Thessaloniki’s Agora hands out its awards

Thessaloniki’s Agora hands out its awards

– A handful of prizes have been bestowed upon the projects participating in the Crossroads and Works in Progress sections, including Greece’s Stringa and Croatia’s Happy People

Thessaloniki's Agora hands out its awards

The winners of this year’s Agora

The awards for the 64th Thessaloniki International Film Festival‘s Agora were presented during a special event on Wednesday 8 November. Angeliki Vergou, the head of Agora, presided over the ceremony.

Starting with the 19th Crossroads Co-Production Forum, the jury – comprising Bassam Alasad, producer at Creative Media Solutions; Britta Rindelaub, producer at Alva Film; Lina Yannopoulou, producer at Argonauts Productions; and Rémi Burah, CEO of Arte France Cinéma – picked the winner of the Co-Production Award provided by Greek post-production company 2|35, which ended up being Stringa by Maria Hatzakou and Alexandra Matheou.

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According to the jury, “The duo of female writers and directors convinced the jury with their very solid and persuasive project by creatively using folk elements in a modern depiction of women’s transgenerational and collective trauma, [as well as by] using the horror genre as a playful pretext to metabolise [the project] into a very important story that addresses freedom of choice in a patriarchal society.” The film is co-penned by the two directors, and Hatzakou also handles the production through Athens-based firm Merricat Film.

The CNC Script Development Award, worth €8,000, went to the project Friends, Birthdays, Murder, Etc by Lida Vartzioti and Dimitris Tsakaleas, labelled “a very fresh, inventive and provocative way of approaching the theme of friendship and the fear of losing it. A slasher film that does not glorify the murderer and where the female characters are not the first to die.” It is being produced by Ioanna Bolomyti for Atalante Productions SA, who also received the EAVE Award – Marketing Workshop Scholarship.

The Greener Screen Consultancy Award comes with €7,000 worth of consultancy services, alongside a tailored green production plan for the winning project. It was bestowed upon And Me Too by Sondos Shabayek for “its powerful, socially timely message that is very local yet is [about] an issue that women face all around the world”. The ArteKino International Award, with a cash prize of €6,000, was bestowed upon I Matter by Alina Serban, a “young director with already well-deployed talents, proposing to use her personal journey to tell a strong story about the growth of a young woman at the first crossroads in her life”.

For the fourth year running, the Finos Film Award, which aims to support the local industry with a grant of €3,000, was handed out. This year, it went to Black Water by Greek writer-director Isabella Margara, for her “vision of a post-apocalyptic western, set in the near future and in a universe of high contrasts, where nature is a protagonist, too”. Meanwhile, the project Lady Sunshine by Anna Korom received both the Mediterranean Film Institute Award and the Producers Network Accreditation for its producer, Anna Szijártó (Kinomoto Kft).

In Agora Works in Progress, the Authorwave Post-production Award went to Happy People by Filip Peruzović, produced by Tena Gojić for Dinaridi Film. According to the jury – comprising Rémi Bigot, head of the Critics’ Week; Anna Germanidi, director of exhibition and programming at Modern Films; and Markéta Šantrochová, head of the Czech Film Center – it was deserving of the prize on account of “the maturity of the director’s execution, the confident choreography of individual scenes and the authenticity with which the complex relationship of the main characters is depicted”.

The jury granted the MuSou Music & Sound Award to Bonds, Roots and Passions by Sunay Terzioğlu, produced by Timur Harzadın (Denge Yapim ve Danışmanlık), for “its ambitious narrative structure, its depiction of a contemporary, tragic story that feels grounded in reality, the careful attention paid to its characters and the thrilling feeling of having met a new voice”.

The 119 Marvila Studios Sound Mix Services Award was handed to Halisa by Sophie Artus for “its self-assured filmmaking, the social relevance of its multi-ethnic representation and the beautiful portrayal of the growing intimacy between characters”. The ASTERISK* Award, which offers consultation on marketing strategy, was given to Beachcomber by Aristotelis Maragkos.

The Onassis Cinema Award, valued at €10,000 in cash, aims to support local cinema, and all Greek projects in Agora were eligible for it. It ended up going to Maldives by Daniel Bolda, for “its bold point of view, its aesthetic and its unique narrative world built from simple, everyday elements; its scenes somehow haunted us long after the screening”. The project also snagged the ERT Agora Works in Progress Award, which comes with €2,000.

The Crew United Award was also given out within the Meet the Future of Agora section, and the winner was writer-director Neritan Zinxhiria, for “the coherence, consistency and precision with which he presented to us both his work so far and the series (content, script and directorial approach) that he is currently developing”.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

Crossroads Co-Production Forum awards

2|35 Co-Production Award
Stringa – Maria Hatzakou, Alexandra Matheou (Greece)
Producer: Maria Hatzakou (Merricat Film)

CNC Development Award
Friends, Birthdays, Murder, Etc – Lida Vartzioti, Dimitris Tsakaleas (Greece)
Producer: Ioanna Bolomyti (Atalante Productions SA)

Greener Screen Consultancy Award
And Me Too – Sondos Shabayek (Germany/Egypt)
Producer: Kesmat Elsayed (SEERA FILMS Gmbh/See Media Production)

ArteKino International Award
I Matter – Alina Serban (Romania)
Producer: Ada Solomon (microFILM)

Finos Film Award
Black Water – Isabella Margara (Greece)
Producer: Kyriaki Virou (AbFab Productions)

Cannes Producers Network Award
Anna Szijártó – Kinomoto Kft (Hungary)

MFI Script 2 Film Workshops
Lady Sunshine – Anna Korom (Hungary)
Producer: Anna Szijártó (Kinomoto Kft)

Initiative Film Award
So the Lovers Could Come Out Again – George Peter Barbari (Lebanon)
Producer: Christelle Younes (Bee On Set Productions)

Thessaloniki EAVE Marketing Workshop Scholarship
Ioanna Bolomyti – Atalante Productions SA (Greece)

Agora Works in Progress awards

Authorwave Post-production Award
Happy People – Filip Peruzović (Croatia)
Producer: Tena Gojić (Dinaridi Film)

MuSou Music & Sound Award
Bonds, Roots and Passions – Sunay Terzioğlu (Turkey)
Producer: Timur Harzadın (Denge Yapim ve Danışmanlık)

119 Marvila Studios Sound Mix Award
Halisa – Sophie Artus (Israel)
Producers: Yochanan Kredo, Linor Lavi (July August Productions)

Beachcomber – Aristotelis Maragkos (Greece)
Producer: Konstantinos Koukoulis (ΠLANKTON)

Onassis Cinema Award
Maldives – Daniel Bolda (Greece)
Producer: Nicholas Alavanos (Filmiki Productions)
Co-producer: Daniel Bolda (Edelweiss)

ERT Award
Maldives – Daniel Bolda (Greece)

Crew United Award
Neritan Zinxhiria

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