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Projects from Brazil and Kazakhstan supported by NFF+HBF scheme

In Kazakh director Alshanova’s debut feature, Mila joins a swimming team with unconventional methods. The drive for elite performance and competitive edge comes at a cost in this experimental school. The absurd contradictions between a culture that promotes brutal competition alongside mindfulness and inner peace are exposed in A Winner is Seen at the Start, which follows Alshanova’s three successful short films, including History of Civilisation which won the Silver Prize at Locarno in 2020. Denis Vaslin, from Rotterdam’s Volya Films co-produces the project.

Concept still from Quatro Meninas with four actresses
Concept still from Quatro Meninas

Quatro Meninas tells the story of four black girls in 19th century Brazil who escape their boarding school and their oppressive white mistresses. Friendship, conflicting desires, unity and empowerment are all explored in this first feature from Karen Suzane. Co-produced by Ellen Havenith from Amsterdam based PPRL, the project took part in last edition’s BoostNL co-development scheme and won the Market Potential Award at the Holland Film Meeting.

Find more information about the minority co-production scheme NFF + IBF by clicking on the subsidy below.

Top image: Karen Suzane and Zhannat Alshanova