Eurimages Co-Production Development Award winners on screen in the IFFR studio. Left: filmmaker Evi Kalogiropoulou. Right: producer Amanda Livanou
On Friday 5 February 2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) celebrated the closing of the online edition of IFFR Pro Days and the 38th edition of CineMart. Streaming live from a studio in Rotterdam, five IFFR Pro Awards were handed out to promising film projects, including the Eurimages Co-production Development Award, the ArteKino International Award and the Filmmore Post-production Award.
Head of IFFR Pro Marit van den Elshout: “We have truly enjoyed our first-ever online edition of IFFR Pro Days. We’ve seen two weeks of interaction and connection with producers in the Rotterdam Lab, project teams in CineMart, filmmakers with films in the festival programme and attending film professionals. The resilience of the film industry and the dedication to connect and exchange was inspiring after months of planning this online edition. We felt the energy transcend the screen and believe we have been able to foster new collaborations that will drive our industry forward. We hope to take the success of this experience, our expanded skill-set and a renewed spark with us into future editions.”
This award of €20,000 is awarded by CineMart together with the Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund to a project that is or will be a European co-production.
Jury report: “First of all, we would like to emphasise the quality and diversity of projects developed by experienced directors and new talents. The jury particularly appreciated the very original presentation of some video pitches and the fruitful exchanges with the project teams. After exchanging in a constructive manner, the jury chose to support a supernatural drama featuring two unexpected female characters struggling for freedom and identity in a unique and colourful industrial setting.”
The ArteKino International Award is a prize of €6,000 for a standout project to support its development, sponsored by the European culture channel ARTE’s foundation for the promotion of arthouse cinema.
Jury report: “We decided to give our award to a first feature by a female filmmaker who creates immersive, subjective narratives in order to explore the characters’ psychological and emotional journeys, often blurring the boundaries between reality and imagination. The writer-director and her producers are open to working with a European crew and are looking for international partners who can bring funds and input from their perspectives. We believe European support can help them defend the project and give the filmmaker more freedom to speak up. The project is universal, it deals with the human condition and in particular with women’s rights. It is the story of a psychiatrist whose missing husband appears to be locked in her wardrobe.”
Visual effects and post-production lab Filmmore presents this award of €7,500 together with CineMart to a project in aid of visual effects and post-production.
Winning project: Kabul Jan by Shahrbanoo Sadat, produced by Adomeit Film UG (Germany), Adomeit Film ApS (Denmark), Wolf Pictures (Afghanistan)
Jury report: “The jury was immediately drawn to this project, not least because it was rare to see a comedy. A woman falls in love with a married man twice her age. Against the backdrop of a violent city and a strict Islamic society, where war is part of everyday life, the lovers have to find ways of meeting each other. As director Shahrbanoo Sadat puts it: Afghanistan deserves to be seen differently and it is a duty to do so. To support her in that task, the Filmmore Post-production Award goes to Kabul Jan.”
This prize of €5,000 is awarded in partnership with the Wouter Barendrecht Film Foundation in honour of the late Wouter Barendrecht, the founder and co-chairman of Fortissimo Films, IFFR programmer and former head of CineMart. Eligible for the award are projects with a director under 35 who has not directed more than three films.
Jury report: “After careful consideration, the jury decided to grant the Wouter Barendrecht Award to a project about a personal family history coinciding with and against the background of contemporary social issues. The makers strive for an optimistic approach and their guiding principle is light humour with a twist. The final convincing factor was their choice for a cast consisting mainly of immigrants and refugees.”
The IFFR 2021 Young Film Critics, who take part in a training programme during the festival, award €2,500 to the project they would most like to see realised based on the Spotlight presentations and pitching videos. Whilst only CineMart and BoostNL projects were eligible for all of the awards, the Immersive projects were also included in the competition for the IFFR Young Film Critics Award.
Winning project: Viêt and Nam by Truong Minh Quý, produced by Epicmedia Productions Inc (Vietnam/Philippines)
Jury report: “Viêt and Nam promises an inimitable narrative that places queer male bodies within Vietnam’s natural landscape, a place marred by colonial scars, ecological devastation and the aftermath of war. Through its poetic visual sensibility, this project provides an opportunity to reclaim love and memory as integral parts of an emancipation process; a path for contemporary identities to resurface from dark and dirt-ridden coal mines into a brighter future.”
Jury members: Alonso Aguilar, Madeleine Collier, Jason Tan Liwag, Łukasz Mańkowski, Ren Scateni, Zanji Sinkala
Please find the film stills and director portraits for the Pro Award winners here.