Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO Wins Arab Critics’ Awards For European Films
Veteran Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO, exploring the world through the eyes of a donkey, has won the fourth edition of the Arab Critics’ Awards For European Films, in which 76 critics hailing from 15 Arab-language territories voted on their favorite film out of Europe to have premiered on the festival circuit over the course of this year. The prize was announced at the Cairo International Film Festival. Skolimowski was not able to attend the awards ceremony in person because he is currently in L.A. promoting the film, which is Poland’s Oscar entry this year, but he sent a message of thanks. “I am incredibly happy that EO has been appreciated by the Arab Critics’ Circle as it must mean that my simple story of a donkey has moved people’s hearts across different cultures,” he said. Pan-Arab distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment is due to release the film across the Middle East and North Africa in early 2023. The awards are a joint initiative between the Cairo-based Arab Cinema Centre and European Film Promotions.
Marrakech Atlas Workshops Project Incubator Event Unveils Prizes
Jordanian filmmaker Amjad Al Rasheed’s Inshallah A Boy has scooped the top $25,000 post-production prize at the fifth edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival’s Atlas Workshops project meeting. The drama revolves around a young widow and mother who needs to conceive a son or face losing her home to her brother-in-law under Jordan’s sexist inheritance laws. Runners up in the post-production section were Madagascan director Luck Razanajaona’s Disco Afrika, in which a young man has to choose between easy money and fighting corruption, and Burkina Faso filmmaker Boubacar Sangaré’s documentary A Golden Life, following a teenager working in the country’s dangerous small gold mines. The jury comprised Venice’s Giornate degli Autori director Gaia Furrer, French distributor Eric Lagesse at Pyramide Films and French producer Sébastien Onomo at Special Touch Studio. Winners in the development section were Moroccan director Saïd Hamich’s migrant drama La Mer Au Loin, Lebanese director Dania Bdeir Pigeon Wars and Senegalese filmmaker Katy Lena Ndiaye’s Lënde, set in a fishing community threatened by rising water levels. The jury comprised Moroccan producer Lamia Chraïbi at La Prod, German producer Nicole Gerhards at Niko Film and French producer Farès Ladjimi at Supernova Films. In other awards, Egyptian director Sameh Alaa, who won the Canne Palme d’Or for his short film I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face in 2020, won the $6,000 Artekino International Prize for his debut feature project Whale Belly.
Munich Film Up! Welcomes Emerging Filmmakers From China, Iran & India
Munich Film Up!, an eight-month mentoring and residency supporting six emerging filmmakers, kicked off its second edition in its German namesake city this week. Participants comprise Nancy Camaldo (Italy), Sadeq ES-HAQI (Iran), Ashmita Guha Nehogi (India), Soham Kundu (India), Viv LI (China) and Nguyen Luong Hang (Vietnam). The program is a joint initiative between the Munich Film School and Matthieu Darras’ Pop Up Film Residency. The second edition began with a four-day boot camp within the framework of the Munich Film School’s annual festival, which featured talks by Hungarian filmmaker Ildikó Enyedi, Polish producer Izabela Igel, and German film producer and distributor Jan Mojto. This will be followed by three-week residencies in the spring of 2032, with well-known European producers including Greece’s Giorgos Karnavas and Konstantinos Kontovrakis and Romania’s Ada Solomon, followed by a final meeting in June 2023 at which the participants will present projects to industry professionals.