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Thessaloniki Film Festival’s Industry Arm Announces Award Winners

The Thessaloniki Film Festival’s industry arm, Agora, announced the awards from this year’s online edition at a virtual ceremony held Friday.

The Crossroads Co-Production Forum’s Two Thirty-Five Co-Production Award, which offers full post-production image and sound to the winning project, went to writer-director Estibaliz Urresola’s “20,000 Species of Bees,” produced by Lara Izagirre of Spain’s Gariza Films.

The jury praised the project “for the exceptional directorial vision of a fragile universe composed of sensations of nature, experienced by a transgender girl while her family matures towards acceptance, and a subject we feel is immensely important.” The film also received a full scholarship to the Mediterranean Film Institute’s Script 2 Film Workshop.

The French CNC Development Award, in the amount of €8,000 ($9,400), went to “Birthday,” from writer-director Lara Zeidan, and producers Séverine Tibi and Anaïs Calmels of Sevana Films (Lebanon/France), “for a compelling personal story, supported by a convincing artistic vision and presented by a team of filmmakers with outstanding synergy.”

A new award from Greece’s Finos Film, which aims to support the local industry with a €3,000 ($3,500) grant, went to writer-director Alexandros Voulgaris (known by the stage name The Boy), for “They Come Out of Margo,” produced by Eleni Bertes of Logline. The jury praised it “for a provoking story that embarks the audience on a journey through different film genres, told by a unique cinematic voice, with a very personal and peculiar style.”

The Crossroads jury awarded free accreditation for the Producers’ Network at the next Cannes Film Festival to producer Güneş Şekeroğlu, of Turkey’s Hay Film, for the project “Kriegsausgabe,” from writer-director Tarik Aktaş.

The ARTE Kino International Prize, in the amount of €6,000 ($7,100), went to writer-director Miki Polonski’s first feature “Takotsubo,” produced by Shira Hochman of Israel’s MINA Films, and co-produced by Janja Kralj of KinoElektron in France. The project also received an award from Sofia Meetings.

Initiative Film will provide six months of follow-up consultative services for its development strategy to the project “Retiro,” from writer-director Elina Fessa and producer Vasilis Chrysanthopoulos of Greece’s PLAYS2PLACE.

The Thessaloniki EAVE Marketing Workshop Scholarship selected Dimitri Tsakaleas, of Argonauts Productions, to participate in its 2021 edition with the project “The Summer With Carmen,” from writer-director Zacharias Mavroeidis.

The ASTERISK* Award for packaging and project marketing strategy went to “Once Upon a Time in Tripoli,” by writer-director Abdullah Al-Ghaly and producers Miftah Saeid of Cyrene Productions and Hassala Films (Libya/Egypt).

The Agora Works in Progress jury granted the GRAAL Post-Production Award, which offers in kind services in image post-production, to director-producer Fern Silva’s “Rock Bottom Riser” (Portugal/U.S./Greece), for “a mesmerizing sensorial cinematographic experience, which invites us to connect with nature and the need of discovering new worlds.”

The Eurimages Lab Project Award, which offers up to €50,000 ($59,000) to an unconventional film from the Agora Works in Progress selection, went to “Tracking Satyrs,” directed by Michał and Maciej Mądracki and Gilles Lapore, and produced by Beata Rzeźniczek of Poland’s Madants, and co-produced by Prince Film from Switzerland. The jury reached a unanimous decision for “a daring adaptation of Sophocles’ myth that blends gracefully silence with a striking black and white photography, offering us a contemporary view of our society.”

The MuSou Ward, which provides composition and production for an original film score, music supervision, and assistance in licensing of commercial music for use in the film, as well as audio post-production services, went to “Musa,” directed by Greece’s Nikos Nikolopoulos, and produced by Nikolopoulos and Artemis Zervou.

For the first edition of the Agora Lab, a new initiative offering five Greek films in post-production the opportunity to edit their material under the guidance of experienced professionals, the Greek public broadcaster ERT awarded a grant of €2,000 ($2,400) to “18,” directed by Vassilis Douvlis and produced by Panagiotis Kakavias of Kfilms and Katerina Beliyianni of Kabel.


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