The awards of the ninth edition of Final Cut handed out at Venice

– VENICE 2021: The initiative is intended to back films in post-production from Africa and the Arab countries; all of the awarded projects are being co-produced with European countries

The Final Cut 2021 awards ceremony (© La Biennale di Venezia – Foto ASAC / Mihail Iosip)

Final Cut in Venice (5-7 September 2021) has announced the winners of its ninth edition. The initiative is intended to support films in post-production from Africa and the Arab countries (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria). For the fifth year, the Venice Film Festival/La Biennale di Venezia is giving out a cash award of €5,000 to support the best film in post-production.

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In detail, the jury of the La Biennale di Venezia Prize, composed of Edouard Waintrop (Red Sea Film Festival), Beatrice Gulino (Teodora Film) and Manola Novelli (Pluto Film), presented Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji’s Hanging Gardens (Iraq/Palestine/UK), produced by May Odeh, with its award. In their accompanying statement, the jury members said: “We were impressed by the quality of the selection, and we were glad to discover societies we have never been confronted with. We were struck by the original and genuine way the directors told their stories. After a long and passionate discussion, we have chosen to award Hanging Gardens. First of all, because of the story: a very dramatic subject supported by truly strong and captivating characters. We were really amazed by the courage of the director and of the producer in bringing to the screen such a delicate and difficult topic, and how Ahmed Al Daradji managed to drive us into this underworld.”

Meanwhile, the “jury of the supporters” of the ninth edition of Final Cut in Venice decided to lend their support to the post-production of Erige City’s Under the Fig Trees (Tunisia/Qatar/Switzerland/France, produced by Erige City), Asmae El Moudir’s The Mother of All Lies (Morocco/Germany/Qatar, produced by Silvana Santamaria), Friend Fariala’s We Students (Central African Republic/France/Democratic Republic of Congo/Italy, produced by Daniele Incalcaterra) and, once more, Hanging Gardens.

Sehiri’s project will receive €15,000 for colour correction, valid for up to 50 hours of work, from Rome’s Laser Film; up to €15,000 for the sound mixing from Paris’ Mactari Mixing Auditorium; a minimum guarantee of $10,000 for marketing, publicity and distribution in the Arab world for one Arab project from MAD Solutions; up to €7,000 for the creation of the DCP master with Italian or English subtitles from London’s Sub-Ti Ltd; up to €7,000 for accessible content of the film for audiences with sensory disabilities from Turin’s Sub-Ti Access Srl; $5,000 and an invitation to participate in the CineGouna industry platform from the El Gouna Film Festival; €5,000 for the purchase of two-year broadcasting rights from RAI Cinema; and a €2,500 grant to produce a DCP from the Fribourg International Film Festival.

Meanwhile, Hanging Gardens will receive a grant of €12,000 for the production of the original score from Oticons and €2,500 for different promotional activities from Eye on Films. Next, Paris-based Titra Film offered Asmae El Moudir’s film up to €5,000 for colour-grading, and up to €3,000 for the production of a DCP master, or the creation of iTunes, Google or Netflix files. In addition, the Cinémathèque Afrique of the Institut Français gifted the same movie the “Coup de coeur de la Cinémathèque Afrique” Prize, consisting of the acquisition of the non-commercial and non-exclusive broadcasting rights for seven years with a value of €4,000-€6,000.

Finally, Rafiki Fariala’s project was awarded €5,000 as a refund for post-production services by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). Moreover, the Amiens International Film Festival offered the film its contribution to the production costs of a DCP, worth €2,500.

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The awards of the ninth edition of Final Cut handed out at Venice