European Short Pitch reveals awards

The 11th edition of NISI MASA's European Short Pitch took place in Poznan on Mar 25, in collaboration with the Short Waves Festival and Ad Arte.

Four projects from the ESP received awards, as well as three projects from the Works in Progress section.

The audience of professionals vote for three awards, each worth €1,000 in cash. Golden Minutes by Lithuanian filmmakers Saulius Baradinskas and Titas Laucius (known for 2014 Berlinale documentary People, Animals and Things) is a 10-minute fiction tragicomedy about a 40 year-old man whose preparations for suicide result in a heart attack.

Tina and Sendy by Croatian director Hani Domazet and producer Mirta Puhlovski (long-listed for Oscars with last year's The Beast) is a 20-minute drama in which two female porn actresses form a bond full of understanding, alcohol and drugs.

Under the Volcano There Is Always a Man Sleeping by Egyptian-born and Brussels-based director Sameh Alaa, a 25-minute dark comedy, sets its story about father and son, birthday performers, against a sleep epidemic that sweeps over Egypt.

The Aubagne International Film Festival award, which takes the winner to the festival's market dedicated to film music composition, went to Blood Group by Dutch filmmaker Daan Bunnik, a drama about a 35 year-old loner who goes to say goodbye to his abusive father, now on his deathbed.

In the Works in Progress section, Hungarian multihyphenate filmmaker Balasz Simonyi, who at 27 years of age has 23 directing credits under his belt, and whose first feature length documentary Ultra is about to premiere at Visions du Reel, received the the Sound Award from Studio Puk for Banality, a 13-minute experimental drama/thriller about a terrorist attack in a mall.

Slovenian director Mitja Mlakar got the Image Correction Award from Jaroslav Piekarski, who will provide compositing/VFX services for his project I'll Probably Never See You Again, a 15-minute drama shot of Super 16mm and HD, about a woman who has to decide between keeping a child or an abortion.

Finally, the Distribution Award, providing distribution and promotion by Ben Vanderdaele of Belgium's Radiator Sales, went to Polish animator Marcin Karolewski (currently working on several animated projects in various positions, including the upcoming feature Privisa) and his 7-minute Slavic myth-themed Malva and Leshy, which tells the tragic love story about the eponymous human and demon.

29 March 2017, by Vladan Petkovic