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KARLOVY VARY 2022 KVIFF Eastern Promises / Awards

Graham Foy’s The Maiden wins the First Cut+ Award at Karlovy Vary

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- The debut feature will receive a €5,000 cash prize sponsored by Turkish public broadcaster TRT

Graham Foy’s The Maiden wins the First Cut+ Award at Karlovy Vary
The Maiden by Graham Foy

This year’s edition of First Cut+, which aims to boost the competitiveness and marketability of feature films, has wrapped and announced its award winners. Part of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s Eastern Promises Industry Days, First Cut+ featured eight participating films (see the news) that are currently in post-production.

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The winner of the First Cut+ TRT Award was The Maiden, directed by debuting filmmaker Graham Foy. The prize comes with €5,000 in cash thanks to the partnership with TRT, the Turkish public broadcaster. The jury was composed of marketing specialist Boris Pugnet (Tiramisu); Ji Lacerna, head of the Project Development Unit at the Film Development Council of the Philippines; and Esra Demirkiran, festivals coordinator at TRT Cinema.

The jury’s motivation states: “The Maiden succeeds in bringing to the screen the intense energy of youth, and delicately capturing time and space as witnesses to our memories. Graham Foy’s debut feature also remarkably answers the question of how to deal with pain and sorrow, by showing how to turn dirt into gold.” Produced by Graham Foy and Daiva Zalnieriunas for Canadian company 2703715 Ontario Inc, The Maiden takes place during a perfect summer’s day, which ends in a tragic death. Colton, a suburban teenager, mourns the loss of his best friend, Kyle. Grief awakens decay and darkness in a world that swirls amidst glimpses of natural wonder and beauty. The discovery of a missing girl's diary transports us to a mirror world. A magical ravine. A supernatural encounter. Is this Colton's psyche? A dream? The afterlife? Are we ever really alone?

All of the participating projects at this edition benefited from lectures and individual mentoring consultations on promotion, marketing, PR and press, festivals, and sales strategy from various film-industry consultants. Consultants and lecturers for this edition included Michael Arnon (WOLF), Boris Pugnet (Tiramisu), editor Catalin Cristutiu, Katarzyna Siniarska (New Europe Film Sales), Ilaria Gomarasca (Marrakech Film Festival), Joanna Solecka (Alphapanda) and Wendy Mitchell.

It should be noted that among the alumni of First Cut+ are projects that went on to win Venice’s prestigious Lion of the Future for Best Debut Feature both in 2020 and in 2021, such as Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark’s Immaculate [+see also:
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interview: Monica Stan, George Chiper-…
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]
. Indeed, the First Cut+ line-up at Karlovy Vary 2022 retained this focus, since seven out of the eight films presented were first features. While primarily being committed to Central and Eastern European films, the programme has also opened up to the wider world, with projects hailing from Brazil, Canada and India.

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