US in Progress Strand at Wroclaw Festival sets $100,000 in prizes


American narrative feature projects in rough or final cut seeking funding for completion are now invited to submit for the 2022 edition of USA in progresswhich takes place from November 9th to 11th during the 13th American Film Festival (8-13 Nov) in Wroclaw, Poland. The thread connects American projects in the final stages of production with European buyers and leading Polish image and sound post-production companies, offering prizes totaling $100,000. The head of Polish Film Institute, Radoslaw Śmigulskiwill recognize a project with a cash prize of US$50,000 to be spent on post-production, image, sound and/or VFX in Poland, and Polish post-production companies Fixafilm, Orka Studio, Black Photon, XANF and Soundflower Studio will offer US$10,000 each dollars in prize money.

There is no entry fee and films can be submitted through the US in Progress website. The last date is September 11th.

The aim of the program is to inspire US producers to work with Poland, either by promoting co-productions or by connecting them with services and locations for future projects. The Polish Film Institute offers production incentives for filming in Poland. European buyers, sales representatives, distributors and festival programmers will be present at the event.

Notable recent US-in-Progress alumni include Pete Ohs’ “Jethica,” which was color graded at Warsaw’s Black Photon and premiered at SXSW, and Audience Choice Award-winner Geoff Marslett’s “Quantum Cowboys.” the Champs Elysees Film Festival and Best Original Score for the work of composer Maciej Zielinski at the Annecy Film Festival. Last year’s Polish Film Institute award went to Summer Shelton’s You and I.

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Courtesy of Rithy Panh

Elsewhere, filmmakers Rithy Panh will serve as dean for the Chanel X BIFF Asian Film Academy (AFA), the Busan International Film Festival’s talent factory for emerging Asian filmmakers. Next to Panh, filmmaker Tan Chui Mui and Um Hye-jung were confirmed as mentors.

Panh won the Un Certain Regard award for The Missing Picture (2013) at the 66th Cannes Film Festival and won the Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award in Busan the same year. He recently won the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Achievement for “Alles wird gut” (2022) at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival. Tan Chui Mui won the New Currents Award and the FIPRESCI Award in Busan and the Tiger Award in Rotterdam for “Love Conquers All” (2006). Um Hye-jung, a graduate of the first AFA program, was previously a partner of the 2005 Busan International Film Festival. She won Female Movie of the Year for Bluebeard (2017).

This year, 407 applicants from 35 countries applied to participate in the AFA program, with female filmmakers making up 67% of the applicants. The Central Asian countries of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other Asian countries such as Nauru and Yemen increasingly took part in the programme. The final selected members will produce a film with professional training and mentoring for 18 days from September 27th to October 10th. 14. The finished work will be displayed during this year’s Busan Festival.

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Bella Tarr
Courtesy of Matin Dale

Now a filmmaker Bella Tarr will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th Cairo Film Festival (Nov. 13-22). Tarr won the 1984 Locarno Ernest Artaria Award for Almanac of Fall; FIPRESCI Prize and Best Director Award for “Satatango” (1994) at the Faro Island Film Festival; and in 2005 his Damnation (1988) received the France Culture Award in Cannes. He also received several awards from Berlin, including the Caligari Film Prize for “Satatango” (1994), the Prize of the Readers’ Jury of the Berliner Zeitung for “Werckmeister Harmonies” (2000) and the FIPRESCI Prize and the Silver Bear for “The Turin Horse (2011).

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Charles Jones

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