East Doc Platform 2022 Winners Announced

31. 3. 2022

Author: Veronika Zýková

The East Doc Platform Award went to the Polish project The World is not (a) Mine by Natalia Koniarz about inhabitants working in inhuman conditions mining metals on the Cerro Rico mountain. The Ukrainian project Up in the Air by Oksana Syhareva has two awards including HBO Max Award. The documentary follows youg Ukrainian circus acrobats developing their skills and performance while fighting local government. The awards were handed on March 31 at the Gallery of Art Critics during the East Doc Platform Partner Awards Ceremony and during the One World & East Doc Platform Closing Ceremony. The 11th edition of the East Doc Platform, the largest co-production, funding and distribution platform tailor-made for Central and East European documentaries, took place from March 25 to March 31 at the French Institute in Prague. See the awarded projects and juries statements.

East Doc Platform Award

The Institute of Documentary Film announces the main EDP prize – East Doc Platform Award associated with the financial support of 5 000 € for the best project in development and production. The granted financial support will help the filmmakers in further development of their documentary film. The East Doc Platform Award 2022 jurors are: Hanne Biermann (Deckert Distribution), Fatma Riahi (Al Jazeera Documentary Channel) and Alex Szalat (Docs Up Fund).

The award goes to The World is not (a) Mine (dir. Natalia Koniarz, prod. Maciej Kubicki, Poland)

Jury statement: “We were happy to see a very high quality among the projects being pitched, so it was particularly difficult for us to select just one of them. But it is especially the very cinematographic approach of showing the vastness of a place that seems to have been abandoned by the rest of the world, contrasted with the incredible narrowness of the shafts of the highest mine in Bolivia, that immediately caught our attention. Natalia Koniarz's project promises to be a parable about nothing less than the meaning of life, about our interaction with nature, but most importantly about how we treat each other. Therefore, the jury is very pleased to hand the East Doc Platform Award 2022 to The World is not (a) Mine.”

East Doc Platform Award Special Mention
goes to Last Letters of My Grandma (dir. Olga Lucovnicova, prod. Frederik Nicolai, Belgium, Moldova, Netherlands) 

“For its high cinematic language and the richness of its story, linking the past and present, the jury also decided to give a special mention to the project Last Letters of My Grandma.”

Current Time TV Director’s Award
goes to the Institute of Documentary Film

The statement of Kenan Aliyev, the Executive Director of Current Time TV, reads: “This is a difficult, but important moment to recognize and celebrate documentary films. It's difficult, because we all know that Ukrainian families and children are suffering from bombardment from Russian forces, hunger, family separation, displacement, and fear as we speak. Much of our attention is there, in Ukraine, as it should be.

It's also an important moment though, because it reminds us of the necessity and power of documentary film. We won't be so naive as to say ''never again,'' because a monstrously destructive land war that we thought could never again happen is, indeed, happening again.  But this doesn't negate the urgent need to bear witness: we must document the violence, we must tell the stories of the heroes, and we must honor and preserve the memory of the victims. 

For this reason, tonight's award is presented to the Czech Institute of Documentary Film. IDF marked its 20th anniversary last year, but because of the pandemic, we didn't have the opportunity to recognize it. It seems fitting to recognize it this year, at this time of war, because of its mission to support documentary film, a mission whose importance is affirmed every minute that this violence continues. Current Time is dedicated to supporting independent voices, so tonight we honor the Czech Institute of Documentary Film for its dedication to ensuring that the voices that support freedom, justice, independence, and peace are heard.

This is a monetary award in the amount of 2500 Euros. And I'm asking the IDF to direct this small contribution from American people to Ukrainian filmmakers that are documenting the war and human tragedy that must end.

Thank you.”

HBO Max Award
HBO Max, the General Partner of the Institute of Documentary Film, awards one of the projects selected to the East Doc Platform 2022 the HBO Max Award worth € 2 000. The award is presented by Hanka Kastelicová, the Executive Producer of Documentaries HBO Max. This award does not constitute any co-production or distribution deal and doesn’t bind the granted director/producer to sell any rights for the film to HBO in exchange for the award.

The award goes to Up in the Air (dir. Oksana Syhareva, prod. Nataliia Pogudina, Ukraine) 

Czech TV Co-production Award

Markéta Štinglová, Manager of International Content Projects Centre of the public broadcaster Czech TV, the General Media Partner of the Institute of Documentary Film, announces the winner of the Czech TV Co-production Award. The award presents a financial investment of 150 000 CZK and a subsequent co-production deal. The jury consists of the Czech TV representatives: Markéta Štinglová, Manager of International Content Projects Center, Petr Morávek, Head of Production Department Documentary and Educational Programmes, and Věra Krincvajová, Chief Editor of Documentaries, Film Center.

The award goes to The Wife of (Estonia, USA, France)

Cut thru the Noise Award
The award is given to one of the Ex Oriente Film participating teams that makes the most progress over the course of the workshop in terms of their fist-package preparation. Shortlist of candidates will be suggested by the workshop lead tutors. Winning project will be selected by Diana Karklin, sales & acquisitions manager of Rise and Shine World Sales and by Mirjam Wiekenkamp, founder and manager of international projects at NOISE PR.  Awarded team will receive tailor-made consultancy on the project´s release, distribution and sales strategy.

Awarded project: Up in the Air (dir. Oksana Syhareva, prod. Oksana Syhareva, Nataliia Pogudina, Ukraine)

The statement reads: “We very much enjoyed the projects we got to choose from and want to thank you all and Ex Oriente. The project that will receive the Cut thru the Noise Award - a tailor-made consultancy trajectory focusing on distribution and publicity - stood out because of its high cinematic quality, a strong choice of characters and an absolutely engaging narrative. We understand that the filmmaking process has radically changed, but we are convinced that this film will be completed in the best way possible and we are happy to support it. Our award goes to Up in the Air by Oksana Syhareva.”

Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award
The Ex Oriente Film project selected by the workshop lead tutors receives rough cut consultations with renowned film editor in value of 1 500 €.

The award goes to Shut the Fuck Up! (dir. Taisiia Kutuzov, prod. Stephane Siohan, Olga Beskhmelnitsyna, Ukraine, France)

“It's not easy being young. It's not easy to be brave. It's even harder to be young and brave in a small town. Well-known American psychologist Phillip Zimbardo is touring the world with his next social experiment called the Heroic Imagination Project, which explores courage in everyday life. Courage, he says, is not the preserve of those who do not feel fear. Zimbardo teaches that courage can be learned. The protagonist of the film we have chosen to honour is courageous. His actions change the order of a world gripped in prejudice and corruption. An aggressive and unjustifiable war has now intervened in his life. A war that aims to destroy everything our young hero has fought for over the years. That must not happen. And it won't. We also commend the filmmaker for her courage and talent. We want to help her testimony to be seen and heard by the whole free world and to support our young hero and his country. The prize goes to the project Shut the Fuck Up! by director Taisiia Kutuzova. Glory to free Ukraine.” 

The Golden Funnel Award
The award for the most significant development within the workshop is granted to one Ex Oriente Film workshop participating team awarded 1 000 €. The financial support should help the filmmakers in further development and international promotion of their documentary film. Project is selected by the workshop lead tutors Mikael Opstrup, Iikka Vehkalahti, Filip Remunda and Ivana Pauerová Miloševičová.

The award goes to Runaway (dir. Marika Pecháčková, prod. Pavla Klimešová, Vít Klusák, Czech Republic)

“It has been our pleasure to spend the last year working with all of you talented filmmakers. The Golden Funnel award is given to the project, which has made the most significant development within the course of the workshop. Choosing just one has been a difficult decision to make, because all of you worked hard. 

During the workshop, the director was looking for a way to talk about something that is kept quiet in "better families" out of politeness. She revealed that silence kills. She therefore decided to break the silence and establish an intimate dialogue within the family, of which the author becomes an organic part. She seeks wisdom in trauma. He masters psychological principles, and so the film brings hope that in trauma, apart from destruction, we can all find wisdom and a way out. For all this he has found an original cinematic language. We award the prize to an auteur who will not emotionally drain us, but inspire and uplift us. The Golden Funnel Awards goes to Marika Pecháčková - Runaway.”

Pitch the Doc Prize
The Pitch the Doc Prize is given to boost the progress of the credited project, providing it with dedicated curation and support in building international recognition and visibility. Consultation is held by an expert associated with Pitch the Doc, and takes place within 6 months of the Prize announcement, provided that the project is successfully validated on the Pitch the Doc platform.

The award goes to Pianoforte (dir. Jakub Piątek, prod. Maciej Kubicki, Poland)

“As Pitch the Doc we would like to contribute to boosting the international recognition of the project, which in current terrible circumstances reminds us that passions, emotions and talents may be engaged in shared human heritage.  It shows us that there are values common for people from various parts of the world, despite their differences in cultures, origins and personalities. The Pitch the Doc Prize goes to Pianoforte.”

DAE Pitch Talent Encouragement Prize
Documentary Association of Europe is bringing to East Doc Platform the DAE Pitch Talent Encouragement Prize. The award consists of two free memberships for 12 months, valued at 100 € each and a bespoke mentoring session with a DAE member, depending on the needs of the project team.

The award goes to 5 Pills Away (dir. Karolina Domagalska, prod. Katarzyna Slesicka, Anna Stylinska)

DocsBarcelona Award
In cooperation with DocsBarcelona, one of the projects presented at the East Doc Forum is selected for the Speed Meetings at the 2022 DocsBarcelona. The meetings will be arranged previously depending on financers and 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 project is selected by Mikael Opstrup.

“Making a character driven documentary is about turning events into a story while staying true to what happened to the characters. When these events concern childhood trauma for the director the bumpy creation process gets even tougher and more difficult. Combining emotional closeness with artistic distance is not easy.

How the result of this journey will appear on the screen I find very difficult to predict with this film but the recordings are very strong and the personal effort from the director even more so.

The Docs Barcelona Award goes to From 0 to 8 (dir. Danilo Cekovic, prod. Mario Adamson, Sergio C. Ayala, Sweden, Serbia).”

DOK Leipzig Accelerator Award for DOK Co-Pro Market
“The DOK Leipzig Accelerator Award for DOK Co-Pro Market for fast forward participation in the 18th DOK Co-Pro Market. The project will have the chance  to present itself to international decision makers in tailor-made one to one meetings.
The award is given to Baltic UXO by Alexandra Belinski  & Agne Dovydaityte and produced by Dagne Vildziunaite  and Agne Dovydaityte  for its unconventional visual approach to exploring a little known environmental threat in the Baltic and northern seas. Using exquisite cinematic language, the project shines a light to the dumping of tons of unexploded ordenances in the waters. What was perceived as a quick solution to dispose of harmful weapons after WW2 has become a long lasting danger to the sea and the communities living in its surroundings.”

Baltic UXO (dir. Agne Dovydaityte, Alexander Belinski, prod. Agne Dovydaityte, Dagne Vildziunaite, Lithuania)

DOK Leipzig Accelerator Award for DOK Preview Training
The statement: “The project is invited to present itself at the DOK preview presentation highlighting the best late stage projects from different training initiatives ready to hit the International market.
We are happy to award the prize to Pianoforte by Jakub Piatek and produced by Maciej Kubicki. An intriguing coming of age story driven by empathy, dreams and hope, which will compel audiences to root for the Young pianists and follow them on their journey to achieve their dreams.”

The award goes to Pianoforte (dir. Jakub Piątek, prod. Maciej Kubicki, Poland)

Sunny Side of the Doc Prize

The 33rd edition of the international marketplace for documentary and narrative experiences to be held online and in La Rochelle from 20 to 23 June is delighted to provide industry support and two complimentary accreditations to the creative team behind one project presented in the framework of East Doc Forum 2022. #StorytellingMatters This shared conviction will be the central theme to all Sunny Side of the Doc events in 2022, helping bring to light people, stories and actions which question, engage and impact globally.

The award goes to Dakar Sistaz (dir. Jakub Šmíd, Barbora Chalupová, prod. Zuzana Kučerová, Czech Republic)

The East Doc Platform is organized by the Institute of Documentary Film in association with One World Film Festival.

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