News Winners of KVIFF Eastern Promises 2021

Published: August 16, 2021| 12:32 PM

Works in Progress, Works in Development Feature Launch and First Cut+

KVIFF Eastern Promises, the festival's Industry section, has the exciting mission of being a bridge between talented filmmakers and their potential partners, festivals and audiences. A total of 29 film projects were screened within the 3 programs (Works in Progress, Works in Development – Feature Launch and First Cut+) dedicated to feature films and documentaries in development. What was important this year is that, despite the pandemic, we didnt break the tradition of bringing into the spotlight quality projects from our region that are in the making and which buyers and producers can advance closer to distribution. It's reassuring to see that an online format can deliver this," Hugo Rosák, the Head of the KVIFF Film Industry Office, reflects. The winners of this year’s selection are:

Works in Progress Awards


Martina Bleis, Head and Project Curator of Berlinale Co-Production Market, Programme and Pitching Advisor at Connecting Cottbus

Uldis Cekulis, Producer and Founder, VFS FILMS

Yohann Comte, Co-founder and Producer, Charades sales and co-production company

Esra Demirkiran, Festival Coordinator, TRT Cinema

Michaela Patríková, Sound Designer, Soundsquare

For the very first time this year, Works in Progress 2021 has merged fiction and documentary films under one program: “We have decided to do so, as we feel that both categories, despite their differences, possess the same artistic value,” Hugo Rosák explains. Therefore, in this year’s Works in Progress, 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.

Works in Progress Post-production Development Award

The jury has chosen the film An Owl, a Garden and the Writer (Iran, France) directed by

Sara Dolatabadi and produced by Amir Naderi, Sara Dolatabadi and Farhad Mohammadi. The award consists of post-production services in UPP and Soundsquare.

Jury statement:

For a delicate and poetic exploration of an artist’s world and his relationship with the society he lives in. The pitch surprised us all in the best possible way.

Works in Progress TRT Award

The jury has chosen the film Victim (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany) directed by Michal Blaško and produced by Jakub Viktorín and Pavla Janoušková Kubečková as the winning project. A cash prize of 5,000 EUR from TRT will be awarded to the project.

Jury statement:

For the attentive approach to its story, which reflects the tender relationship between a mother and son and an individual and society in a strong social context. The director’s clear signature is evident in the artistic quality of the scenes and long, bold shots.

Works in Progress Karlovy Vary IFF Award

The jury has chosen the film Tina & Megi (Georgia, Germany) directed by Ioseb Soso” Bliadze and produced by Eva Blondiau as the winning project. A cash prize of 5,000 EUR from KVIFF will be given to the project.

Jury statement:

A timely piece and a new and fresh voice showing and encouraging the fight of young women who “learn to fly” despite a society that allows them no time or freedom to develop their own choices in life.

Works in Development - Feature Launch Award

KVIFF & MIDPOINT Development Award Jury:

Danijel Hočevar, Producer at Vertigo, Head of Studies and Producer Tutor at MIDPOINT Feature Launch

Arnaud Gourmelen, Head of Programming at Angers Film Festival Premier Plans, Film Consultant at KVIFF

Karla Stojáková, Producer at Axman Productions, Head of the Production Department at FAMU, Vice-president of ACE Producers

For this award, KVIFF has partnered with the Midpoint script and project development program as well as with the When East Meets West co-production market and Trieste Film Festival. Together they have showcased nine projects from Central and Eastern Europe that have gone through development and mentoring within the Feature Launch 2021 program. The jury has decided to award the 10,000 EUR cash prize for further development to Head Nurse (Czech Republic) directed by Jan Vejnar and produced by Kamila Dohnalová.

Jury statement:

The award goes to a project that is an unusual mix between dark reality and comedy and deals with social issues. The jury also wanted to support a director-producer duo to continue their creative journey from a successful short to the first feature, as it was clear to us even from the treatment what they wanted to achieve and how. The process of the MIDPOINT Feature Launch program really helped them bring out strong characters and their needs.

Special mention went to Aliya (Israel, Russia, Poland) directed by Dekel Berenson and produced by Marek Rozenbaum, Alexander Rodnyansky and Paul Wesley.

Jury statement:

One of the most promising debut films. It is important both on the political and personal level, and the idea of an autobiographical story from a female character’s point of view makes it very strong.

Connecting Cottbus Award

The jury, consisting of Marjorie Bendeck and Katharina Stumm, has awarded the film The Bomber (Latvia), directed by Pauls Kesteris, written by Gatis Murnieks and produced by Inese Boka-Grūbe.

Jury statement:

Once again, the selected projects at MIDPOINT Feature Launch were very strong and varied, and we’d like to congratulate all of the participants for their exciting work. To present their project at the upcoming edition of Connecting Cottbus this November, we’ve chosen the project The Bomber. The story captures a historical moment but universally asks what the voices are that shape us both in a personal and political sense, which is something we find incredibly relevant right now.

Rotterdam Lab Award

The jury, consisting of Alessia Acone and Mirjam Klootwijk, has awarded Aleksandra Aleksander, the producer of the film ALIYA (Israel, Russia, Poland).

Jury statement:

With this award, we offer the chance for a young creative producer to join our training programme during the IFFR Pro Days 2022, which will help an emerging professional to continue on their career journey. The winner's multifaceted industry experience convinced us she was the perfect candidate; someone who wants to grow as a producer and position herself and her projects within an international context.

First Cut+ Awards


Michael Arnon, PR and Marketing Consultant, WOLF Consultants

Esra Demirkiran, Festival Coordinator, TRT Cinema

Laurin Dietrich,  PR and Marketing Consultant, WOLF Consultants

Alexis Hamaide, Film Marketing Executive, LAvventura Studio

Boris Pugnot, Marketing Consultant, Trailer Editor

Federico Spoletti, Co-founder and Managing Director of SUB-TI, Founder of FRED Film Radio

First Cut+ is a new program created for boosting the competitiveness and marketability of feature films that previously participated in First Cut Lab. It was launched in 2020 through close cooperation with two dynamic & well-established film industry platforms: Trieste’s When East Meets West and Karlovy Vary IFF’s Eastern Promises Industry Days. Eight projects coming mainly from Central and Eastern Europe were presented to the jury, who chose the following winners:

TRT Award

The jury has chosen the film A Piece of Sky (Switzerland, Germany) directed by Michael Koch and produced by Christof Neracher as the winning project. A cash prize of 5,000 EUR from TRT will be given to the project.


The jury has chosen the film The Hatcher (Poland) directed by Grzegorz Mołda and produced by Izabela Igel as the winning project. The award consists of subtitling services from Sub-Ti.

First Cut+ Award

The jury has chosen the film The Hatcher (Poland) directed by Grzegorz Mołda and produced by Izabela Igel as the winning project. The award consists of promotional services from L'Avventura Studio, WOLF Consultants and Tiramisù.

More information on the awarded projects can be found here.


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