‘Cherub,’ ‘Duchampiana,’ ‘Les Diplomates’ Awarded at Rotterdam’s CineMart

Barbara Rupik’s “Cherub” was awarded the Eurimages New Lab Awards for Innovation at CineMart, the co-production market arm of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, with Lilian Hess’ “Duchampiana” taking home the Eurimart New Lab Award for Outreach.

Rupik’s project follows the titular creatures, shape-shifting angelic beings with human heads and birdlike wings, as they descend to a forgotten village to claim the soul of a dying girl. The director’s statement says that “Cherub” will blend “elements that are grotesque, musical, dramatic and horror in the genre, woven out of folklore and rural traditions.” Rubik, the author of the puppet animation in Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s “Silent Twins,” and whose shorts have been awarded at Cannes and DOK Leipzig, also took home the Wouter Barendrecht Award worth €5,000.

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“Duchampiana” is an artistic VR experience focused on body politics and inspired by Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase.” The installation will follow its protagonist along an infinite staircase into a poetic exploration of what it means to claim one’s place in the world. Hess’ statement said she intends to “create an emotional experience that leaves the viewer in a state of reflection; confronted with questions, the answering of which may change them irreversibly.” Hess’ previous work includes “Observations at 65º South,” acquired by Netflix in October 2022. This is her first venture into VR directing.

Eurimages is the cultural fund of the Council of Europe dedicated to supporting independent filmmaking. This edition of CineMart marked the launch of the two new Eurimages New Lab Awards, with the Innovation Award securing €20,000 for projects in development promoting experimentation and the Outreach Award worth €30,000 for work-in-progress projects promoting audience outreach.

“Azor” director Andreas Fontana was awarded the Filmmore Post-Production Award worth €7,500 for “Les Diplomates,” a drama set during the disintegration of the Eastern Bloc in the late 1980s and following two diplomats with an old grudge who meet by chance in Geneva.

Other winners include Shengze Zhu’s Hubert Bals Fund-supported “A Distant House Smokes on the Horizon,” which took the ArteKino International Award worth €6,000 and Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf’s “Alumbre,” awarded the VIPO Award worth €3,000.

The winners were selected from the 16 features and four immersive projects in development presented at CineMart alongside the four features and two immersive projects nearing completion that participated in the second edition of the Darkroom work-in-progress program.

“The variety of projects on offer at our co-production market has never been richer, not only in terms of the diversity of stories and their countries of origin, but also in their mediums and production stages,” said head of IFFR Pro Alessia Acone. “In the ever-evolving landscape of film and media, IFFR Pro is a platform tuned into the needs of the industry, one that fosters the avant-garde, the visionary and the groundbreaking.”

Full list of winners:

4DR Studios Award
Winner: “The World Came Flooding In,” dir. Isobel Knowles & Van Sowerwine, Australia
Produced by: Film Camp

ArteKino International Award
Winner: “A Distant House Smokes on the Horizon,” dir. Shengze Zhu, China, U.S.
Produced by: Burn the Film, supported by the Hubert Bals Fund for development

Eurimages New Lab Award – Outreach
Winner: “Duchampiana,” dir. Lilian Hess, France, Germany
Produced by: Tchikiboum

Eurimages New Lab Award Innovation
Winner: “Cherub,” dir. Barbara Rupik, Poland
Produced by: Madants

Filmmore Post-Production Award
Winner: “Les Diplomates,” dir. Andreas Fontana, Switzerland, U.K.
Produced by: Alina Film

Wouter Barendrecht Award
Winner: “Cherub,” dir. Barbara Rupik, Poland
Produced by: Madants

VIPO Award
Winner: “Alumbre,” dir. Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf, Spain
Produced by: Zeitun Films

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