SOFIA 2023 Sofia Meetings / Awards
Sofia Meetings announces the winners of its 20th edition
- The Bulgarian co-production market presented awards to projects hailing from Portugal, Lithuania and Bulgaria, among other countries
During a successful in-person run, Sofia Meetings celebrated its 20th anniversary by welcoming more than 200 industry participants to the Bulgarian capital. This year’s edition took place in its usual time slot, during the last few days of the Sofia International Film Festival’s competition run, between 22 and 26 March. The Sofia Meetings awards ceremony coincided with the festival’s closing gala and took place amidst the post-screening celebrations. The renowned industry event presented 32 projects at various stages of development, and its work-in-progress section comprised 24 features and three shorts (see the news).
The members of the jury of the 20th Sofia Meetings were Eva Pons (ARTE, France), Katharina Stumm (Connecting Cottbus, Germany) and Flaminio Zadra (Palosanto, Italy).
The Best Pitching Award, handed out by Cinelab Romania – comprising €25,000 in support of post-production costs – was given to The Last Summer (Portugal), the new project by João Nuno Pinto and Fernanda Polacow. Pinto’s previous feature, Mosquito [+see also:
interview: João Nunes Monteiro
film profile], won big at the Portuguese Film Academy’s Sophia Awards in 2020 and also did well on the festival circuit. Produced by Andreia Nunes, the upcoming project, the story of which unfolds on an old farm in the scorching summer heat, is told through the eyes of three women marked by the heritage of patriarchal power.
The FocusFox Studio Award, which comes with €10,000 in post-production services, was handed out by the CEO of EastWest Filmdistribution, Sasha Weiser, to the project Drowning Dry (Lithuania), which will be director Laurynas Bareiša’s sophomore feature, produced by Klementina Remeikaite.
The EastWest Filmdistribution Award consists of €5,000 worth of script consultancy with Steven Goldsmith, an Irish-American script doctor and writer. It was presented to the Bulgarian project Dissonance, directed by Elitza Petkova and produced by Veselka Kiryakova. The film follows a thirty-something artist who, after making a name for himself in Berlin, decides to return to a more rural life in his home country of Bulgaria.
The movie marketing company Gruvi presented two awards worth €5,000 apiece, to be spent on marketing and technology services. The award-winning projects were Jaune et Bleu (Italy), directed by Giulia Grandinetti and produced by Riccardo Neri, which tells the story of a secret love affair between a brother and sister, and the small-town trouble-fuelled feature Resonance (Bulgaria), directed by Yordan Petkov, and produced by Vanya Rainova and Victoria Mitreva.
As part of its Young Producer Award, YAPIMLAB will invite one producer for a week’s worth of consultancy in Istanbul, with travel and accommodation covered, and networking opportunities within the Turkish industry (to the tune of €5,000). This prize was handed to Vako Kirkitadze, the producer of the project Worker (Georgia) by director Giorgi Kobalia.
Still to be announced are the winners of a scholarship from the Mediterranean Film Institute for participation in the MFI Script 2 Film Workshops, and the selection of one project that will be given the opportunity to be presented at Agora Crossroads in Thessaloniki. In addition, the Cannes Marché du Film and Producers Network will accredit one chosen producer for its 2023 edition.
The full list of award-winning projects is as follows:
Cinelab Romania Award
The Last Summer – João Nuno Pinto and Fernanda Polacow (Portugal)
Producer: Andreia Nunes (Wonder Maria Filmes)
Drowning Dry – Laurynas Bareiša (Lithuania)
Producer: Klementina Remeikaite (Afterschool)
EastWest Filmdistribution Award
Dissonance – Elitza Petkova (Bulgaria)
Producer: Veselka Kiryakova (Red Carpet)
Jaune et Bleu – Giulia Grandinetti (Italy)
Producer: Riccardo Neri (Lupin Film)
Resonance – Yordan Petkov (Bulgaria)
Producers: Vanya Rainova and Victoria Mitreva (Garti Films, Portokal)
YAPIMLAB Young Producer Award
Worker – Giorgi Kobalia (Georgia)
Producer: Vako Kirkitadze (Film Asylum)
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