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Sørfond Support For Six New Projects

Photo: Vincenta B, by director Carlos Lechuga, Norwegian co-producer: Dag Hoel (Dag Hoel Filmproduksjon)

Sørfond has this week granted 3 million NOK in support for six new films, from a total of 41 applications for this year's round. The funding goes to projects from Mozambique, Indonesia, Colombia, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Cuba. Sørfond is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Av 21. mai 2021

 

This year six projects were selected by the jury to receive support from Sørfond, one documentary and five fiction films. The total amount of support is 3.000.000 NOK, which equals approximately 295.000 Euros. The fund received 41 applications for this year’s deadline, requesting a total of 32,9 million NOK. 

 

The Jury
Due to Covid-19 the jury meetings were made via Teams. Jovan Marjanović attended the meeting from Sarajevo, Silje Riise Næss from Copenhagen, and Per Eirik Gilsvik from Oslo. Photo: Tina Beate Goa Fagerheim    

 Sørfond jury 2021 - Silje - Per Eirik - Jovan v2

  

The Jury’s Statement
We had the exciting and honourable task of reading and evaluating the projects for this year’s round of grants from Sørfond. In these times of global pandemic, it has been a privilege to be taken on a journey around the world along with these projects, being introduced to both contemporary stories and fresh takes on historic events, compelling and socially relevant stories from both talented debutants as well as more established names of global cinema.

Our final selection of six projects includes one documentary and five fiction films. Two of the projects granted support will mark the debut feature film of the respective filmmakers. Varied in form and content, these projects convinced the jury with their strong concepts, layered characters and fresh points of view - we look forward to seeing these projects realized in the near future.   

We have been presented filmmaking at its best, and unfortunately, the quality of the projects greatly exceeds the funds, so it's been a true challenge reaching our final selection. Through the evaluation of personal stories concerning urgent social issues, the jury is more aware then ever of the urgency and importance of funds like SØRFOND. We hope with continued support SØRFOND will continue to raise consciousness about pressing global concerns.

This year`s projects


The Nights Still Smell of Gunpowder

Country Mozambique
Genre Documentary
Director Inadelso Cossa
Norwegian co-producer  Elisa Fenanda Pirir, Mer Film
Producer Inadelso Cossa, 16MM FILMES E.I.
Support  300 000 NOK
 
Synopsis
Concerned about his childhood's fragmented memories during the civil war in Mozambique, Inadelso Cossa returns to his grandmother's village to reveal the untold stories. But his grandmother has Alzheimer's, and her memories are fading. In the cold of the night, her silence breaks. In the same village lives a former rebel. Perpetrator and victim, day and night, truth and fiction merge. As Inadelso's generation is facing new tensions, the ghosts of the war are tireless and wait in the darkness.
 
Jury Statement
Delving deep into personal memories of both victims and perpetrators, this authentic cinematic incursion explores a forgotten conflict that keeps resurfacing again and again. The jury was taken by the poetic approach and impressed by the array of storytelling devices used by the filmmaker to tell this fascinating personal story. 

The Nights Still Smell of Gunpowder attended the Sørfond Pitching Forum 2020, and was invited to the forum through our partners at La Fabrique Cinema of Institute Français.

The city is a Battlefield

Country  Indonesia
Genre  Fiction film
Director  Mouly Surya
Norwegian co-producer  Linda Bolstad Strønen, DUOfilm
Producer  Rama Adi, PT Alex Zawarda Sinema,
Support 600 000 NOK

Synopsis
ISA - an impotent war hero and school teacher in Jakarta, Indonesia - reluctantly joins the revolution for money in a mission to bomb a cinema to kill a Dutch general whilst the Dutch and English collaborate to re-colonize Indonesia after World War II.

Jury statement
With a strong visual approach and fascinating characters, this brutal, yet thrilling script, will shed light on the postcolonial struggle and the birth of the modern Indonesian nation. A powerful story that portrays a society thrown into collective chaos and confusion, blurring the lines between right and wrong, friend and foe. An epic war film that we think will be a breath of fresh air both visually, but also in portraying WW2 from a non-Western perspective.

This City Is a Battlefield attended the Sørfond Pitching Forum 2020, and was invited to the forum through our partners at Locarno Open Doors.

Malta

Country  Colombia
Genre  Fiction film
Director  Natalia Santa
Norwegian co-producer  Gudny Hummelvoll & Eleonore Anselme, Hummelfilm
Producer  Ivan Herrera, PERRO de MONTE
Support 550 000 NOK

Synopsis
Mariana is 20 years old and wants to go far away, far from Bogotá, far from her country, from her family but above all away from herself. Malta is her destination, a place where she can dream of being someone else. But before she gets there she will have to make another trip, one inside herself.

Jury statement
We get to take part in a young Colombian woman's life, as she seeks intimacy and sex without compromising her integrity and curiosity, as she tries to get by with her family in their cramped apartment, and as she gets closer to her goal of learning languages and leaving her depraved home city. Malta bears the signs of an intimate, delicate and lifelike film experience, coming from a strong artistic female voice.

Backstage

Country  Morocco
Genre  Fiction film
Director  Afef Ben Mahmoud & Khalil Benkirane
Norwegian co-producer  Linda Bolstad Strønen, DUOfilm
Producer  Khalil Benkirane, LYCIA PRODUCTION
Support 650 000 NOK

Synopsis
Aida, member of a Tunisian contemporary dance troupe touring Morocco, provokes during a representation in a small Middle Atlas town, her life and stage partner Hedi, who injures her onstage triggering a series of events through a long night across a forest, on the way to the next village’s doctor.

Jury statement
Joining forces from contemporary dance with film art, «Backstage» stands out as a unique project in the booming cinema scene of North Africa. Bodies, wills and desires, nature and culture, merge together in an engaging drama set within a dance troupe on the road, who suddenly find themselves in a wild forest during a magical night. “Backstage” strikes the jury as a film project able to stimulate all senses – suggestive, thought provoking and highly original. 

Excursion

Country  Bosnia and Herzegovina
Genre  Fiction film
Director  Una Gunjak
Norwegian co-producer  Gary Cranner, Chezville
Producer  AMRA BAKŠIĆ ČAMO, SCCA/pro.ba
Support 450 000 NOK

Synopsis
JASMINA (15), BENJAMIN (15) and IMAN (15) are trying to cope with their problems, torn between their own feelings and urges, and the expectations and norms of a hypocritical and cruel society - both in real life and online. Each of them has to try to find their own solution.

Jury statement
This first feature film from a lauded young directress paints a picture of a wider society by taking a long and hard look on its often overlooked youth. The jury feels the proposed film language will speak to both young and mature audiences trough its authentic characters and smart dialogue.

Vicenta B

Country  Cuba
Genre  Fiction film
Director  Carlos Lechuga
Norwegian co-producer  Dag Hoel, Dag Hoel Filmproduksjon
Producer  Claudia Calviño, Produciones de la 5ta Avenida
Support 450 000 NOK

Synopsis
Vicenta B (45) is a black woman going through a crisis. Her son is leaving Cuba searching for a new life. She is on her own in Havana, making a living from reading cards. Now that her son has left, her predictions start failing. Vicenta B looses faith, and hides herself behind lies. Lies hit back on you.

Jury statement
The jury was moved by this simplistic, yet rich and atmospheric story of a failing society, portraying those who have remained, awaiting, praying that a change is going to come. A warm and well written script that submerged us into the uncertainty and hardship, but also the resilience and beauty of the life of ordinary Cubans.

About Sørfond

Sørfond is an international co-production fund administered by the Norwegian Film Institute in co-operation with Films from the South Festival (Oslo Festival Agency). The scheme is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Projects with a main producer in a country on the OECD DAC List of ODA Recipients and on the Norwegian Government's list of countries that are eligible to receive aid (ODA) from Norway are eligible for production support from Sørfond. Furthermore, the director must be a citizen of, or resident in, one of these countries. The film must be principally shot in a country on Sørfond's list.
 
Sørfond's overall objective is to strengthen film production in countries where film production is limited for political or economic reasons. Sørfond is to help to reinforce film as a cultural expression, promote diversity and artistic integrity, and strengthen freedom of speech in such countries. Sørfond is also to contribute to closer cooperation between the Norwegian and international film industries.