Connect with us

Good News

15 projects are selected for Cannes’ Cinéfondation L’Atelier



A group of young filmmakers filming on the streets
Part of Cannes’ Cinefondation film development initiative, L’Atelier was launched in 2005 to support promising filmmakers | Photo: Lê Minh

The full list of emerging film directors invited to attend the 18th edition of L’Atelier this year, during the Cannes Film Festival, has been released.

Part of Cannes’ Cinefondation film development initiative, L’Atelier was launched in 2005 to support promising filmmakers and, to date, the initiative has supported over 200 projects, with 182 already completed and 19 currently in pre-production.

In 2020, despite the global pandemic and many challenges for the filming industry, three projects have been shot.

‘’The biggest challenge of a shoot is to stay flexible as team. There are always so many things happening which can potentially distract you from your goal. Maybe that’s even more so when you have a long shooting period like we do; our shooting period will cover 14 months. It’s a challenge to bend those situations into something good for the film.’’ – acknowledges Rosanne Pel, a Dutch filmmaker, revealed in 2018 in Toronto. Her feature debut, Light as Feathers. She has been selected as one of the L’Atelier participants for her new film Anna Ist.

‘I am so happy for the chance to meet the other filmmakers who are selected and learn about what they are up to. Since the pandemic, I feel myself being thirsty for these kinds of interactions. For our project, being selected means that the difficult process of financing and making the film will be a little less difficult. It opens doors and that’s fantastic’’ – celebrates Pel ahead of the event.

All selected film professionals will be offered expert advice and the opportunity to meet potential co-production partners, and funding sources, during the the75th edition of the film festival first held in 1946.

For Czech filmmakers Tomas Weinreb and Petr Kazda, first discovered based on their work on I, Olga Hepnarova, which opened the Panorama section of the 2016 Berlinale, attending the Festival de Cannes in 2022 is a long held dream.

“We are both over 40 years old and, honestly, being part of the Cannes film festival is our dream since we were students. We grew up watching films by Frantisek Vlacil, Andrej Tarkovskij, Milos Forman, Francois Truffaut and Vojtech Jasny – and all of them went to Cannes, as the most important international film event, to show their movies for the first time.” – says the filmmaker duo.

In Cannes for the third time this year, Bulgarian filmmaker Stephan Komandarev previously attended the film festival in 2016, as a co-producer of Bogdan Mirica’s film “Dogs”, and in 2017 with his own film Posoki (Directions). In 2022 he returns, this time with Made in EU, production selected for L’Atelier’s 18th edition.

“Made in EU is intended as EU co-production and financial survival has been a big challenge for independent companies in Bulgaria (and Europe), as many went bankrupt, while others began to compromise their aesthetic views and produce entirely commercial products. The development of a quality project on contemporary themes suck as modern slavery in today’s Europe, the topic of our film, is a very difficult one. In recent years, Bulgaria had very unstable conditions for film production. Working on an international level with producers from different countries is an alternative that allows us carry on  the process of creating quality films.” – believes Komandarev.

The full list of selected films includes directors from Israel, Colombia, Turkey, and the Philippines, amongst other countries:

Anna Ist – Rosanne Pel (Netherlands)
Chimbo cheBere (The Hyenas Song) – Naishe Nyamubaya (Zimbabwe)
Cotton Queen – Suzannah Mirghani (Sudan)
Guria – Levan Koguashvili (Georgia)
Hamlet from the Slums – Ahmed Fawzi Saleh (Egypt)
Made in EU – Stephan Komandarev (Bulgaria)
Philax – Rûken Tekeş (Turkey)
Sam – E del Mundo (Philippines)
The Beer Girl In Yangon – Sein Lyan Tun (Myanmar)
The Blind Ferryman – Ali Al-Fatlawi (Iraq/Switzerland)
The Doubt – Ihab Jadallah (Palestine/Israel)
The Forest – Tomas Weinreb et Petr Kazda (Czech Republic)
The Last Tears Of The Deceased – Beza Hailu Lemma (Ethiopia)
Where The River Begins – Juan Andres Arango (Colombia)
You Are My Everything – Michal Vinik (Israel)

The 75th international Festival de Cannes will take place from 17 to 28 May 2022 at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, France.

Good News

EU journalism prize awarded for investigation into migrant boat shipwreck



EU Parliament journalism prize awarded for investigation into migrant boat shipwreck
A Greek, German and British consortium has won the 2023 Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for investigating journalism.

A Greek, German and British consortium has won the 2023 Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for investigating the Adriana shipwreck, which left over 600 migrants dead off Pylos in Greece.

The joint investigation by the Greek investigative outlet Solomon, in collaboration with Forensis, the German public broadcaster StrgF/ARD, and the British newspaper The Guardian revealed how the deadliest migrant shipwreck in recent history happened as a result of the actions taken by the Greek Coast Guard. It also reveals inconsistencies in the Greek authorities’ official accounts.

Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, Pina Picierno, Vice-President responsible for the Prize, and Juliane Hielscher, President of the Berlin Press Club and representative of the 28 members of the independent European-wide Jury, participated in the award ceremony held in the Daphne Caruana Galizia Press Room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“Today, as every year, we honour Daphne Caruana Galizia’s memory with a prize that is a powerful reminder of her fight for truth and justice. Journalists around the world continue to be targeted just for doing their job, but they refuse to be silenced. This Parliament stands by their side in this long-standing battle to safeguard press freedom and media pluralism in Europe and beyond”, said Metsola.

When accepting the prize on behalf of the winning consortium, Iliana Papangeli of Solomon said: “The fatal event has forced us to confront questions about so-called European values and where the EU really stands on protecting human life – regardless of passport, ethnicity, race, gender, disability, or class. This joint investigation showed how violent and restrictive EU migration policies are, ultimately leading to a massive loss of life”.

Between 3 May and 31 July 2023, more than 700 journalists from the 27 EU countries submitted their stories for consideration. Twelve of these submissions were shortlisted by the jury before the overall winner was decided.

About the winning story

The investigation took an in-depth look into the events surrounding the loss of the fishing trawler Adriana on 14 June this year some 50 nautical miles off Pylos, in south-western Greece, killing over 600 migrants who had left Libya some days earlier.

Over 20 interviews were made with survivors, and court documents and coastguard sources were looked into. The findings detail missed rescue opportunities and offers of assistance that were ignored, whereas the survivors’ testimonies indicate that it was the attempts by the Greek coastguard to tow the trawler that ultimately caused its sinking. The Greek coastguard denied that it attempted to tow the trawler.

The fateful night was simulated by Forensis using interactive 3D modelling of the trawler thanks to data from the coastguard’s log and testimony of the coast guard vessel’s captain, as well as from flight paths, maritime traffic data, satellite imagery and videos taken by nearby shipping vessels and other sources.

Continue Reading

Good News

Three countries to receive over €450 million in EU aid after natural disasters



Photo of a small city in Romania
Romania will receive €33.9 million following damage caused by severe 2022 drought | Photo : Mircea Solomiea

The European Parliament has approved nearly €455 million in EU Solidarity Fund aid in response to recent natural disasters in Romania, Italy and Türkiye.

MEPs expressed their “deepest solidarity with all the victims, their families and all the individuals affected” by the natural disasters in Romania, Italy and Türkyie. They pointed out to the “increasing number of severe and destructive natural disasters in Europe”, stressing that “due to climate change extreme weather events such as those observed in Romania and Italy resulting in emergencies are going to further intensify and multiply”.

The European Commission has proposed to use the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to grant financial assistance of € 454,835,030to the three countries. EUSF assistance will cover parts of the costs of emergency and recovery operations like repairing damaged infrastructure, securing preventive infrastructure and the protection of cultural heritage, as well as clean-up operations. Under the fund’s rules, emergency and recovery operations may be financed by the EUSF retroactively from day one of a disaster.

The aid package was approved by 593 votes in favour, 11 votes against and 22 abstentions.

Continue Reading

Good News

Writing competition for children in the UK is open for submissions



Photo of children in a classroom taking part in a writing activity
Primary school aged children from across the UK can submit their own original short story until 8pm Friday 10 November

A writing competition for children in the UK is currently receiving submissions.

Primary school aged children from across the UK can submit their own original short until 8pm Friday 10 November. 

The competition, which is supported by BBC Teach, encourages children of all abilities to dive deep into their imagination and write the story they would love to read in 500 words or less, without fear of spelling, grammar or punctuation errors. 

Competition prizes

50 finalists, along with their parents or carers, will be invited to attend the grand final in February 2024 at Buckingham Palace. The event will be shown as part of a special 500 Words programme with The One Show on World Book Day®, Thursday 7 March 2024.  

At the event, the bronze, silver and gold winners of both age groups, 5-7 and 8-11, will receive a selection of exciting prizes, including having their stories read by famous faces and a bundle of books to help continue their love of the written word. 

The two gold winners will receive not only the height of judge, Sir Lenny Henry, in books, but 500 books for their schools.

Silver winners will get their hands on the height of Her Majesty in books, and bronze winners will receive the average height of a 7 or 11 year old in books. 

All of their stories will be illustrated by children’s illustrators – Joelle Avelino, Axel Scheffler, Fiona Lumbers, Sue Cheung, Jamie Smart, and Steven Lenton – framed, and put into a 500 Words winners’ book. 

Every finalist will receive a £20 National Book Token and their stories will be recorded and published to the BBC Teach website.  

“We are delighted to be running this year’s 500 Words competition. It goes to the heart of everything we do in BBC Education. Ever since it began, the short story writing competition has always been for every child, no matter what their ability. It is all about creativity with no need to worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar”, says Helen Foulkes, Head of BBC Education.

Every story will be entered into a random draw, where one lucky winner will receive a ticket to the grand final, and their school will receive a bundle of 500 books and literacy wall art of their choice. 

Since the competition first launched in 2011, it has received over one million entries.

Continue Reading