EAVE February News 2021

Exclusive interview with EAVE graduates Valon Bajgora and Besnik Krapi

Films from Kosovo have been very successful lately with Hive by Blerta Basholli harvesting three main prizes at Sundance and Looking For Venera by Norika Sefa sharing the Special Jury Award in the Tiger Competition at Rotterdam or with Visar Morina’s Exile. What are the reasons for this success?

BK: This is something that we have been talking a lot about lately and trying to analyse it. And I think that one of the reasons is, that these new filmmakers love cinema, they love film. We are a small industry with micro-low budgets, but still we are making such successful films. It’s really about loving and being dedicated to our work, as well as having a good education and talent. Looking back 2-3 years and having 6-7 films directed by female directors from Kosovo at A-festivals, as well as some films by male directors, it is just amazing. That’s why I think that love and passion are the reasons for our success.


How would you describe the situation for the filmmakers in Kosovo?

BK: It has been a very important decade, this last one, because after having changed the board and the head of the film centre, we made many steps forward. (NB: EAVE graduate) Arben Zharku as Director of the Kosovo Cinematography Centre has introduced a scheme to support co-productions, which we didn’t have before. He also introduced a support scheme for education, so that our filmmakers could start attending workshops abroad, like EAVE, which I could attend in 2017 due to this support, and also MAIA Workshops, FAMU, etc. I think this was the biggest step in our education. This has helped the knowledge of filmmaking and the talent from Kosovo to rise very fast. But on the other hand we are facing a bad situation in the industry. With the success we had, we should be able to raise the number of co-productions, but we don’t have tax incentives or a cinema network, which is the biggest challenge we have. What keeps us going is the love and passion of our directors, and the support of our film centre, but eventually people would also need some stability. We need a lot of investment from the government and the attention from the parliament, so it would be important to work on the tax incentives law.


How do you manage to finance films in Kosovo?

BK: Our main financier is the Kosovo Cinematography Centre. We also have some smaller financing sources such as municipalities and private sources. Due to Kosovo’s political situation, not being recognised by 6 EU countries, Kosovo is not part of Eurimages and MEDIA Programme, which creates many challenges for us. But we co-produce a lot on the regional level; we have minority co-productions with Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro. Co-productions between Kosovo and North Macedonia are very usual. When you get funding in Kosovo, it’s quite usual to get it in Albania and North Macedonia.

VB: We are very creative how we finance our films. Kosovo has only 3 co-production treaties with North Macedonia, Albania and Turkey, which was ratified only a month ago. Our project Hive is the first official co-production with Switzerland (NB: with EAVE+ graduate Britta Rindelaub). We have managed to do this through two other partners who are part of the European Cultural Convention, and therefore we could be part of the official co-production as a third partner.


Do you think you will have more co-productions with Switzerland, or Germany?

VB: Actually, we did a co-production with Germany last year with Exile by Visar Morina. The film premiered at Sundance and was shown in the Panorama section of last year’s Berlinale. The co-production with Germany was difficult mostly due to the German policy of how to spend money for a co-production. It was a bit easier with Switzerland because they have a different policy. Also, there is a diaspora from Kosovo in Switzerland, so a lot of actors and crew members could be counted as Swiss expenses. On the project Hive the Swiss TV has joined as a co-producer. We are now shooting our new project with Switzerland, The Land Within Me by Fisnik Maxhuni, which will be shot in Kosovo. So now a co-production between Kosovo and Switzerland has started to be more common, because of the workflow and the diaspora. The market potential in Switzerland is also much bigger than in Kosovo.


HIVE © Ikone-Studio, Industria Film, Alva Film Production, photo: Alex Bloom


How is it to co-produce with Germany?

VB: The market is almost the same, but it’s difficult to co-produce with Germany. It’s hard because we are not part of the European Cultural Convention, so we have to find other ways. In Germany, you can apply for regional film funds and our German co-producer will apply for one of our projects, but you have to have TV involved. We have different problems from our European colleagues, but one of the sentences of my professor is that for the Balkan producers the following applies: “Give me a problem and I’ll find you a solution”.


Which role does EAVE play for you in Kosovo?

VB: For me EAVE has opened my eyes to be able to co-produce with Europe and helped me to understand the opportunities of working with European partners. Normally we are co-producing with our region, and at EAVE I learned the ways and the possibilities of how to co-produce with other European countries. At EAVE we have been developing our project Silence of Sirens and we have learned how important it is to focus on the development of the project. We understood how important it is to go to a workshop and to work with a scrip consultant, and within your group you can open your project to an international audience, your B2B audience. Working with my EAVE group has opened many doors and opportunities, and I have now different tools in my hands to be a better producer.   

I participated at EAVE thanks to a scholarship funded by the German regional fund MDM (Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung). The generous financial contribution of MDM to my participation has provided me the occasion to be part of this program, without which I couldn’t have access to. Continuation of this fund will enable future producers like me to become part of the European film producing community.

On my new project that I’m co-producing we’ve had different difficulties in the financing and pre-production phase, but this time I could call my EAVE colleagues and my group leader and the other group leaders to ask them for advice. Their support is my new tool, especially since I’m coming from such a small market. We have now signed the contract with a sales agent – an opportunity we didn’t have before. I called my group leader Diana Elbaum and she advised me what to do and explained what I need to be careful about when signing an agreement with a sales agent. She really helped me. I think that being part of EAVE is like being a part of a big family. When you need some advice, you can call someone who will listen to you and give you a good advice, and this makes me as a producer much more confident when going to the market. Now I have EAVE tools and I’m using them, so EAVE has really helped me a lot. It also helped my project a lot because it has put my project on a map. Now I can work with different sales agents and distributors. And EAVE has put me as a producer on a map as well. It gave me the backup of having experienced producers as colleagues who are there when I need some advice. 


What do you say Besnik? What role has EAVE played for you?

BK: I agree with what Valon has said. Workshops like EAVE are very important for producers coming from such a small industry as Kosovo, because we can get a lot of knowledge. Besides that, you become a part of the EAVE network, and as a producer you need a network. Most beautiful thing in EAVE is, because they have a very tough selection, that you are selected among 50 producers who become a part of your network. As I was saying, the most important thing is the network - the people that EAVE chooses and their collaboration. As Valon said, you can call your EAVE colleagues anytime.


LOOKING FOR VENERA © Circle Production


Which challenges did your films have to face during the process from the idea to being shown in Rotterdam or Sundance? Which steps did you have to take with your films?

BK: I think the challenges and the struggles are the same for all filmmakers from Kosovo. The most difficult thing is to finance films. You can find yourself delivering DCP with a huge gap in financing. We would need to invest in Kosovo, so we don’t have to spend the most of our energy on financing films. Now the film industry knows that Kosovo has potential because of the success we had recently. But as I mentioned before, we don’t have treaties with many other countries, so if you want to co-produce, you are still facing troubles all the time. Of course, we are trying to make every stage of the production as everyone else does; we develop an idea into a script, hire a script consultant... but our struggle with the financing is the biggest issue in our productions.


Coming back to your films with women fighting for their rights in a patriarchal society, which is the topic of both of your films. Is this especially relevant in Kosovo and the Balkans? Why do you think is this topic very successful at the moment?

BK: There are a lot of productions that are dealing with the patriarchal topic. But in Looking For Venera, I don’t know if it’s exactly the patriarchal thing or it’s more life heritage, because it’s a thin line here. In some Kosovo families young people live the same way as their grandparents did who are 70 years old. Because there is some kind of moral code in a family, and you keep doing it. So sometimes it’s not a patriarchal thing, but some kind of life heritage, which we always have at the back of our head. It’s a topic in many productions, and it’s part of Balkan lifestyle and history.

VB: To be honest, in the past ten years all the good films that had success and that were recognised on the festivals and the international market, were made by women directors. And I’m very proud of that. Actually, they are better linked and they are fighting against the fact that they are not recognised by men as equals in our society. And I find that very inspiring for everyone. 

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EAVE project GHOSTDANCE supported by Film Fund Luxembourg

Wallonia-Brussels Federation Film Centre

The Wallonia-Brussels Federation Film Centre grants writing, development or production support to short films, feature films, creative documentaries and experimental films. Among them:

Short feature films

  • BETTY BRÛLE by Camille Vigny, producers: PUENTES graduate Geraldine Sprimont and EAVE graduate Anne-Laure Guégan
  • BRUTALIA BY Manolis Mavris, producer: TTB graduate Valérie Bournonville
  • LE SILENCIEUX by Blandine Jet and Basile Vuillemin, producer: EAVE graduate Nicolas Meyer
  • LE PART DU LION by Julien Menanteau, producer: EAVE graduate Benoit Roland
  • TCHIMBÉ RAID by Chloé Léonil, producer: EAVE graduate Anton Iffland Stettner

Feature Films

  • BLOOD MAKES NOISE by Nina Vanspanghe and Marion Renard, producer: EAVE graduate Jean-Yves Roubin
  • EAVE project DALVA by Emmanuelle Nicot, producer: EAVE graduate Julie Esparbes, PUENTES graduate Delphine Schmit
  • DEVOLUTION by AntoineBours, Nicolas Boucart, producer: TTB graduate Valérie Bournonville
  • EL JARDIN EL LLAMAS by Valentina Maurel, producer: EAVE graduate Benoit Roland
  • KRIEG by Delphine Noels, producer: EAVE+ graduate Jean-Yves Roubin
  • LE TEMPS D’AIMER by Katell Quillévéré, producer: EAVE+ graduate Jean-Yves Roubin
  • LES ENFANTS ROUGES by Lofti Achour, producer: EAVE graduate Jacques-Henri Bronckart
  • LUNDI by Valéry Rosier, producer: EAVE graduate Benoit Roland
  • LA DANSE DES RENARDS by Valéry Carnoy, producer: EAVE graduate Julie Esparbes
  • LA VAGUE by Matthieu Reynaert and Jean-François Ravagnan, producer: TTB graduate Valérie Bournonville
  • L’ENFANT BÉLIER by Marta Bergman, producer: EAVE+ graduate Jean-Yves Roubin
  • L’IDYLLE by Aline Magrez, producer: EAVE+ graduate Jean-Yves Roubin
  • LE PLUS VIVANT POSSIBLE by Delphine Girard, producer: EAVE graduate Jacques-Henri Bronckart
  • LES DÉTÉCTIVES by Claude Schmitz, producer: EAVE graduate Benoit Roland
  • LEAH, SANS BRÛLER by Isabelle Schapira, producer: EAVE graduate Julie Esparbes
  • MELVILLE by Romain Renard, producers: PUENTES graduate Geraldine Sprimont and EAVE graduate Anne-Laure Guégan
  • NORMALE by Olivier Babinet, producer: TTB graduate Valérie Bournonville
  • PETITE REINE by Jonas d'Adesky, producer: EAVE graduate Aurélien Bodinaux
  • PERFECT BOYFRIEND by Sam Garbarski, producer: EAVE graduate Sébastien Delloye
  • QUATRE JOURS AVEC HITLER ET MUSSOLINI by Frédéric Fonteyne, producer: EAVE graduate Jacques-Henri Bronckart
  • REINES by Yasmine Benkiran, producers: PUENTES graduate Geraldine Sprimont and EAVE graduate Anne-Laure Guégan
  • REBEL by Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi, producer: EAVE graduate Diana Elbaum
  • THE CHAPEL by Dominique Deruddere, producer: TTB graduate Valérie Bournonville
  • VANCOUVER by Vanja D'Alcantara, producer: EAVE graduate Isabelle Truc


  • CE QUI NOUS LIE by Sonam Larcin, producers: PUENTES graduate Geraldine Sprimont and EAVE graduate Anne-Laure Guégan
  • L’ANNONCE by Bruno Tracq, producer: EAVE graduate Benoit Roland
  • LA RÊVE DES CIGOGNES by Elodie Lelu, producer: EAVE graduate Isabelle Truc
  • LES ENFANTS DU CHAOS by Julien Johan et Agnès Pizzini, producer: EAVE graduate Annabella Nezri
  • LES FANTÔMES DES PROFONDEURS by Annick Ghijzelings, producer: EAVE graduate Isabelle Truc
  • PREMIERS LIENS by Virginia Van Wassenhove, producer: EAVE graduate Isabelle Truc
  • QU’ALLAH BÉNISSE MORA by Mohamed Bouhari, producer: EAVE graduate Aurélien Bodinaux
  • NOOR by Jérôme le Maire, producer: EAVE graduate Isabelle Truc
  • RASHID, RETOUR ÀSINJAR by Jasna Krajinovic, producer: TTB graduate Valérie Bournonville
  • THE WAR INSIDE by Thom Vander Beken, producer: EAVE graduate and group leader Diana Elbaum
  • UN PUR ESPION by Rémi Lainé, producer: EAVE graduate Anton Iffland Stettner



Wallimage, the Walloon regional investment fund, is funding eight new projects, including:

  • ANGÈLE RIVIÈRE by Blandine Lenoir, producer: TTB graduate Valérie Bournonville
  • BLACK SWAN TALES produced by EAVE graduate Sébastien Delloye
  • DES GENS BIENS by Matthieu Donck, Benjamin d'Aoust et Stéphane Bergmans, producer: PUENTES graduate Anthony Rey

Thirteen mainly Belgian projects selected for the 15th fund session:

  • CHIENNES DE VIE by Xavier Seron, producer: EAVE graduate Julie Esparbes
  • DES GENS BIENS by Matthieu Donck, Benjamin d'Aoust et Stéphane Bergmans, producer: PUENTES graduate Anthony Rey 
  • FRANGINES by Laurent Dryon, producer: EAVE graduate and group leader Diana Elbaum
  • TEMPS MORT by Ève Duchemin, producer: EAVE graduate Annabella Nezri
  • WINTERREISE by Alex Helfrecht, co-producer: EAVE graduate Benoit Roland



The transregional audiovisual cooperation and training initiative RE–ACT announced a selection of six projects, recipients of the fitfth round of RE–ACT co-development funding support. Among the selected projects:

  • EVERYTHING THAT’S WRONG WITH YOU by Ursa Menart, producer: EAVE group leaderDanijel Hocevar
  • OUR FATHER by Goran Stankovic, producer: EAVE graduate Snezana van Houwelingen
  • THAT SOUND HIGH IN THE AIR by Srdan Keca, producer: EAVE graduate Dragana Jovovic


Film Fund Luxembourg

Film Fund Luxembourg supports development or writing of four projects by EAVE graduates:

  • EAVE project GHOSTDANCE by Nicolas Blies and Stéphane Hueber-Blies, producer: EAVE graduates François Le Gall, Marion Guth
  • SWEET DREAMS by Robin McNicholas, producer: EAVE graduate Marion Guth


  • CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS by Lenny Abrahamson and Leanne Welham, producer: EAVE graduate Ed Guiney prepares a new 12-episode drama series based on another novel by Sally Rooney, following the success of NORMAL PEOPLE last year. The „complex coming-of-age drama and a very modern love story” tells the story of a 21-year-old college student who navigates a series of relationships that force her to confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time. Frances is observant, cerebral and sharp. Her ex-girlfriend, now best friend, Bobbi, is self-assured, outspoken and compelling. Though they broke up three years ago, Frances and Bobbi are virtually inseparable and perform spoken-word poetry together in Dublin. It’s at one of their shows that they meet Melissa, an older writer, who is fascinated by the pair. Bobbi and Frances start to spend time with Melissa and her husband, Nick, a handsome but reserved actor. While Melissa and Bobbi flirt with each other openly, Nick and Frances embark on an intense, secret affair that is surprising to them both. Soon, the affair begins to test the bond between Frances and Bobbi, forcing Frances to reconsider her sense of self and the friendship she holds so dear. Principal photography will commence later this year in Dublin, Belfast and other locations yet to be confirmed. CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS is being produced by Jeanie Igoe. Sally Rooney is the executive producer along with Ed Guiney, Emma Norton and Andrew Lowe for Ireland’s Element Pictures, Rose Garnett and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC, and Abrahamson.


  • The German Film Funding Agency FFA supports the production of 9 films and 10 scripts, among them NACHBARS GARTEN by Johanna Bentz, producer: EAVE graduate Arek Gielnik.


  • DIE DORFSTRAßE by Andreas Goldstein, producer: EAVE graduate Heino Deckert receives development support by the German-Polish Film Fund, the German Film Funding Agency FFA, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, MDM. Produced by German majade and Polish Harine films, the adaptation of Alfred Matusche’s play depicts how Germans, Poles and refugees form formerly German territories meet in a village by the Oder river and the horror of the war years.


  • ON BARREN WEEDS by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, co-producer: EAVE graduate Jonas Dornbach receives support from the German Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein. The film is about a despondent schoolteacher in Anatolia who encounters a fellow teacher with a perspective that leads him out of the darkness.

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LABOUR DAY by Mladen Djordjevic is in production

  • VASIL by Avelina Prat, producer: TTB graduate Vesela Kazakova is shooting in Valencia. The main topics tackled by this feature are immigration and the welcome offered to refugees, but it will also prompt reflection on how difficult it is to connect with others and how relating to other people can be a clumsy affair – especially if they are different, but also when it’s those who are closest to us. Above all, it’s the story of a friendship, and of how an unknown and seemingly strange individual can leave an indelible mark on us. VASIL is a Distinto Films (Spain) and Activist 38 (Bulgaria) production. It secured backing from the ICAA, the Valencian Cultural Institute, the Catalan Institute of Cultural Companies and the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme. It boasts the involvement of RTVE and Televisió de Catalunya.


  • WAKE ME by Marko Santic, producer: EAVE group leader Danijel Hocevar is shooting. The story: Rok, who suffers from a temporary loss of memory, decides to leave an idyllic tourist town and returns to his hometown. He remembers neither his girlfriend Rina nor his troubled past. While trying to protect his younger brother Jure from bad company and influences, he is forced to face his former life again. The 32-days shooting will take place in Slovenian towns of Jesenice, Bled, Kamnik and Ljubljana. WAKE ME is produced by Danijel Hocevar and Zala Opara through Vertigo in co-production with Living Pictures (Serbia), Jaka Produkcija (Croatia) and Hippocampe Productions (France). The film is supported by the Slovenian Film Centre, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), Film Center Serbia, Eurimages, MEDIA – Creative Europe and Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique – SACEM; with in-kind support from FS Viba film studio.


  • BOWLING SATURNE by Arieh Worthalter, producer: EAVE group leader Patrick Sobelman is shooting. The story focuses on Guillaume, a police chief who inherits the family bowling alley upon his father’s death. He decides to entrust its management to Armand, his spurned half-brother. But Armand’s impulsive behaviour and his improbable approach to managing the bowling alley prevent Guillaume from fully devoting himself to an investigation into a series of murders of young women which are sweeping the town… BOWLING SATURNE is produced by Patrick Sobelman on behalf of Ex Nihilo and is co-produced by Belgium’s Les Films du Fleuve. Pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+, the feature film also benefits from an advance on receipts from the CNC, as well as enjoying the support of the Normandy region, of Wallimage and of the SOFICA companies Cinémage and Cinécap.


  • LABOUR DAY by Mladen Djordjevic, producers: EAVE graduate and Serbian National Coordinator Milan Stojanovic, EAVE graduates Maria Drandaki and Anamaria Antoci is shooting. The plot follows a group of ex-workers from a recently closed factory, who, in their fight for personal dignity, reach out to the supernatural. “With this film, I wish to express my personal view on the painful topic of transition from a socialist into a capitalist society, but from what I believe is a fresh angle, combining socio-political realism with the elements of a psychological thriller,” says the director. The film is being produced by Milan Stojanovic for Serbia's Sense Production, Djordjevic for Serbia's Corona Film, Martichka Bozhilova for Bulgaria's Agitprop, Maria Drandaki for Greece's Homemade Films, Ivan Marinovic for Montenegro's Adriatic Western and Anamaria Antoci for Romania's Tangaj Production. LABOUR DAY was supported by Film Center Serbia, the Bulgarian National Film Center, the Greek Film Centre, Film Centre Montenegro and Eurimages.

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SON by Ivan Kavanagh in post-production now

  • NDAJE (ENCOUNTERS) by Albertina Pisano, producer: EAVE graduate Albertina Pisano has finished post-production and is ready to be launched. The documentary / dance film follows the choreographer and director Albertina Pisano and her company Tora Dance Theatre in her artistic journey in Dakar, Senegal, through the creation of her new piece Ndaje, an encounter between Flamenco and Senegalese Dance. Since the 15th century at least 10 % of the population of Andalusia was black, of sub-Saharan descent, but the official Spanish history silenced the contribution of black artists to the birth of Flamenco, an art form born out of the musical, commercial and cultural exchange between Spain, Africa and south America. Albertina's work creates a new choreographic language, composed of several dance pieces, born out of an in-depth artistic research around the black memory as it emerges in the bodies. Each dance piece is created by a contamination of the movement vocabularies of flamenco, contemporary and traditional African dance, hip-hop, and the rhythms of Westafrican musical instruments (kora, balafon, and percussions). The dance scenes – set in Dakar National Theatre – are alternated with the musicians’ lives in the outskirts of Dakar.  


  • SON by Ivan Kavanagh, producer: EAVE graduate Anne Marie Naughton is ready for release. The horror film follows Laura, a mother who, after escaping from a cult as a child, must face her past when its sinister members break into her home and attempt to steal her eight-year-old son, David. Now the two are on the run, pursued by Paul, a detective determined to save them both. Since his aborted kidnapping, something has changed in David, and the boy has succumbed to a mysterious illness. Following her maternal instincts to save him, his mother commits unspeakable acts to keep him alive but is losing the battle. Soon, she has to decide how far she is willing to go to save her son. SON was produced by for Ireland’s Park Films, Louis Tisné for the UK’s Elastic and René Bastian for US outfit Belladonna Productions, in association with Golden Ratio (Singapore), Blisspoint Entertainment (Singapore), Quickfire Films (UK) and Eyevox Entertainment (USA). The project was also backed by Screen Ireland.

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CORA wins Eurimages Co-production Development Award

Sundance Film Festival

Success for EAVE graduates at the Sundance Film Festival:

  • Three awards for HIVE by Blerta Basholli, producer: EAVE graduate Valon Bajgora. The film scooped the World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, the Directing Award and the Audience Award
  • LUZZU by Alex Camilleri, executive producer: EAVE graduate Pierre Ellul won the World Cinema Dramatic Jury Award for Acting 
  • FLEE by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, producers: EAVE graduates Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen was awarded the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize
  • PRESIDENT by Camilla Nielsson, producer: EAVE graduate Signe Byrge Sørensen won the Special Jury Award in Verite Filmmaking
  • THE CRIMINALS by Serhat Karaaslan, producer: EAVE graduate Laure Dahout won the Short Film Special Jury Award for Screenwriting
  • MOTHERHOOD by Meryam Joobeur, producer: EAVE graduate Sara Ben Hassen, co-producer: EAVE graduate Khalid Maimouni won the Sundance Institute NHK Award


Göteborg Film Festival

6 awards for EAVE graduates at the 44th Göteborg Film Festival:

  • TOVE by Zaida Bergroth, producer: EAVE graduate Aleksi Bardy received the Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award
  • PLEASURE by Ninja Thyberg, co-producer: EAVE graduate Leontine Petit won the FIPRESCI Award
  • FLEE by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Producers: EAVE graduates Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen received the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Documentary
  • DRUK (ANOTHER ROUND) by Thomas Vinterberg, co-producers: EAVE graduates Lizette Jonjic, Arnold Heslenfeld, Laurette Schillings & Frans van Gestel won the Audience Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film
  • QUO VADIS‚ AIDA? by Jasmila Zbanic, producer: EAVE graduate Cristian Nicolescu won the Dragon Award for Best International Film
  • SWEAT by Magnus von Horn, producer: EAVE graduate Mariusz Wlodarski won the Angelos Award


Festival Premiers Plans d'Angers

  • DIGGER by Georgis Grigorakis, co-producer: EAVE+ graduate Fenia Cossovitsa won the Activités sociales de l’énergie Award at the Festival Premiers Plans d'Angers.


Three awards for EAVE graduates at the International Film Festival Rotterdam IFFR:

  • EAVE project LOOKING FOR VENERA by Norika Sefa scooped the Special Jury Award for exceptional artistic achievement in the Tiger Competition
  • QUO VADIS‚ AIDA? by Jasmila Zbanic, producer: EAVE graduate Cristian Nicolescu won the BankGiro Loterij Audience Award
  • NIGHT OF THE KINGS by Philippe Lacôte, producer: EAVE+ graduate Yanick Létourneau received the Youth Jury Award.



Three awards for EAVE graduates at the IFFR Cinemart:

  • CORA by Evi Kalogiropoulou, producer: EAVE graduate Amanda Livanou has won the Eurimages Co-production Development Award 
  • KABUL JAN by Shahrbanoo Sadat, producer: EAVE graduate Jon Hammer won the Filmmore Post-production Award 
  • VIET AND NAM by Minh Quy Truong, producer: TTB group leader and National Coordinator Asia Bianca Balbuena has won the IFFR Young Film Critics Award


European Film Academy

  • MY EXTRAORDINARY SUMMER WITH TESS by Steven Wouterlood, producers: EAVE graduates Marcel Lenz, Guido Schwab has won the EFA Young Audience Award.


Danish Robert Awards

  • DRUK (ANOTHER ROUND) by Thomas Vinterberg, co-producers: EAVE graduates Lizette Jonjic, Arnold Heslenfeld, Laurette Schillings & Frans van Gestel wins big at Denmark’s Robert Awards. The film was awarded Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Lead Actor (Mads Mikkelsen)
  • RIDERS OF JUSTICE by Thomas Jensen, producer: EAVE graduate Lizette Jonjic won Best Actress (newcomer Andrea Heick Gadeberg) and Best Supporting Actor (Lars Brygmann), as well as Best Score and Best Visual Effects.
  • SHORTA by Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid, producer: EAVE graduate Signe Leick Jensen won Best Supporting Actress (Özlem Saglanmak)


London Critics’ Circle Film Awards

2 awards for EAVE graduates at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards 2021:

  • DRUK (ANOTHER ROUND) by Thomas Vinterberg, co-producers: EAVE graduates Lizette Jonjic, Arnold Heslenfeld, Laurette Schillings & Frans van Gestel has won Foreign-Language Film Of The Year
  • COLLECTIVE by Alexander Nanau, producer: EAVE graduate and Luxembourgish National Coordinator Bernard Michaux was awarded Documentary Of The Year


European Shooting Stars

EFP (European Film Promotion) has presented the ten best up-and-coming actresses and actors from Europe for its 2021 European Shooting Stars. Among them:

  • Seidi Haarla, in: COMPARTMENT NUMBER 6 by Juho Kuosmanen, producer: EAVE graduate Jussi Rantamäki, co-producers: EAVE graduates Jamila Wenske, Natalia Drozd, EAVE graduate, group leader and Estonian National Coordinator Riina Sildos
  • Albrecht Schuch, in: BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ by Burhan Qurbani, producers: EAVE graduates Léontine Petit, Derk-Jan Warrink, Marleen Slot
  • Fionn O’Shea, in: NORMAL PEOPLE by Lenny Abrahamson, executive producer: EAVE graduate Ed Guiney
  • Zygimante Elena Jakstaite, in: RUNNER by Andrius Blazevicius, producer: EAVE graduate Marija Razgute
  • Martijn Lakemeyer, in: THE EAST by Jim Taihuttu, producers: EAVE graduates Julius Ponten and Sander Verdonk, co-producer: EAVE graduate Benoit Roland
  • Sara Klimoska, in: WILLOW by Milcho Manchevski, co-producer: EAVE graduate Hubert Toint 
  • Alba Baptista, in: PATRICK by Gonçalo Waddington, producer: EAVE+ graduate Jonas Katzenstein
  • Gustav Lindh, in: ORCA by Josephine Bornebusch, producer: EAVE graduate Sofie Palage

The award ceremony took place digitally from 23 to 25 February.

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TOVE 10 times nominated for Jussi Awards

 American Academy Awards / The Oscars

Nominated for the American Academy Awards – this year’s Oscar shortlist:

International Feature Film

  • COLLECTIVE by Alexander Nanau, producer: EAVE graduate and Luxembourgish National Coordinator Bernard Michaux – Romania
  • DEUX by Filippo Meneghetti, co-producer: EAVE graduate Donato Rotunno – France
  • DRUK (ANOTHER ROUND) by Thomas Vinterberg, co-producers: EAVE graduates Lizette Jonjic, Arnold Heslenfeld, Laurette Schillings & Frans van Gestel – Denmark
  • HOPE by Maria Sødahl, co-producers: EAVE graduates Lizette Jonjic, Peter Possne – Norway
  • NIGHT OF THE KINGS by Philippe Lacote, producer: EAVE graduate Yanik Letourneau – Côte d'Ivoire
  • QUO VADIS‚ AIDA? by Jasmila Zbanic, producer: EAVE graduate Cristian Nicolescu – Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN by Kaouther Ben Hania, producers: EAVE graduates Annabella Nezri, Martin Hampel – Tunesia
  • THE MOLE AGENT by PUENTES graduate Maite Alberdi, co-producers: EAVE graduates Fleur Knopperts, Denis Vaslin, Ingmar Trost 


  • COLLECTIVE by Alexander Nanau, producer: EAVE graduate and Luxembourgish National Coordinator Bernard Michaux – Romania
  • THE MOLE AGENT by PUENTES graduate Maite Alberdi, co-producers: EAVE graduates Fleur Knopperts, Denis Vaslin, Ingmar Trost

Short Films

  • WHITE EYE by Tomer Shushan, producer: EAVE graduate Kobi Mizrahi


Golden Globe

Five Golden Globe 2021 nominations for EAVE graduates:

  • PIECES OF A WOMAN by Kornel Mundruczo, producer: EAVE graduate and Hungarian National Coordinator Viktoria Petranyi has been nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Vanessa Kirby)
  • DRUK (ANOTHER ROUND) by Thomas Vinterberg, co-producers: EAVE graduates Lizette Jonjic, Arnold Heslenfeld, Laurette Schillings & Frans van Gestel has been selected in the category Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
  • DEUX by Filippo Meneghetti, co-producers: EAVE graduates Elise André and Donato Rotunno is also in for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
  • NORMAL PEOPLE by by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald, producer: EAVE graduate Ed Guiney is nominated for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television as well as Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Daisy Edgar-Jones)


French Academy Awards

The following films by EAVE graduates are nominated for the French Academy Awards:

  • ATLANTIQUE by Mati Diop, co-producer: EAVE+ graduate Jean-Yves Roubin (Best Female Newcomer)
  • CORPUS CHRISTI by Jan Komasa, co-producer: EAVE graduate Patrice Nezan (Best Foreign Film)
  • DEUX by Filippo Meneghetti, co-producer: EAVE graduate Donato Rotunno (Best First Feature Film)(Best Actress)(Best Original Screenplay)
  • DRUK (ANOTHER ROUND) by Thomas Vinterberg, co-producers: EAVE graduates Lizette Jonjic, Arnold Heslenfeld, Laurette Schillings & Frans van Gestel (Best Foreign Film)
  • THE GIRL WITH A BRACELET by Stéphane Demoustier, producer: EAVE graduate Jean des Forêts, co-producer: EAVE graduate Jean-Yves Roubin (Best Adapted Screenplay)


Swiss Film Award

Four films by EAVE graduates are nominated for the Swiss Film Award:  

  • ATLAS by Niccolo Castelli, producer: EAVE+ graduate Carlo Cresto-Dina
  • IL MIO CORPO by Michele Pennetta, co-producer: EAVE graduate Giovanni Pompili
  • RED ANTS BITE by Elene Naveriani, producer: EAVE+ graduate and PUENTES participant Britta Rindelaub
  • SPAGAT by Christian Johannes Koch, producer: EAVE graduate Dario Schoch


Jussi Film Awards

Nominated for the Jussi Film Awards, Finland’s premier film industry event, recognising annually the past year’s excellence in Finnish film making by directors, actors, and writers:

  • TOVE by Zaida Bergroth, producer: EAVE graduate Aleksi Bardy has ten nominations, including best film, best director, best script and best female lead
  • GAMES PEOPLE PLAY by Jenni Toivonemi, producers: EAVE graduate and Finnish National Coordinator Elli Toivoniemi and EAVE graduate Venla Hellstedt follows with nine nominations including best film, best director, best script and best female lead
  • FIRST SNOW by Hamy Ramezan, producer: EAVE graduate Jussi Rantamäki has four nominations
  • LADIES OF STEEL by Pamela Tola, producer: EAVE graduate Aleksi Bardy is nominated for best film
  • MISS TIME by Elina Talvensaari, producer: EAVE graduate Jussi Rantamäki is nominated for best documentary

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APPLES selected for Glasgow

Glasgow Film Festival  (February 24 – March 7)

  • APPLES by Christos Nikou, producer: B’EST graduate Ales Pavlis, co-producer: EAVE graduate Mariusz Wlodarski, associate producer: EAVE graduate Antoine Simkine
  • FATHER by Srdan Golubovic, producers: EAVE group leader Danijel Hocevar, EAVE graduate Adis Djapo, EAVE graduate and National Coordinator Bosnia-Herzegovina Amra Baksic Camo
  • JUMBO by Zoé Wittock, producers: EAVE graduates Anaïs Bertrand, Pascaline Saillant, Annabella Nezri, Gilles Chanial
  • LIMBO by Ben Sharrock, producer: EAVE graduate Angus Lamont
  • RIDERS OF JUSTICE by Thomas Jensen, producer: EAVE graduate Lizette Jonjic 
  • ROSA’S WEDDING by Iciar Bollain, producer: EAVE graduate, PUENTES Head of Studies and National Coordinator Latin America Fernanda del Nido
  • SHORTA by Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid, producer: EAVE graduate Signe Leick Jensen
  • THE LAST ONES by Veiko Õunpuu, producers: EAVE graduates Katrin Kissa, Mark Lwoff, Misha Jaari
  • WILDLAND by Jeanette Nordahl, producers: EAVE graduate Katrin Pors, TTB graduate Mikkel Jersin

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@Producers Workshop 1, March 7-12, online plenary week

EAVE Head of Studies Lise Lense-Møller

EAVE CEO Kristina Trapp

EAVE Programme Manager Satu Elo 

@PUENTES Workshop 2, March 8-19, online

EAVE CEO Kristina Trapp

@SOFIA MEETINGS, March 17-24, online

EAVE CEO Kristina Trapp

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EAVE Yoga Corner

Dear EAVE Yogis!


Thanks soo much for participating at the FREE WEEK at the end of February!

It has been a wonderful week with you!

Please keep an eye on the EAVE yoga corner for more FREE events in future.

I’ll continue with restorative yoga and pranayama sessions during the following times:

MONDAYS: 20:30 – 22:00 CET

THURSDAYS: 08:15 – 08:55 CET

THURSDAYS: 19:00 – 19:40 CET


Discounted price for the EAVE graduates:

  • 50 Euro for a 10-class card (40 min)
  • 7 Euro for 40 min class
  • 13 Euro for 90 min class


Please register by email:






More info:

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Sofia Meetings - Call for EAVE producers

Dear EAVE producers,


The 18th edition of Sofia Meetings will take place ONLINE from 17th – 24th of March 2021 in the framework of the 25th Sofia International Film Festival.

Sofia Meetings is a coproduction market that consists of:

  • Pitching (presentation for first, second or third feature film projects of the director and
  • Works in Progress screenings (presentation of new international films to festival representatives, sales companies and distributors).  

TV series projects and projects from the training First Films First will be also presented.

The program consists of presentation of the projects, followed by one to one meetings, panel discussions, case studies, workshops and many other additional formal and informal events.

Sofia Meetings has given stage to many talented great projects and films in the last 17 years. Among them are THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU, dir. Cristi Puiu,, BEGINNING by Déa Kulumbegashvili, FEBRUARY by Kamen Kalev, WEDNESDAY CHILD by Lili Horvath, BUTTERFLIES by Tolga Karacelik, LAND by Babak Jalali and many others.

Thanks to the partnership between Sofia Meetings and EAVE, 10 producers who are interested to attend Sofia Meetings will be granted access to the coproduction meetings.

If you are interested to take part, please contact by February 28th, 2021.

For further information, please see

Sofia Meetings is an event, supported by the Creative Europe - MEDIA sub-programme of the European Union, BNFC, Sofia Municipality and Ministry of Culture.

We hope to see you on board of the digital spaceship Sofia Meetings!

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Call for Applications: PUENTES 2021


EAVE PUENTES is the most relevant and successful training programme for developing European-Latin American co-production as the track record of the most recent successful productions shows:

MATERNAL by Maura Delpero & produced by Alessandro Amato (Disparte, Italy) has received among other awards a Special Mention of the Concorso Internazionale Jury, Europa Cinemas Label for Best European Film and Ecumenic Jury Award and Second Prize of the Youth Jury at Locarno FF 2019, Special Mention for Best Feature Film (Section Competencia Argentina), FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Argentine Film at International Film Festival Mar del Plata 2019, Grand Prix Fiction et Droits Humains at FIFH 2020.

OUR MOTHERS (NUESTRAS MADRES), by César Diaz & produced by Géraldine Sprimont premiered in Semaine de la Critique Cannes 2019 and won among many others the prix SACD de la Semaine de la Critique, Caméra d'Or, Grand Golden Railprix in Cannes, Spanish Cooperation Award at San Sebastian 2019, and was nominated to represent Belgium in the 2020 Oscar race.

The above mentioned projects had been selected for the EAVE PUENTES – Europe / Latin America Co-Production Workshop, where the projects were developed over one year by the attending producers under the guidance of top notch consultants, working on the script development, the financial, co-production, marketing and distribution strategies and where the producers extended their professional network meeting key players of the industry in Europe and Latin America.

EAVE PUENTES is targeted at Latin American & European producers focusing on project development, 10 of which will be selected for the workshop. We are also open to receive the applications of other European professionals interested in working with Latin America (sales agents, financiers, distributors, festival programmers, co-production market representatives) or European producers focusing on career development (not bringing a specific project). 4-5 of them will be selected to be an active part of the group.

The selected participants attend 2 workshops. The first one will be held online from June 21 – July 4, 2021 (TBC) in Merano, South-Tyrol, in partnership with IDM Süd-Tyrol, with the support of MiBACT and Fondo Audiovisivo FVG. Workshop 2 will be held in Uruguay (Nov/Dec TBC, 2021) in partnership with Mutante Cine, with the support of ICAU (Instituto de Cine y Audiovisual del Uruguay), Egeda, Montevideo Socio Audiovisual and IBERMEDIA.

Thanks to a special partnership, all participants are able to attend VENTANA SUR (December, 2021) in Buenos Aires after workshop 2.

Find out all about the target group, the application criteria and regulations on the EAVE website.


Click here to start your application.

If you wish to have further information, please contact:

The PUENTES workshop is made possible with the support of the Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union and IBERMEDIA, and with the recognition of the Directorate-General for Cinema of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.

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EAVE – TIES THAT BIND and ToolBox kick of a new cooperation

The Open Doors ToolBox, the free learning and networking platform dedicated to directors and producers in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Mongolia, operated by Locarno Film Festival, is launching its first collaboration with the producer’s training program EAVE - Ties That Bind. Thanks to this partnership, the users of the ToolBox will be able to access exclusive content starting from today, the 11th of February.

EAVE is an established professional training, project development and networking organization for audio-visual producers. The professional resources developed for its main yearly-workshop and for its programme Ties That Bind, specifically designed to assist co-productions between Asia and Europe, will be now exceptionally available to the ToolBox members for a limited period of time.

I am delighted that EAVE is generously joining forces with us on the ToolBox initiative, stressing the collaborative approach we’re having with this professional web platform placed under the sign of sharing, inspiration and networking.

Sophie Bourdon, Head of Open Doors

"We are very happy to contribute to the Open Doors ToolBox, a partnership which is perfectly in line with EAVE’s mission to have an impact beyond our core workshop programs and to reach out to a wider group of professionals worldwide, offering access to tools and expertise. We believe that the support of independent voices, creative imagination and culturally driven companies within the global media industries is an urgent necessity in the 21st century. Through our work we aim to contribute towards the creation of strong networks of producers and to encourage the exchange of knowledge and skills which will strengthen independent production across the world."

Kristina Trapp, Chief Executive of EAVE

Since its launch in summer 2020, about 600 filmmakers and producers from Open Doors’ Asian regions in focus have become regular members of the ToolBox, benefiting of the free knowledge shared by industry members and other professionals.

As part of the new content available, the recording of the pitching training session at EAVE’s yearly professional workshop will be followed by additional material on pitching by expert Sibylle Kurz as well as ad-hoc resources by the Open Doors Team, and by more EAVE-signed releases through 2021.

Each item will be available on demand for a 30-day period, exclusively for the registered members of the ToolBox.

This collaboration brings new perspectives to our members and allows them to discover materials, learn techniques of filmmaking and production that they would not be able to access otherwise, given the current resources available in their home countries. I’m delighted that the ToolBox’s first collaboration starts with EAVE – Ties That Bind, a prestigious and well-established initiative with an incredible history of graduated producers and alumni. With this partnership, the ToolBox makes a big step toward its goal to become a unique and free platform for isolated filmmakers in our focused territories.

Zsuzsi Bánkuti, Open Doors Community Coordinator


We invite you to fully discover the ToolBox and all the useful resources that we are constantly publishing, and to get the chance to meet other registered professionals! 


Access the ToolBox


Open Doors is made possible by the collaboration of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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An important part of EAVE's mission is thinking the future of the film industry that takes in account the current and upcoming shifts. We believe in a more integrated and fluid audio-visual ecosystem where the creativity and the audience are closer and in the power of collective thinking. Throughout the different programmes and get-togethers along the year, we are inviting professionals to design the future of their trade; a key cornerstone of this endeavour is the EAVE Impact Think Tank.


The first round involving a group of 20 professionals took place in January 2020, in Trieste, Italy in cooperation with The Film Agency and When East Meets West. The group used specially tailored design-thinking exercises which allowed the professionals to identify and spot visually the barriers and challenges of our current industry, but also the opportunities coming ahead.

In August 2020, a smaller group of 9 professionals re-evaluated the 30 solutions proposed in January and came up with a shortlist of five initiatives – also based on the direct effects of the pandemic.

These five initiatives have been then surveyed online by 150 members of the EAVE network in November 2020.

Read more on Screen Daily


Download here the wrap-up document by The Film Agency to discover the thinking process & methodology and the five key initiatives:

  Integrate independent cinemas
Encourage more integrated model of the arthouse sector including production, distribution and exhibition within the same company.

  Boost European talent
Suggest the creation of a pan-European talent agency that gives fundamental importance to talent management and career development; securing IP and spearheading early development and packaging of content; all working together in an integrated way.

  Empower companies
Shift the focus from project financing to company financing across Europe in local, regional, national and Pan-EU funding. Also add in new compulsory funding from the streamers.

  Harness the power of data
Strengthening and modernizing the European industry’s approach to data, via the European Audiovisual Observatory and/or other research groups, analytics companies, think tanks or universities.

  Spearhead 2025 agenda
EAVE suggests crafting an agenda of 10 points like the above-mentioned initiatives that can significantly foster innovation in the film industry by 2025; a team of 10-20 experts will manage this agenda.


The results were first unveiled on January 28 at the online When East Meets West 2021, to a closed audience that included invited funders and broadcasters such as HBO Europe, Eurimages, Creative Europe, BFI, RAI, Austrian Film Institute, Danish Film Institute, ZDF/Arte and more.

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Danish IB Prize for EAVE Head of Studies Lise Lense-Møller

We are immensly proud to announce that EAVE Head of Studies Lise Lense-Møller has been awarded by the Danske Filminstruktører (Danish Film Directors) Denmark's only producer award during the Film Academy's Robert 2021!

The IB Prize is awarded to daring, innovative, risky, anarchist contractors without anxiety about becoming unpopular and above all with a big beating heart for movies and the whole deadly bunch that necessitates the film's presentation.

Thank you, Lise, for bringing that same passion, dedication, and inspiration to EAVE!

As it says in the motivation statement:

"At Danske Filminstruktører, we want to continue to state with the award that the best films are created in the sparks from an inspiring and productive producer-director collaboration.

And when you ask some of the directors who work closely with you Lise, it is especially your good cooperation with and respect for the director that they highlight, along with your insistence on sticking to the film as a work of art.

You are deeply dedicated, efficient without equal, analytically sharp and never compromise on the cinematic. It's a great reassurance for the director and team that you go all the way once you've said yes and you want the best movie.

And it is precisely because of your admirable way of working, your sharpness and your integrity that Danish Film Directors choose to award the IB Prize to you Lise Lense-Møller this year!

Congratulations from the board of Danish Film Directors!"

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EAVE IMPACT session "From Destruction to Reinvention" presents a series of case studies highlighting inspirational and innovative success stories from the previous year, across the value chain.

The cases presents creative, pro-active ways of dealing with the fundamental changes the film industry is undergoing.

Moderated by EAVE graduate Erwin M. Schmidt, this session was presented at When East Meets West, on January 25, 2021.

The case studies presented:

  • Diversity check-list of a film fund by EAVE graduate Helge Albers

  • Virtual cinema as new release strategy by Eve Gabereau

  • Rural cinemas as connected cultural centers by Carolin Huder

  • Virtual production for location scouting and previsualization by Torbjörn Olsson

Don’t miss this crucial session to be inspired by innovative stories!

The session is available to watch for 14 days, until February 19, 2021.

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EAVE Newsflash – EAVE producers triumph at Sundance!

We are proud to announce that EAVE graduates have been extremely successful at the this year`s Sundance Film Festival, taking home 8 main awards in the World Cinema category.

HIVE by Blerta Basholli is the first film in Sundance history to win all three main awards – the Grand Jury Prize, the Audience Award and the Directing Award – in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.

World Cinema Dramatic

  • HIVE by Blerta Basholli, producer: EAVE graduate Valon Bajgora, EAVE+ graduate Britta Rindelaub, sales: LevelK wins World Cinema Audience Award, World Cinema Grand Jury Prize and Directing Award

  • LUZZU by Alex Camilleri, executive producer: EAVE graduate Pierre Ellul wins Jury Award for Acting

World Cinema Documentary

  • FLEE by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, producers: EAVE graduates Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen wins World Cinema Jury Prize

  • PRESIDENT by Camilla Nielsson, producer: EAVE graduate Signe Byrge Sørensen wins Special Jury Award in Verite Filmmaking

Short Film

  • THE CRIMINALS by Serhat Karaaslan, producer: EAVE graduate Laure Dahout wins Short Film Special Jury Award – Screenwriting

The Sundance Institute NHK Award has been given to:

  • MOTHERHOOD by Meryam Joobeur, producer: EAVE graduate Sara Ben Hassen, co-producer: EAVE graduate Khalid Maimouni


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Donate to the EAVE Alan Fountain International Scholarship Fund

A scholarship has been set up to honour the memory of Alan Fountain, former Head of Studies and President of EAVE, who passed away in 2016. Its goal is to enable one producer from outside the EU to participate in all three sessions of the EAVE Producers Workshop each year.

Find out more...

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