Thu 08 Oct 2020

A talk with the HFM Award Winners of 2020

Winning filmmakers and producers reacted to the prizes they received at the end of this year’s online, but no less dynamic, HFM 2020. In total 30 highly promising new projects were presented within the Boost NL, Stories and Beyond and New Dutch categories to myriad potential partners across the world. As one of Europe’s must attend international exchange platforms for professional collaboration and creative development, the HFM creates a vital bridge between the Dutch and international film industries.

The NFF Script Development Award went to the project Marina (Brazil), written and directed by Laís Santos Araújo & Pethrus Tibúrcio (Aguda Cinema). In the film, Marina, the only black teen in her wealthy private school, prepares for her dreamed 15th birthday party. Meanwhile, dozens of bodies with bullets holes are found in her tropical hometown. She remains unaffected, until she starts hanging out with Pedro, the seamstress’ son, a guy that could be her first love or the next body gunned down.

“We are so so very happy, and it is kind of a surprise,” said producer Nara Aragão (Carnaval Filmes).

The Holland Film Meeting was a special opportunity for us to talk about the project, to listen to a lot of feedbacks, to have experts talking about the issues of the film. We really think this award is a good kickstart for the film, it is like a fuel, especially because now we need to complete the financing of the film that we expect to shoot next year.”

Special jury mention for Holy Electricity – Tato Kotetishvili, Tekla Machavariani, Irakli Metreveli (Ogasavara).
The jury consisted of Anna Ciennik (script consultant, France), David Kimbangi (Film4, UK) and Susan Korda (story & post-production consultant, USA).

The Camalot/Filmmore Emerging Cinema Award was won by Georgian director/writer Tato Kotetishvili for Holy Electricity (Georgia/The Netherlands). The film is produced by Irakli Metreveli (Zango Studio) and Tekla Machavariani (Nushi Film) and co-produced by the Dutch company The Film Kitchen (NL).

Nika and Nodo, two crusaders in contemporary Tbilisi, smell business opportunities when giant neon crucifixes appear around town. But selling home-size copies door-to-door turns out less successful than thought. Adding ‘holy electricity’ as an extra feature seems lucrative, but Nika fears to be doomed to hell. A black comedy about the power of religion and the dangers of gullibility.

Special jury mention for Good Enough: Burnout Diary – Dario van Vree, Eveline Hagenbeek, Tünde Vollenbroek (Studio Pupil).
The jury consisted of Charles Bin (Best Friend Forever Sales, Belgium), Karla Quintero (International Film Festival Panama) and Jane Tattersall (SIM International, Canada).

The much-coveted Works-in-Progress Award, sponsored by Intermission Film, went to Anouschka (The Netherlands), described as an interactive production about a magical black girl’s journey through space and time. The project is directed by Tamara Shogaolu, written by Sandy Bosman’s and Elinor Vanderburg and produced by Jamari Perry, Tamara Shogaolu & Marcela Stolzmann for Ado Ato Productions.

“It’s been really great being able to have conversations with people in the industry here in the Netherlands and also from outside in different parts of the world,” said Tamara Shogaolu of her HFM 2020 experience. “We have had conversations about potential co-productions and about how to expand the reach of the project. We are super excited about all the potential that there is for what we can do. We are designing an interactive experience but then also got a lot of feedback about expanding it into a film and potentially a series and exploring that further.”

She added: “I think HFM did an amazing job organising it, especially during Covid. I felt really connected to people even though it was all through camera, but it felt very global. It was great and interesting to be mingling and having these intimate conversations with people all over the world.”

Special jury mentions for Nosferatu Reanimated – Erik van Schaaik, Moniek Kramer, Ate de Jong (Mulholland Pictures); Wood – Flynn von Kleist, Matthijs Bockting, Guusje van Deuren (The Rogues); en Black Pete, or: How I Found My True Self and Accidentally Unleashed a Race War – Gonzalo Fernandez, Ashar Medina, Marc Bary (IJswater Films).
The jury consisted of Edgar Daarnhouwer (Paradiso Filmed Entertainment, Benelux), Anne-Sophie Lehec (, France/Germany) and James Warren (Intermission Film, Netherlands/UK/USA).

The HFM Market Potential Award went to This Is Home (UK) following screenwriter Silas Parry’s  impassioned pitch at HFM. The project is produced by Gill Parry (feral Inc.). A director is yet to be assigned.

When a quiet young dealer falls in love with the guy who stashes his drugs, and an overweight shop-keeper falls for a homeless girl – they are forced to choose between the people they love and the lives they’ve always known. This is Home opens on a rain-soaked Scottish council estate, and ends with the discovery of alien life deep off the coast of Spain.

“We are thrilled to receive the Market Potential award for This Is Home!,” said Silas. “THANK YOU to everyone at the wonderful Holland Film Meeting, and THANK YOU to the jury! This award means a huge amount to us and to the project. It gives a real boost to our work so far, and comes at a perfect time to drive This Is Home onto the next stage.  HFM has been a joy from start to finish, and this really is the cherry on the cake.”

Special jury mention for Holy Electricity – Tato Kotetishvili, Tekla Machavariani, Irakli Metreveli (Ogasavara).
The jury consisted of Mathias Noschis (AlphaPanda, Germany), Debbie Rowland (We Are The Tonic, UK) and Sergina Stavroulaki (Heretic Outreach, Greece).

Learn more about HFM 
Written by: Nick Cunningham