Winners of KVIFF Eastern Promises

    First Cut+ Works in Progress Award - Numakage Public Swimming Pool by Shingo Ota First Cut+ Works in Progress Award - Numakage Public Swimming Pool by Shingo Ota credit: Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary

    Works in Progress, Works in Development – Feature Launch & Intensive Queer, Works in Development – KVIFF Talents, First Cut+ Works in Progress

    KVIFF Eastern Promises, the festival's Industry section and film market, has the rewarding mission of bridging the gap between talented filmmakers and their potential co-production partners, festivals and audiences.
    “This year has once again brought a diverse selection of strong creative voices, and we were pleased to showcase them to their potential production, distribution and festival partners in the beautiful setting of the Imperial Spa, the new KVIFF Industry venue,” Hugo Rosák, the Head of the KVIFF Film Industry Office, commented.   
    In addition to its well-established platforms Works in Progress, Works in Development – Feature Launch and First Cut+, this year's Eastern Promises also featured a showcase of Works in Development – Intensive Queer, and a second edition of KVIFF Talents.
    A total of 39 film and series projects were screened, competing for awards with a total value of 110,000 EUR. The winners of this year’s selection are:
    Works in Progress

    Gabor Greiner, COO, Films Boutique sales company
    Kyle Greenberg, Head of Marketing and Distribution, Utopia Distribution
    Başak Emre, film producer and festival director, Festival on Wheels
    Works in Progress encompasses both fiction and documentary films under one programme, as both of these categories, despite their differences, possess the same artistic value. In this year’s showcase, a total of twelve feature and documentary projects from countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North Africa were presented.
    “The 2024 KVIFF Works in Progress Jury is proud to present three awards out of this year’s programme. Each project transcended language and borders to present stories deserving and demanding of a global stage. Each film, unique in its own format and subjects, delves not only into the shifting cultural and political landscape, but also into identity politics, and speaks honestly to audiences worldwide,” stated the jury.
    Works in Progress Visual Post-production Award

    The jury has chosen the film Amedspor (Turkey), directed by Rezan Yesilbas and produced by Ahmet Gurata. The award consists of a tailored post-production services package provided by UPP.
    Jury statement: “An important and enthralling look at the intersection of sports and politics in modern day Turkey as a minor league football team works to reclaim its identity despite the conflict and likely repercussions. It is an important reflection of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, telling the story not in a direct political way but through football.”
    Works in Progress Sound Post-production Award

    The jury has chosen the film Lover, Not a Fighter (Slovak Republic, Czech Republic), directed by Martina Buchelová and produced by Michaela Kaliská, Erika Paulinská and Julie Marková Žáčková. The award consists of a tailored post-production services package provided by Soundsquare.
    Jury statement: “The award goes to a young and talented team for their fresh and honest depiction of young love and for a tender, cruel and crazy coming-of-age trip.”
    Works in Progress Award
    The jury has chosen the film Virtual Girlfriends (Czech Republic, Slovak Republic), directed by Barbora Chalupová and produced by Pavla Klimešová, Monika Lošťáková and Simona Hrušovská. A cash prize of 5,000 EUR, sponsored by Barrandov Studio, will be awarded to the project.
    Jury statement: “A revealing, touching and complex depiction of individuals in the Czech Republic who have turned to the world’s oldest profession (with a twist) on today’s online and social marketplace, questioning identity, sexuality, normality, performance and more in the effort to make a living.” 
    Works in Development – Feature Launch & Intensive Queer; KVIFF Talents
    MIDPOINT & KVIFF Development Award Jury: 
    Danijel Hočevar, producer at Vertigo, producer mentor at MIDPOINT Feature Launch
    Christina Tynkevych, director, film producer and scriptwriter
    Arnaud Gourmelen, festival programmer and consultant
    For this award, KVIFF has partnered with the MIDPOINT script and project development program, When East Meets West co-production market and Trieste Film Festival. Together, they showcased nine projects that have gone through development and mentoring within the Feature Launch programme and four projects from the MIDPOINT – Intensive Queer programme, designed to foster diversity in storytelling and provide crucial support to filmmakers in the realm of queer narratives.
    The jury has decided to award the 10,000 EUR cash prize for further development, jointly sponsored by MIDPOINT, Barrandov Studio and KVIFF, to Klára is Here (Hungary), directed and written by Dávid Csicskár and produced by Balázs Zachar.
    Jury statement: “We were impressed by the level of the projects that were presented to us, and we are thankful to all teams for sharing them. We would like to award a project that explores the poignant story of a man's quest for happiness amidst a heartbreaking reality, capturing the tragedy of letting go of love and the bravery to start over at any age.”
    Eurimages Co-production Award Jury: 
    Paolo Ciccarelli, Head of Drama, MIA Markets
    Claudia Bluemhuber, film producer, Silver Reel
    Ilinka Teodorescu, International Relations Coordinator, Romanian Film Centre
    The jury has decided to award the 20,000 EUR cash prize for further development, sponsored by the Eurimages fund, to Antonie (Czech Republic), directed and written by Rozálie Kohoutová and produced by Martina Knoblochová and Martin Hůlovec.
    Jury statement: “The Eurimages Co-Production Development Award goes to a project that challenges conventional ideas about parenthood with humour and heart and motivates us to rethink societal norms. We are proud to support a rising female director with a unique vision, as she embarks on a promising career in the industry, aspiring to reach an international audience.”
    Connecting Cottbus Award
    Connecting Cottbus representatives Marjorie Bendeck and Katharina Stumm have decided to give the award to the film Eli and Them (Czech Republic), directed and written by Petr Pylypčuk and produced by Kryštof Burda. The project will be granted the opportunity to pitch at Connecting Cottbus, the East-West co-production market during the Film Festival Cottbus.
    Statement: “For a complex coming-of-age story as well as a quietly bold portrait of a rural village undercut by racial tension, we would like to invite the team of Eli and Them to this year‘s edition of Connecting Cottbus.”
    Rotterdam Lab Award
    Rotterdam Lab representative Alessia Acone has chosen Martina Knoblochová, producer of the film Antonie (Czech Republic) as the winner. The winner will participate in the Rotterdam Lab professional training programme for producers, which takes place during the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
    Statement: “The team has shown a solid vision for a project that aims to break down decades-old prejudices about social belonging and modern parenthood. The producer will certainly benefit from sharing practices with an international group of fellows, and we want to encourage her to work with the director to bring this modern story to life.”
    KVIFF Talents
    KVIFF Talents is the festival's year-long programme created with the purpose of seeking out and supporting talented Czech and Slovak filmmakers and innovative audiovisual genres. It consists of two distinct sections – Feature Pool, dedicated to feature films, and Creative Pool, which supports other audiovisual genres from series through videoclips, gaming, etc.
    The selected projects are:
    Feature Pool (120,000 CZK for further development) 
    Inbetween Worlds (Czech Republic, Slovakia), directed by Diana Cam Van Nguyen, written by Diana Cam Van Nguyen, Milada Těšitelová and produced by Karolína Davidová and Jakub Viktorín;
    Letters to the Future (Czech Republic), directed and written by Myro Klochko, produced by Marek Čermák, Karolína Fránková;
    Rusalka (Czech Republic), written by Hana Neničková.
    Creative Pool (50 000 CZK for further development) 
    Casting (Czech Republic), limited series directed by Terézia Halamová, written by Jan Černý and produced by Natália Pavlove;
    Into the Endless Unknowns (Czech Republic), miniseries written and directed by Veronika Jelšíková and Petr Vlček;
    Spectrum (Czech Republic), dramedy series directed by Igor Smitka, written by Adél* Škvrna, produced by Klára Mamojková, Wanda Kaprálová and Matej Sotník.
    First Cut+ Works in Progress 
    Barbara Wurm, film researcher and curator, Berlinale
    John Nein, Senior Programmer and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Sundance FF
    Lenka Tyrpáková, programmer and Artistic Director, Finále Plzeň
    First Cut+ is a programme created for boosting the competitiveness and marketability of feature films that previously participated in First Cut Lab. The programme was launched in 2020 through close cooperation with two dynamic and well-established film industry platforms: Trieste’s When East Meets West and Karlovy Vary IFF’s Eastern Promises Industry Days. Each year, it promotes a portfolio of 16 fiction feature films at the stage of post-production – eight of which were presented at Karlovy Vary.
    First Cut+ Works in Progress Award
    The jury has chosen the film Numakage Public Swimming Pool (Japan), directed and written by Shingo Ota and produced by Kyoko Takenaka as the winning project. A cash prize of 5,000 EUR sponsored by Barrandov Studio and Tatino Films will be awarded to the project.
    Jury statement: “A fresh, surprising and personal portrait of loss that brings us into the fascinating, unexpected rhythms of a unique place and its people, Numakage Public Swimming Pool invokes the five stages of grief to create a beautiful meditation on the death of a public space, a community place, a queer space and a workplace.”
    First Cut+ Works in Progress Special Mention
    The Jury would also like to award a special mention to Mayflies (Hungary, Slovak Republic), directed and written by Emília Goldberg and produced by Ferenc Pusztai and Linda Pfeiffer.
    Jury statement: “A first feature director who manages to deliver an atmospherically dense and strong film of historical as well as contemporary interest in times of growing social intolerance. With convincing performances, desaturated colours and gripping camera work, Emília Goldberg’s debut, based on true events, is a bewildering reflection of violence and unease.”
    KVIFF Eastern Promises – Marché du Film Producers Network Award
    Producers Network representative Yago Mateo has chosen Michaela Kaliská, producer of Lover, Not a Fighter (Slovakia) and Patryk Sielecki, producer of Anxiety of the Heart (Poland) as the winners. The winners will participate in the Marché du Film and Producers Network during the next Cannes Film Festival.
    KVIFF Eastern Promises, Karlovy Vary IFF's industry platform, strives to help discover promising talent from the regions of Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East, revealing it to more than a thousand distributors, sales agents, producers and festival programmers who attend the festival each year. Both European and non-European local distributors and major international sales reps rely on Karlovy Vary when searching for new movies. International sales companies introduce their films to both distributors and journalists from around the world. The Industry Days programme comprises a number of workshops, panels, presentations and networking opportunities. The primary focus on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East makes it possible for key European and American industry players to discover fresh new projects in various stages of development and production. 
    More about the KVIFF Eastern Promises mission and activities can be found here.
    More information on the awarded Eastern Promises 2024 project are available in the Book of Projects.