First Cut Lab to take place at Karlovy Vary in 2019
by Vassilis Economou
- The Czech festival will become the workshop’s second hub after Trieste; the Middle East is included in the selection, while national partnerships with Kosovo and Ukraine have also been initiated
In January 2019, First Cut Lab (FCL), the specialised workshop for feature-length fiction films in the editing phase, organised its fifth edition during Trieste’s When East Meets West (WEMW). Headed up by Matthieu Darras and taking place since 2015, in collaboration with WEMW (directed by Alessandro Gropplero), the programme is now expanding and is initiating some new partnerships for 2019. Specifically, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) will become its second hub, and Kosovo and Ukraine are also joining in with their national workshops.
So far, 25 films have taken part and have been supported by the lab, and they have all premiered at A-list festivals, with the most recent examples being Fugue [+see also:
interview: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
film profile] by Agnieszka Smoczynska (Cannes Critics’ Week in 2018), Summer Survivors [+see also:
interview: Marija Kavtaradzė
film profile] by Marija Kavtaradzė and Core of the World [+see also:
film profile] by Natalia Meschaninova (Toronto International Film Festival in 2018).
At WEMW, the FCL invites three film-project teams (director and producer) from Central and Eastern Europe to come and discuss their rough cut with a handpicked group of industry advisors, and the activities also include one-on-one consultations with an editor. In the last slate, the selected projects were Juris Poškus’ third feature, 24 Hours Sunshine (Latvia), Dito Tsintsadze’s Inhale/Exhale (Georgia/Russia) and Maxim Dashkin’s debut Far Frontiers (Russia), which was shot entirely in Kyrgyzstan.
After Trieste, Karlovy Vary thus becomes the second main hub for FCL, in collaboration with KVIFF’s Film Industry Office, headed up by Hugo Rosák, who said: “Our KVIFF Eastern Promises industry platform will be enriched with a programme that specifically, and in a practical way, helps filmmakers from our region to make their films even more digestible abroad. This fits in with our goals of helping films to travel beyond their own frontiers.” The FCL KVIFF will be organised from 2-5 July 2019, following the WEMW model. Three film projects will be selected – one from the Czech Republic or Slovakia, one from Central and Eastern Europe, and, for the first time, one from the Middle East.
Supported by the Polish Film Institute since 2016, the FCL also organises a national workshop in Poland focusing on the country’s cinema. The latest selection included the feature debuts Taste of Pho by Mariko Saga (Poland/Germany) and Fisheye by Michał Szcześniak (Poland). Likewise, FCL is bolstering its national collaborations, as the Ukrainian State Film Agency and the Kosovo Cinematography Center are now among its partners, with more workshops to come in the second semester.
After FCL alumna Marysia Nikitiuk premiered her debut feature, When the Trees Fall [+see also:
interview: Marysia Nikitiuk
film profile], at last year’s Berlinale, the first edition of FCL Ukraine will run from 20-23 March 2019 in Kyiv, welcoming three local projects. Pylyp Illienko, head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency, stated: “One of our goals is to enhance the presence of Ukrainian films at the international film festivals and markets. Therefore, we are delighted to welcome First Cut Lab to Kyiv.”
In parallel with the Prishtina Film Forum, the first edition of FCL Kosovo will run from 17-19 July 2019, selecting two local projects. Ilire Vinca, chair of the Kosovo Cinematography Center board, remarked: “First Cut Lab Kosovo is a great adventure to be taking part in, and the KCC is proud to announce this news. Working with this wonderful group of experts and advisers will be a journey of opportunities for our filmmakers and our industry. We're ready to hit the road!”
The first five advisers for the upcoming three workshops have already been confirmed: they are Virginie Devesa, sales agent at Alpha Violet (France); Konstantinos Kontovrakis, producer at Heretic (Greece); Katja Adomeit, producer at Adomeit Film (Denmark/Germany); François d’Artemare, producer at Les Films de l’Après-Midi (France); and Giona A Nazzaro, General Delegate of the Venice International Film Critics’ Week (Italy). They will all be joining the First Cut Lab core team, which, apart from director Matthieu Darras, includes consultant editors Benjamin Mirguet and Matthieu Taponier, and programme manager Maartje Alders.
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