Event:
European Work In Progress Cologne
Date:
19.-21. Oct., 2021
Entry deadline:
Aug. 15, 2021
Supported by:
Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
Organized in cooperation with
AG Verleih – Verband unabhängiger Filmverleiher


24 feature-length film projects had been selected to present first scenes to the attending group of international buyers, distributors, festival programmers, financiers as well as other key decision makers and experts to give them an ahead of the game look and to find complementary partners in their final stage of production.

The renowned 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.

Winners & Jury Statements

European Work in Progress K13 Studios Award 2021 
endowed with a voucher worth € 10.000 for soundmixing 

A PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL, Bulgaria/Germany
AGITPROP, Sutor Kolonko and Chaconna Films

Representatives of the project: Martichka Bozhilova (Producer, AGITPROP), Ilian Metev (Director/Writer/Producer, Chaconna Films), Zlatina Teneva (Writer), Ingmar Trost (Producer, Sutor Kolonko) 

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. 

Jury Statement: Sometimes a small location can open up whole universe. In this case the filmmakers follow a man who is trying to save lives in the middle of a crisis. With a precise and sharp camera work they lead us through the universe of our „condition humaine“, to the frontier between life and death without losing a good humour. 

European Work in Progress LAVAlabs Moving Images Award 2021 
endowed with a voucher worth € 10.000 for visual effects 

MEMENTO MORI, Colombia/Germany
Fidelio Films in co-production with 42 Film

Representative of the project: Eike Goreczka (Co-Producer, 42 Film) 

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 

Jury Statement: We are glad to give this award to a debut feature that announces a new voice with a distinguished eye for detail, and the ability to create an immersive visual experience and also authentic character studies. 

European Work in Progress MMC Studios Cologne Award 2021 
endowed with a voucher worth € 10.000 for stage and room rental services 

THE COW THAT SANG A SONG ABOUT THE FUTURE, France/Germany/Chile 
Cinéma Defacto in co-production with Match Factory Productions and Wood Producciones

Representatives of the project: Tom Dercourt (Producer, Cinéma Defacto), Michael Weber (Co-Producer, Match Factory Productions) 

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. 

Jury Statement: We would like to award a debut feature film that invited us to wonder and dive into a poetic, mysterious world that we are keen to see – and especially hear – more of. 

European Work in Progress MMC Studios Cologne Award 2021 
endowed with a voucher worth € 5.000 for stage and room rental services 

DANCING ON THE EDGE OF A VOLCANO, Germany/Lebanon 
Reynard Films

Representative of the project: Katharina Weser (Producer, Reynard Films) 

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 

Jury Statement: It’s a film we feel urgently necessary at a time when art and culture have been pushed away from our horizons for months and months. By sharing such an inspirational fight for filmmaking, and beyond that, for life in Lebanon, the film tells us a universal story of how to keep dancing together even on the ruins. 

European Work in Progress K13 Studios Award 2021 
endowed with a voucher worth € 5.000 for dubbing 

THREE BROTHERS, Argentina/Chile/Germany/France 
Ecstasy Cine, Rio Azul Films and Pelicano Cine in co-production with Pequén Producciones, 2 Pilots and Indie Prod

Representatives of the project: Paula Orlando (Producer, Ecstasy Cine), Harry Flöter (Co-Producer, 2 Pilots) 

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. 

Jury Statement: Thanks to the radiant power of the images and also its very contemporary depiction of the emotional conflicts created by society and its concepts of masculinity, we believe “Three Brothers” could become a film that stays with us – both physically and emotionally. 

European Work in Progress ARRI Media Award 2021 
endowed with a voucher worth € 5.000 for colour grading services 

PIGGY Spain/France 
Morena Films in co-production with Backup Studio

Representative of the project: Carlota Pereda (Director & Writer) 

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. 

Jury Statement: The award goes to a project that convinced us with a delightful and powerful pitch. A story around the question what you might do when society brutally casts you out, told in a provocative and empathetic way, promising a full-blown, physical experience on the big screen. 

European Work in Progress ZOOM Medienfabrik Award 2021 
endowed with a voucher worth € 7.500 for international festival public relations 

NINA, Russia/Georgian 
Pan-Atlantic Studio in co-production with 20 Steps Productions

Representative of the project: Katia Filippova (Producer, Pan-Atlantic Studio) 

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

Jury Statement: The filmmaker shared with us stunning and assured images that introduced us to a powerfully acted, complex relationship that drew us in and left us curious to discover more. 


These are all 24 selected projects:


A PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL
Bulgaria/Germany

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)

BALENTES
Italy/Germany

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)
CENTURY OF WOMEN
Austria/Turkey/Cuba/India/Israel

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)

DANCING ON THE EDGE OF A VOLCANO
Germany/Lebanon 

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)

DEVKA-BABA
Russia

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)

FELIPE
Argentina/Guatemala/Spain/France

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)

FERRAGOSTO
Germany

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)

GONDOLA
Germany/Georgia

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)

IF WE HAD THE WORD (WT)
Germany

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)

MEMENTO MORI
Colombia/Germany

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)

NINA
Russia/Georgia

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)

ONE OF US
Albania 

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)

OXYGEN STATION,
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)

PEACOCK LAMENT
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)

PIGGY
Spain/France 

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)

RISE UP
Germany

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)
TEL AVIV
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)

THE COW THAT SANG A SONG ABOUT THE FUTURE
France/Germany/Chile

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)

THE JOY OF SINGING
Germany

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)

THE SILENT FOREST
Germany

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)

THE SIREN
France/Germany/Luxembourg/Belgium

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

THREE BROTHERS
Argentina/Chile/Germany/France

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)

TOBACCO BARNS
Spain/USA

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)

WE MIGHT AS WELL BE DEAD
Germany

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)

Selected projects in 2020