziya Demirel and produced by Anna Maria Aslanoğlu, following a unanimous decision by the jury members, who “were intrigued by the director’s vision and his awareness of cinematic form, his way of challenging narratives and his ability to piece together the jigsaw puzzles of this multi-layered project”.
The newly introduced TRT Special Award of 50,000 Turkish lira (€6,600) went to the project Grace by directorial duo Gözde Yetişkin and Emre Sert, and produced by Suzan Güverte and Şebnem Kitiş. According to the jury, “The story makes a statement: that being intoxicated with greed and the fear of deceit makes you lose sight of real values. On the other hand, the story shows us a picture of a humanity that is asking for more, as well as promising to be moral in the end.” The other main prize, the CNC Award, which comes with €8,000, was presented to the Iranian documentary project Chronicle of a Winter: Tehran 1979, directed by Sahar Salahshoori and Bahar Shoghi, and producer Mina Kesheveraz, as it lifts the lid on an important but forgotten historical event.
The remaining, mainly technical, awards went to the documentary One of Those Creatures, directed by Ali Özkul and produced by Ceylan Özgün Özçelik and Fırat Sezgin, which received the Melodika Sound Award; Suddenly by Melisa Önel, produced by Alara Hamamcıoğlu, which won the GeniusPark Special Effects Award; and Ali Vatansever’s sophomore project, Agony, produced by Selin Vatansever and Oya Özden, which received the Mediterranean Film Institute (MFI) Script and Development Workshop Award. Furthermore, the Se-yap Award was given to director Salih Demir for his sophomore project, Treasure, produced by Çekdar Erkıran, and the Postbıyık Sound Production Award, which is reserved exclusively for a Neighbours project, was handed to Lebanese director Hussen Ibraheem for Tide, produced by Lara Abou Saifan and Tania El-Khoury. Finally, Pastoral by Michael Önder, produced by Jozef Amado, will be invited to the upcoming Transilvania Pitch Stop, which was scheduled to unspool on 5-6 June but which may be postponed until early August and might also take place online.
In the Work in Progress workshop, the jury members, Cedomir Kolar (ASAP Films), Daniela Persico (Locarno Film Festival) and Yohann Comte (Charades), picked Selman Nacar’s debut feature, Between Two Dawns, which is being produced by Burak Çevik and Diloy Gülün, as the winner of the 30,000 Turkish lira (€4,000) Anadolu Efes Award. This is because it explores “the moral questions of a new generation of sons, struggling with a society that keeps them on the sidelines”.
The Color Up Award, which covers the expenses of online editing and colour grading, went to Zuhal by first-time writer-director Nazlı Elif Durlu, produced by Anna Maria Aslanoğlu. It emerged victorious thanks to “its way of whispering a screaming loneliness and meowing in our ears the importance of trusting yourself”.
Finally, the Daire Creative Key Art Design Award was presented to director Ahmet Necdet Çopur for his documentary Whitewash, produced by Nadir Öperli, and the Başka Sinema Award was received by director Cem Özay and producer Ömür Güner for their drama Forgiveness.
Here is the full list of winners at the 15th Meetings on the Bridge:
Film Development Workshop and Neighbours Platform awards
Meetings on the Bridge Award
Two Eyeds – Ziya Demirel
Producer: Anna Maria Aslanoğlu (İstos Film)
TRT Special Award
Grace – Emre Sert, Gözde Yetişkin
Producers: Suzan Güverte, Şebnem Kitiş (Ptot Film, Güverte Film, Emre & Gözde Film)
Chronicle of a Winter: Tehran 1979 – Sahar Salahshoori, Bahar Shoghi (Iran)
Producer: Mina Kesheveraz
Melodika Sound Award
One of Those Creatures – Ali Özkul
Producers: Ceylan Özgün Özçelik, Fırat Sezgin (EHY Film Production, Institute of Time)
GeniusPark Special Effects Award
Suddenly – Melisa Önel
Producer: Alara Hamamcıoğlu (Vigo Film)
MFI Script and Development Workshop Award
Agony – Ali Vatansever
Producers: Selin Vatansever, Oya Özden (Terminal Film)
Treasure – Salih Demir
Producer: Çekdar Erkıran (Layen Film)
Postbıyık Sound Production Award
Tide – Hussen Ibraheem (Lebanon)
Producers: Tania El-Khoury, Lara Abou Saifan (Placeless Films)
Transilvania Pitch Stop Award
Pastoral – Michael Önder
Producer: Joseph Erçelik Amado (Bluff Films)
Work in Progress awards
Anadolu Efes Award
Between Two Dawns – Selman Nacar
Producers: Burak Çevik, Diloy Gülün (Kuyu Film, Karma Film)
Color Up Award
Zuhal – Nazlı Elif Durlu
Producer: Anna Maria Aslanoğlu (İstos Film)
Daire Creative Key Art Design Award
Whitewash – Ahmet Necdet Çopur
Producers: Anke Petersen, Delphine Morel, Nadir Öperli (Jyoti Films, TS Productions, Liman Film)
Başka Sinema Award
Foregiveness – Cem Özay
Producers: Cem Özay, Ömür Güner (ABC Film)
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