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Victor Moreno’s ‘The Hidden City’ Wins Inaugural Eurimages Award at Les Arcs

Variety logo Variety 12/13/2016 Elsa Keslassy
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Victor Moreno’s science-fiction documentary “The Hidden City” won the inaugural Eurimages Lab Project Award at the 8th edition of Les Arcs European Film Festival’s Coproductions Village which wraps today in the French Alps.

Produced by Spain’s El Viaje Films et France’s Pomme Hurlante Films, the docu feature examines what lies beneath a contemporary city from a science fiction perspective, pulling his inspiration from J.G. Ballard novels and films like “Blade Runner.”

“Beneath the modern city there lies a vast labyrinth of galleries, tunnels, sewers (…). An immense spiders web that sits upon and depends on the visible city; a functional and essential space but also a symbolic area, a hidden sphere: The unconscious of the city,” said Moreno.

Moreno’s last doc “The Building” was nominated for a Goya award and played at San Sebastian and Buenos Aires.

Ben Russell’s “Good Luck,” another documentary pitched at the Work-in-Progress session, won the Hiventy prize.

Shot on 16mm, “Good Luck” explores the global and social politics of human labor, depicting the lives of workers in a State-owned underground mine in war-torn Serbia and the workers of an illegal gold mine in the jungle tropics of Suriname. Russell said the doc charts the experiences of “two disparate groups of miners operating in two radically different environments,” shedding light on the “commonalities that exist between them.”

The film is produced by France’s KinoElektron and Germany’s CaSk Films. Russell previously co-directed (with Ben Rivers) “A Spell to Ward Off The Darkness” which played at Locarno and “Let Each One Go Where He May” which played at Toronto and Rotterdam.

Both the Eurimages and the Hiventy were chosen by a jury comprising French directors Bertrand Bonnello, Clément Cogitore, Beatrice Fiorentino, the programmer of Venice’s Critics Week, Sara Norberg, head of the Helsinki film festival and Karin Schockweiler, who reps Luxembourg in the Eurimages committee.

“Good Luck” and “Hidden City” were among the 16 films in post selected by Frederic Boyer, the artistic director of Les Arcs and Tribeca festivals, and presented at the Work-in-Progress event.

Meanwhile, Daniel Sandu’s Romanian project “The Father Who Moved Mountains” won the Arte International prize which comprises 4,000 Euros. The project was presented at the Coproductions Village.

Produced by Mobra Films, “The Father Who Moved Mountains” turns on a retired Intelligence officer in his 50s who embarks on a journey to find his son who disappeared in the mountains.

Sandu, who wrote the script, said he was drawn to this story because “it brings a new perspective on classical heroes and it shows that they are also flawed characters and sometimes their cowardliness takes over courage and dignity.”

“The Father Who Moved Mountains” was one of the 21 projects spanning 13 countries selected by Jeremy Zelnik, who spearheads the industry sidebar of the festival which he co-founded with Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin, the festival CEO.

Sandu’s feature debut “One Step Behind the Seraphim” was presented last year at Les Arcs’s work in progress session, and was later boarded by Indie Sales.

Les Arcs Coproductions Village presented a total of 43 projects, including 16 films in post. Participation was up 20% with 400 industry professionals on the ground, notably execs from Memento, Bac Films, Indie Sales, Pyramide, Wild Bunch and Versatile, among others.

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