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TRIESTE 2023 WEMW / Awards

When East Meets West hands out its awards


- The debut feature Still Life with Ghosts by Enrique Buleo and documentaries by Maryna Stepanska and Uce Volkan snagged the major prizes at the Italian co-production forum

When East Meets West hands out its awards
Producer Julia Sinkevych and director Maryna Stepanska (centre) receiving the Ciclic WEMW Award from the jury

The 13th edition of the Italian co-production forum When East Meets West (WEMW, 22-25 January) announced its winners during the awards ceremony, which was hosted by Alessandro Gropplero, head of WEMW, and Alessandra Pastore, market manager from the Savoia Excelsior Palace in Trieste.

The Film Center Serbia Development Award, valued at €5,000, was granted to the project Still Life with Ghosts by first-time Spanish filmmaker Enrique Buleo, co-produced by Alejandra Mora, Alicia Yubero and Nidia Santiago for Quatre Films, and Edwina Liard for Ikki Films. The movie tells the story of ghosts and humans in a small village in rural Spain who do whatever they can to solve their problems, and have no qualms about relying on each other to do so.

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The Ukrainian documentary It’s Not a Full Picture by Maryna Stepanska, produced by Julia Sinkevych (JS Films), picked up the Ciclic WEMW Award, a €5,000 cash prize granted by the French Centre-Val de Loire Region. The film follows a group of Ukrainian filmmakers whose lives changed entirely because of the Russian invasion. Some are on the frontline, while some are volunteering or trying to take care of their kids, but everybody is reflecting on the picture that the war has revealed. Sinkevych was also awarded a scholarship to attend the EAVE Producers Workshop.

Furthermore, the documentary 2m2 by Uce Volkan received the new ArteVideo Co-Production Award, coming with a €5,000 prize. Produced by Hans Everaert, of Belgium’s Menuetto Film, the movie reflects on a fundamental choice that needs to be made after a life spent between two countries and two cultures: the two square metres of soil where a Turkish immigrant in Belgium wants to be buried.

As for the partner awards, Spanish director Carol Rodríguez Colás, selected at WEMW with her project The Gang, produced by Maria Carla del Rio Betancourt of Fasten Films, received the EWA Network’s I HAVE A DREAM Award for Equality & Inclusion, to the tune of €1,000. Armenian director Inna Sahakyan received the DAE Talent Development Prize for her project Shakespeare Goes Armenia, in cooperation with the EFM. Three Georgian producers, Tekla Machavariani (Nushi Film) for her project Milk and Honey, and Anna Khazaradze and Nino Chichua (1991 Productions) for their project 9 Month Contract, received free badges for the Cannes Marché du Film Producers Network. The Pop Up Film Residency Award was given to Suad Gara, director of Hotel Diana (Astar Productions, Azerbaijan), and the new #DocsConnect Taskovski Training Award was bestowed upon the documentary (Not) Just a Matter of Time, directed by Daniela Reyes Gutiérrez and produced by Martha Ceballos (Medio de Contención Producciones, Colombia).

Moving on to the WEMW sidebars, in the documentary work-in-progress platform Last Stop Trieste, the HBO Europe Award, a €1,000 cash prize, was given to the Turkish-Croatian project A Day, 365 Hours [+see also:
film review
film profile
by director Eylem Kaftan, produced by Zeynep Koray (ZKF) and CAF. In the This Is IT work-in-progress section, the winner of the Laser Film Award was the Croatian-Italian-Slovenian co-pro Fiume o Morte! by Igor Bezinović (listen to our podcast episode). Meanwhile, the First Cut+ jury presented the TRT Prize, worth €5,000, to My Magical World by Elvin Adigozel (Azerbaijan).

For the fifth year running, the Italian-Baltic Development Award for Co-Production was handed out during WEMW. The €30,000 cash prize was provided by Italy’s DGCA-MIC, the Estonian Film Institute, the Lithuanian Film Centre and the National Film Centre of Latvia. The recipient was Altrove – Elsewhere, directed by Iacopo Di Girolamo and produced by Italian company Teleaut Produzioni, while Estonian company Film Tower was awarded €15,000. Two Baltic majority co-productions received €7,500 apiece: the project The Child, directed by Linda Olte and co-developed by Latvian company Trickster Pictures, Italian firm Albolina and Lithuanian company Afterschool Pictures; and the project Concrete Music, a musical directed by Saulius Baradinskas, and co-developed by Lithuanian company Viktorijos filmai and Italian company Lumen Films.

Last but not least, of note among the CIRCLE prizes that were given out at the event was the Cineuropa Marketing Award, which went to One of Us by Rachel Close (UK/Romania), as it combines a dynamic personal investigation with an exploration of the deepest intimate issues, such as identity, belonging and abandonment, against a historical backdrop that has an uncanny echo in the tumultuous present.

Here is the full list of winners at the 13th WEMW:

WEMW co-production forum awards

Film Center Serbia Development Award
Still Life with Ghosts – Enrique Buleo (Spain/France)
Producers: Quatre Films, Ikki Films

Ciclic WEMW Award
It’s Not a Full Picture – Maryna Stepanska (Ukraine)
Producer: JS Films

ArteVideo Co-Production Award
2m2 - Volkan Uce (Belgium)
Producer: Menuetto Film

EWA Network’s I HAVE A DREAM Award for Equality & Inclusion
Carol Rodríguez Colás (Fasten Films, Spain) - The Gang

EAVE Producers Workshop Scholarship
Julia Sinkevych (JS Film, Ukraine) - It’s not a Full Picture

#DocsConnect Taskovski Training Award
Daniela Reyes Gutiérrez, Martha Ceballos (Medio de Contención Producciones, Colombia) - (Not) Just a Matter of Time

DAE Talent Development prize, in cooperation with the EFM
Inna Sahakyan (Bars Media, Armenia) - Shakespeare Goes Armenia

Marché du Film Producers Network Award
Tekla Machavariani (Nushi Film, Georgia) - Milk and Honey|
Anna Khazaradze, Nino Chichua (1991 Productions, Georgia) - 9 Month Contract

Pop Up Film Residency Award
Suad Gara (Astar Productions, Azerbaijan) - Hotel Diana

Last Stop Trieste - HBO Europe Award
A Day, 365 Hours [+see also:
film review
film profile
- Eylem Kaftan (Turkey/Croatia)
Producers: ZKF, CAF

This is IT Laser Film Award
Fiume o Morte! - Igor Bezinović (Croatia/Italy/Slovenia)
Producers: Restart, Videomante, Nosorogi

First Cut+ - TRT Prize
My Magical World - Elvin Adigozel (Azerbaijan)
Producers: Cinex Productions, Ultra Productions

Italy-Baltic Co-development Awards

Altrove – Elsewhere - Iacopo Di Girolamo (Italy/Estonia)
Producers: Teleaut Produzioni, Film Tower

The Child - Linda Olte (Latvia/Italy/Lithuania)
Producers: Trickster Pictures, Albolina, Afterschool Pictures

Concrete Music - Saulius Baradinskas (Lithuania/Italy)
Producers: Viktorijos filmai, Lumen Films

CIRCLE awards

EWA Circle Award
The Elf's Tower - Polina Kelm (Ukraine)

Cineuropa Marketing Award
One of Us - Rachel Close (UK/Romania)

Beldocs Award
Where do Butterflies Sleep - Simona Jerala (Slovenia)

ReACT Awards

Sunset - Miloš Jaćimović (Serbia)
Fear - Nina Violić (Croatia)
Milch Cow - Miroslav Sikavica (Croatia)
Eve's Mother - Stefania Rocca (Italy)
Where roses do not bloom - Marta Zaccaron (Italy)
When the Kids Sing the hits - Mina Djukic (Serbia)
Beasts - Maja Križnik (Slovenia)
Lost Years - Aron Horvath (Slovenia)

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