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When East Meets West prepares its side events


- The call for new projects is now extended to the programmes Last Stop Trieste, MIDPOINT Cold Open, This is IT, and First Cut Lab and will be open until the end of November

When East Meets West prepares its side events
From last year's edition of Last Stop Trieste

It has already been confirmed that the 11th edition of When East Meets West (WEMW) will be a special one, as it is planned to take place both physically in Trieste, during the 32nd Trieste Film Festival, and digitally from 24 to 28 January 2021 (read the news). The call for submissions for the Co-Production Forum has now been closed, but the calls for its four side events – Last Stop Trieste, MIDPOINT Cold Open, This is IT, and First Cut Lab Trieste – are now open, until 30 November, on WEMW’s site.

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Regarding the different but complementary aspects of each initiative, Alessandro Gropplero, head of WEMW, underlines: “A clear trajectory and a red thread run through all the different sections of the WEMW programme. On the one hand, the Co-Production Forum is intended to maximise opportunities to identify potential co-producers and financing partners, while all other WEMW initiatives are designed to cover different aspects of the production cycle, from training and development to post-production and promotion. WEMW puts emphasis on a long-term strategy and therefore follows projects from their initial phase until their successful distribution. Furthermore, each specific side initiative tries to be complementary to other existing programmes in the European landscape.”

Last Stop Trieste (LST) is dedicated to documentaries currently in their final cut stage and which have previously been presented at WEMW or in one of its partner events: Ex-Oriente Film, Balkan Discoveries at the Balkan Documentary Centre, Docu Rough Cut Boutique at Sarajevo’s CineLink or Sofia’s modules, ZagrebDox PRO and Baltic Sea Forum. A total of 5 documentaries will be selected and showcased to an exclusive panel of industry experts and decision makers, who will later offer online and on-site consultations and feedback.

Running for the second consecutive year, MIDPOINT Cold Open will once again invite independent producers with a background in feature films looking to make the shift to high-quality television content. The TV series Lab will unfold in an entirely digital format, and the participants will be tutored by Gabor Krigler and Marike Muselaers. A series of lectures, sessions and individual consultations will also be included. Aspiring candidate producers will also be offered the opportunity to bring a series idea to serve as a starting point for their training.

This is IT is a specialised programme entirely dedicated to feature fiction and hybrid films with a strong visual and artistic approach. The projects, which should be produced or co-produced by Italian producers, will screen 10’ of their post-production material (or, at least, partially shot material) to a panel of international guests that will offer one-to-one meetings both in Trieste and online.

Finally, projects in their editing phase may apply for the consultancy programme First Cut Lab Trieste. The eligible feature fiction films should come from one of the WEMW 2021 spotlight countries or be co-produced by Italy. Three industry advisers and a consultant editor will watch, during private sessions, a full rough cut of the selected films and will offer their feedback. The goal of the workshop is to foster the artistic potential of the rough cuts and to increase the potential success of the later completed films.

Moreover, projects that have previously been presented at the WEMW Co-Production Forum and which are now in post-production will be eligible to participate in the First Cut+ programme. The teams of the works in progress will receive tailor-made modules aimed at enhancing the projects’ promotion and audience engagement strategies, before a showcase of their films to a specialised audience.

Regarding the interconnected nature of the various initiatives, Gropplero adds: “The core idea of all these programmes is to work with some of the leading training and market platforms in order to secure on the one hand the expertise and knowledge of all experts and advisors, and on the other hand the high quality of selected films. Moreover, all these initiatives are meant to give continuous support through the years to past WEMW projects. Most of the films presented in both the fiction and documentary work in progress sections are selected in partnership with other training workshops and pitching forums, reflecting a systemic and complementary approach aimed at achieving a larger impact and follow-up on selected projects.”

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