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THESSALONIKI 2021 Agora / Awards

Thessaloniki’s Agora reveals its award winners

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- A handful of prizes have been bestowed upon the projects participating in the Crossroads and Works in Progress sections, including Cyprus's Shibboleth by Alexandra Matheou

Thessaloniki’s Agora reveals its award winners
Alexandra Matheou, who is directing Shibboleth, the winner of the 2|35 Co-Production Award

Agora, the industry section of the 62nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, has wrapped its latest, hybrid edition by handing out its awards. More than 400 film professionals were present in Thessaloniki and online, and 325 physical meetings were scheduled with the teams behind the selected projects.

Starting with the 17th Crossroads Co-Production Forum, the jury, comprising Virginie Devesa, CEO of Alpha Violet; Alessandro Gropplero, head of the When East Meets West Co-production Forum at the Trieste Film Festival; and Greek producer Konstantinos Vassilaros (StudioBauhaus), picked the winner of the Co-Production Award provided by Greek post-production company 2|35, which ended up being Shibboleth by Alexandra Matheou.

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According to the jury, “Although we cannot resolve the filmmaker's dilemma of whether remaining alive till the end of time would be a blessing or a curse, we want to live forever inside the exciting and magical cinematic world the director intends to create.” The feature-length fiction debut by the Cypriot writer-director is being produced by Tonia Mishiali for Cyprus’s Bark Like A Cat Films, and she also snagged the Producers Network accreditation for the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

The CNC Development Award, worth €8,000, went to the Kosovar project 2000: A Post-War Odyssey by Zgjim Terziqi, for “this generous, heart-opening story set at a transitional time for both the world and the filmmakers’ country, on how we can grasp beauty and laughter in the worst possible situation a child could be faced with”. It is being produced by Valmira Hyseni for Prishtina-based Plan Bee Films.

For the second year running, the Finos Film Award, which aims to support the local industry with a grant of €3,000, was handed out. This year, it went to Prometheus, the new project by Greek writer-director Yiorgos Fourtounis, for his “ambitious, politically fuelled story and visuals, which take us to the past, to understand the present, and perhaps bring us to a better future”. It is being produced by Eleni Kossyfidou (Blackbird Production).

The Czech project Head Nurse, written and directed by Jan Vejnar, which was also the winner of the MIDPOINT Feature Launch Award, has received a full scholarship for the next MFI Script 2 Film Workshop, while its producer, Kamila Dohnalová (Last Films), is invited to participate in the 2022 EAVE Marketing Workshop. Finally, French consultancy agency Initiative Film will provide six months of follow-up consultation services for its development strategy to the project Baby by Nikos Kyritsis, produced by Maria Drandaki for Homemade Films.

In Agora Works in Progress, the 119 Marvila Studios Image Post-production Services Award went to Pelican by Filip Heraković, produced by Tamara Babun and Matija Drniković for Wolfgang&Dolly LLC. According to the jury, comprising Dorota Lech, lead programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival, Greek producer Nikos Smpiliris (Boo Productions) and Simon Gabriele, of Indie Sales, they were “unanimously impressed by the film's poetic, humorous and effortless approach to contemporary and universal themes”.

The jury also granted the MuSou Award, for the composition and production of an original film score, music supervision and assistance in the licensing of commercial music for use in a film, as well as audio post-production services, to Silence 6-9 by Christos Passalis, again produced by Maria Drandaki (Homemade Films). The project also snagged the ERT Agora Works in Progress Award, which comes with €2,000, as the jury was “charmed by this unique, bold and surprising take on modern love and is highly anticipating this feature debut by a promising team”.

The ASTERISK* Award, which offers services in key artwork, press-kit content and social media, was given by Vicky Miha to the project Three Jumps, One, directed and produced by Rusudan Pirveli, “with the intention to support female filmmakers with strong voices”.

Finally, the newly established Onassis Cinema Award, valued at €10,000 in cash, aims to support local cinema, and all Greek projects in Agora were eligible for it. It ended up going to the film Bastards by Nikos Pastras, as it has “a political touch to it, without making any direct reference to politics”.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

Crossroads Co-Production Forum Awards

2|35 Co-Production Award
Shibboleth - Alexandra Matheou (Cyprus)
Producer: Tonia Mishiali (Bark Like A Cat Films)

CNC Development Award
2000: A Post-War Odyssey - Zgjim Terziqi (Kosovo)
Producer: Valmira Hyseni (Plan Bee Films)

Finos Film Award
Prometheus - Yiorgos Fourtounis (Greece)
Producer: Eleni Kossyfidou (Blackbird Productions)

Cannes Producers Network Award
Tonia Mishiali - Bark Like A Cat Films (Cyprus)

MFI Script 2 Film Workshops
Head Nurse - Jan Vejnar (Czech Republic)
Producer: Kamila Dohnalová (Last Films)

Initiative Film Award
Baby - Nikos Kyritsis (Greece)
Producer: Maria Drandaki (Homemade Films)

Thessaloniki EAVE Marketing Workshop Scholarship
Kamila Dohnalová - Last Films (Czech Republic)

Agora Works in Progress Awards

119 Marvila Studios Award
Pelican - Filip Heraković (Croatia)
Producer: Tamara Babun, Matija Drniković (Wolfgang&Dolly LLC)

MuSou Award
Silence 6-9 - Christos Passalis (Greece)
Producer: Maria Drandaki (Homemade Films)

ERT Award
Silence 6-9 - Christos Passalis

ASTERISK* Award
Three Jumps, One - Rusudan Pirveli (Georgia/Netherlands)
Producer: Rusudan Pirveli (Caucasian FILMODROM)
Co-producer: Ranko Pauković (Editson)

Onassis Cinema Award
Bastards - Nikos Pastras (Greece)
Producer: Nicholas Alavanos (FILMIKI)

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