This year’s HFM Awards were handed out September 27 before doors closed on the event’s 34th edition. The four HFM juries had the unenviable task of deciding on the winners of this year’s prizes from the 24 highly promising and creative projects selected in 2022. Each jury praised the projects and their teams for their professionalism, innovation, artistic vision and international potential.
The projects were presented within the BoostNL, Stories and Beyond and New Dutch categories to hundreds of potential co-pro partners, sales agents, distributors, funders and financiers both online and face-to-face over three intense days. The presentations and pitches marked the end of six weeks of expert training and top-level preparation, provided by the HFM, from both creative and marketplace perspectives.
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 Market Potential Award
The Market Potential Award, sponsored by We Are The Tonic and Usheru, valued at €2,350, was won by Quatro Meninas (Brazil) by Karen Suzane. The film is produced by Marcello Ludwig Maia for República Pureza Filmes.
Jury citation: “We were captivated by the filmmakers’ personal connection and inspiration for the project, and we really felt their confidence and strength of vision. This film will resonate with audiences who will be uplifted by its central theme of unity through difference. We were captivated by the filmmakers’ personal connection and inspiration for the project, and we really felt their confidence and strength of vision.”
The Market Potential Award jury, comprising Sergina Stavroulaki, Debbie Rowland and Jordan Mattos, awarded a Special Mention to the Nepalese project Elephants in the Fog by Abinash Bikram Shah, produced by Anup Poudel for Underground Talkies Nepal.
The 2022 Work-in-Progress Award, sponsored by Intermission, was given to Pènc 13 (Senegal/South Africa) by Selly Raby Kane, produced by Tamsin Ranger for Big World cinema. Valued at €10,000, the prize offers a discount on a trailer created by award-winning international film advertising agency Intermission Film.
Jury citation: “The story featured in Pènc 13 is a combination of a powerful, personal narrative with elements of elevated genre skillfully turned into a wider commentary on Dakar’s postcolonial cultural heritage. The director and the producer found the most coherent way to tell the story, adding just enough details to let us envisage its storytelling and visual potential, giving the right focus to the main character, story set-up, genre and tone of the film and its future distribution prospects.
The jury, comprising Katarzyna Siniarska, Head of Sales New Europe Film Sales; Elodie Mellado, Senior Editor at Filmin, and Olle Zwemmer, Senior Editor at Intermission Film, gave a Special Mention to Elephants in the Fog (Nepal) by Abinash Bikram Shah, produced by Anup Poudel for Underground Talkies Nepal. The jury: “a unique and courageous project that will help to raise awareness about LGTBIQ+ identities from a place rarely depicted in the screens as Nepal.”
Cam-a-lot & Filmmore Emerging Cinema Award
The Cam-a-lot & Filmmore Emerging Cinema Award was handed to I'll Never Be A Cop (Nunca seré policía, Chile) by Carolina Moscoso and Camila José Donoso. The prize is valued at €10,000 in rental camera equipment and post services courtesy of sponsors Cam-a-lot & Filmmore.
Jury citation “The significant difference between dialogue and view within a family and within a police state makes it not only an important story for Chile but also important to the rest of the world considering the current state of affairs.”
The jury, comprising Diana Toucedo, Master of Film Netherlands Film Academy; Çiçek Kahraman, film editor based in Germany, and creative editorial consultant Aline Bruijns, sound designer and CEO at Audio Rally Sound Design, gave a Special Mention to Quatro Meninas (Brazil) by writer Clara Ferrer and director Karen Suzane. They described it as “a project that is presenting a strong narrative on female solidarity, self-transformation and self-realization in the shadows of social injustice rooted in the society and the state.”
NFF Script Development Award
Valued at €2,000, the NFF Script Development Award, deliberated over by jury members David Pope and Ludmila Cvikova, was given to Anton de Kom - I Shall Be Heard (Netherlands) written by Philip Delmaar and Raoul de Jong. Director: Edson da Conceicao. Producers: Marc Bary and Nicky Onstenk of IJswater Films, and Ray Blinker and Vincent Berkleef of Tulsa Studios.
Jury citation: “The jury was impressed by a convincing and atmospheric pitch of one of the producers and a director of this project who have decided, together with their team, to bring and highlight on a big screen a person who has played an important part of the history of their nation, and that has till now only been described in literature. A writer, an activist and a freedom fighter, this person’s story deserves to be told and to be seen by many - and in its uncensored version.”
The jury offered two Special Mentions, to On the Edge of The Lake (Netherlands) by Hyo Soon Kaag, and to writer Clara Ferrer and Director Karen Suzane for Quatro Meninas “On the Edge of the Lake is a story about identity and adoption told and lived by the director herself, a theme that is a very important one to be seen and talked about,” enthused jury members David Pope and Ludmila Cvikova. On Quatro Meninas they were “struck by the sophisticated narrative and powerful potential of this story. As societal bonds are broken and replaced by new ones forged out of friendship, a group of girls from different backgrounds find agency together that eventually leads to freedom.”