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SARAJEVO 2022 CineLink Industry Days

REPORT: CineLink Work in Progress 2022

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- We round up this year’s Work in Progress winners at Sarajevo, where three projects were granted post-production awards from a total of 12 features

REPORT: CineLink Work in Progress 2022
Blaga’s Lessons by Stephan Komandarev

The CineLink Industry Days (running 13-19 August) has just doled out its awards at the Sarajevo Film Festival, including for the Work in Progress showcase, a selection of 12 feature-length films looking for completion and distribution funds. All the features hailed from Southeastern Europe and the MENA region, numbering first-time and established directors, with a total of 10 fictional works and two documentaries. Blaga’s Lessons, Hesitation Wound, and Freedom were the lucky awardees, sharing a total of €77,000 among them.

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What follows is a rundown of the awarded projects in depth, granted by an international jury consisting of IFFR director Vanja Kaluđerčić; Marcin Łuczaj, the Head of Acquisitions at New Europe Film Sales; Esra Demirkiran from Turkish National Radio Television; Dennis Ruh, director of the European Film Market; and Deniz Erel, manager at PostRepublic.

TRT Award (€25,000)

Blaga’s Lessons - Stephan Komandarev (Bulgaria/Denmark)
Stephan Komandarev is one of Bulgaria’s most prolific directors, and is here following up Rounds [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile
]
from 2019 and Directions [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile
]
, which played at Cannes 2017 in Un Certain Regard. This new work will be a crime story following a retired teacher who, after falling victim to a phone scam, starts working for the scammers themselves and begins sacrificing all her principles. Komandarev views the film as the third in a “social trilogy” after Directions and Rounds, following the “complete moral crisis our society is caught in.” The film is seeking sales, distribution and festival placements. Co-producers are Argo Film and 42film.

Post Republic Award (€40,000 in kind)

Hesitation Wound - Selman Nacar (Turkey/France/Romania)
Marking the filmmaker’s second feature after Between Two Dawns [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Selman Nacar
film profile
]
bowed at San Sebastián last year, Hesitation Wound will follow a criminal lawyer forced to make a moral choice, after the testimony of the murder suspect she is defending leads us to doubt he committed the crime. It will be a claustrophobic and pressurised film shot only in 24 hours. The film, produced by Kuyu Film, Arizona Films and Libra Film, is seeking completion finance, a sales agent, and festival berths.

Jury Award sponsored by Debee Studio (€12,000, in kind)

Freedom - Tudor Giurgiu (Romania/Hungary)
Freedom is the fifth overall feature by this well-established Romanian filmmaker, who also has many credits as a producer, and previously ran the Romanian National Television. Freedom will tell the story of an uprising against Ceaușescu’s regime that took place in December 1989, tracking a militia officer who is incarcerated and spends several weeks locked up in an empty pool together with 400 other prisoners. In his director’s statement, Giurgiu spoke of achieving a verité look in the cinematography, similar to Paul Greengrass’s works. Produced by Libra Film and Mythberg Films, the film is seeking the small remaining portion of its budget, a sales agent, and festivals.

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