On 19 October 2021, the fourth edition of European Work in Progress Cologne (EWIP) will be launched in the run-up of the 31th Film Festival Cologne. 24 film projects with the participation of 22 countries have been chosen by the selection committee, and the production teams now have the opportunity to present their films to an international industry audience.

EWIP is mainly supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, one of Europe’s leading film funding institutions. The industry event takes place in cooperation with Film Festival Cologne and AG Verleih, the association of German independent film distributors.

A careful and comprehensive hygiene concept ensures the safety of all attendees and allows the participation on site at the Cinenova. Furthermore, an online participation is also being offered for the second time. The industry event aims to bring together creative minds with leading experts and representatives from international distribution and world sales companies as well as film festivals and other industry delegates in order to further develop and enhance the possibilities for collaboration and financing strategies.

Torsten Frehse, board member of AG Verleih: “The continuity of our partners and sponsors is a crucial factor in EWIP’s success. The interest within the industry has continuously grown, therefore, I am very pleased to welcome important partners from the fields production, sales, distribution, and financing on a regular basis in Cologne. We have managed to establish the event as a firmly scheduled date in the industry’s calendar.”

Some of the production companies represented in this year’s edition are already familiar from previous editions, e.g., we are delighted to welcome back the winner of the main award 2018, COLOR OF MAY, who received the prize for END OF SEASON, which later premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and won the FIPRESCI Award, as well as AGITPROP, participant of EWIP 2020 and production company of THE CARS WE DROVE INTO CAPITALISM. Further, it is our pleasure to welcome back MATCH FACTORY PRODUCTIONS, the successful production company of MARTIN EDEN (EWIP award winner 2018), NIGHT OF FIRE (EWIP award winner 2019) and FABIAN, which celebrated its world premiere at the 2021 Berlinale. 

The jury is once again comprised of recognized industry representatives: longtime Arte editor and director Alexander Bohr (Mainz) and Clémence Lavigne, co-head of sales and acquisitions for The Party Film Sales (Paris), will be supported by CEO and film distributor Daniel Melamed, New Cinema (Tel Aviv). Aranka Matits, founder of the Featurette agency (Amsterdam), as well as Fabian Massah, film producer and CEO of Endorphine Production (Berlin), complete the high-class EWIP jury of 2021 and will award prizes worth a total value of 52,500 €, which include stage and room rental services, post-production services and publicity work at an international festival.

This year’s award sponsors are K13 StudiosMMC Studios CologneLAVAlabs Moving ImagesARRI Media and ZOOM Medienfabrik.

The award ceremony will be held on Wednesday evening, 20 October at 08:00 pm. 

All film projects will be exclusively presented to the attending industry experts in 15-minute pitching sessions. In addition, there will be one-to-one meetings as well as various panel discussions and workshops in cooperation with Creative Europe Desk NRW and Creative Europe Desks Germany. 

“We Might As Well Be Dead” © HEARTWAKE films

As in the previous year, the selection of film projects impresses with a variety of themes and genres. In addition to a 2D Animation, Coming of Age features, a Fairy Tale, Historical Drama, Music Documentary, a Social Satire/Absurd Drama and Thrillers have been chosen.

These are the 24 projects selected:


Genre: Documentary

The observational documentary follows the everyday life of Dr. Popov and his colleagues at a Covid ward in a provincial hospital in Bulgaria. As they fight for each patient’s survival, in the most unexpected of moments, light and humour shines through.

Director: Zlatina Teneva, Ilian Metev, Writer: Zlatina Teneva, Ilian Metev, Producers: Martichka Bozhilova (AGITPROP), Ingmar Trost (Sutor Kolonko), Ilian Metev (Chaconna Films)


Genre: Drama, Adventure (2D Animation)

Sardinia, Italy, 1940. On the eve of the Second World War and against the backdrop of fascism, two brotherly friends who do not tolerate their sanctimonious society steal all horses of a military stud in the mountains of the Island, only to set them free.

Director: Giovanni Columbu, Writer: Giovanni Columbu, Producer: Giovanni Columbu (Luches Film), Co-Producer: Flavia Oertwig (Tama Filmproduktion)

Genre: Documentary

They have already lived for a century. They are magnificent ladies who with their women’s power have well and truly turned the world in which they live upside down. And they do not tire of making plans for the future. They come from Cuba, Israel, Austria, India, and Turkey and with their fascinating life stories they give a restless century a wonderful feminine perspective.

Director: Ulrich Gaulke, Writer: Ulrich Gaulke, Producers: Arne Birkenstock, Laryssa Stone (Fruitmarket)


Genre: Documentary

A country that hits one disaster after another. A film crew that surmounts the insurmountable to shoot their vision of Lebanon’s future. A portrait of the Beirut society in the aftermath of the August 4th 2020 port explosion, struggling to rebuild, resist, and ultimately find life again.

Director: Cyril Aris, Writer: Cyril Aris, Producer: Katharina Weser (Reynard Films)


Genre: Fairytale

One day, Tanya rolled up a doll from patches and flaps according to the old Russian traditions. And miracles began to happen. After going through all the adventures, Tanya and her friends can believe in themselves and grow up.

Director: Aglaya Nabatnikova, Writer: Andrey Rubanov, Producer: Victoria Lupik (AnnikoFilms)


Genre: Drama

Felipe lives between two worlds. His mother, in Córdoba, is part of social movements, and his father, in Buenos Aires, advocates for the interests of the state. The Argentine crisis of 2001 polarizes public opinion and stresses ideological differences. Felipe then escapes with Lucia, the girl next door.

Director: Federico Schmukler, Writer: Federico Schmukler, Producer: Julieta Sanchez Sananez (Brujas Producciones), Co-Producers: Carlo D’Ursi (Potenza Producciones), Jayro Bustamante, Gustavo Matheu Paredes (La Casa de Producción), Georges Renand (Les Films Du Volcan)


Genre: Coming of Age

Eva and Mati are a young couple spending their holidays in Liguria, Italy. Everything changes when they meet Bianca on the day of Ferragosto.

Directors: Elmar Imanov, Adel Oberto, Writers: Elmar Imanov, Adel Oberto, Producer: Eva Blondiau (COLOR OF MAY)


Genre: Love Story, Art House

The film GONDOLA is a love story about two female cable car attendants in the remote mountains of Georgia. The story is told without dialogue.

Director: Veit Helmer, Writer: Veit Helmer, Producer: Veit Helmer (Veit Helmer-Filmproduktion), Co-Producer: Tsiako Abesadze (Natura Film)


Genre: Drama

Suburbs in the summer heat – in the middle of them, gentle windings around relationships in crisis. Eva becomes a stranger to Agnes. Lion must let Rose go. David tries to break away. They act out their lives; they speak, but their words do not connect.

Director: Katharina Lüdin, Writer: Katharina Lüdin, Producer: Jana Kreissl, Tobias Gaede (Silva Film)


Genre: Drama

The body of a beheaded man is buried as an “NN” in Puerto Berrio. The dismembered corpse generates fear in the people around. During the funeral, a mysterious man writes the word “chosen”: it is a pact that will take him to hell to find the head and thus restore dignity to the corpse.

Director: Fernando López Cardona, Writer: James Valderrama Rengifo, Producer: Juan Diego Villegas (Fidelio Films), Co-Producer: Eike Goreczka (42film)


Genre: Drama, Romance

You believe sometimes you’ve beaten your past, but it comes back to you for revenge.

Director: Oksana Bychkova, Writer: Lyubov Mulmenko, Producer: Katia Filippova (Pan-Atlantic Studio), Co-Producer: Vladimer Katcharava (20 Steps Productions)


Genre: Crime, Drama

A former volunteer in the Kosovo war returns to Albania to pursue a career in the police force. In the country’s chaotic and corrupt capital city, Tirana, the ex-soldier, who turned as a cop, ended up solving the crimes he committed.

Director: Ergys Meta, Writer: Ergys Meta, Producer: Sabina Kodra (Era Film), Co-Producer: Luan Kryeziu (Iliria Film)

Ukraine/Czech Republic

Genre: Drama

Political prisoner and rights activist Mustafa Dzhemilev is kept in exile in Yakutia. Three different people are headed to him across the huge country with different goals – to see, to destroy, to protect.

Director: Ivan Tymchenko, Writer: Mykhailo Brynykh, Producer: Svitlana Soloviova (Svitlofor Film), Co-Producer: Krystof Safer (Bull Film)

Sri Lanka/Italy

Genre: Drama

Sri Lankan Amila is a 19-year-old orphan who has to take care of his four siblings. When his sister falls sick and needs to undergo a surgery in India, Amila gets caught up in a child trafficking business, in a desperate attempt to earn enough money to save her life.

Director: Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, Writer: Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, Producer: Chiara Barbo (Pilgrim Film), Co-Producer: Sanjeewa Pushpakumara (Sapushpa Expressions)


Genre: Thriller

For Sara, summer just means dealing with constant teasing from other girls in her small town. But it all comes to an end when a stranger comes to town and kidnaps her bullies.

Director: Carlota Pereda, Writer: Carlota Pereda, Producer: Merry Colomer (Morena Films), Co-Producer: David Atlan-Jackson (Backup Studio)


Genre: Documentary

RISE UP seeks answers to the devastating environmental, economic, and authoritarian developments of our time together with five extraordinary political heroes.

Directors: Luise Burchard, Marco Heinig, Steffen Maurer, Luca Vogel, Writers: Luise Burchard, Marco Heinig, Steffen Maurer, Luca Vogel, Producer: Urs Krüger (Freischwimmer Film)
BEIRUT, France/Germany

Genre: Historical Drama

Set against the backdrop of the Israeli Lebanese conflict of 1982 and 2006, this historical drama tells the story of two families on both sides of the border whose fates are intertwined by the war in Lebanon. 

Director: Michale Boganim, Writer: Michale Boganim, Producer: Martin Hampel (Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion), Co-Producer: Frédéric Niedermayer (Moby Dick Films)


Genre: Drama

Cecilia and her children travel to her aging father’s dairy farm after he nearly dies of a heart attack. Back in her childhood home, the past comes to life, and Cecilia must reckon with the pain of her mother’s suicide and the mysterious circumstances surrounding her family’s land.

Director: Francisca Alegria, Writer: Francisca Alegria, Producer: Tom Dercourt (Cinéma Defacto), Co-Producers: Viola Fügen, Michael Weber (Match Factory Productions), Alejandra García (Wood Producciones)


Genre: Music Documentary 

THE JOY OF SINGING is a captivating music documentary about the power of singing together and the longing for community.

Directors: Torsten Striegnitz, Simone Dobmeier, Writers: Torsten Striegnitz, Simone Dobmeier, Producers: Georg Tschurtschenthaler, Rabea Rahmig (gebrueder beetz filmproduktion)


Genre: Drama with Thriller elements

Forestry Student Anja Grimm returns to the remote region where her father went missing when she was eight. Her appearence triggers a suicide – a confession of guilt, so it seems, that may explain what happened to her father but soil anomalies in the virgin forest point towards deeper layers of guilt and denial. The past relentlessly pushes towards the surface, resulting in a catastrophe.

Director: Saralisa Volm, Writer: Wolfram Fleischhauer, Producer: Saralisa Volm (Poison), Co-Producer: Ingo Fliess (if… Productions)


Genre: Animation

1980, Abadan, oil capital of Iran, resists the Iraqi siege during the war. Omid, 14, doesn’t leave town, waiting for his elder brother to return from the front. As the city can fall in the Iraqi hands any moment, Omid tries to save all those he loves on board of an abandoned ship, which he will turn into his ark.

Director: Sepideh Farsi, Writer: Javad Djavahery, Producer: Sebastién Onomo (Les Films d‘Ici), Co-Producers: Vanessa Ciszewski (Katuh Studio), David Grumbach (Bac Cinéma), Annemie Degryse (Lunanime), Sebastién Onomo (Special Touch Studios), Richard Lutterbeck (Trickstudio Lutterbeck), Artistic Director: Zaven Najjar


Genre: Fiction

Three brothers, hunters and heavy metal fans, struggle with their issues in the dense Argentinian Patagonia. Meanwhile, the neighboring river threatens their farm with flooding that can ruin their harvest.

Director: Francisco Paparella, Writer: Francisco Paparella, Producers: Paula Orlando (Ecstasy Cine), Francisco Paparella (Rio Azul Films), Esteban Lucangioli (Pelicano Cine), Co-Producers: Karin Cuyul (Pequén Producciones), Harry Flöter (2Pilots), Margaux Juvénal (Indie Prod)


Genre: Drama, Fantasy

A rural village is the fantasy of a child and the cage of a teenager. Two parallels sailing in opposite directions among tobacco barns during a magical summer full of revelations.

Director: Rocío Mesa, Writer: Rocío Mesa, Producer: Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo (La Claqueta), Co-Producers: Manuel H. Martín (La Cruda Realidad), Belén Sánchez (Un Capricho de Producciones), Jana Díaz Juhl (Amplitud Inc)


Genre: Social Satire, Absurd Drama

The high-rise building near the forest is famous for its carefully curated community. As a dog disappears and her daughter refuses to leave the bathroom, security officer ANNA faces an absurd battle against the fear that slowly spreads among the residents and shakes the utopia with a view.

Director: Natalia Sinelnikova, Writers: Natalia Sinelnikova, Viktor Gallandi, Producer: Julia Wagner (HEARTWAKE films), Co-Producers: Charlene Gürntke, Lina Mareike Zopfs (FilmuniversitätBabelsberg KONRAD WOLF), Magda Wolff (Kojoten Filmproduktion), Commissioning Editors: Verena Veihl, Cooky Ziesche (RBB)

For all your enquiries please do not hesitate and contact the team or the press agency.



E-Mail: contact@european-work-in-progress.eu


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