The SMART7 Competition announced its winner during the closing gala of the 64th Thessaloniki Film Festival, on November 12. Thus, the Portuguese film Índia by Telmo Churro was named the first winner of the competition which celebrates new European cinema and was initiated by a group of film festivals across the continent. Seven films selected by curators from each film event were screened along the festival season and the winner was chosen by an international youth jury. The prize of the program was €5,000.
A nostalgic and deliciously inventive journey that takes us through Lisbon of broken hearts, existential crises and tragic heroes, Índia (Telmo Churro, Portugal, 2022) is a genuine love letter to cinema and its physical or imaginary spaces. The motivation of the jury: “In the spirit of celebrating the European Cultural diversity, the SMART7 Award goes to a film that reflects several dualities: individual and collective, the historical and personal space of memory and nostalgia and their national and international implications. The chosen film is recollection of a history of cinema and historic heritage explored through a post-modern approach and a childlike curiosity. It’s a multi-generational tale that not only explores the retelling of an ancient and complex history, but also navigates, the pure and universal topics of love, death and perpetual pursue of identity”
The members of the international youth jury who awarded the film were Sveinn Áki Árnason (Iceland), Alma Buhagiar (Romania), Giannis Delikostas (Greece), Greta Mecelicaitė (Lithuania), Adam Mytnik (Poland), Kenia Pollheim Nunes (Portugal) and Amaia Zafiaur (Spain).
SMART7 is a network initiated by seven film festivals that connects similar goals and visions from different European cultural and geopolitical areas. The main purpose of this alliance is not only to respond to current needs, but also to define common trends for future growth and development of industry and festival culture. The network is composed of: New Horizons International Film Festival (Poland), IndieLisboa International Film Festival (Portugal), Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Greece), Transilvania International Film Festival (Romania), FILMADRID International Film Festival (Spain), Reykjavik International Film Festival (Iceland) and Vilnius International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris (Lithuania).
“As the first SMART7 film competition comes to an end with the Jury awarding its prize in Thessaloniki Film Festival on Sunday, we look back on the debut edition and the fruitful collaboration between 7 like-minded festivals from all over Europe. Through it, the relevant work of young and innovative filmmakers was showcased all festival season and reached a diverse and intelligent public. We are looking forward to the second edition in 2024, with a fresh selection of European films”. Claudia Droc (Head of International Relations, Transilvania IFF).
Part of the initiative, SMART7 will also host its first workshops dedicated to festival professionals, on 5 and 6 of December, in Poland. They are open to all festival organisers across Europe. More details here.
SMART7 is a network of seven European Film Festivals, co-funded by the Creative Europe Media. The network’s objective is to create a multidimensional field for sharing experience and communication among members by organizing four workshops around current and vital topics: Programming & Audience Development, Sponsoring & Fundraising, Promotion & Sales, Sustainability & Green Practices. This activity aims to provide a qualified training ground for professionals working in the film festival arena, staff members directly involved in the specific areas that can inspire and be inspired and, in the long term, help shape improvements in their own organizations and have a visible impact on the European film industry landscape.