Following the declaration of World Health Organisation about COVID-19 as pandemic, the international co-production, training and networking platform organised within the scope of the İstanbul Film Festival, Meetings on the Bridge (MoB) took the necessary precautions and performed its programme online on 14-17 April with the support of Anadolu Efes, taking into consideration the urgent timeline of the filmmakers attending the MoB workshops with their films and projects.
Meetings on the Bridge is providing an opportunity for filmmakers to hold the first international presentations for their new film projects at Film Development Workshop and Neighbours Platform and films in post-production at Work in Progress. Meetings on the Bridge aims to pave the way for co-productions for cultural exchange and financial support. On the 15th edition of MoB, supported by Anadolu Efes, 17 fiction and 2 documentary projects and 7 fiction and 1 documentary films from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan and Romania are presented at the Film Development Workshop, Neighbours Platform and Work in Progress.
>> Click here to watch the video on YouTube.
This year, MoB is collaborating for the first time with the Turkish Radio and Television Corperation (TRT) to present the 50.000 TL TRT Special Award to a project in development.
Series on the Bridge and Book on the Bridge are the new sections included at MoB for the first time in Turkey including a book by Burhan Sönmez and the series project Shadow Hotel by Ramin Matin in the selection.
For the first time this year, cinema talks introducing the festival, market directors and representatives of funds information about the festivals and funds took place on digital platforms. Martina Bleis (Berlinale Co-Production Market), Amra Baksic Camo (Cinelink Torino Film Lab and Cinelink), Fay Breeman (Rotterdam Film Festival, Cinemart and Hubert Bals Fund), Theresa Hoefert de Turegano (Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg), Ana Souza (Sundance Film Festival) and Jarod Neece (SXSW) met the filmmakers and answered their questions online.
Online award ceremony
Meetings on the Bridge Awards were announced on 17 April at the online session with the participation the filmmakers and jury members. After the speech of Head of Meetings on the Bridge Gülin Üstün in which she thanked the Meetings on the Bridge team, supporters, award sponsors, jury member and all the participants, and video messages from director of the Istanbul Film Festival Kerem Ayan and MoB sponsors, the Film Development Workshop and Work in Progress jury members announced the awards.
>> Click here to watch the video messages from director of the Istanbul Film Festival Kerem Ayan and MoB sponsors.
In his speech at online award ceremony of 15th edition of Meetings on the Bridge, Anadolu Efes Turkey General Manager Tuğrul Ağırbaş said: “Thanks to Meetings on the Bridge, we are delighted to discover and meet new young talents who are passionate about cinema and contribute to their career as much as we can. I want to congratulate all local and international applicants for not giving up on working and trying their best. Also special congrats to all winners that Work in Progress jury selected. I hope that it marks a significant milestone in your long career.”
>> Click here to watch the video on YouTube.
Work in Progress awards
This year 8 films from Turkey and neighbouring countries attended Work In Progress. The Work in Progress jury members Cedomir Kolar (ASAP Films), Daniela Persico (Locarno Film Festival), Yohann Comte (Charades) has decided on the award winning films after watching 7 films and the meetings held with the filmmakers.
Cedomir Kolar has announced the award winning films at Work in Progress are:
30.000 TL Anadolu Efes Award was presented to the director Selman Nacar and producers Burak Çevik and Diloy Gülün of the film Between Two Dawns. Jury’s Deliberation: For a film that tells the moral questions of a new generation of sons, struggling with a society that keeps them on the sidelines. For the wisdom of a simple direction and at the same time able to choose the right images and the enveloping breath of a battle that concerns us, the 30. 000 TL Anadolu Efes Award goes to Between Two Dawns.
Color Up Award was presented to the director Nazlı Elif Durlu and producer Anna Maria Aslanoğlu of the film Zuhal. Jury’s Deliberation: For its way of whispering a screaming loneliness and meowing to our ears the importance of trusting yourself, the award for Color Up Post Production Award goes to Zuhal.
Daire Creative Key Art Design Award was presented to the director Ahmet Necdet Çopur and producer Nadir Öperli of the film Whitewash. Jury’s Deliberation: For the courage to face a personal story that tells of a strong and shocking social reality, having the ability to articulate reality in an intimate and always respectful language, the Daire Creative Key Art Design Award goes to Whitewash.
The Başka Sinema Award was presented to director Cem Özay and producer Ömür Güner of the film Forgiveness. Jury’s Deliberation: To a heartbreaking work of cinema whose images are as strong as the message it conveys, served by three incredible performances. The Başka Sinema Award goes to Forgiveness.
Film Development Workshop and Neighbours Platform awards
The Film Development Workshop jury members Jamila Wenske (Achtung Panda), Nicos Panayotopoulos (Mediterranean Film Institute), Marcin Luczaj (New Europe Film), Oana Giurgiu (Libra Film), Faruk Güven (TRT) and Yael Fogiel (Les Films du Poisson) selected the award winning projects after pitchings.
The directors Gözde Yetişkin and Emre Sert and the producers Suzan Güverte and Şebnem Kitiş of the project Grace received the TRT Special Award of 50.000 TL. Jury’s Deliberation: The story has a statement that being intoxicated with greed and fear of deceit ends up with losing the real values. On the other hand, besides the story shows us the picture of humanity who asks for more, it promises us to be moral in the end. Besides these aspects, the story’s usage of sarcasm and humorous situation contrast makes it interesting as well.
The director Ziya Demirel and the producer Annamaria Aslanoğlu of the project Two Eyeds received the Meetings on the Bridge Award of 30.000 TL. Jury’s Deliberation: The meetings on the bridge award goes unanimously to the project Two Eyeds, as we were intrigued by director’s vision and his awareness of cinematic form, challenging narratives and his ability to jigsaw the puzzles of this multilayered project.
The Film Development Workshop and the Neighbours Platform projects were all eligible for the 8000 Euro CNC Award. The award was presented to Sahar Salahshoori, Bahar Shoghi, the directors and Mina Kesheveraz , the producer of the project Chronicle of a Winter: Tehran 1979. Jury’s Deliberation: This project reveals an important but completely forgotten historical event. We are convinced that it can have a very strong echo today for Iranian women, women around the world, and anyone who struggle for freedom and rights.
Melodika Sound Award was presented to the director Ali Özkul and the producers Fırat Sezgin and Ceylan Özgün Özçelik of the project One of Those Creatures. Jury’s Deliberation: We admire the team’s connection and vision to challenge a close relative on a screen, challenge a man and the raise important questions about the image, manhood and they take us on a difficult journey full of extreme physical and emotional experiences, which may need a beautiful touch of sound in order to immerse fully in this fascinating world.
The producers Alara Hamamcıoğlu and the director Melisa Önel of the project Suddenly received the GeniusPark Special Effects Award. Jury’s Deliberation: Offers a very unique and strong point of view, we decided to support this project also for its strong formal ambitions.
The Mediterranean Film Institute (MFI) Script and Development Workshop Award was presented to the director Ali Vatansever and the producers Selin Vatansever and Oya Özden of the project Agony. Jury’s Deliberation: For the bold exploration of a father-son’s relationship and the overwhelming description of family ties being tested to the limit, as death challenges their expectations, the MFI Script Workshop Scholarship is awarded to Agony.
Se-yap Award was presented to the director Salih Demir and producer Çekdar Erkıran for their project Treasure. Jury’s Deliberation: The jury appreciated the courage to mix surreal-symbolic and realistic style and the idea of inserting the music in the narrative, not only for the illustration, but to provide meaning. All these elements setting up the promise of an original approach of cinema. But as we consider this can only be achieved with an understanding of the European market we decided that the SE-YAP Award will go for the producer of Treasure.
Transilvania Pitch Stop Award was given to the director Michael Önder and producer Jozef Amado of the project Pastoral. Jury’s Deliberation: Transilvania Pitch Stop, the coproduction platform of the Transilvania International Film Festival that invites feature film projects of first and second time directors from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Georgia, Moldova, Hungary, Greece, the Ukraine, Russia and Turkey. The event was supposed to be held 5-6 June 2020, but it might be postponed for the beginning of August, and will be organized in accordance with the restrictions existing then, which might transform it also in an on-line event. This year’s award will go for the family drama that promises comic elements Pastoral.
Postbıyık Sound Production Award, specific for the Neighbours selection was presented to the director Hussen Ibraheem and the producers Lara Abou Saifan and Tania El-Khoury, of the project Tide. Jury’s Deliberation: Tide is a phenomenon, which is not limited to oceans. It can occur in any other system whenever a gravitational field that varies in time and space is present. After the tragic loss of their child the parents Zeina and Hassan are facing the impossibility of mourning in a field of gravity and a ticking clock. Like a wave of emotions the plot cought our attention because of the absurd but realistic scenario in a multi-national country and we hope that the sound post-production award in Istanbul opens the possibility for a co-production with Turkey.