Foto EurimagesFor the first time in the history of the Eurimages Co-production Development Award, the prize has been awarded to an Italian project.

For the seventh year in a row, recognising New Cinema Network as one of the most important and successful European co-production markets, Eurimages, the European Fund of the Council of Europe – entrusted the jury of NCN 2015, composed of Irena Strzałkowska, Ed Guiney and Stefano Massenzi, with the task of selecting the winner.

16 NCN projects were eligible for the cash prize of €20,000, awarded to support the development of the project that most specifically reflects the criteria of collaboration and co-production that inspire Eurimages.

On Sunday the 18th of October, Roberto Olla, Executive Director of Eurimages, was in Rome to present the award. After thanking Lucia Milazzotto, Director of MIA, and Alexia De Vito, the Coordinator of NCN, he awarded the prize to Just like my Son by Costanza Quatriglio, produced by Andrea Paris: The story of an Afghan immigrant in Italy who, in searching for his mother, starts a journey into his past which takes him deep into the history of the genocide of the Hazara people and of Afghan women. The Jury said of the project: “We responded to its portrayal of the plight of people who have recently moved to Europe from some of the most disadvantaged and dangerous places in the world, reminding us of how previous generations of Europeans have had to travel to find better lives themselves.”

The Jury was challenged in reaching its decision and decided to give special mention to Kutlug Ataman’s Hilal, Feza and other planets, produced by Tacim Acik: The tale of an unlikely friendship during the military regime in Turkey, between a devout Muslim girl and a male prostitute, who aims to become a woman. The Jury were “impressed by its courage, liveliness and its contemporary resonance in tackling the subjects of tolerance and freedom at the gates of Europe.”