The Ties That Bind: Asia Europe Film Producers Workshop has announced ten finalists for this year’s workshop – five from Asia and five from Europe. The first workshop will take place in Udine (Italy) on 29 April to 3 May 2014 within the framework of the Udine Far East Film Festival (April 25 – May 3, 2014) with the support of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) through its programme Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe. The second workshop will take place during the Busan International Film Festival (2 -11 October 2014) with the support of Creative Europe.
The producers will work together on developing their projects over two events.
Here are the finalists (further details below):
Karim Aitouna (France)
Women of the Weeping River, Hautlesmains Productions
Dir: Sheron Dayoc
Joenathann Alandy (Philippines)
Hypothalamus, Outpost Visual Frontier
Dir: Dwein Baltazar
Valérie Bournonville (Belgium)
Dir: Olivier Meys
Weronika Czołnowska (Poland)
Dir: Kei Ishikawa
Antonin Dedet (France)
Black Stones, Neon Productions
Dir: Gyeong Tae Roh
Justin Deimen (Singapore)
Lanun, Silver Media Group
Dir: Chua Jingdu
Julius Ponten (Netherlands)
Fatu Adil, Habbekrats
Dir: Jim Taihuttu
Alina Yan Qui (China)
Mazu, Guardian of the Seas, Jampa Films
Dirs: Xiao Zheng and David Ebner
Masumi Soga (Japan)
Dir: Janus Victoria
Lina Tan (Malaysia)
Five Star Billionaire, Red Films
Dir: Bernard Chauly
Karim Aitouna (Hautlesmains Productions, France) is producing Women of the Weeping River, directed by Sheron Dayoc. It is the story of two women in a remote Muslim community who hope to undo an escalating blood feud stretching back generations. The project is supported by the Sundance Institute, Hubert Bals and the Asian Film Fund.
Since 2010, Joenathann Alandy (Outpost Visual Frontier, Philippines) has produced five feature films and three short films that have received recognition locally and internationally. His first collaboration with writer/director Dwein Baltazar was on her debut feature film Mamay Umeng which was awarded Best Picture Prize at the Jeonju IFF in 2013. Hypothalamus is a multi-narrative drama/love story in which Baltazar interweaves the story of four different men and their affection for a mysterious young woman named Aileen.
Valérie Bournonville (Tarantula, Belgium) is producing the first feature film Walkers by Olivier Meys. The film is dealing with the sensitive subject of prostitution of Chinese women in Europe. The director has been living in China for eight years and has a great knowledge of China’s social issues and culture. Tarantula is a company that stands out with its co-productions with Mexico (Batalla en El Cielo by Carlos Reygadas – in competition in Cannes 2005); Canada (Congorama by Philippe Falardeau – Director’s Fortnight in Cannes 2006); Palestine (Le Sel de la Mer by Annemarie Jacir – Un Certain Regard” in Cannes 2008); Argentina (La Cantante de Tango by Diego Martinez Vignatti, in competition Locarno 2009); and Taiwan (Visages by Tse Ming-Liang, in competition in Cannes 2009), among others.
Weronika Czołnowska (EasyBusyProductions, Poland) is the producer of Baby, a fantasy comedy about a young couple who end up in strange Kappa Word and have to convince their baby to be born. Baby will be a Polish- Japanese co-production and the project won the main prize at IT Project Market at the Fantastic Film Festival in Bucheon, Korea. Baby will be the first feature of Kei Ishikawa whose previous short film Dear World received a special prize in the prestigious competition of the Akira Kurosawa Foundation. His other short film It’s All in the Fingers also produced by Weronika Czołnowska premiered at New Directors/New Films Festival in New York.
The Korean filmmaker Gyeong Tae Roh was immediately recognized with his first film The Last Dining Table, which was selected for the Sundance Film Festival. Antonin Dedet (Neon Productions, France) produced his second feature film, Land Of Scarecrows. These two truly poetic films are denouncing globalization and pollution, and they are the first two parts of the trilogy “Environment and Pollution”. The Black Stones is the last film in this peculiar series. Antonin Dedet has produced or co-produced so far thirteen feature films, involving more than fifteen countries worldwide (Spain, Brazil, Monzambic, Italy, United States, South Korea, Lebanon, Germany, Algeria, etc.).
Justin Deimen (Silver Media Group, Singapore) will be producing Lanun, a gritty crime saga set in Southeast Asia that charts the rise of a young village orphan as he navigates his way into the upper echelons of Indonesia’s criminal enterprises by becoming one of the region’s most feared and powerful maritime pirates – a Lanun. Justin Deimen is an Executive Producer/Director of Development for Silver Media Group, one of Asia’s few privately managed media investment funds that finances film and other media content for international audiences.
Julius Ponten (Habbekrats, the Netherlands) will be producing Ratu Adil, a film that will be largely based in Indonesia, right after the capitulation of the Japanese at the end of the Second World War – a subject that has not been dealt with in film, in the Netherlands, nor internationally. Ratu Adil will not be a great epic war movie, but a personal film about insanity of war and the dark pages in Dutch and global history. Julius Ponten produced over 60 music videos, dozens of commercials and short films and two feature films (Wolf, Rabat). Wolfwas directed by Jim Taihuttu and had his world premiere in competition at San Sebastian in 2013.
Alina Yan Qui (Jampa Films, China) will be producingMazu, Guardian of the Seas, a 3D Fantasy/Sci-Fi. It is a story about a Chinese Olympic swimmer who is given a magical necklace and discovers that she has been chosen to carry-on the Goddess Mazu’s legacy of protecting the Eastern oceans. With the help of several key allies, she learns to harness the necklace’s powers and soon finds herself pitted against a malevolent creature bent on destroying mankind. Alina Yan Qui produced two feature films and both had nationwide theatrical release; award-winning Red River (2009) and Hutong Days (2008).
Masumi Soga from Japan will be producing Kodokushi, tackling a uniquely Japanese social issue. More and more people in Japan are experiencing a “lonely death”, literally in the sense that they have none to look after them and die alone, sometimes not being found for years, but also metaphorically, when they are living a life, which is unfulfilled and isolated. The project to be directed by young female director Janus Victoria received Best Project Award at the Talent Campus Tokyo.
Lina Tan (Red Films, Malaysia) will present Five Star Billionaire, an adaptation of Tash Aw’s book (winner of the Whistbread First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize). The story is set in Shanghai and revolves around 5 individuals from Malaysia who try to find their footing in China. Lina Tan founded her production company Red Films in 2004 which supported the wave of new indie films in Malaysia. She produced Visits: Hungry Ghost Anthology, box office hits and critically acclaimed films like Gol & Gincu, Kami, Pisau Cukur, Songlap andIstanbul Aku Datang which have created new wave in the Malaysian film scene.