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Olha Zhurba’s Roma wins big at East Doc Platform

Olha Zhurba’s Roma wins big at East Doc Platform
The winner of East Doc Platform Award is Roma (working title)directed by Olha Zhurba and produced by Darya Bassel and Viktoriia Khomenko. The project got also Sunny Side of the Doc Award, DocsBarcela Award and Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award.

The East Doc Platform Award Jury, Natalia Arshavskaya (Current Time TV), Myrocia Watamaniuk (Hot Docs) and Barbara Bouillon (ARTE), recognized Zhurba’s Roma for „the filmmaker’s bravery with which she combines artistry and authentic storytelling. Roma presents a compelling anti-hero, who at 18 years-old, has already understood more of the world’s loneliness and isolation than most his age and older.“ The award, powered by Current Time TV, is associated with the financial support of EUR 5 000. The granted financial support will help the filmmakers in further development of their documentary film. The Special Mention went to Comfortable Century, directed by Jaroslav Kratochvíl and produced by Jaroslav Bláha. As the Jury stated, „this project renders an impressive and complete visual world of its own“.

Czech TV Co-production Award went to Nenets vs Gas (dir. Sergio Ghizzardi, prod. Valérie Montmartin). The award presents a financial investment of 150 000 CZK and a subsequent co-production deal. The jurors were the Czech TV representatives Markéta Štinglová, Petr Morávek and Věra Krincvajová. Libuše Rudínská’s The Taste of Celibacy got the HBO Europe Co-production Award worth EUR 2000, presented by Hanka Kastelicová, the Executive Producer of Documentaries HBO Europe.

Two projects, How I Became a Partisan and Roma, received the new Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award and each got EUR 1 500 for editing consultations with renowned editors Miroslav Janek and Niels Pagh Andersen. How I Became a Partisan also got the traditional Golden Funnel Award for the Ex Oriente Film project which made the biggest progress during the year-long training, as well as the new DAE Pitch Talent Encouragement Prize, handed by Heleen Gerritsen.

The 9th edition of East Doc Platform, organized by the Institute of Documentary Film in association with One World IHRDFF, welcomed many industry professionals and filmmakers between March 7-13. Most of the programme took place at Cervantes Institute in Prague. Some parts of the programme were moved online, while others, such as the Awards Ceremony, had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation.

All the winning projects and the juries statements:

East Doc Platform Award powered by Current Time TV
Roma (working title) (dir. Olha Zhurba, prod. Darya Bassel, Viktoriia Khomenko, UA, NL, DK)
Ex Oriente Film 2019 project

Jury statement: „The jury recognizes the filmmaker’s bravery with which she combines artistry and authentic storytelling. Roma presents a compelling anti-hero, who at 18 years-old, has already understood more of the world’s loneliness and isolation than most his age and older. The jury applauds the team’s commitment to following such an engaging, complex protagonist and for staying with their subject in order to deliver the most nuanced, longitudinal story possible.“

Special Mention
Comfortable Century (dir. Jaroslav Kratochvíl, prod. Jaroslav Bláha, CZ, FR)
Ex Oriente Film 2019 project

Jury statement: „A truly unique style of art documentary, this project renders an impressive and complete visual world of its own. ‚The Jaroslavs‘, director Jaroslav Kratochvil and producer Jaroslav Blaha, are revisiting and recreating and one visionary’s artistic perspective through their own, an undertaking few filmmakers attempt.  The jury also appreciates the playfulness, irony and creativity with which they portray the lived experience of history.“

Czech TV Co-production Award
Nenets vs Gas (dir. Sergio Ghizzardi, prod. Valérie Montmartin, FR, BE, NO)

Jury statement: „The winner of the Czech Television Co-production Award, Nenets vs Gas, brings the current story of the Nenets people from the northwestern Siberia and their loss of the original environment where they have lived according to their traditions for 200 generations. Their home is turning into the largest gas exploitation zone in the world. This specific story represents at the same time the universal phenomenon of today’s world and reveals the other side of the globalization.“

HBO Europe Co-production Award
The Taste of Celibacy (dir. & prod. Libuše Rudinská, CZ, SK)
Ex Oriente Film 2019 project

The Golden Funnel Award
How I Became a Partisan (dir. Vera Lacková, prod. Jan Bodnár, SK, CZ)
Ex Oriente Film 2019 project

Jury statement: „For its deep improvement considering the storytelling and courageous transformation of the director into main protagonist of this important film.“

Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award
How I Became a Partisan (dir. Vera Lacková, prod. Jan Bodnár, SK, CZ)
Jury statement: „Brave film that will in right point of time accurately profit out of editing consultations. Thus, we observe this as a right moment for the deep introspection of material, various situation and storylines in it.“

Roma (working title) (dir. Olha Zhurba, prod. Darya Bassel, Viktoriia Khomenko, UA, NL, DK)
Jury statement: „Roma, hypnotic main character of the film – after being shot for so many years, needs to be defined into a film storyline. Editing consultations may help and improve this process, as well as the fact that it can support the director to stick with her creative vision.“

IDFA Forum Award
Black Spot Karabash (dir. Olga Delane, prod. Frank Müller, DE, PL)

DOK Leipzig Co-Production Meeting Award
Too Close (dir. Botond Püsök, prod. Melinda Boros, Irina Malcea, RO)
Ex Oriente Film 2019 project

DOK Leipzig Preview Award
Comfortable Century (dir. Jaroslav Kratochvíl, prod. Jaroslav Bláha, CZ, FR)

Sunny Side of the Doc Award
Roma (working title) (dir. Olha Zhurba, prod. Darya Bassel, Viktoriia Khomenko, UA, NL, DK)
The Mothers‘ Crusade (details about this project are not published due to the sensitive content)

DocsBarcelona Award
Roma (working title) (dir. Olha Zhurba, prod. Darya Bassel, Viktoriia Khomenko, UA, NL, DK)

Statement from the juror Mikael Opstrup: „There are different considerations when one should decide upon a documentary award. First one for me is of course that I find the – intended – film interesting. Or let me put it differently: that the film explores new ways while keeping the essence of documentary filmmaking. A second reason is what the director personally has endured to realize her intentions. And I could add: when the director is at the same time stubborn as a donkey and open-minded as a songbird, it doesn’t get any better. This is a rare combination. The team behind Roma knows what I talk about – I only regret a few of the times when I shouted a little too much during our engaged discussions. Which I look forward to continue in Barcelona.“

Sheffield/Doc Fest Award
The Visitors (dir. Veronika Lišková, prod. Kristýna Michálek Květová, CZ, NO)

DAE Pitch Talent Encouragement Prize
How I Became a Partisan (dir. Vera Lacková, prod. Jan Bodnár, SK, CZ)

Jury statement: „The DAE Pitch Talent Encouragement Prize goes to Vera Lacková and Jan Bodnár who presented their project How I Became a Partisan here in Prague. The project uncovers parts of unknown Roma history and is closely linked to the director’s own family history. We decided to award the team with two free year-long DAE memberships and hopefully they will profit from the consultation sessions that come with the prize. DAE, as a young and growing European organisation, will definitely profit from having these two up and coming talents among their members.“

Pitch the Doc Award
The Schubert Effect (dir. Aleksander Elkan, prod. Ksenia Gapchenko, RU)

Jury statement: “For the warm approach to the film hero, and for introducing a rare nowadays spark of humor in showing his passionate fight to make dreams come true, despite all adversities.”

Find more about this year’s awards and juries here and also take a look at all the projects selected for East Doc Platform 2020.

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