Written by Davide Abbatescianni on Feb 25, 2020. Posted in Awards and Festivals

Projects from Faroe Islands, Turkey, Germany and Belgium awarded cash prizes at 17th Berlinale Co-Production Market

The seventeenth Berlinale Co-Production Market announced the recipients of its cash prizes, which were awarded to three selected feature-length projects. This year, the market hosted thirty-six new titles from thirty-four countries, presented by their production companies in four different segments. All of them have already secured support from their home countries and at least one third of their budget.

(c) Juliane Eirich

The great majority of this edition’s projects were European productions or co-productions, with budgets ranging from EUR750,000 to EUR5 million. Commendably, over half of the selected titles are directed by women and eleven of these joined the main programme. The initiative, which is an integral part of the European Film Market (20-27 February) ran for five days, from 22-26 February. The full list of projects is available here.

The first cash prize (EUR20,000), namely the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award, was handed out on Sunday evening. The winner was Onur Saylak’s There Are Two Kinds of People in This World, presented by Turkish outfits Liman Film and b.i.t arts. The director’s sophomore feature, penned by Hakan Günda, follows the president’s visit to a coal mine during Ramadan to attend a dinner with the miners. When the mine collapses, trapping him, some miners and a journalist, tensions begin to rise, as some of the survivors either worship or hate the president. These few details about the plot seem to hint at the tense socio-political context of today’s Turkey and, therefore, Saylak’s drama promises to be very timely.

Moreover, a special mention went to Simon Jaquemet’s Electric Child, to be directed by Switzerland’s Simon Jaquemet and produced by Zurich-based firm 8horses.

(c) Oliver Moest

The jury members were the film fund representative Elena Kotová (Czech Republic), the producer Giorgos Karnavas (Greece) and the world sales representative Marie-Pierre Vallé (France).

Two further prizes were announced yesterday. The VFF Talent Highlight Award (EUR10,000) was bestowed upon Faroese helmer Sakaris Stórá’s The Last Paradise on Earth, which was presented by producer Jón Hammer for KYK Pictures and Adomeit Film. The Faroese-German co-production is set on a secluded island and centres on Kári, a young man struggling to prevent his family from falling apart, while the local fish factory is closing and his best friend is about to leave in search of a better future. Stórá’s work also seems to catch the zeitgeist of remote, smaller communities, trying to survive the perverse effects of globalisation and depopulation.

Since 2004, the VFF (Germany’s Film and Television Producers Rights Association) has been awarding a promising young talent from the Talent Project Market, which the co-production market organises in collaboration with Berlinale Talents. The producers Deepak Rauniyar from Nepal and Diana Almeida from Brazil were nominated this year. They also pitched their projects during the Co-Production Market and each received a prize of EUR1,000. The 2020 Talent section included ten new titles, selected from 166 submissions.

Finally, the prestigious ARTEKino International Prize (EUR6,000) went to Veerle Baetens’ The Melting, staged by Brussels-based outfit Savage Film. The script revolves around a young woman who returns to her hometown to deal with her past and is co-penned by the director herself, and Marteen Loix.

This year, over one-thousand five-hundred one-on-one meetings with potentially suitable partners among the almost six-hundred participants were scheduled. Furthermore, five international production companies enjoyed a special focus called “Company Matching”. The selected firms were South Africa’s Big World Cinema, France’s Cinéma Defacto, Croatia’s Kinorama, Argentina’s Rei Cine and Denmark’s Snowglobe.

Books for film adaptations and series projects were also presented and were the focus of the pitch events Books at Berlinale and Co-Pro Series. In total, over 300 films and high-end TV series that have been looking for partners at the Co-Production Market within the past few years have now been completed and two of them are part of this year’s Berlinale programme.

The main partners of the Berlinale Co-Production Market are the MDM - Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung and the European Union’s Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme. The venue (and a further partner) of the event was the Berlin House of Representatives.

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