Sarajevo Film Festival 2024

Polish Project ‘Under His Spell’ captures main East Doc Platform award in Prague

At the prestigious East Doc Platform, the coveted main award was clinched by Under His Spell, a compelling documentary by Polish filmmaker Lukasz Konopa. The film delves into the life and influence of Dr. Kaspirovsky, a hypnotist whose healing sessions captured widespread attention during the 1980s. The award ceremony took place at the Lucerna Cinema during the One World Festival’s finale in Prague.

The East Doc Platform, in its thirteenth year, has consistently fostered documentary filmmaking by granting €7,500 to the winning project for its ongoing development. An international jury comprising Ania Trzebiatowska of the Sundance Film Festival, Lucie Kon from the BBC, and Diana Karklin from Rise and Shine World Sales, were unanimous in their decision.

Aneta Ptak’s personal narrative in Birdie secured the HBO Max Award, presented by Hanka Kastelicová, with a €2,000 prize. Additionally, the Czech Television Co-production Award and a CZK 150,000 investment went to Tito. The West’s Favorite Dictator by Bence Máté, a series examining the enigmatic Yugoslav leader’s rapport with the West. Markéta Štinglová of the Czech Television International Content Projects Centre, alongside the Institute of Documentary Film, announced the award.

The East Doc Platform also celebrated the Ex Oriente Film Documentary Laboratory’s contributions, recognizing breakthrough achievements in documentary development. The «Cut thru the Noise Award» was presented to The Poor Cry Too for exceptional progress. Keepers of the Ruins garnered the «Fine Cut Award» for its promising rough cut, and Birdie once again was lauded with the «Golden Funnel» for significant development strides.

Twelve additional honors were bestowed by various international film festivals and partners at the Art Critics Gallery. Notable among them were the Sunny Side of the Doc Prize, awarded to Not in the Business of Making Friends, and the DOK Leipzig DOK Co-Pro Market Award, given to Letters. Tito. The West’s Favorite Dictator received multiple accolades, including the DocsBarcelona Award, underscoring the industry’s interest in political history.

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