The key documentary industry event in the CEE region, East Doc Platform (EDP), organized by the Institute of documentary film in association with One World IHRDFF, brought more than 400 international guests to Prague in the week of March 7-13, 2016. They were both emerging and experienced filmmakers, representatives of important international film festivals or key personalities of world documentary industry. The record number of more than 220 upcoming documentaries in the stages of development, production and post production applied to this year’s edition of the event. Out of them, 32 projects were selected to take part in the core activities and compete for 9 awards.
The core activities for the participating projects were East European Forum (9 projects for the workshop joined by 12 Ex Oriente Film projects for the pitching), Project Market (16 projects) and Doc Tank (7 projects).
All awards were announced on March 12, 2016 in Komedie Theatre
The East Doc Platform Development Award Was Given to an Upcoming Czech Documentary When the War Comes
The Institute of Documentary Film announced the main EDP prize – East Doc Platform Development Award associated with the financial support of 7 500 € for the best project in the development stage. The international jurors, who decided the which of the projects participating in East Doc Platform would win the financial support that should help the filmmakers in further development of their documentary, were: Andrew Beecroft (Doc/Fest Sheffield, United Kingdom), Harry Vaughn (Sundance Film Festival, USA), Jan Daae (DR Sales, Denmark), Cristian Hordila (Transilvania IFF, Romania), La Frances Hui (MoMA, USA), Erkko Lyytinen (YLE, Finland), Luke Moody (Britdoc, United Kingdom), Eduard Moschitz (ORF, Austria), Alex Szalat (Arte, France). By their verdict, the winning film is the Czech project When the War Comes, being produced under Pink Productions and co-produced by HBO Europe. The award was handed into one of the producers, Viktória Hozzová.
HBO Co-production Award
All East Doc Platform projects from the eligible countries competed for the HBO Co-production Award, which covers the budget of the winning project. This Award was presented by Hanka Kastelicová, the Executive Producer of Documentaries in HBO Europe, and given to the Albanian project Prisoners Without Prison, directed by Verjana Abazaj.
Czech TV Post-production Award
Věra Krincvajová, Chief Editor of Documentaries in the Film Center of Czech TV, the general media partner of IDF and a media partner of KineDok, announced the winner of the Czech TV Post-production Award. The award is associated with post-production services worth 7 400 €, granted by Czech TV. The award was won by the upcoming Russian project Russian Viewfinders, directed by Alexander Abaturov.
The Golden Funnel Award
The award is annualy granted to one of the projects that took part in the year-round Ex Oriente Film workshop and underwent the most significant development within its three sessions. The winning project is honoured with 600 €, which should help the filmmakers in further development and international promotion of their project. The jury members were the Ex Oriente Film workshop lead tutors: Mikael Opstrup, Iikka Vehkalahti, Ivana Pauerová Miloševič and Filip Remunda, who decided that this year’s Golden Funnel goes to the Swiss project For Mother's Sake?, directed by Nikola Ilic and Corina Schwingruber Ilic.
IDFA Forum Award
Thanks to the cooperation agreement between IDF and IDFA, one project is annually picked up at the East European Forum by an IDFA representative, and given a special award, providing free plane tickets, accommodation and passes for IDFA Forum and IDFAcademy for the whole team. The attendance at the largest documentary market in the world strengthens the potential of the chosen project to succeed internationally. In 2016, the winner of IDFA Forum Award is Planet Petrila (dir. Andrei Dascalescu).
In cooperation with the DocsBarcelona, one of the projects presented at the East European Forum is selected for the Speed Meetings at DocsBarcelona. The meetings will be arranged previously depending on the projects preferences. The award enables the filmmakers to additionally present their project to the international decision makers and thus soon follow-up on and broaden the deals and cooperation initiated at East Doc Platform. The winner was selected by Mikael Opstrup (European Documentary Network) and it is the Serbian project Occupied Cinema (dir. Senka Domanovic).
DOK Leipzig Co-Production Meeting and DOK Preview Awards
As a novelty, DOK Leipzig presented two awards this year. The upcoming Czech documentary Avtovaz (dir. Petr Horký) was selected for fast-forward participation in the 12th DOK Co-Pro Meeting. The project will have the chance to present itself to around 70 decision makers in pre-scheduled individual meetings in October 2016. DOK Leipzig was also looking for one project for their new presentation, highlighting the best late-stage projects from different training initiatives ready to hit the international market. Brigid O’Shea and the DOK Industry Jury decided to grant this award to the project Over the Limit (d. Marta Prus). Both prizes include free festival accreditation and three nights accommodation for the film team in order to attend DOK Leipzig.
id w / interactive documentary workshop Award
Thanks to the new cooperation between Doc Tank and interactive documentary workshop (CH), which offers exchange of knowledge and experience between transmedia professionals and workshop participants, the interactive documentary workshop Award was given to the best Doc Tank project. The winning project will be invited to attend the next edition of the id workshop in Nyon (April 2016) and one team member of the project will get a full scholarship, covering tuition fees, subsistence and travel expenses. The i_doc project manager, Susanna Lotz granted this award to The Future of Forever (dir. Ana Brzezinska). The jury commented on their decission: "Due to it strong transmedia potential and its very strong thematic relevance, we chose to give the 2016 idw – interactive documentary workshop award to The future of Forever. The compelling and enthusiastic director Ana Brzezińska, totally convinced us that this project could take great benefit from its participation to the id w edition 2016."
East Doc Platform offered a rich programme with the world-renowned stars of documentary filmmaking
Apart from the closed meetings of film professionals, this year's East Doc Platform hosted a rich Open programme consisting of interesting lectures, case studies, screeenings and master classes led by acclaimed professionals, such as Erik Gandini, Fredrik Gertten, Sarah Mosses, Wolfgang Gumpelmaier, Jasmina Kallay, Frédéric Dubois, Mike Lerner, Maya Hawke, Anca Damian, Peter Jäger, Iikka Vehkalahti, Marie-Pier Gauhtier, Vincent Lucassen, Alexandre Brachet and Arnaud Colinart. The interest of the wider public or FAMU students in the lectures prooved that East Doc Platform has a lot to offer not only to professional filmmakers, but to everyone interested in creative documentaries.
Within East Doc Platform, the sixth edition of Project Market was also organized, where lively pre-arranged meetings of the documentarists with TV, festival and fund representatives, distributors, sales agents and potential co-producers took place. This year, more than 400 meeting for 30 projects were planned and many promising cooperations, co-productions and distributional support agreements were initiated.
The KineDok Conference on Alternative Distribution hosted 29 international professionals and offered case studies, lectures and presentations related to the distribution problematics. Apart from the Panel on Alternative Distribution, the program consisted of the social media marketing campaign presentation of Joanna Solecka from Alphapanda, new digital distribution possibilities lectured by Wendy Bernfeld. The duel about launching an effective campaign with Sarah Mosses and Fredrik Gertten focused on budgets, platforms, partners and other skills. The Conference also brainstormed the problematics of VoD aggregators and crowdfunding with Vincent Lucassen and Wolfgang Gumpelmaier.
During the closed sessions the participants shared the experience regarding national distribution environments and worked on an international cooperation strategy and possibilities of continuous knowledge sharing in the distribution field. The KineDok gala screening of the film 6 Degrees in Vinohrady Brewery and Q&A with the director Bartosz Dombrowski followed by a networking drink provided a great opportunity for international networking.
Another novelty of the 2016 East Doc Platform was a presentation Czech Docs... Coming soon, of five upcoming Czech documentaries. The soon-to-be-released films were introduced for example by the experienced Czech documentarist Miroslav Janek, acclaimed Slovak director Robert Kirchhoff working on a Czech-Slovak co-production documentary, Martin Ryšavý, Lukáš Kokeš or a debutant Pavel Jurda. The presentation was moderated by the german producer Simone Baumann.
The activities at East Doc Platform were richly covered by Czech, but also international media, e.g. Czech TV, Lidové noviny, Respekt, Reflex, Czech Radio or Radio Free Europe, Echo24, novinky.cz, České noviny, Cineuropa, Film New Europe, and others.
The motto of this year’s edition was SIGHT SPECIFIC, expressing both the diversity of perspectives and creative approaches to a topic while revealing one of the focuses of the programme - site specific screenings as an alternative form of distribution and encouraging author - audience dialogue. You can watch the jingle of this year’s edition here. Since its foundation, IDF managed to support within its activities finishing of almost 300 documentary films and distribution of more than 3200 other documentaries.