The quality and energy of all the projects of The New Cinema Network, Make It With Italy and IDS impressed the MIA and Eurimages juries, who presented their awards at the Boscolo Hotel Terrace. The ceremony was presided over by MIA Director Lucia Milazzotto, Riccardo Monti (President, ICE), Roberto Olla (Executive Director, Eurimages) and Diamara Parodi (MIA Project Manager).
The two prestigious co-production prizes: the Eurimages Co-production Development Award, a €20,000 prize for the development of the best European project of New Cinema Network that best meets the collaboration and co-production criteria that inspires Eurimages; and the MIA Prizes, two special development awards of €15,000 to the best Italian producer, minority or majority, from among the projects presented in New Cinema Network and Make It With Italy; and two development awards of €5,000 to the best documentary projects from the IDS selection.
The Eurimages jury – Irena Strzałkowska, Ed Guiney and Stefano Massenzi – was struck by the projects in this year’s MIA New Cinema Network for the variety of cultures they represented, proving the vitality of European cinema.
Eurimages Executive Director Roberto Olla handed the Co-production Development Award of the 2015 edition to Costanza Quatriglio’s Just Like My Son (producer: Andrea Paris). The jury lauded its portrayal of the plight of people who have recently moved to our countries from some of the most disadvantaged and dangerous places in the world, reminding us of how previous generations of Europeans themselves had to travel in search of a better life.
A special mention went to Kutlug Ataman’s Hilal, Feza and Other Planets for its courage, liveliness and contemporary resonance in tackling the subjects of tolerance and freedom at the gates of Europe.
The MIA jury for Feature Film Projects – composed of Matthew Baker, Iole Giannattasio and Anne Lai – appreciated the high quality and diversity of the Italian-involved projects in this year’s MIA New Cinema Network and Make It with Italy selections, and ICE President Riccardo Monti was proud to present the first edition of the €15,000 MIA Awards to Look Up by Fulvio Risuleo (produced by Donatello della Pepa) and My Body Will Bury You by Giovanni la Pàrola (produced by Olivia Musini) for their originality and vision.
Look Up won for the fresh language and unique voice with which it presents a parallel world over the rooftops of Rome, in a warm and passionate adventure in a fantastic microcosm, made up of surprising characters and surreal stories narrated with realism and balance.
Revenge tale My Body Bury You takes the clichéd trope of the Western and gives it fresh and dynamic feel by focusing on new heroes, a group of female bandits who tear through Southern Italy in the late 19th century. An inherently bold and ambitious story, told with great flair and imagination, it makes full use of the scope that only cinema can provide.
In addition, two €5,000 IDS Development Awards were presented to documentary projects in the Italian Doc Screenings section by an international jury comprising Catherine Olsen, Markus Nikel and Christian Popp.
The first award went to Matteo Bastianelli’s Souls of Syrians, a highly personal documentary that follows a young Syrian refugee and is made all the more unique for the relationship between the filmmaker, a talented photojournalist, and the refugee who takes up a camera to capture his life in Syria and his dangerous journey across Europe. The jury hopes the award will not only help him continue shooting but also create momentum for the project, in inspire those broadcasters who expressed interest to come on board.
The second winner was Happy Winter, about people living on a Palermo beach, by first-time filmmaker Giovanni Totaro. The jury was impressed by the cinematic approach and energy of a project they believe has the potential to become a successful theatrical documentary in Italy and beyond, and which, with the right choice of characters, can offer extraordinary insight into the reality of a struggling Italian community both on and off the beach.
The Jury also chose to honor two other documentary projects with special mentions: Alessandro Cassigoli and Casey Kauffman’s The Killer and the Butterfly, which takes us inside an infamous Naples boxing gym; and Wikimania Esino Lario, by Lorenzo Faggi and Chiara Campara, which explores what happens when a small village is invaded by 1,000 Wikipedians and the clash of culture that results.