Lagoons. A Battle for Paradise by Serhiy Lysenko got the East Doc Platform Award 2021 and also Current Time TV Director’s Award. 72 Hours by Anna Savchenko got Czech TV Co-production Award and Kix - A Story of a Street Kid by Balint Révész & Dávid Mikulán received HBO Development Award.
The winner of East Doc Platform Award 2021 is the Ukrainian title Lagoons. A Battle for Paradise by director Serhiy Lysenko and producers Anna Kapustina and Oleksandra Kravchenko. The International Jury – Asta Dalman (SVT), Luisa Schwamborn (NEW DOCS) and Jane Mote (The Whickers) – highlighted “very strong scenes and characters and themes about man's greed versus the protection of the natural world”. East Doc Platform Award is associated with the financial support of EUR 7 500 for the development and production. The project also got Current Time TV Director’s Award worth 3000 USD. The award was dedicated to the memory of Belarusian filmmakers who died in a car accident in May 2020, Maxim Gavrilenko, Lyubov Zemtsova and Vladimir Mikhailovski.
The Czech TV Co-production Award, offering 150 000 CZK and a subsequent co-production deal, went to a a co-production project between Belarus, Belgium and France, 72 Hours directed by Anna Savchenko, telling a story of a mother whose life has been incomplete since her son was dubiously accused, sentenced to death and executed within a year.
The Hungarian project Kix - A Story of a Street Kid (directed by Balint Révész & Dávid Mikulán, produced by Viki Réka-Kiss) got HBO Development Award. The Jury mentioned high artistic values and the perstistance of the filmmakers „following for more than a decade a coming of age story. It also offers a strong insight into the life of the young generation in post-communist countries, where their fate is sometimes predestined.“
Among other awarded projects is a Russian co-production The Trans Syrian Express, directed by Alina Rudnitskaya and produced by Pertti Veijalainen, which received Sunny Side of the Doc Prize and DocsBarcelona Award. Director Diana Fabiánová and producer Silvia Panáková got the Golden Funnel worth EUR 1 000 for Slovak-Czech co-production The Boundaries of Fidelity, a project that made the biggest progress during a year-long Ex Oriente Film.
East Doc Platform, organized by the Institute of Documentary Film, welcomed over 400 film professionals from March 6 – 17. The extended online edition offered not only networking activites, but also a number of lectures, presentations and masterclasses, including Alexander Nanau’s talk about his Academy Award nominated Collective. The open programme was available for the accredited guests in the Guest Zone at dokweb.net with two panel discussions streamed also on Facebook. The pitching East Doc Forum was spread into 3 days with first two days devoted to feature-length projects, while the third day brought XR projects and factual series.
The Institute of Documentary Film is currently celebrating 20 years of the existence at DAFilms.com with the selection of 20 Eastern and Western European films which were part of IDF’s activities including Ex Oriente Film workshop, East Silver Market, East Doc Platform and KineDok.
All the winning projects and the juries statements:
East Doc Platform Award
Lagoons. A Battle for Paradise (dir. Serhiy Lysenko, prod. Anna Kapustina, Oleksandra Kravchenko, UA)
Jury statement: “Wow! This was a difficult decision. The range and quality of projects was very impressive. But it was a former war documentarian turning to nature in an unexpected part of the world who won us over. Serhiy Lysenko found himself in the middle of a battle for the survival of a unique environment in which the protectors are seriously outnumbered by those seeking to destroy one of Ukraine’s last untouched landscapes. With very strong scenes and characters and themes about man's greed versus the protection of the natural world, the winner of the East Doc Platform Award 2021 is Lagoons - A Battle for Paradise.”
Czech TV Co-production Award
72 Hours (dir. Anna Savchenko, prod. Isabel de la Serna, Jean-Marie Gigon, Iva Tkalec, co-prod. Volia Chajkouskaya, BE, BY, FR)
Jury statement: "Czech TV Co-production Award goes to the film 72 Hours which portrays the mother, whose life has been incomplete since her son was dubiously accused, sentenced to death and executed within a year. Sharing her story, she transforms from a grieving mother to a symbol of the struggle against the death penalty in Belarus."
Current Time TV Director’s Award
Lagoons. A Battle for Paradise (dir. Serhiy Lysenko, prod. Anna Kapustina, Oleksandra Kravchenko, UA)*
HBO Development Award
Kix - A Story of a Street Kid (dir. Balint Révész & Dávid Mikulán, prod. Viki Réka-Kiss, HU)*
„HBO Development Award goes to a project that shows the huge persistence of its makers. Every time the film appears on an industry event, there is a strong feeling of progress and high artistic value. The team is following for more than a decade a coming of age story. It also offers a strong insight into the life of the young generation in post-communist countries, where their fate is sometimes predestined. The award goes to Kix - The Story of a Street Kid, directed by Balint Revesz, Dávid Mikulán, produced by ELF Pictures.“
The Golden Funnel
The Boundaries of Fidelity (dir. Diana Fabiánová, prod. Silvia Panáková, SK, CZ)*
Ex Oriente Film workshop lead tutors’ statement: “We have decided to award The Boundaries of Fidelity team with The Golden Funnel since authors kept bravely striving to overcome boundaries and talk about the issue of fidelity and personal honesty and openness no matter to obstacles at home and in their home country. The project went through a great deal of film development from dealing with the phenomenon of polyamory ‘only’ to a personal quest and family’s emotional journey that speaks to broader audience in general.”
Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award
A Year of Endless Days (dir. Renata Lučić, prod. Tamara Babun, Matija Drniković, HR)*
Ex Oriente Film lead tutors’ statement: “This year’s winner of editing award is a project where author puts at stake her own privacy and her own childhood memories to talk about grater universal problem of families in poorer parts of the EU. Director depicts patriarchal Catholic society of Croatian Slavonia, her belonging and growing up in a family where mother is missing as the only breadwinner. Underneath the surface of reality, generations already are being formed and grew up with mother living abroad and father staying and passively waiting for his days to come.”
Cut Thru the Noise Award
Smiling Georgia (dir. Luka Beradze, prod. Nino Chichua, Anna Khazaradze, GE, DE)*
Awarded project has been selected by Andrea Hock, Head of Sales of Autlook Filmsales and Mirjam Wiekenkamp, Founder and Manager of international projects at NOISE PR.
The statement reads: "First of all, on behalf on me and Andrea, I would like to state what a joy it has been to watch your pitches. What an incredibly strong films and we hope to cross paths with many of you in the near future. In the winning project, PR campaigns haven't exactly been a positive experience for its protagonists. People were mislead and tricked up until a point where they had to give up a part of themselves. With the very first Cut Thru the Noise Award, we want to support this film and its team to turn the tide, and make publicity something they can actually benefit from. Our award, consisting of consultancy sessions and a tailor-made PR & distribution plan, goes to Smiling Georgia by Luka Beradze."
IDFA Spotlight Award
Swinging Fields (dir. Sareen Hairabedian, prod. Azza Hourani, JO, US, IE)
DOK Leipzig DOK Co-Pro Market Award
I'm Not Everything I Want to Be (dir. Klára Tasovská, prod. Lukáš Kokeš, CZ, SK)
DOK Preview Award
Mastery (dir. Kateřina Turečková, prod. Klára Mamojková, Wanda Kaprálová, Vít Janeček, CZ)*
Sunny Side of the Doc Prize
The Trans Syrian Express (dir. Alina Rudnitskaya, prod. Pertti Veijalainen, FI, PL, RU)
Juror's statement: “At the moment of the 10th Anniversary of the beginning of the conflict in Syria, the documentary of Alina Rudnitskaya, as a sad road movie, tells us with a nostalgic and yet powerful photography as well an intimate style, how the consequences of war and its trophies can be used, as an additional and dramatic tool, to enhance propaganda. In the frame of 2021 #StorytellingMatters focus, Sunny Side of the Doc is glad to support the project The Trans Syrian Express for its importance and urgency on a topic that touches all of us”.
The Trans Syrian Express (dir. Alina Rudnitskaya, prod. Pertti Veijalainen, FI, PL, RU)
Statement of the juror Mikael Opstrup: „Sometimes reality is so grotesque, that it takes an artist’s interpretation to fully comprehend it. This is the case with Alina Rudnitskaya’s The Trans Syrian Express, where her camera registers and undresses the militarization of the Russian society. Alina only managed to shoot a few scenes with the people who are exposed to this mindset before Covid-19 made further shooting impossible. But the tenderness of these scenes promises a film that, when all the shooting is done, will open the closed windows for us outsiders, hopefully enabling us to, if not understand, then at least experience what is at stake in Russia.
Good luck with the rest of the shooting and welcome to Docs Barcelona.“
DAE Encouragement Prize
One for the Team (dir. Katarzyna Wiśniowska, prod. Tomasz Morawski, Marcin Kupiecki, PL)*
Swarm (dir. Ula Przybylska, prod. Viktoria Szabo, PL, HU)
Pitch the Doc Award
Blix (dir. Greta Stocklassa, prod. Radovan Síbrt, CZ, SE)*
Jury statement: “For the willingness to provide an insight into the backstage of modern history, for the consequences of telling an unwanted truth, and for trying to answer the question of whether a person should defend this truth.”
* Ex Oriente Film project
Find more about this year's awards and juries here and also take a look at all the projects selected for East Doc Platform 2021.