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COTTBUS 2023 Connecting Cottbus / Premi

Excavators e Borderwall vincono al connecting cottbus


- Il progetto di Argyro Nicolaou ha ottenuto due premi nella categoria cocoPITCH, mentre quello di Ignas Jonynas vince nella categoria cocoWIP

Excavators e Borderwall vincono al connecting cottbus
Da sinistra: Martina Bleis, consulente per il programma e il pitching di coco, il regista di Excavators Argyro Nicolaou, il produttore di Excavators Constantinos Nikiforou e Marjorie Bendeck, direttrice del coco

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

The 25th edition of the East-West co-production market, connecting cottbus (coco), unfolded from 8-10 November, coinciding with the 33rd FilmFestival Cottbus, held from 7-12 November. The event featured 13 projects in development in the cocoPITCH category and an additional six works in progress in cocoWIP. Each category had its own dedicated jury for evaluation purposes.

The cocoPITCH jury for this year consisted of Laurin Dietrich from WOLF Consultants, Paul Thiltges from Paul Thiltges Distributions and Olena Yershova from Tato Film. Together, they deliberated on three awards.

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The primary accolade in the cocoPITCH category was the Audience Award for Best Pitch, determined by votes from all industry participants present at the event. The gong, accompanied by a €1,500 cash prize, was bestowed upon the Cypriot project Excavators, directed by Argyro Nicolaou and produced by Constantinos Nikiforou from Nicosia-based Caretta Films, in co-production with Minos Papas for US company Cyprian Films, New York.

Excavators also received the Avanpost Pitch Packaging Award, through which Romanian post-production company Avanpost pledged in-kind services valued at up to €15,000. The jury decided “to give the award to a team who touched us with a personal, strong pitch that at the same time made clear how relevant and universal their film will be. A story of intergenerational trauma and how to find your own position to tell it.”

The HAVC Project Development Award, a €5,000 cash prize, was bestowed upon My World Upside Down by director-producer Daniel Rihák and producer Martina Saková from WHAT IF Films and Projector23. The jury was convinced “that this well-defined story with its heart in the right place will emotionally connect with audiences”. The recipient of the Producers Network Award, which includes complimentary accreditation to the Producers Network at the Marché du Film at Cannes 2024, was Victoria Mitreva of Bulgarian outfits Portokal/Garti Films for Resonance, directed by Yordan Petkov.

The MIDPOINT Consulting Award was granted to three cocoPITCH projects, each receiving comprehensive script consultancy: At Your Service by German Golub, PYRRHIC by Cosmin Nicolae and Tactile Universe by Szilárd Bernáth.

The jury for the cocoWIP competition, comprising Kathrin Kohlstedde (FilmFest Hamburg), Lorena Morín (MECAS Market/Splitscreen) and Lukáš Moudrý (Studio Beep), along with Waheed Zamani and Robert Wunsch from D-Facto Motion, presented two awards to the works in progress. The Lithuanian project Borderwall, presented by director Ignas Jonynas and producer Ruta Adelė Jekentaitė from Baltic Productions, secured the main D-Facto Motion WIP Award, which includes €35,000 in services and an additional €5,000 for expenses. Additionally, it received the Studio Beep Sound Post-Production Award, comprising €6,000 in services. The jury was “happy to award a movie with powerful cinematography, a mysterious character and a cage of birds. A gripping story that intrigued us in such a way that we want to see it finished immediately.”

Here is the full list of award winners at the 25th connecting cottbus:


cocoPITCH Audience Award
Excavators - Argyro Nicolaou (Cyprus/USA)
Producers: Constantinos Nikiforou (Caretta Films), Minos Papas (Cyprian Films, New York)

Avanpost Pitch Packaging Award
Excavators - Argyro Nicolaou

HAVC Project Development Award
My World Upside Down - Daniel Rihák (Slovakia/Germany)
Producers: Martina Saková (WHAT IF Films), Daniel Rihák (Projector23)

Producers Network Award
Victoria Mitreva - Resonance (Bulgaria)

MIDPOINT Consulting Award
At Your Service - German Golub (Estonia)
Producers: Evelin Penttilä, Johanna Maria Paulson (Stellar Film)

PYRRHIC - Cosmin Nicolae (Romania)
Producers: Velvet Moraru, Ioana Moraru (Icon Production)

Tactile Universe - Szilárd Bernáth (Hungary)
Producer: András Muhi (FocusFox)


D-Facto Motion WIP Award
Borderwall - Ignas Jonynas (Lithuania)
Producer: Ruta Adelė Jekentaitė (Baltic Productions)

Studio Beep Sound Post-Production Award
Borderwall - Ignas Jonynas

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