East Doc Platform 2023 Winners Announced

30. 3. 2023

Author: Veronika Zýková

Fifteen awards were given to producers and directors during the East Doc Platform Partners' Awards and the Closing Ceremony of One World & East Doc Platform on Thursday, March 30. The East Doc Platform Award 2023 jurors Hanka Kastelicová (HBO Max), Thomas Beyer (MDR) and Alexandra Derewienko (CAT&Docs) awarded the project about the refugees trapped by the Belarusian government in a cynical geopolitical conflict I Made a Mistake Coming Here with prize money 7500 EUR. The Soldier's Journey, a Romanian-Ukrainan project portraying the director herself as she fights for a free Ukraine, received two other major prizes: the Current Time TV Director's Award and the HBO Max Award. The Czech TV Co-production Award went to the story of two paramedics, Cuba&Alaska, who save lives while keeping good humor during the war in Ukraine. See the complete list of the awarded projects and the juries statements.

East Doc Platform Award: I Made a Mistake Coming Here (dir. Kseniya Halubovich, prod. Louis Beaudemont / Les Steppes Productions, co-prod. Current Time TV, France, USA)
“It is with great pleasure that we award I Made a Mistake Coming Here for its courage and relevance in shedding light on the sustained struggle of refugees under a xenophobic regime in Belarus. The filmmakers' involvement in bringing attention to the large-scale humanitarian scam led by Lukashenko is of striking relevance, and it reveals what his regime fears the most: courageous citizens who only follow their conscience to support people in need, whatever it costs. The director's commitment is outstanding and we believe this project is deserving of great recognition throughout wide audiences.”

East Doc Platform Award Special Mention: May It Be a Girl (dir. Katerina Suvorova, prod. Aruan Anartaev, co-prod. Mischief Films, Kazakhstan, Austria)
“We want to award a project with a unique approach to a very important topic, where through what each of us uses several times a day - a name - we can closer understand Kazakh society and especially the position of women. The project brings with openness a light to what is named every day and, at the same time, hidden for generations in families. Special Mention of the East Doc Platform Award goes to May It Be a Girl.”

Current Time TV Director's Award: The Soldier's Journey (dir. Helena Maksyom, prod. Adrian Pirvu, Romania, Ukraine)
“In an unprecedented for Current Time way, we would like to give an award for the second time to a project made by a team that is already known well for their previous film. Wishing to support filmmakers and to extend our gratitude to them for making the hardest decision of picking up both the camera and arms to protect and save their homeland, we are giving the Current Time Director's Award to the project The Soldier's Journey by Helena Maksyom.”

Czech TV Co-production Award: Cuba&Alaska (dir. Yegor Troyanovsky, prod. Olga Beskhmelnytsina / 2Brave Productions, Christian Popp / Tag Film, Ukraine, France)
“Saving others while risking their own lives today for the better tomorrow, this represents hope. The winner of the Czech TV Co-production Award is Cuba & Alaska, directed by Yegor Troyanovsky and produced by Olha Beskhmelnytsina with the co-producer Christian Popp.”

HBO Max Award: The Soldier's Journey (dir. Helena Maksyom, prod. Adrian Pirvu, Romania, Ukraine)
“The winning team is known for their previous sensitive and very personal work. They are not just observers; they are active players in their stories. After the war started, the director, like many other artists, felt the need to pick up a weapon. Helena becomes a military unit commander and leads a group of soldiers but keeps her camera as her second weapon. The HBO Max award goes to Helena Maksyom and Adrian Pirvu for the project The Soldier’s Journey.”

Cut thru the Noise Award: May It Be a Girl (dir. Katerina Suvorova, prod. Aruan Anartaev, co-prod. Mischief Films, Kazakhstan, Austria)
“We have chosen a project from an underrepresented region that sheds light on a phenomenon that has remained unknown to the general public. We were moved by the protagonists’ resilience and are inspired by their courage to confront their own destiny. The award goes to May It Be a Girl by Katerina Suvorova.”

Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award: European Union Wolf (dir. Jadran Boban, prod. Dana Budisavljević, Hulahop, Croatia)
“The award goes to a project that has undertaken year long research across Europe in search of finding the links and structures of the dangerous organizations, which have been fighting a hybrid war against the constitutional rights of citizens of liberal democracies. We appreciate a comprehensive and analytical look at organizations that are unknown to the people and deliberately hidden. The aim of this dangerous network is the destruction of the secular state and the establishment of an ultra-conservative dictatorship.”

The Golden Funnel: War on Women (dir. Maris Salumets, prod. Volia Chajkouskaya / Allfilm, Estonia)

DocsBarcelona Award: One Day I Wish To See You Happy (dir. Maryna Nikolcheva, prod. Oleksandra Kravchenko, Ukraine)

“I will start with spoiling the party for some of you. The DocsBarcelonaAward can only go to one of the original Ex Oriente projects. Also the organizers of Docs Barcelona asked me, if possible, to select a female director. Luckily, this is not a problem. On the contrary.

One of the many beauties of being an Ex Oriente tutor is that I get the chance to get to know documentary artists over the course of a year. It enables me to not only select a project that for me holds the essence of the art of documentary filmmaking. But also to get to admire a filmmaker – and a producer, not to forget - that are working under the hardest possible conditions.

The title of the project selected for the DocsBarcelona Award is a sentence from the director to her beloved husband. But these are also my final words to the courageous Ukranian couple, director Maryna Nikolcheva and producer Oleksandra Kravchenko: One Day I Wish to See You Happy.

See you in Barcelona.“

Docs Ireland Award: Cuba & Alaska (dir. Yegor Troyanovsky, prod. Olga Beskhmelnytsina, Ukraine)
“We are honoured to present the inaugural Docs Ireland Award at EDP to a project which frames the brutal realities of war through the experiences of two charismatic and warm-spirited characters, using a nuanced lens to explore bravery and resilience in the face of intense adversity, and the enduring strength of the human spirit - Cuba & Alaska, directed by Yegor Troyanovsky, and produced by Olha Beskhmelnytsina for 2Brave productions.”

Sunny Side of the Doc Prize: Brothers in the Hunt (dir. Ieva Ozolina, Madara Melberga, Fa Filma, Latvia)
“Brothers in the Hunt is the humorous story of three former convicts who set up a debt collection agency in Latvia. The director, Ieva Ozolina, subtly captures these bigger-than-life characters who flirt with the law and their ambiguities. We hope that attending Sunny Side will enable the project to find international partners.” Find more.

DOK Lepzig Accelerator Award for DOK Co-Pro Market: War on Women (dir. Maris Salumets, prod. Volia Chajkouskaya / Allfilm, Estonia)

DOK Lepzig Accelerator Award for DOK Preview Training: European Union Wolf (dir. Jadran Boban, prod. Dana Budisavljević / Hulahop, Croatia)

Pitch the Doc Prize: World of Walls (dir. Lucia Kašová, prod. Matej Sotník, Wanda Kaprálová / Guča, co-prod. Claw AV, Slovakia, Czech Republic)

“Pitch the Doc Prize is intended to recognize and support the development of a project that in the face of the climate crisis makes an ambitious attempt to draw a social picture of the future or maybe already the reality that we don’t want to see. And the winner is World of Walls.”

DAE Pitch Talent Encouragement Prize: Insurance Against Meteorites (dir. Natalia Śliwowska, Jorik Galama, prod. Kasia Kuczyńska / Haka Films, Poland)

Two films supported by the Institute of Documentary Film have been awarded by the juries of the One World Film Festival. The International Competition Jury Award for Best Director went to We Will Not Fade Away and the Czech Competition Jury Award for Best Film was given to The VisitorsWe Will Not Fade Away also got the Silver Eye Award for the best feature documentary of the East Silver Market at the East Doc Platform 2023 on March 28 during the Guests Meet Guests at the Residence of the Mayor of Prague.

The 12th edition of the East Doc Platform, the largest co-production, funding and distribution platform tailor-made for Central and Eastern European documentaries, took place March 24-30 at the French Institute in Prague. The East Doc Platform welcomed over 450 accredited guests, offered a wide range of lectures, presentations, masterclasses as part of the open program. A large number of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings took place during the East Silver Market and the East Doc Market, the 3rd sessions of the Ex Oriente Film workshop along with the East Doc Forum workshop culminated in the pitching of 19 projects. B2B Doc Visegrad Pitch presented 10 Ukrainian projects and the East Doc Platform traditionally held the workshops of the East Doc Series (along with the public presentation) and the East Doc Interactive.

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