The Baltic Event award ceremony was this year held in Tallinn Teachers’ House in the historic Town Hall Square. Industry@Tallinn, the label under which Baltic Event collaborates with Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Industry Office, brought over 370 film industry professionals to Tallinn on November 16-19. Over five categories, 57 projects were presented and six awards granted among them, with the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award in the amount of 20 000 Euros given out for the first time.
The main prize, Eurimages Co-Production Development Award for the Best Project, went to Motherland (director Tomas Vengris, producer Uljana Kim, Studio Uljana Kim, Lithuania). Jury members Ewa Puszczynska (Opus Film), Petri Kemppinen (Nordisk Film & TV Fond), and Dorien van de Pas (Netherlands Film Fund, Eurimages representative) held a meeting with all 13 feature film projects in development over two days. The jury said, “We decided to give our development prize to a project that tells a multilayered story about immigration. The story is told in an original and authentic way through the perspective of a young boy. The most important themes are freedom and identity. The main characters come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as an ideal country. Leaving one country for another will always let you longing for a paradise, which is never the same as in your dreams. There is a tension between what you see and how it is and this is told by two generations in one family”.
For the first time in Baltic Event history, one project won two awards. The 5000 Euros worth of services, granted by Estonian company Digital Sputnik, who creates solutions for motion picture and TV lighting with revolutionary LED systems, went to Motherland as well.
The traditional Best Pitch Award by the market’s long-time partner Screen International was given out for the seventh time. By public vote by all the professionals who had held around 330 meetings with the projects, Screen’s representative Martin Blaney handed the diploma to Evelin Soosaar-Penttilä, who represented the project Erik Stoneheart (director Ilmar Raag, Amrion, Estonia). The project will be introduced in a feature article on screendaily.com, and Martin Blaney will continue to report on the film’s progress until its release and distribution.
Our collaboration with Black Nights Film Festival resulted in another new award this year – given to the Best Project in the BE and International Works in Progress section. The winner of the FilmFly Award, a free place in a training programme by the Estonian Film Institute, selected by jury members Zsuzsi Bankuti (The Match Factory), Lenka Tyrpakova (Karlovy Vary IFF), and Azize Tan (Istanbul FF), goes to the project Together For Ever (director Lina Luzyte, producer Dagne Vildziunaite, Just A Moment, Lithuania).
Cannes Marché du film Producers’ Network awarded free accreditation for their 2016 edition to two promising producers – one for a Co-Production Market project representative, Gary Cranner from Chezville, Norway, and the other for a B’EST EAVE Producers’ Workshop participant – Johanna Aust from Flickfilm, Germany.
During its 14 years of operation, Baltic Event has become the most influential film market in Northern and Central Europe. It has highlighted both young promising talents as well as established directors such as, in the 2015 edition, Marian Crisan, Stephan Komandarev, and Klaus Härö, whose previous films have been selected national entries for the foreign language Oscar. The Eurimages Co-Production Development Award, which is only given out at six other film markets, is a well-earned recognition.