The 1st Tallinn Black Nights Japan-Estonia Partnership Award was presented to KAWAGUCHI Hirofumi's Where the Peacocks Fly at the close of TIFFCOM Co-Pro Connection this afternoon.
The award, initiated by Sten SALUVEER, industry director of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, goes to one of the five Japanese projects presented at TIFFCOM this week deemed to have the most potential as a European co-production.
Saluveer, told Film Business Asia that the winning project was chosen because the film-makers always had a European aesthetic in mind, including the hiring of a European DoP. The film's producer, KIMURA Misa will be invited to meet European investors in Tallinn next month.
Peacocks, a co-production between Japan and Myanmar, is about a 17-year-old cosplay idol who sets out to prove the innocence of the Burmese refugee blamed for killing her sister. She emails her fans to join her on a trip to Myanmar, transforming into a "Fighting Peacock" of justice.
Before presenting the award, Saluveer introduced his festival, noting that 40% of the films are from Asia, and popular with their audience. He said that the festival had been exploring how to work more closely with Asian producers for some time but only now has financial support from its government.
The other Japanese projects presented at the TIFFCOM event this week include MARIKO Tetsuya's exploration of violence All About Fighting's cross-media project Ten no chasuke and Jason GRAY's thriller Where Wolves Fear to Prey.
At this afternoon's quiet closing ceremony, Roman GIRRE of the Ateliers du Cinéma Européen (ACE) said that at first there had been many misunderstandings over the definition of "co-production" between Japanese and European film-makers, but was confident that this year's event had been fruitful for the participants.
Producers attending the event told Film Business Asia that the event had been very useful in clarifying what opportunities were available in Japan. The project market operates on a small budget with no awards or official parties. It is looking at finding other partners who can present in-kind awards at next year's event.