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FESTIVALS / AWARDS France

Entrevues Belfort crowns After the Crossing its champion

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- Produced by France, Burkina Faso and Belgium, the documentary and first feature film by Joël Akafou walks away with the Grand Prize, continuing a wonderful festival career which kicked off in Berlin

Entrevues Belfort crowns After the Crossing its champion
After the Crossing by Joël Akafou

Forced to cancel on account of the health crisis, the 35th Belfort Entrevues Film Festival (initially scheduled for 15 – 22 November), which shines a light on 1st, 2nd or 3rd films by young, independent and innovative directors, has nevertheless announced the winners of its international competition, with the jury (including filmmakers Sarah Leonor and Frank Beauvais) awarding its 2020 Grand Prize to Joël Akafou’s After the Crossing [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
.

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Unveiled in the 2020 Berlinale Forum, before notably gracing the showcase of the Visions du Réel Festival, the documentary follows a young man hailing from the Ivory Coast: Touré Inza Junior, whose friends all call him Bourgeois. He has been living in Italy since his highly perilous journey to Europe, but he soon feels trapped in one place and already wants to leave. Settled in a refugee camp managed by an NGO, he waits impatiently for his temporary visa to arrive so that he can set about organising his new life. Time seems to drag on forever and he dreams of joining one of his fiancées in France. Well-accustomed to getting by on a daily basis, Touré Inza Junior decides once again to take control of his destiny… It’s worth noting that the director already followed in the footsteps of this character and his friends on the Ivory Coast in his previous film Vivre riche (2017), and, in this sense, After the Crossing represents a new chapter of tales relaying the dreams for the future nurtured by certain young Africans living in Europe, as well as being a film where the influences of Italian neorealism are clearly felt.

Production of After the Crossing (whose photography comes courtesy of Joël Akafou and Matteo Tortone) was steered by French firm Vrai Vrai Films (who are also handling sales) alongside Burkinabé outfit Films du Djabadjah and Belgian group Dancing Dogs Productions.

In other news, festival organisers have decided to re-schedule screenings of their selected films "as soon as the situation allows it, so as to ensure the Belfort audience gets to discover these films in cinemas and hands out its two prizes". Meanwhile, the [Films en cours] section, which awards post-production aid and whose 2020 competition notably includes the French feature films I Comete - A Corsican Summer [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pascal Tagnati
film profile
]
 by Pascal Tagnati and The World After Us [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas, not to mention the French-Spanish production Preciosa y el Aire by Dominique Abel, is set to deliver its verdict on 30 November.

The winners are as follows:

Janine Bazin Grand Prize
After the Crossing [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Joël Akafou (France/Burkina Faso/Belgium)

Ciné + Distribution Support Award
Eyimofe - Arie et Chuko Esiri (Nigeria)

André S. Labarthe Grand Prize (short film)
Playback. Ensayo de una despedida - Agustina Comedi (Argentina)

One+One Award
The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- C.W. Winter and Anders Edström (US/Sweden/Hong-Kong/Japan/UK)

Gérard Frot-Coutaz Award
Abou Leila [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Amin Sidi-Boumédiène (Algeria/France)

New Talents
Medhi Brahamd for his project Vide
Camille Broilliard for her project Navarre
Yvain Reydy for his project La Ruche sans abeille

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(Translated from French)

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