Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsEuropean Work in Progress Cologne 2020 announces this year’s award winners

European Work in Progress Cologne 2020 announces this year’s award winners

For the filmmakers behind the participating 28 projects from 34 countries, two exciting and very successful days are coming to an end. After numerous pitching sessions and one-to-one meetings, the international jury – Triin Tramberg (Talinn Black Nights Festival), Leslie Chen (Blossoms Entertainment), Melanie Andernach (MADE IN GERMANY Filmproduktion) and Sebastian Lückel (ARD Degeto) – has announced the six winners of the third edition of European Work in Progress Cologne:

Winner & Jury statements

European Work in Progress Cologne ARRI Media Award endowed with a voucher worth € 5.000 for colour grading services

DARKLING (Serbia, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria/ Film Deluxe International) by Dušan Milić

A family living in post-war Kosovo, protected by KFOR at daytime, experience a dreadful torment when night falls. They struggle to prove their fear is real, to keep their sanity and to stay alive.

Jury: “The film shows that terror and trauma can affect your everyday life to a point that you feel complete horror in doing daily things. Struggling the fear of the unknown is like struggling the inner monster which everyone can relate to.”

European Work in Progress Cologne K13 Studios Award endowed with a voucher worth € 5.000 for dubbing

CONVENIENCE STORE (Russia, Slovenia, Turkey/ METRAFILMS) by Michael Borodin

CONVENIENCE STORE is a personal, intimate story about being a mother and a woman under unbearable circumstances of modern slavery.

Jury: “Even though the everyday news-cycle only surpasses forced modern day slavery, it is still a subject that should be noticed. With the background of the director we as an audience can feel the authenticity on screen.”

European Work in Progress Cologne K13 Studios Award Sponsor Michael Kaczmarek (left) with Titus Kreyenberg, co-producer of OCTOPUS SKIN

European Work in Progress Cologne ZOOM Medienfabrik Award endowed with a voucher worth € 7.500 for international festival public relations

SPAS (Ukraine, Croatia, Czech Republic/ Tabor) by Maksym Nakonechnyi

Returning home from the front line after being held captive for two months, 29-year-old soldier Lilia discovers that she is pregnant after being raped by her warden. Will she manage to survive this trauma and save the child in a society that is not ready to accept either of them?

Jury: “An untold story about women and war – when trauma is so relevant and only silence remains, it is important we hear the voice of a woman continue their fight in real life.”

WHISPERS OF WAR (Germany/ Chromosom Film) by Florian Hoffmann

When Khalil, an elementary teacher in Berlin, gets hold of images of war from his Kurdish hometown of Cizre, he is forced to question his entire life in Germany.

Jury: “We believed that as a graduate student, the film shows a mature way of telling a story about the responsibility of the media and society, also about hidden wars that are unseen for the public.”

European Work in Progress Cologne LAVAlabs Moving Images Award endowed with a voucher worth € 10.000 for visual effects

SINJAR (Spain, USA/ KaBoGa) by Anna M. Bofarull

SINJAR explores the intertwined lives of three women – Carlota, the middle-aged European mother, Hadia, the Yazidi slave held captive in Syria, and Arjin, the sex slave turned girl soldier in Iraq – who, after their lives and families are destroyed by ISIS, find their shared destiny in fighting back.

Jury: “SINJAR was pitched as a powerful story with different angles and a very convincing cast. The fact that the story combines ISIS with a West European perspective shows that war and its effects travel around the globe – not just in movies, but in real life.”

European Work in Progress Cologne K13 Studios Award endowed with a voucher worth € 10.000 for sound-mixing

OCTOPUS SKIN (Ecuador, Germany, Greece, Mexico/ CALEIDOSCOPIO CINE) by Ana Cristina Barragan

Agatha and Ariel are 14-year-old twins who live with their mother and their older sister on a remote beach on a Galapagos island filled with molluscs and reptiles. One day the twins find themselves forced to go to the city for the first time.

Jury: “We were mesmerised by the great cinematography of Ana Christina Barragan’s movie OCTOPUS SKIN. It gave us a short glimpse of the beautiful nature of the island. The clips also provided a closeness to the young child actors. We felt an emotional connection with this rather special coming-of-age story. The characters search for their identity and a „bigger world“ – only figure out later that sometimes the small place you flee is actually the place you belong.”

European Work in Progress Cologne LAVAlabs Moving Images Award Sponsor Michael Brink with Anna M. Bofarull, Director/Writer/Producer of SINJAR, jury member Triin Tramberg and Torsten Frehse (EWIP and AG Verleih) (left to right)

Petra Müller, Managing Director of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW: “A special year, a special third edition of European Work in Progress! Whether physical or digital – the EWIP participants enjoyed the creative exchange of the past two days. 28 projects presented themselves here in Cologne, six of them were awarded prizes today. Many thanks to the jury for their work and congratulations to the award winners. We are very excited for them and looking forward to their finished projects!”

Torsten Frehse, Managing Director of EWIP and board member of AG Verleih: "The European Work in Progress has become established. I am very pleased about the appreciation of theparticipants for the fact that the event is taking place under these circumstances and especially for the way it was conducted. I look forward to the fourth edition in 2021."

European Work in Progress Cologne took place from October 5 – 7 2020 during the 30th Film Festival Cologne. All selected projects were presented to a circle of experienced industry delegates. In organised one-to-one meetings, the project representatives explored possible ways of creative collaboration with the attending world sales agents, distributors as well as festival programmers. The panel “Rethinking Business? Film Distribution in Times of Corona“, supported by the Creative Europe Desk NRW, vividly discussed the question which changes will effect the film industry in the long term due to the Corona pandemic. Another panel, in cooperation with Creative Europe Desks Germany, dealt with innovative distribution strategies and the importance of audience targeting in an increasingly fragmented cinema landscape.

European Work in Progress Cologne is organised in cooperation with by AG Verleih, the association of German independent film distributors, and is mainly supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, one of Europe’s leading film funding institutions. The event aims to bring together those creative minds with leading experts and representatives of international distributors, world sales companies, film festivals and other industry delegates in order to further develop and finalise collaboration and financing strategies.