Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsFive years of European Work in Progress Cologne – A story of success

Five years of European Work in Progress Cologne – A story of success

The international industry event European Work in Progress Cologne (EWIP) takes its 5th  anniversary edition as an occasion to look back on half a decade of successful and innovative networking in the film industry.

The number of submissions for the first year of EWIP already exceeded all expectations with more than 100 films. This grew continuously in the following years. In 2022, over 150 submissions were received. Also, the number of films selected for EWIP has increased from 22 in the debut year 2018 to 28 this year. 24 films in total have been honoured by EWIP and its broad network of sponsors over the last four years. Almost all of the winning films were able to secure final financing through the EWIP, find a world sales company or international distribution, and later enjoyed success at international film festivals and the box office.

The renowned experts, recognized in the global film industry, who have formed the EWIP juries of the last four years, have always proven the right sense of which projects have the potential to play a significant role in the international film scene for the years to come.

“Five years of EWIP Cologne! A small anniversary and half a decade in which the market platform has developed magnificently. Exciting projects were submitted, top-class juries showed their flair for special films that started their way from here and with an EWIP award, convinced festival juries and thrilled the audience. We are pleased to have initiated EWIP together with our partners and to have supported it from the very beginning. Because it was worth it for everyone! We thank all participants and juries and especially the team around Torsten Frehse for their commitment. We are very excited about this year’s edition, which promises to be great again!"
Petra Müller, Managing Director of Film- und Medienstiftung NRW

"We are very proud of what we have achieved with EWIP in recent years. The continuing interest of the film industry shows us that we are well positioned with our innovative concept. The fact that so many of the films presented and awarded later go on to celebrate international festival success confirms the important function of EWIP as an event that does justice to the wide range of business fields within the industry."
Torsten Frehse, EWIP Organizer

Thus, the Italian novel adaptation MARTIN EDEN, winner of the EWIP "K13 Studio Awards" in 2018, was invited to the official competition of the Venice International Film Festival in 2019 and won two trophies there – among others, actor Luca Marinelli was honoured with the "Coppa Volpi" for Best Leading Actor. MARTIN EDEN also triumphed at the Italian Film Awards, winning the important "David de Donatello" for Best Screenplay. More than 30 other nominations and a dozen honours followed, including the Toronto International Film Festival and the CinEuphoria Awards.

The French-Brazilian co-production MEMORY HOUSE was similarly successful, winning the "ARRI Media Award" at EWIP 2019 and being invited to the competition of the Cannes Film Festival 2020, which had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Later, the film premiered in Toronto. After numerous screenings at other international festivals, director João Paulo Miranda Maria was pleased to receive the "Roger Ebert Award" for Best Newcomer at the Chicago International Film Festival. At the Stockholm International Film Festival, MEMORY HOUSE won the Best Cinematography Award.

NAKED ANIMALS, EWIP award winner 2019, celebrated its world premiere in 2020 at the Berlinale, where director Melanie Waelde received a "Special Jury Mention" for her debut feature. At the German Film Critics Awards the film won Best Feature Debut. Further screenings at international film festivals in Seville and São Paulo among others followed.

Another EWIP success story is the film WHALE HUNTER, which was among the winners in 2019 and premiered the following year at the Giornate degli Autori series in Venice. Philipp Yuryev won the award for Best Director and the film received a "special mention".

At EWIP 2020, the Russian-Slovenian-Turkish co-production CONVENIENCE STORE won the "K13 Studio Award" and celebrated its world premiere the following year in the Panorama section of the Berlinale, where director Michael Borodin was awarded the "C.I.C.A.E. Prize". Other EWIP 2020 winners include the award-winning film SPAS, which was invited to the Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section in 2022 and was nominated for the “Caméra D’Or”.

In 2021, the Chilean-French film THE COW WHO SANG A SONG INTO THE FUTURE convinced the EWIP jury and won the "MMC Studios Cologne Award". Subsequently, the world premiere of the film took place at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where director Francisca Alegria was nominated for the "Grand Jury Prize". Further nominations at high-profile festivals, including the Munich Film Festival, followed.

Among the other film gems selected for EWIP that later celebrated great successes is A BLACK JESUS, which celebrated its world premiere at DOK Leipzig and was later shortlisted for the German Film Award. BY A SHARP KNIFE won the Best Director award at the Cottbus Film Festival following its EWIP participation. The German arthouse hit FABIAN was part of the EWIP line-up in 2020 – the Berlinale premiere, numerous festivals and half a dozen awards followed, including two German Film Awards. The Dutch production THE JUDGEMENT, EWIP’s 2019 crop, also celebrated great success, taking the Seattle International Film Festival by storm and picking up no fewer than six awards there, including the "Grand Jury Prize" and trophies for Best Director and Best Screenplay.

The black comedy HEAVENS ABOVE and THE GIRL WITH A BRACELET had their world premieres in Locarno after being selected for the EWIP. The film NIGHT OF FIRE was invited to Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section and earned a "Special Jury Mention". The German-Romanian production WE MIGHT AS WELL BE DEAD opened the section Perspektive Deutsches Kino at the Berlinale in 2022 and was already a guest at EWIP 2021. The film has also been honoured with the award for Best Cinematography at Tribeca International Film Festival 2022.

The now fully established industry event EWIP is significantly supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, one of the leading film funding institutions in Europe. It is thanks to the support of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW that EWIP could be launched and has been able to massively expand its market significance over the last five years.

This year EWIP takes place from October 17-19 2022 again in cooperation with AG Verleih, the association of German independent film distributors. Since its inception, EWIP has been held in the run-up to the Film Festival Cologne, with which EWIP also has a firm partnership.

28 European co-productions will compete on the EWIP stage for the numerous awards this year. A total of around 60,000 euros worth of funding is at stake, which will be awarded together with the previous award sponsors and partners K13 Studios, MMC Film & TV Studios, LAVAlabs Moving Images for post-production services and mm filmpresse for international festival PR, as well as the “EWIP TorinoFilmLab Audience Design Award”, which will be presented for the first time this year. In addition, in 2022 the newly created "EWIP Gruvi Awards", the "EWIP Dolby Award", and "EWIP Way Film Translation Award", as well as three winning films will be honoured with "EWIP Crew United Certificates".

Five renowned and highly experienced experts from the international film industry make up this year’s international jury and will deliberate on which projects have the potential to play a significant role in the international film scene in the coming years. Members of this year’s jury include Olivier Barbier (Head of Acquisitions at mk2 films), Vanja Kaludjercic (Director of International Film Festival Rotterdam), Julien Rejl (Artistic Director of Cannes Director’s Fortnight), Saralisa Volm (producer, director, writer and actress) and Thanassis Karathanos (producer TWENTY TWENTY VISION in Berlin, PALLAS FILM in Halle).

Accreditation for the European Work in Progress Cologne 2022 is possible until October 10, 2022 and is reserved for colleagues who are actively involved in the film industry. The accreditation also allows access to all film screenings as well as industry events of Film Festival Cologne depending on ticket availability. The pass is non-transferable. The accreditation fee is 65 euros.