“A strong and intimate portrait of a microcosm in which three young brothers have to face the absence of their father and discover their convictions.”
This is the motivation with which “Brotherhood” by Francesco Montagner, produced by Czech Nutprodukce (Pavla Janousková Kubecková), together with the Italian Nefertiti Film (minority co-producer), won the Film Center Serbia Award, the main award of When East Meets West, the co-production forum directed by Alessandro Gropplero and organized by the Fondo per l’Audiovisivo del Friuli Venezia Giulia (Audiovisual Fund) together with the Trieste Film Festival during which it was held, from January 20th to 22nd 2019.
This film project incorporates many of the identifying elements of the Trieste co-pro- duction market: there is a lot of East, from the Czech Republic (the birthplace of the producer and the country of residence of the director), to Bosnia where the three teenage brothers live, the children of a Salafist preacher and the protagonists of a local story which nonetheless has a strong international appeal and tackles the topic of Islamic radicalization. And there is also the West, again in the director, a native of Treviso, and in the Italian production partner, Nadia Trevisan’s Nefertiti Film which, as every year, marks its presence at the market alongside promising and award-winning projects.
Nefertiti also represents one of the most interesting and lively names in Friuli Venezia Giulia, the region that acts as a bridge between eastern and western Europe according to a formula which, as PaoloVidali, director of the Audiovisual Fund, underlines “has been used so many times that it has become a cliché and acquires even greater force now in 2019 which we hope will lead to a kind of Renaissance for the idea of Europe which has recently preferred walls to bridges.”
Another interesting element is that the movie will be the diploma essay of Montagner who studied directing at the FAMU school in Prague, in the Czech Republic, a country which is of central importance for its partnerships with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the Midpoint workshop (read the article).
The EAVE European Producers’ workshopscholarship goes to the Slovakian producer Jakub Viktorin for “Victim” by Michal Blasko which also won the Flow Post-Production Award.
This movie is also produced by Nutprodukce which Viktorin founded together with two Czech colleagues, Tomás Hruby and Pavla Janousková Kubecková.
The Cannes Producers’ Network Award went instead to Magalie Dierick (Casette for timescapes – Belgium) for the documentary “All in” and Derk-Jan Warrink (Kepler Film –Amsterdam) for “Methusalem” by Floor van der Meulen.
The director of “Methusalem” also won the EWA Network Best Woman Director.
“The winner was a drama project: this year we welcomed a lot of female directors, there are a lot of them in the selection. That’s a good sign”, comments Alessandro Gropplero.
The Polish project “Her/His” won the Asterisk Visual Marketing Prize, while the Pop Up Film Residency award, which gives a filmmaker the opportunity to participate in the new three week residency program in Bratislava of which WEMW is a partner from this year, went to “Le paradise c’est ici” by Giovanni Troilo, produced by Ognjen Dizdaveric’s Big Frame in co-production with Storyline.
An ‘explosive’ comedy about a group of teenagers who go on a rampage in the sleepy town of Paradis, in Belgium, during the only event that reawakens everyone’s soul: the reenactment of the battle of Waterloo.
So Italy is present in two of the awards and, maintains Daniela Persico, the programmer of the Locarno Film Festival, “WEMW’s work vis-à-vis Italian production is valuable because I find that Italian projects are always rather sacrificed on the international scene: the level of the Italian projects here is high and I think they will undoubtedly find an international outlet.
Another useful element of WEMW for the world of festivals is the fact of having, first and foremost, the whole production spectrum, not just films at the first stage of development but also those that are nearly finished, for which we festivals become even more interesting interlocutors.”
For example the projects in This is it, the section dedicated to drama features and ‘hybrid’ works produced or co-produced with Italy: 8 projects that competed for the Laser Film Award (for the color correction of the movie), which went to “Tony Driver” by Ascanio Petrini, produced by Dugong Films, while “Paradise, tutta un’altra vita” by Davide Del Degan, written by Andrea Magnani which he also produced with Pilgrim Film in co-pro- duction with the Slovenian Atalanta, received the Special Mention.
The evolution of the Baltic Award is the Italy Baltic Development Award for Co-Production presented to the MiBAC, Lithuanian Film Centre, Estonian Film Institute and National Film Estonian Film Institute e National Film Centre of Latvia: € 30,000 divided between “Ultramondo”, a co-production between Emanuele Nespeca’s Solaria Film and the Lithuanian Fralita Film, and “Searching for Antigravity”, a co-production between the Lithuanian Studio Nominum, the Italian Giuma Produzioni, VFS Films (Latvia) and Les Films Figures Libres(France), previously presented at the last edition of When East Meets West.
The four prizes in the Last Stop Trieste section dedicated to documentaries at an advanced stage of post-production went to two projects: the Ukrainian “Heat singers-formerly known as 18° C” by Nadia Parfan and Ilia Gladsthein won three of them (the HBO Europe Award,the Flow Digital Cinema Award and the Film Centre Serbia LST Award), while the Italian “Never whistle alone” by Marco Ferrari, produced by Candy Glass, won the Dox Consulting Award.