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15th TDF: Presentation of EDN Award (3/23/2013)


The 2013 European Documentary Network (EDN) award, which is presented annually during Docs in Thessaloniki to an institution, group or individual for their outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary, was presented to Stefano Tealdi and Joan Gonzáles. The award ceremony took place on Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Electra Palace hotel, in the context of the 15th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

For more than 15 years, Stefano Tealdi and Joan Gonzáles have made outstanding contributions to the development of the documentary genre in Southeastern Europe through the institutions of Documentary in Europe and DocsBarcelona respectively. Almost in parallel, Stefano Tealdi in Turin and Joan Gonzáles in Barcelona, started activities to initiate international collaborations, enhance the production circumstances in their region and attract financiers to Southern European countries, where the financing of documentaries can easily be described as challenging.

In 1997, Stefano Tealdi became one of the driving forces behind the yearly documentary networking and pitching event Documentary in Europe, which takes place in the Italian city of Bardonecchia. The event quickly became a meeting point for the Italian and international documentary sector and a focal point for a blooming documentary scene in Turin.

Based in Barcelona, Joan Gonzáles was, also in 1997, one of the initiators for the DocsBarcelona pitching sessions. In 2007 the initiative expanded, adding a documentary film festival to the event.

After receiving the award, Stefano Tealdi made the following statement: “When I told my father at the age of 17 that I would not follow his profession and revealed my aspiration to work in cinema, his answer was: ‘you are all alone in this’. Before 1997, I knew nothing about pitching, events or forums. I was fighting a lonely fight, since in Italy all doors are shut to documentarians”. In his speech, Joan Gonzáles expressed his thanks to EDN for the honor, and to the 15th TDF for the hospitality.

In his opening statement, EDN representative Ove Rishøj Jensen explained that the EDN award was established to honour people who make outstanding contributions to the documentary genre in Europe. Commenting on the winners of the award for 2013, he said: “The EDN Award is presented to Stefano Tealdi and Joan Gonzáles not only for initiating Documentary in Europe and DocsBarcelona. They did so in challenging circumstances. But they have also managed to have each of their initiatives staying relevant, adapting them to a shifting production environment and kept them running despite very harsh economic situations, which are now even more difficult than when starting out in 1997. They were pioneers, they saw opportunities before anyone else knew they were there, and they have created financing opportunities where there were no financing opportunities before”.

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