The 5th edition of the international industry event European Work in Progress Cologne (EWIP) will take place from October 17 to 19 2022. The anniversary promises a new season of great film projects that can play a decisive role in coming international industry events as well as a network of top-class colleagues from the European film industry that is as innovative as it is successful.

From over 150 submissions, 28 film projects were selected, that now can be presented to the international industry audience at EWIP 2022 and enter the race for the numerous awards and support. A total of around 60,000 euros worth of funding is at stake, which will be awarded together with the previous award sponsors and partners K13 StudiosMMC Film & TV StudiosLAVAlabs Moving Images for post-production services and mm filmpresse for international festival PR, as well as the “EWIP TorinoFilmLab Audience Design Award”, which will be presented for the first time this year. In addition, in 2022 the newly created “EWIP Gruvi Award”, the “EWIP Dolby Award”, and “EWIP Way Film Translation Award” will be given, as well as three winning films will be honoured with “EWIP Crew United Certificates”.

All projects will be presented exclusively to EWIP guests and the international jury in a 15-minute pitching session. Furthermore, there will be direct meetings arranged by EWIP to bring producers together with distributors, world sales or other supporters. In cooperation with Creative Europe Desk NRW and Creative Europe Desks Germany, events on innovative distribution strategies will be held. The award ceremony will take place on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 8:00 pm.

Five renowned and highly experienced experts from the international film industry make up this year’s international jury and will deliberate on which projects have the potential to play a significant role in the international film scene in the coming years. Members of this year’s jury include Olivier Barbier (Head of Acquisitions at mk2 films), Vanja Kaludjercic (Director of International Film Festival Rotterdam), Julien Rejl (Artistic Director of Cannes Director’s Fortnight), Saralisa Volm (producer, director, writer and actress) and Thanassis Karathanos (producer TWENTY TWENTY VISION in Berlin, PALLAS FILM in Halle). 

The number of participants from the film industry will also reach a new high in 2022. Over 250 colleagues from international festivals, European world sales and film distributors among other delegates from the industry will travel to Cologne for EWIP in order to look for the most exciting film projects for the coming months. This year, programmers from Cannes (Semaine de la Critique, Director’s Fortnight), San Sebastián, the Berlinale, from Venice, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Tribeca, Les Arcs, Rotterdam, and the Tallinn Black Nights, among others, will be present. They are joined by some of the most important European world sales, including mk2, Playtime, Charades, Coproduction Office, Fortissimo Films and The Match Factory.

EWIP 2022 also welcomes excellent guests from the film distribution and television industries, including the American cult distributor Neon. The high density of influential industry representatives is one of EWIP’s greatest strengths. It opens up a network for the creative minds of directors and producers to connect with financing and distribution partners in the shortest possible time.

The now fully established industry event EWIP is significantly supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, one of the leading film funding institutions in Europe. It is thanks to the support of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW that EWIP could be launched and has been able to massively expand its market significance over the last five years.

EWIP takes place again in cooperation with AG Verleih, the association of German independent film distributors. Since its inception, EWIP has been held in the run-up to the Film Festival Cologne, with which EWIP also has a firm partnership.

The 28 selected projects of European Work in Progress Cologne 2022:

ALMAMULA (Almamula)

Director: Juan Sebastian Torales / Fiction / France, Argentina, Italy / 2022/23
Production: Pilar Peredo, Edgard Tenembaum (Tu Vas Voir)

Nino, 14, hears about a mysterious creature, the Almamula, which takes with her anyone who has committed sexually reprehensible acts. Guilty for what he feels with his awakening sexuality, Nino sees his salvation there and decides to do everything to attract the creature.

AS IT IS (Così Com’è)

Director: Antonello Scarpelli / Fiction / Germany, Italy / 2022
Production: Ingmar Trost (Sutor Kolonko)

An anxious mother, a sick father and a son who is absent. A film about a family’s desperate attempt to communicate with each other.

BETWEEN US (Zwischen Uns)

Director: Kanwal Sethi / Fiction / Germany / 2022
Production: Benny Drechsel (Rohfilm Productions)

Ilyas and Yasemin are still lovers after 14 years of marriage. Suddenly, Yasemin is shot dead by strangers. Ilyas’ world comes crashing down. The investigation revolves around him, family and friends instead of getting to the trail of the murderers.


Director: Jianjie Lin / Fiction / China, Denmark, France / 2023
Production: Yue Zheng, Yiwen Wang, Ying Lou (First Light Films), Rikke Tambo Anderson (Tambo Film), Ping Zhou (Films du Milieu)

Post-one-child China, the fate of a new-middle-class family gets intertwined with a mysterious new friend of their only son.

DESERTS (Deserts)

Director: Faouzi Bensaïdi / Fiction / Germany, Belgium, Morocco / 2022
Production: Nicole Gerhards (NiKo Film)

Longtime friends Mehdi and Hamid work as bill collectors. In their old car, they drive through the Moroccan south. One day, in the middle of the desert, an encounter marks the beginning of an unforeseen and mystical journey…


Director: Behrooz Karamizade / Fiction / Germany, Iran / 2022
Production: Eva Kemme, Ansgar Frerich, Uschi Feldges (Basis Berlin), Jörn Möllenkamp (Living Pictures Production), Majid Barzegar (Rainy Pictures)

The young Iranian Amir becomes entangled in the violent machinations of the caviar mafia in order to earn the bride money for the wedding with his great love. 

FRANKY FIVE STAR (Franky Five Star)

Director: Birgit Möller / Fiction / Germany, Finland / 2022
Production: Jamila Wenske (Achtung Panda!)

Frankys secret is a hotel in her mind that she shares with four quirky but lovable characters. When she meets Hasi, her four inner personalities decide it’s time to give love a chance.

HUMAN / ANIMAL (Animal / Humano)

Director: Alessandro Pugno / Fiction / Spain, Italy, Mexico / 2022
Production: Jose Alba, Odile Antonio-Baez (Pecado Films)

An Italian boy dreams of becoming a bullfighter. In sunny Andalusia, a male calf is born. Human and animal grow up in completely different worlds, but their lives reflect on each other. Only at the end, they will meet.


Director: Anna Kuznetsova / Fiction / Russia, Finland / 2023
Production: Natalia Drozd (Forest Film)

A young theater teacher takes his students to a children’s theater festival in Sochi. This story could have been about talented children and their charismatic, rebellious teacher, but it is a story about losing.

JEPOTÁ (Jepotá)

Directors: Carlos Papá Guarani, Augusto Canani / Fiction / Brazil, France / 2023
Production: David Rosier (Decia Films), Luciana Tomasi (Prana Filmes)

A young Indigenous man discovers that the mysterious woman he loves is possibly turning into an animal.

LAST SHADOW AT FIRST LIGHT (Last Shadow at First Light)

Director: Nicole Midori Woodford / Fiction / Singapore, Japan, Slovenian / 2022
Production: Jeremy Chua (Pōtocol) 

16-year-old Ami embarks on a mystical road trip to Japan searching for her long-lost mother in a bid to change the destiny of her separated family members.

LOST IN THE NIGHT (Perdidos en la Noche)

Director: Amat Escalante / Fiction / Mexico, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark / 2022
Production: Nicolás Celis, Fernanda de la Peza (Tres Tunas Cine)

Emiliano searches for those responsible for his mother’s disappearance and finds himself confronted with an incompetent justice system. His path leads him to the summer home of a famous, eccentric family, where he plunges into a dark world of secrets, lies and revenge.

MAMACRUZ (Mamacruz) 

Director: Patricia Ortega / Fiction / Spain, Venezuela / 2023
Production: Olmo Figueredo (La Claqueta PC) 

Can sexual desire exist when you are 70 and you’re a religious person?

Mˣ (Muxmäuschenstillˣ) 

Director: Jan Henrik Stahlberg / Fiction / Germany / 2022
Production: Martin Lehwald (Mux Film)

17 years after his car accident, Mux awakens from his coma and with him the long matured utopia for a just society. The self-proclaimed reformer declares war on neoliberalism in typical Mux fashion!

NATASHA’S DANCE (De Dans van Natasja)

Director: Jos Stelling / Fiction / The Netherlands, Germany / 2022
Production: Hans de Weers (Fatt Productions) 

A tragicomic love story of the unworldly Daantje and the socially isolated, life-scarred Russian Natasja. A cheerful mosaic of events illustrates their fateful connection and the meaning as well as the meaninglessness of life. 

NOBODY LIKES ME (Nikdo Mě Nemá Rád)

Directors & Production: Tomáš Weinreb, Petr Kazda (Black Balance) / Fiction / Czech Republic, Slovakia, France / 2023

Sara is a solitary woman working for Czech Army, whose life changes when she falls in love with a gallant, unique man with a secret.


Director & Production: Tanja Egen / Fiction / Germany / 2023

Nina lives in Amsterdam as a theater actress. She returns to her rural hometown to bury her beloved grandmother with her estranged mother. Mother and daughter almost find each other as the days go by.

PIERCE ( 刺心切骨)

Director: Nelicia Low / Fiction / Singapore, Taiwan, Poland / 2022

Production: Sam Chua Weishi (Pōtocol), Jeremy Chua (Pōtocol), Patrick Mao Huang (Flash Forward Entertainment), Izabela Igel (Harine Films), John M Lo

When his dangerous older brother is released from jail, high school fencer Jie believes he has changed and helps brother, defying their Mother’s attempts to erase him from their lives.

RUNNING ON SAND (Running on Sand)

Director: Adar Shafran / Fiction / Israel, Germany / 2022
Production: Adar Shafran, Roni Abramowsky, Moshe Edery (Firma Films) 

When a young Eritrean refugee deported from Israel is mistaken for the new foreign player of a struggling soccer team, his survival depends on the team’s success.

RUSSIA VS. LAWYERS (Russia vs. Lawyers)

Director: Masha Novikova / Documentary / Germany / 2022/23
Production: Julia Shaginurova (Einbahnstrasse Productions) 

How does it feel to be a brilliant lawyer who mostly loses in court? What does it mean to be a legal professional in a system where law is neglected? What does it take to carry on when your clients are physically tortured and your own life is threatened? What is it like to be a human rights lawyer in today’s Russia?

SAMSARA (Samsara)

Director: Lois Patiño / Experimental / Spain / 2023
Production: Claudia Salcedo (Señor y Señora) 

A soul travels from an old woman in Laos to reincarnation as a goat on the coast of Zanzibar in an immersive experience that the viewer experiences partially with eyes closed.

SULTANA’S DREAM (Sultana’s Dream)

Director: Isabel Herguera / Animation / Spain, Germany / 2023
Production: Isabel Herguera (Sultana Films), Chelo Loureiro (Abano Producións), Mariano Ramírez (El Gatoverde Producciones), Fabian Driehorst (Fabian&Fred)

Inés decides to embark on a journey through India in search of a place of utopia called Ladyland.

SUPERLUNA (Superluna)

Director: Federico Bondi / Fiction / Italy, Belgium / 2023
Production: Marta Donzelli, Gregorio Paonessa (Vivo Film)

An earthquake shakes the community of a small village. A little girl, forced to live with others, discovers early the world of adults, friendship and the unknown power of nature.

THE ALIENATED (Suflete Curate)

Director: Anna Kruglova (aka Anja Kreis) / Fiction / Germany, Moldova / 2023
Production: Anna Kruglova (Fortis Fem Film), Tatiana Pascaru (Pascaru Production)

A gynaecologist performs an illegal abortion – the woman claims to carry the Antichrist in her womb – and takes the embryo home.


Director & Production: Tatiana Huezo (Radiola Films) / Documentary / Germany, Mexico / 2023

In a remote and solitary valley of Mexico, punished by winter and drought, the children learn to gaze upon death, illness and love. A story about feeling vertigo in the face of life, about growing up.

THE FIRST LADY (The First Lady)

Directors: Udi Nir, Sagi Bornstein / Documentary / Israel / 2022
Production: Georg Tschurtschenthaler (gebrueder beetz filmproduktion) 

In the early 1960’s, Efrat Anne Tilma had to escape Israel as a transgender teenager. Now in her seventies, she returns on a quest for recognition and respect.

THE PROJECTIONIST (The Projectionist)

Director: Orkhan Agazadeh / Documentary / Germany, France, Azerbaijan / 2023
Production: Lino Rettinger (Lichtblick) 

After the sudden death of his son, Samid (55) sets out to repair his old cinema projector. He dreams of gathering his Azerbaijani village in front of the screen again.

UNTIL THE SUN DIES (Hasta que se Apague el Sol)

Director: Jonas Brander / Documentary /Spain / 2023
Production: Catalina Flórez Ibarra (urua films), Leonie Pokutta 

In their search for dignity and justice, two important social leaders of Colombia find themselves trapped in an endless tension between violence and hope.