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EUFCN Location Award 2022: Meet the Jury

The European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN) is delighted to announce the Jury for the sixth edition of the EUFCN Location Award, the annual prize for European filming locations.

The five distinguished professionals in the industry are in the process of selecting the five locations that will compete for best European filming location of 2022.

Markus Bensch (Production Executive / locations at Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures Gmbh), Olivier Dock (Independent International Advisor in film, audiovisual production and distribution at Whitebench), Harriet Lawrence (Supervising Location Manager – The Key Locations), Vittoria Scarpa (Journalist and Translator at Cineuropa), and former EUFCN President Truls Kontny (CEO and Executive Producer at Evil Doghouse Nordic) have the task of evaluating the 20 submissions from EUFCN member film commissions, focusing on the significant role of the location in the story and its innovative use inside the audiovisual product. The five finalists will be revealed on Nov. 28, 2022.

The EUFCN Location Award was established in 2017. Every year EUFCN members have the opportunity to nominate one location from a film or a TV series shot in their country and released with international distribution that particular year. To be nominated for this year’s edition, the production associated with the location must have premiered in cinemas, festivals, TV, online or on digital platforms between September 11th 2021 and October 3rd 2022. After the selection of the shortlist, starting from November 28nd, the general public will have the chance to vote for their favourite location on the EUFCN website. One lucky winner will be picked among the voters and will win a trip to the Best European Filming Location of 2022.

Past winners of the EUFCN Location Award are the City of Gorlitz (Germany), for playing the title role in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel; the Island of Corfu (Greece), in recognition of the role it played in the UK TV series The Durrells; El Hierro, Canary Islands (Spain), intriguing setting of Spanish thriller TV series Hierro; the Pažaislis Church and Monastery Complex (Lithuania), which helped to recreate the splendid and tumultuous reign of Empress Catherine II of Russia in the miniseries Catherine the Great; and last year’s winner Cahir Castle (Ireland), a key location for David Lowery’s fantasy film The Green Knight.

Below, a focus on each juror.

Markus Bensch
Markus Bensch has been working on locations since 1992 and joined the LMGI in 2016. He was nominated three times for an LMGI award, twice for outstanding location work on period films: in 2016 for Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies and in 2020 for Terrence Malick’s A hidden life. He was also nominated for his work on contemporary TV series Inventing Anna. In 2020 Markus Bensch was the first German location professional to be accepted into the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Production Design branch). Markus is based in Berlin, Germany.

Olivier Dock
Olivier Dock is an independent international advisor specialized in film and audio-visual production and distribution. Until 2017, Olivier was Vice President and Deputy Managing Director of the Motion Picture Association’s EMEA offices in Brussels, which he joined 21 years earlier. Olivier notably oversaw content protection activities in France and Spain, as well as national regulatory/commercial issues (theatrical and all media) across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Today, he advises primarily on global production. Olivier holds a BA from the Brussels School for Translators and Interpreters, an MA in International Politics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), a European Certificate in Audio-visual Financing and Commercialization from Sorbonne Panthéon / INA, and an MBA from the Solvay Business School.

Harriet Lawrence
Harriet Lawrence started her Location Managing career in the 1990’s working on commercials. Since then, she increasingly worked in drama and independent UK films. She has found the Moon on Earth, Scotland inside of the M25, the Maldives in a Heathrow hotel and Wolverhampton in Central Scotland. She has worked on all sorts of TV dramas, feature films, and stills shoots including Suffragette, Burton and Taylor, Fleming, Parks & Recreation, Henry VIII, all the Outnumbered series, setting up the first series of Downton Abbey and many of Stephen Poliakoff’s films including Dancing on the Edge. She is about to wrap on Emerald Fennell’s new film Saltburn. Since 2007, Harriet Lawrence runs the renowned Assistant Location Managers Training Course via Film London then Production Guild, and more recently supported by The Location Collective.

Vittoria Scarpa
Journalist and translator. Graduated in Foreign Languages and Literatures, Master in Journalism, Vittoria Scarpa starts working for Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso in 2003 (Kataweb, La Repubblica). In the following years she extends the collaborations with other national newspapers, including Hit Mania Magazine and Vanity Fair Italia, the website Style.it (ed. Condé Nast), the swiss press agency Café Europe. Since 2007 she works in Cineuropa.org as translator and Italian correspondent.

Truls Kontny
A dynamic C- Level Executive with more than 33 years of experience in the Scandinavian Film Industry. From 1989 to 2002 he served as CFO and later Managing Director of Norsk Film AS, the biggest production company in Norway at that time, where he produced, financed, and oversaw production of over 30 films and managed the financing activities for international and domestic co-productions. As Managing Director of the Norwegian Film Commission from 2003 until July 2021, Mr Kontny has been instrumental in bridging Scandinavian film production to the global industry. He has been serving and serves on several international board of directors including President of Scandinavian Locations, President of Nordic Film Commissions, and President of the European Film Commissions Network (until end of 2020). Mr Kontny has now joined Evil Doghouse Nordic AS as CEO and Executive producer.

 

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 95 European film commissions and film institutions from 30 different countries.

EUFCN reveals Location Award 2022 Shortlist

The European Film Commissions Network has announced the 5 finalists. The general public has now the chance to vote for their favourite European filming location

The European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN) launched the sixth edition of the EUFCN Location Award, the annual prize for European locations in the film and TV industries, by announcing the names of the 5 locations that will compete for best European filming location of the year.

The 2022 finalists are:
Brissago Islands for Dawn Chorus – Ticino Film Commission (SWITZERLAND)
Chiliadou Beach for Triangle of Sadness – Hellenic Film Commission (GREECE)
Portsoy for Peaky Blinders (Season 6) – Screen Scotland (SCOTLAND)
Schlosshotel Kronberg for Spencer – Film Commission Hessen (GERMANY)
Stari Grad for How I Learned To Fly – Filming in Croatia (CROATIA)

During the first stage of the competition, EUFCN member film commissions had the opportunity to submit one location from a film or a TV series shot in their territory and released between September 11st, 2021 and October 3rd, 2022.

The EUFCN Location Award Jury evaluated all 20 submissions, focusing on the significant role of the location in the story and its challenging and innovative use inside the audiovisual product.

The Jury was composed by Markus Bensch (Production Executive / locations at Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures Gmbh), Olivier Dock (Independent International Advisor in film, audiovisual production and distribution at Whitebench), Harriet Lawrence (Supervising Location Manager – The Key Locations), Vittoria Scarpa (Journalist and Translator at Cineuropa), and former EUFCN President Truls Kontny (CEO and Executive Producer at Evil Doghouse Nordic).

“It may be a basement, a castle, a bridge, a factory, a field or a street. Without a Location there is no film or TV- production and every location is as important as the other,” say EUFCN Co-Presidents Mikael Svensson and Pavlina Zipkova. “EUFCN wants to focus on the spots where the magic is created, by sharing the process and challenges behind the choice of a location, and by celebrating the work of all those involved in the transformation of places that tell stories. Vote for your favourite now!”

The winner of the EUFCN Location Award 2022 will be determined by the general public’s vote.
Click here to vote!

A lucky name will be picked among the voters and will win a trip to the winning location!

Voting opens on Nov. 28th and runs through Jan. 31st 2023. The EUFCN Location Award 2022 will be handed out to the winning location and film commission in February at the European Film Market – EFM 2023 in Berlin.

 

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 95 European film commissions and film institutions from 30 different countries. 

EUFCN reveals Location Award 2023 Shortlist

The European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN) launched the seventh edition of the EUFCN Location Award, the annual prize for European locations in the film and TV industries, by announcing the names of the 5 locations that will compete for best European filming location of the year.

The 2023 finalists are:

Helsetkopen for Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One – Norwegian Film Commission (NORWAY)

Hotel Parque do Rio for Bad Living – Portugal Film Commission (PORTUGAL)

Inis Mór for The Banshees of Inisherin – Screen Ireland (IRELAND)

Jotunheimen for Troll – Eastern Norway Film Commission (NORWAY)

Romsdalen Gondola for Succession (Season 4) – Western Norway Film Commission (NORWAY)

During the first stage of the competition, EUFCN member film commissions had the opportunity to submit one location from a film or a TV series shot in their territory and released between October 3rd, 2022 and September 11st, 2023.

The EUFCN Location Award Jury evaluated all 24 submissions, focusing on the significant role of the location in the story and its outstanding use inside the audiovisual product.

The Jury was composed by Andrea David (Travel Blogger | Filmtourismus), Wendy Mitchell (Journalist, Moderator and Film Festival Consultant), Jerry Odlin (Sales Director of Boutique Editions Ltd), Alison Taylor (Location Manager, 1st Vice President of the LMGI) and Venia Vergou (Producer, Crew United Greece).

“As always with the EUFCN Location Award, the breadth and quality of the locations entered have been outstanding, making ranking the top 5 out of the excellent 24 entries, very difficult, albeit very enjoyable. The jury has been happily surprised to see how filmmakers managed to make such creative use in their productions of a spectacular array of landscape, architecture and cultural heritage found in Europe. It is unusual to have three nominees from the same country, but Helsetkopen, Jotunheimen and Romsdalen Gondola were so strong and unique that they really rose to the top, and it felt appropriate to celebrate these different locations, which played a significant role in three very different productions shot in Norway. Together with Portugal’s compelling Hotel Parque do Rio and the fascinating Irish island of Inis Mór, the finalists will reflect the importance and value of filming locations, essential characters in a story. Congratulations to all the entrants and the work they put in to make the work of the judges as consistent as possible.”   – EUFCN Location Award 2023 Jury

The winner of the EUFCN Location Award 2023 will be determined by the general public’s vote. Everyone can vote here: https://eufcn.com/location-award-2023/

A lucky name will be picked among the voters and will win a trip to the winning location.

Voting opens on Nov. 27th and runs through Jan. 31st 2024. The EUFCN Location Award 2023 will be handed out to the winning location and film commission on February 18th, at the European Film Market – EFM 2024 in Berlin.

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 99 European film commissions and film institutions from 31 different countries.

Venia Vergou named Manager of the European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN)

Venia Vergou has been appointed new Manager of the European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN), a role she will assume from January 2,  2024. She succeeds former EUFCN Managing Director Angelica Cantisani, who stepped down in August for professional reasons after 12 years managing the Network.

“Film Commissioners have been incredible mentors to me,” said Vergou. “Having an open dialogue with the policy makers and professionals in their film industry, as well as a wide knowledge of the statute book of their countries, they can make wonders happen behind the scenes. I strongly believe that a Film Commission is the crossroads where all paths of filmmaking meet.

Being appointed as the new Manager of EUFCN is an incredible honour considering its pivotal role in the growth of the audiovisual industry. I am respectful to how much Angelica Cantisani has contributed to the shaping of the Network since its establishment and I am fully aware of the responsibility of this position. I am also looking forward to working closely with the Board of Directors and the EUFCN members and staff, to further develop strategies and shape our future goals.”

“The EUFCN is in transition, as is the industry itself, and one might say; continuously so,” said EUFCN Co-Presidents Carlota Guerrero and Adrian A. Mitchell. “The work carried out by film offices and film commissions across Europe is fundamental to the development of the European film industry. As a result, EUFCN membership is increasing, a sign that confirms that our members both wish for and need a strong and competent network where they can find guidance, experience, advice and members alike. 

It will be the EUFCN’s priority over the next months to consolidate the association’s presence as a key player in the European film industry’s landscape, to strengthen the ongoing relationship with producers across the continent and beyond, and to promote and facilitate networking and training activities for members, on both operational and policy level. We believe that Ms. Vergou, with her vast experience, energy and proven efficiency, will indisputably master the task.”

Venia Vergou is the former director of the Hellenic Film Commission at the Greek Film Centre (2017-2021) and was a member of the EUFCN Board of Directors from 2019 to 2021. Vergou has been an insider of the film industry in Greece for over 20 years, a film critic, a co-producer of three feature films, as well as film projects coordinator for documenta 14 and head of communications and film programmer for the Greek Film Archive.

“Ms. Vergou has the sense of quality and thoroughness in her work, and as of late she has shown her endurance and entrepreneurial skills in the team of Crew United when establishing this network of audiovisual professionals across Greece,” added Carlota Guerrero and Adrian A. Mitchell. “This bundle of skills seldom comes collected – and we are more than pleased to have her on board.”

As a member of the Crew United team, and the person responsible for establishing the Greek channel of the biggest European online network for audiovisual professionals, Venia Vergou will continue her work at Crew United Greece on a part-time basis.

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 99 European film commissions and film institutions from 31 different countries.