Monday 12 December 2016 - 10:39
European Documentary Network Special Prize Goes to Mina Bozorgmehr and Hadi Kamali-Moghaddam
In its last day, international Cinema Verite film festival, made an opportunity for young Iranian filmmakers to meet with foreign investors. In this meeting, which was scheduled to be held in cooperation with the EDN, each filmmaker had 30 minutes to get advice from experts. Before the festival started its work, their projects have been sent to EDN. Of 20 projects, first 10 project were selected and finally one won the special award of European Documentary Network.
It Was Very Difficult to Judge This Year Films
The moment of announcing the winner of EDN award is a tense one. Ten filmmakers presented their projects and are waiting for the final results. Ove Jensen, workshop manager of EDN consultants, thinks the same and finds films very close to each other. He said: “It was a difficult task. All the film we had selected had absorbing subjects, but in the end we should choose one. The meetings were brief and we had 8 sessions in 2 hours. Finally, because of its interesting subject and good presentation, The Missing Links managed to win the award.” He continued: “Documentaries take us where we’ve never been. Having access to documentary filmmakers is in fact having access to the heart of documentary and so, individual counseling sessions are very critical for getting to know their vision.” About the judging criteria this year’s film, Jensen said: “One of the most important issues for judges was choosing a film which could be global. The Missing Links is a story emerged from the Iranian people but it can easily bring its message to the global audience. About the facilities that EDN provides the winner, Ove Jensen said: “the winner becomes a member of EDN. She or he can also use the organization's counseling sessions for free. Through our various networks, we'll help we have to find the budget for making films.”
Who Are The Prize Winners?
The winners of this grand prize are Mina Bozorgmehr and Hadi Kamali-Moghaddam, who are supposed to co-direct The Missing Links. They didn’t expect the award and said: “we didn’t believe we could win this award. The project was accepted earlier in ZDF, but was rejected in the second round. After that, and before this festival, there was an open call a proposals for documentary movies. So we sent our plan. Before starting to write it, we consulted with a few experts of the field. With the interesting tips and ideas they told us, we managed to write an acceptable plan. The advices EDN is supposed to give us is not really comparable to any other workshop. It’s true they don’t fund us directly, but their experience and advices can be very useful for making the movie. Getting to work with an international team, is a good thing that happened to us in this festival.”
Those Who Didn’t Win
About this documentary which is about to be made with the aid of EDN, Hadi Kamali-Moghaddam said: “It is about a photographer – Akbar Nazemi – who has owns a lot of photos and videos, but for some reasons prefers to not use them. He buries them in his yard and waits for a time to bring them out. After a few years, Akbar he immigrates to Canada and later, through his brother, he finds out that the house was sold. This doesn’t worries him much, because he still hopes that someday, he’ll return to Iran and take photos and videos. Nazemi later found out that the house was demolished and a towers were built in its place. The story we want to narrate starts exactly here. In fact, we join Akbar Nazemi in his search. Whether we find these videos or not, The Missing Link is the story of this search. Before this, Hadi Kamali-Moghaddam and Mina Bozorgmehr has made Janbal, which has not been shown. They also have made several short documentaries.
The Experience of Consulting With European Documentary Network
Khatere Hannachi is one of the filmmakers that her plan was accepted in the first round but failed to win a special prize of EDN. She said: “Competing for EDN special prize was a good experience at Cinema Verite. Although my project was not selected, these people gave me good ideas; ideas about how to make the movie, attention to visual aspects and how to make the documentary more moving for the audience. I think it was one of the best parts of this year’s festival. During their conversations with introduced their projects, these consultants gave them useful information and ideas. The ideas are one of the basic needs of Iranian filmmakers and improve the quality of their films. The connection that has been made between filmmakers to and EDN consultants in the last few days, is one that will remain with all of us.”
Another filmmaker, Farzad Jamshidi, also tried to gain the award. About this experience, he said: “It was very useful for first time filmmakers and those who didn’t have the experience of counseling at international level. The time was limited, but it was advice at its best and we gained everything possible. EDN consultants work at high global levels and provide excellent ideas. No doubt I will use their ideas.”