Projects awarded within the sixth year of East Doc Platform, the biggest documentary event in Central and Eastern Europe

14. 3. 2017

Author: Gabriela Zajícová

The human rights documentary festival – One World was the venue of the region’s biggest documentary event in the region, the East Doc Platform (EDP) organized by the Institute of Documentary Film held on March 6 – 12. The sixth year of the platform welcomed 400 film professionals, representatives of important world festivals and key personalities in the field of documentary film in Prague. A record-breaking number of 284 documents in development, production or post-production stage registered for this year’s East Doc Platform. Over 40 projects were selected out of that pool to compete for 9 awards which were ceremoniously announced and awarded on March 11 in the Komedie Theatre once the East European Forum presentation was over.
Within the framework of the East Doc Platform the directors and producers attended in total 546 meetings where they could meet different international decision makers and get an important feedback about their projects.

Miriam Ryndová, Head of East Doc Platform, said about the themes of the three winners: “The jury awarded films examining the influence of Putin’s Russia, the impact of global warning and religious radicalism.”

The East Doc Platform Award went to a Russian film about propaganda, the Provincial Town of E
The Institute of Documentary Film granted the main East Doc Platform Award of EUR 7,500 to the best project in development and production stage. The financial aid will help the authors to develop and produce  the documentary further.  The project was selected by a prestigious international jury consisting of recognised experts from amongst film festival and  sales representatives: Nicolas Feodoroff (film critic and programmer of FID Marseille, France), Maëlle Guenegues (sales CAT and Docs representative, France), Gitte Hansen (sales First Hand Films representative, Switzerland), Anna Hoffmann (programmer of the Berlinale Forum, Germany), Loïc Valceschini (film critic and programmer working for the Semaine de la critique in Locarno, Switzerland) and Agnés Wildenstein (programmer of Doc Lisboa, Portugal).

The price for the Provincial Town of E (Russia), which is being made in the Ethnofund production, was awarded to the Russian director, Dmitry Bogolubov, and his co-author, Anna Shishova-Bogolubova. A noteworthy current film deals with propaganda and its impact on the everyday lives of the Russian people, the locals’ loss of identity and the need to search for one’s genuine history. The film takes place in a small provincial town of Elnya, the first town in Russia to have been liberated of German troops in WWII. There is currently nothing but never-ending military celebrations of the heroic Soviet past. Military propaganda becomes a part of everyday life; people believe in the ideals of the Soviet past, both politicians and official agencies manipulate them and the veil of patriotism and fictitious image of an enemy are used as a smokescreen to cover the deteriorating living standards.

The prestigious international jury evaluated the winning Russian film, Provincial Town of E, as stated below: “Offering insight in everyday life in a small town, the project captures the relevant social and geopolitical issues of contemporary Russia. Through different layers of history and human stories, the filmmakers invite us to observe how the past shapes the present thus making us think about the future.

The HBO Development Award went to the environmental film, The Earth Masters
All projects selected for the East Doc Platform from the countries of  HBO Europe competed for the development award by this company. The prize of EUR 2,000, handed over by Hanka Kastelicová, Executive Manager of the Documentary Projects at HBO Europe, was awarded to The Earth Masters (Germany, Spain) by a talented Spanish Director, Alba Sotorra, produced by Nadja Smith of Gaia Audiovisuals S.L.

Hanka Kastelicová voiced the reasoning behind: “In many places on our planet, people have to face the changes caused by global warming. The Earth Masters project by a talented Spanish director, Alba Sotorra, tells the stories of advocates and opponents of geoingeneering, a daring, innovative as well as controversial new science. The project has a universal appeal and may become an important contribution to finding a way to help saving our planet.

Czech TV postproduction Award has been granted to the document on the lives of Muslim girls
The lead documentary film programmer of the Czech TV Film Centre, Věra Krincvajová, announced the winner of the Czech TV postproduction Award which is also the general media partner of the event. The award is connected to a postproduction in kind services in   the amount of EUR 7,400 provided by Czech TV. The prize was awarded to Before Father Is Back (Georgia, France, Germany), a film by a talented Georgian Director, Marina Gulbiani produced by Nushi Film.
The film tells the story of two girls living in the poor area of Pankisi, the home of Sunnite Muslims in Georgia. The twelve-year-old Iman is waiting for a Skype connection with her father who left six months ago. Her friend, Eva (13), receives a message from her father who wishes to relocate the entire family abroad. The film depicts the dreams and desires of two girls, but also their fears and the generally difficult situation of Muslim children suffering from freedom restriction. It also handles the important issue of whether people leave for the Islamic State for religious reasons, or because of their poor financial standing. The jury consisted of the Czech TV representatives: Markéta Štinglová, Manager of International Content Projects, Petr Morávek, Chief Producer of Factual Programmes, Documentaries and Education, and Věra Krincvajová, Chief Editor of Documentaries, Film Center. 
Věra Krincvajová commented on the jury’s decision as follows:The document delivers a unique insight in the environment producing Islamic State recruits.”

The Golden Funnel Award: Satanic Girls directed by Bohdan Bláhovec, produced by Pavla Janoušková Kubečková and Anna Herza Tydlitátová.

IDFA Forum Award: Yours sincerely, Social System directed by Martin Tokár, produced by Ivana Hucíková

DocsBarcelona Award: The Smuggler directed by Ivars Zviedris, produced by Marta Bite

DOK Preview Award: Provincial Town of E directed by Dmitry Bogolubov, produced by Vlad Ketkovich

DOK Leipzig Co-Poduction Meeting: Bare-Handed directed by Stefano Obino, produced by Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino

Current Time TV Award: Provincial Town of E directed by Dmitry Bogolubov, produced by Vlad Ketkovich

On Friday, March 10, the Doc Tank introduced five trans-media projects in preparation. The best among them, Teslafy.Me (directed by Janja Glogovac, produced by Janja Glogovac) won the id w / interactive documentary workshop Award. The statement of the jury: "Due to its strong transmedia potential, combining a factual approach in the interactive documentary part, with a more poetical immersive exploration of the universe of Nikola Tesla in a VR component; we attribute the idw award to the project Teslafy.Me. More than ever, we believe that it is important to give voices to role models which could inspire our society. Nikola Tesla was not only a physicist and inventor of great talent, but also a passionate pacifist, who lived during the Second World War. The award will give full scholarship and a direct entry for the id w / interactive documentary workshop held in Nyon from the 21-26 of April 2017."

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