There you are in Antalya in Turkey at a cool design hotel, totally in white, mirrors all over, the weather is between 25 and 30 degrees, the hospitality is superb, it’s a royal treat and your job is to give a lecture and to be in a jury that has the job to give awards to two out of nine projects on the background of nine presentations at a documentary pitch competition.
Full house, I am in a jury with Italian producer Enrica Capra (”Thy Father’s Chair”) and Palestinian Reem Bader, who lives in Jordan and has just set up The Creative Documentary Platform for Arab documentaries. It’s an exciting project that i will write separately about later, link below.
The three of us sit on the first row watching the pitchers, who have 8 minutes for presentation followed by 5 minutes Q&A with the
jury. The introduction is given by the master of ceremony, young producer Suzan Guverte, who did a great job being (also) ”the bad cop”, who had to interrupt the filmmakers on stage when time was over. The background for the pitching – and my lecture – was to put more focus on documentaries, which is a genre that has hard conditions in the big country.
Nevertheless if just half of the 9 projects end up being made, there is something of quality to look forward to.
We had to choose two projects, which are both awarded with about 10000€ each (!) and if you look at the list on the picture, the winners were ”Ben de Buradayim” (”I’m also Here”) (Director: Kıvılcım Akay Doğan / Producer: Aslıhan Altuğ) and ”Kim Mihri” (Who is Mihri) (Director: Berna Gençalp / Producer: Berat İlk, Yonca Ertürk), the first one about a Senegalese refugee in Turkey, who is fighting to get a decent life with her daughter. The way might be her becoming a fashion model. The second one is about an artist known by nobody, but an artist who will be made alive in a docu-animation film through an innovative unpretentious narrative.
At a monumental award ceremony that also included some (not all) awards from the Antalya Film Festival, screenings parallel to the Forum, taking place at ”The Land of Legends Rixos”, monumental to say the least, Antalya showing its economic power (?), with a Disneyland touch and with water symphonies at the beginning, the awards were given to the winners – and happy to see that several festivals awards were given to documentaries.
We jurors were told that the criteria for the awards were creativity, originality, feasibility and international potential. Hoping the best for the two awarded and the other seven projects.