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SEVILLE 2021 SEFF Industry / Awards

Projects by Spaniard Javier Marco and Germany’s Ali Kareem Obaid win prizes at Seville

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- A la cara and The Arabic Interpreter have triumphed in the European Co-production Forum at the 18th edition of the festival, which this year featured Germany as its guest country

Projects by Spaniard Javier Marco and Germany’s Ali Kareem Obaid win prizes at Seville
Director Ali Kareem Obaid with his Seville Film Festival Award for The Arabic Interpreter (© SEFF)

At SEFF Industry, which has been taking place as an integral part of the 18th edition of the Seville European Film Festival, the two awards of the third European Co-production Forum have been given out. The event is intended for fiction or documentary features at the development stage, and this year, it featured Germany as its guest country. The projects A la cara, helmed by Javier Marco, and The Arabic Interpreter, set to be directed by Ali Kareem Obaid, were singled out from among the ten titles – five Spanish and five German ones (see the news) – that were taking part in this rendezvous, which unspooled in CICUS (the University of Seville’s Centre of Cultural Initiatives) from 8-10 November.

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The jury, made up of Olmo Figueredo, Sara Santaella and Nina Frese, crowned The Arabic Interpreter with the Seville Film Festival Award, which comes with €5,000 in development support. This German project, which rocked up in Seville after having received backing from various support funds, is being staged by production company Achtung Panda and was written by director Ali Kareem Obaid, who is of Iraqi heritage.

In addition, the Arte Sonora Award, endowed with €5,000 in post-production services, was bestowed upon the feature A la cara, staged by production company Pecado Films, with which Javier Marco is making a feature-length version of his short of the same name, which won the most recent Goya Award in this category, and stars Manolo Solo and Sonia Almarcha. The Alicante-born filmmaker previously took part in the first edition of European Co-productions two years ago with Josephine [+see also:
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, which was world-premiered at the latest edition of the San Sebastián Film Festival, in the New Directors section, with Emma Suárez and Roberto Álamo topping the bill, and which has just been released in Spanish movie theatres.

On the other hand, yesterday, 10 November, the first MERCI Sevilla Independent Film Market kicked off (read the interview with Miguel Morales, a distributor and the president of the association that co-organises it, ADICINE), where around 100 professionals involved in film exhibition, TV channels and platforms can watch European titles such as The Worst Person in the World [+see also:
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interview: Joachim Trier
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by Joachim Trier, Happening [+see also:
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by Audrey Diwan and The Restless [+see also:
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interview: Joachim Lafosse
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by Joachim Lafosse, among myriad other interesting films.

In addition, Europa Cinemas, the network of theatres specialising in European and arthouse cinema founded in 1992, which boasts more than 1,200 cinemas spread across 43 countries, organised an Innovation and Audience Development Lab for exhibitors. This seminar, entitled “Re-energising Cinema-going Through Collaboration”, and led by experts Madeleine Probst (vice-president of Europa Cinemas and programme producer at Watershed) and Frank Groot (programmer and financial director at Kino Rotterdam), explored the potential of cinemas as vital connectors in their local communities and on the international stage.

Lastly, at the moment (from 10-12 November), the festival is once again hosting the Europa International annual conference (see the news). The organisation is a network of sales agents and distributors, whose objective is to improve and increase the distribution and circulation of European films both on the continent and further afield. Attending this rendezvous are representatives of companies such as Wild Bunch, Les Films du Losange, New Europe Film Sales, The Match Factory and Films Boutique.

Here is the list of award winners at the third European Co-production Forum:

Seville Film Festival Award
The Arabic Interpreter - Ali Kareem Obaid (Germany)

Arte Sonora Award
A la cara – Javier Marco (Spain)

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(Translated from Spanish)

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