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VISIONS DU RÉEL 2021 VdR-Industry

REPORT: VdR-Industry @ Visions du Réel 2021


- We take a closer look at the Visions du Réel industry award winners

REPORT: VdR-Industry @ Visions du Réel 2021
Transfariana by Joris Lachaise, winner of the VdR-Work in Progress Award

Last week, Visions du Réel announced its industry awards, which were dominated by projects from North and South America and China (read news). In this article, Cineuropa profiles the European award winners.


Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Award
But Dear Lord Why? - Rati Tsiteladze (Georgia)

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In his first feature-length documentary, Georgian director Rati Tsiteladze — so far best known for the 2018 EFA-nominated short Prisoner of Society, and currently working on his first fiction feature, Blue House — follows his 31 year-old sister Dea. She has a strong desire to have a child and has been battling with infertility, social pressure and unfulfilled dreams in patriarchal society for ten years. When she finally gets pregnant, complications ensue and she loses the child. As Dea tries to confront her inner turmoil, new tensions arise and she starts questioning herself, God and her relationship with her husband. The project is being produced by the director, Nino Varsimashvili and Olga Slusareva for ArtWay Film, and they plan to start shooting this coming June.

visions sud est Award
The Vanishing - Rama Thiaw (Senegal/France)

The Mauritanian director, who won the FIPRESCI Prize in Berlinale's Forum in 2016 for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, is working on a film about the disappearance of her mother, a highly respected Senegalese woman who lived a stormy life and was arrested then expelled to France for her political activism. In 2012, after arriving in Dakar from Paris, she disappeared. Thiaw plans to follow in her footsteps, and says that the film will combine personal story and documentary essay, with animated sequences. Co-produced by Thiaw's Senegalese company Boul Fallé Images and France's Films de Force Majeure, The Vanishing is scheduled to film throughout 2022.

VdR-Work in Progress

VdR-Work in Progress Award
Transfariana - Joris Lachaise (France/Colombia)

The third feature-length documentary by Marseille-based director and cinematographer Joris Lachaise is set in Colombia. In a high security prison to the south of Bogotá, the marriage of a FARC leader to a transgender former sex worker sentenced to life imprisonment first caused a scandal, then led to a transformation of views at a national scale. Between prison life, Bogota's urban network, and the Colombian countryside, the film looks for signs of the discrete movements governing the changes of a society. Co-produced by Line Peyron of France's Mujo and Guillermo Quintero of Colombia's Romeo, Transfariana is planned as a 180-minute film that can be split into two parts, and the team has been filming since 2016.

Raggioverde Subtitling Award
Another Spring - Mladen Kovačević (Serbia)

Kovačević's recent films include the 2020 Heart of Sarajevo winner Merry Christmas, Yiwu [+see also:
film review
interview: Mladen Kovačević
film profile
and 4 Years in 10 Minutes [+see also:
film review
film profile
, awarded at Visions du Réel in 2018. His latest project, currently in post-production, is very topical: it deals with the last smallpox epidemic that happened in Europe, in 1972 in Yugoslavia, after which the disease was eradicated. The leading protagonist, epidemiologist Zoran Radovanović, narrates the medical thriller from the beginning of his career, reconstructed from 50 year-old archive film footage. Iva Plemić Divjak produces for Belgrade-based Horopter Film Production.

Freestudios Award
We, Students! - Rafiki Fariala (Central African Republic/France/Congo)

Another personal documentary, Kivu-born Fariala's first feature-length follows him and his three male friends from the University of Bangui as they plan their future. At the exams, the brightest among them fails, punished for his friendship with a girl that a teacher was after. The girl had to leave the university to escape the harassment. They continue their studies, but resentments and jealousy surface. The director is a musician, and he plans to deliver his voice over by singing softly. Daniele Incalcaterra produces for Makongo Films.

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