Yesterday evening, the 5th anniversary edition of the international industry event European Work in Progress Cologne (EWIP) came to a successful close with the award ceremony. During the two days, more than 250 top-class colleagues from the European film industry (world sales, distribution, festivals, production, financing and marketing) met in search for the most exciting film projects of the coming months and to exchange ideas as well as strategies. 

The independent jury of renowned and highly experienced experts – Olivier Barbier (Head of Acquisitions, mk2 films), 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) – decided among the 28 international film projects presented and awarded prizes with a total value of € 60,000.

A grant 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. For the first time this year, the jury presented the EWIP TorinoFilmLab Audience Design Award. In addition, the newly launched EWIP Dolby Vision Award, the EWIP Gruvi Award, the EWIP Way Film Translation Award were presented, and three winning films were honoured with EWIP Crew United certificates.

Once again, the Cinenova cinema served as the perfect EWIP venue for the pitches and meetings as well as the panel discussions and case studies, which were held in cooperation with the Creative Europe Desk NRW and the Creative Europe Desks Germany.

Among this year’s EWIP guests were 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. They were joined by some of the most important European world sales, including mk2, Playtime, Charades, Coproduction Office, Fortissimo Films and The Match Factory. Top-class guests from the fields of film distribution and television, including the American cult distributor Neon, also came to Cologne. 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. 

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 the EWIP was able to be launched and has been able to massively expand its market significance for 5 years now. EWIP is organized in cooperation with AG Verleih – the association of 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.

Here an overview of all the award winners 2022:

European Work in Progress K13 Studios Award
Voucher worth 10.000 € for Dolby Atmos Mixing 


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.

Jury statement: For the level of intimacy, pureness and the depiction of patriarchal society we decided to give the award to this immersive documentary.

European Work in Progress K13 Studios Award
Voucher worth € 5,000 for dubbing

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…

European Work in Progress MMC Studios Award
Voucher worth € 10,000 for stage and room rental services


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.

Jury statement: For balancing the codes of different genres in a very original and cinematic way, and bringing light on contemporary Iranian society

European Work in Progress MMC Studios Award
Voucher worth € 5,000 for stage and room rental services

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.

European Work in Progress LAVAlabs Moving Images Award
Voucher worth € 10,000 for visual effects

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.

Jury statement: For the cinematographic language which instantly connected us with the characters of the film, we are giving our unconditional love to PIERCE.

European Work In Progress TorinoFilmLab Audience Design Award
Two sessions with TFL expert to design a marketing and distribution strategy

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.

European Work in Progress mm filmpresse Award
Voucher worth € 7,500 for international festival public relations


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.

Jury statement: A film that combines suspense and sensitivity in just a few scenes, highlighting the social differences in contemporary Chinese society.

European Work in Progress Dolby Vision Award
Voucher for Dolby Vision Grading

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.

European Work in Progress Gruvi Award
Voucher worth € 5,000 to be spent on marketing ad technology, including audience analysis, landing page design, and a GDS report

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.

European Work in Progress Way Film Translation Award
Voucher for subtitling worth € 4,000

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?

European Work in Progress Crew United Prize
Voucher for 5-year premium membership for three winning films of EWIP, respectively the participating production companies, each worth €745

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.

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.

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.