The Circle Women Doc Accelerator, a training program for female-identifying documentary filmmakers, has selected the four projects that will take part in its showcase as part of the Cannes Docs program of the Cannes Film Market.
“Becoming Ema” by Patricia Drati and produced by Sidsel Lønvig Siersted for Danish outlet Good Company Pictures and Frame Film in Slovakia (Circle 2020) follows a couple who decide to abandon modern city life and start a life deep in the countryside of Mallorca. One year into their dream, the pandemic hits, the man loses his job, and the family is forced to reevaluate their life.
“A Successful Man” (Nem haltam meg) by Asia Dér, produced by Noémi Veronika Szakonyi and Máté Artur Vincze for Match Frame Productions (Hungary), was developed through Circle 2019. When a life loving, successful gallery owner is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of 50, he takes it as a chance to confront his long suppressed existential questions. A son of poor factory workers, he learned how to march forward and be strong, but now has to embrace his weak side too.
“A Sad and Vulgar Loner” (Un Vulgar y Triste) by Efthymia Zymvragaki, developed through Circle 2020, explores what happens when an abusive man speaks out, positioning himself as a critic of violence. It is produced by Angelo Orlando, Patricia Sánchez Mora and Anna Bofarull for Gris Medio (Spain) and Valentin Thurn for ThurnFilm GmbH (Germany).
Greenlandic-Danish project “Twice Colonized” by Lin Alluna follows renowned Inuit lawyer Aaju Peter, who has led a lifelong fight for the rights of her people. When her youngest son unexpectedly passes away, Aaju embarks on a highly personal journey to bring her colonizers in both Canada and Denmark to justice. It was developed through Circle 2020 and is produced by Emile Hertling Péronard for Ánorâk Film (Greenland/Denmark) in co-production with Alethea Arnaquq-Baril and Stacey Aglok MacDonald for Red Marrow Media (Nunavut, Canada) and Bob Moore for EyeSteelFilm (Canada).
“Our goal is to curate and empower new voices from all over the world and to develop their projects in a protected and inspiring environment. They can experiment with cinematic language while their characters explore their radical life choices,” said Circle program director Biljana Tutorov.
“I’m happy and proud to see that projects developed in Circle are actually made, becoming award winning films in major festivals, like recently ‘Eclipse’ by Nataša Urban, which won the DOX:Award in CPH:DOX, and that our community work is growing up to embrace participants and films from even broader horizons,” Tutorov added.
Since 2020, when Circle started their partnership with Cannes Docs, four Circle alumnae are given the opportunity every year to present their documentary projects in development during the market in Cannes. In previous years, two Circle projects received awards at the industry event: “Beauty of the Beast” by Anna Nemes, produced by Circle 2018 alumna Ágnes Horváth-Szabó and “Cent’anni” by Circle 2020 alumna Maja Prelog, produced by Rok Biček, won the IEFTA Docs-in-Progress Award in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
The program is organized by Serbia-based Wake Up Films in partnership with Creative Europe – MEDIA, Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, RE-ACT, City of Novi Sad, Film Centre of Montenegro, HAVC Croatian Audiovisual Centre, WEMW Co-Pro Forum, Documentary Association of Europe (DAE) Foundation, CED – MEDIA Office Serbia, CED – MEDIA Office Montenegro, CED – MEDIA Office Slovenia, Motovila, CED – MEDIA Office Croatia, European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA), Cineuropa, International Documentary Film Festival Beldocs, Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival and Agora Docs.