26. October 2023 | redaktion2 On the evening of October 17th 2023, the 6th 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 to look for the most exciting film projects of the coming months and to exchange ideas. The international jury of renowned and highly experienced experts – Michael Stütz (head of the Panorama section at Berlinale), Holger Stern (ZDF/arte feature film editor), Lorna Lee Torres (International Sales Magnolia Pictures), Reta Guetg (head of the Industry section at Zurich Film Festival) and Hattie Yu (film producer and consultant) – decided among the 30 international film projects presented and awarded prizes worth a total of €61,500. A grant awarded together with previous award sponsors and partners K13 Studios, MMC Film & TV Studios, TorinoFilmLab, LAVAlabs Moving Images, Gruvi, Way Film for post-production services and mm filmpresse for international festival PR. 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 took place in cooperation with the Creative Europe Desk NRW and the Creative Europe Desks Germany. This year’s EWIP guests included curators from Cannes (Semaine de la Critique), San Sebastián, the Berlinale, Venice, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Tribeca, Les Arcs. They were joined by some of the most important international and European world distributors, including Magnolia Pictures, Coproduction Office, Fortissimo Films, Films Boutique, The Match Factory, alphaviolet, Memento Films International, Trust Nordisk or Urban Distribution International. High-profile guests from the film distribution and television sectors also came to Cologne. The high density of influential industry representatives is one of EWIP’s greatest strengths. It offers creative minds in the fields of directing and production the opportunity to network 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 6 years now. The EWIP is organised in cooperation with KölnBusiness. Since its inception, the EWIP has been held in the run-up to the Film Festival Cologne, with which the EWIP also has a firm partnership. Here an overview of all the award winners with jury statements: European Work in Progress K13 Studios Award Voucher worth €10,000 for Dolby Atmos Mixing THE NEW ILLUSION (LA NOUVELLE ILLUSION) (presented in the frame of TorinoFilmLab Coming Soon) Director: Jasmin Gordon / Drama / Switzerland / Spring 2024 Production: Brigitte Hofer (maximage) Jule, a rebel mother on the brink of financial disaster, will stop at nothing to find a home for her family. Jury statement: A refreshing and rebellious take on motherhood, with emotional depth and subtle humour from a new exciting voice, the K13 Studios Award I goes to THE NEW ILLUSION. European Work in Progress K13 Studios Award Voucher worth € 5,000 for synchronisation ARMAND Director: Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel / Drama / Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany / May 2024 Production: Andrea Berentsen Ottmar (Eye Eye Pictures) One of the last days before the school holidays something happens between six year old Armand and Jon. The parents are called in for a meeting, but the school management don’t really know what actually happened. Was it just a children’s game or something much more serious? Jury statement: A timely and original examination of the explosive dynamics, unleashed by accusations and different perceptions of reality, the K13 Studios Award II goes to ARMAND. European Work in Progress MMC Studios Award Voucher worth €10,000 AROMA DREAM (梦香) Regie: Ma Xue / Drama / China, France / 2024 Production: Ma Xue (Beijing Drama Pictures), Vincent Wang (House on Fire) In the hospital, Nurse Yang Fan found solace in caring for her vegetative patient, Xiao Fang, sharing her deepest secrets, and forming an enigmatic connection. Jury statement: A mysterious tale told in a compelling structure with impressive images, the MMC Studios Award I one goes to AROMA DREAM European Work in Progress MMC Studios Award Voucher worth € 5,000 for stage and room rental services STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT (Stranci u noći) Director: Ivona Juka / Drama / Croatia / January 2024 Production: Anita Juka (4Film) “Strangers in the Night” is a story about LGBT filmmakers in the 1950s who fought for their liberty and freedom of speech in the oppressed society of communist Yugoslavia. Jury statement: A stylish, moving and politically committed film that recognises a painful past that is important to remember, the MMC Studios Award II goes to STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT. European Work in Progress LAVAlabs Moving Images Award Voucher worth €10,000 for visual effects TRANSAMAZONIA Director: Pia Marais / Drama / France, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Taiwan / 2024 Production: Claudia Steffen (Pandora Film Produktion), Christoph Friedel (Pandora Film Produktion), Sophie Erbs (GAÏJIN) Lawrence and his daughter Rebecca, missionaries in the Amazon Rainforest, are drawn into an escalating conflict between the Indigenous tribe they are evangelising and marauding loggers invading the indigenous land. Jury statement: An ambitious project with a striking visual concept and haunting performances, the LAVAlabs Moving Images Award goes to TRANSAMAZONIA. European Work In Progress TorinoFilmLab Audience Design Award Two sessions with a TFL expert to develop a marketing and sales strategy. VENA Director: Chiara Fleischhacker / Drama / Germany / 2024 Production: Martin Rohé, Svenja Vanhoefer, Sophie Kühne (Neue Bioskop Film GmbH) Jenny and her boyfriend Bolle not only share the high of crystal meth, but also the anticipation of having a baby. When midwife Marla enters her life, Jenny faces her fears and experiences a feeling of self-determination for the first time – only one decision is no longer in her hands. Jury statement: A confident up and coming filmmaker that manages to deliver a provoking and yet intimate drama, the TorinoFilmLab Audience Design Award goes to VENA European Work in Progress mm filmpresse Award Voucher worth € 7,500 for international festival publicity work WATERDROP (PIKË UJI) Director: Robert Budina / Drama / Albania, Romania, Italy, Kosovo, North Macedonia / January 2024 Production: Sabina Kodra (Era Film), Carmen Rizac (Avanpost) Aida, 45 years old, city hall manager in Pogradec by the shore of Ohrid Lake has to fight against the infernal machine of a corrupt system, of which she’s herself part of, when her teenage son Mark becomes involved in a gang rape scandal that could send him to jail. Jury statement: An intense political and confrontational tale about corruption that affects the private and the political life of two families, the mm filmpresse Award goes to WATERDROP. European Work in Progress Gruvi Award Voucher worth € 5,000 for marketing ad technology (audience analysis, landing page design, GDS report) THE WOLVES ALWAYS COME AT NIGHT Director: Gabrielle Brady / Feature Documentary / Mongolia, Australia, Germany / February 2024 Production: Julia Niethammer (Chromosom Film), Rita Walsh (Over Here Productions), Ariunaa Tserenpil (Guru Media) Forced to leave their farmland due to increasingly harsh weather conditions, a nomadic Mongolian family struggles to adjust to their new lives in the rapidly growing city of Ulaanbaatar. Jury statement: A hybrid Doc that manages to capture the dichotomy between rural traditions and a new challenging urban life in mesmerizing images, we give the Gruvi Award to THE WOLVES ALWAYS COME AT NIGHT. European Work in Progress Way Film Translation Award Voucher for subtitling worth € 4,000 THE NIGHT BEFORE EASTER (ለፋሲካ ለሊት) (presented in the frame of FOCUS ON AFRICA) Director: Dagim Sissay / Drama / Ethiopia / April 2024 Production: Bereket Werede (History Film Company) On the eve of Easter in Addis Ababa, a traditional artist and a modern party goer, who seem worlds apart, form a powerful bond amidst the city’s vibrant nightlife. Jury statement: For a fresh, charming and nocturnal romance by promising young filmmakers we decided to give the Way Film Translation Award to THE NIGHT BEFORE EASTER.