TorinoFilmLab: More than a workshop, a community
by Vittoria Scarpa
- And so begins the 8th TFL Meeting Event. Pitches made on the first day included the new project by Hungarian filmmaker László Nemes, director of Son of Saul, which was awarded at Cannes
Thirty-four projects, of which 11 are currently in development, 9 are at an advanced stage of production, 12 are screen adaptations of books and 2 are being run on a micro-budget: these are the statistics of the 8th TorinoFilmLab Meeting Event (25-27 November) which, as every year, is being held as part of the Turin Film Festival: a training, development, funding and distribution workshop that has been supporting young talent from all over the world since 2008.
But the workshop has grown over the years into so much more. It’s become a community, as was explained to us by its director, Savina Neirotti: “Our motto this year is precisely this, because after eight years we’ve grown into a real community: we have 480 alumni and five consolidated programmes aimed at all professions in the film industry, not just directors and screenwriters, but audience designers, story editors and producers too”. To date, 43 projects have been made into films, 11 are about to be released, and another 15 are in pre-production. “But the TFL isn’t just about the films produced, it’s a networking event”, explains Neirotti, “it was here, for example, that László Nemes, whose film Son of Saul [+see also:
Q&A: László Nemes
interview: László Rajk
film profile] (which participated in the Script&Pitch programme in 2012, editor’s note) won the Grand Prix at Cannes, met his co-screenwriter, Matthieu Taponier”.
The Hungarian director, who is currently waiting to find out if his film will be one of five Oscar nominees, returns to Turin this year with his new project, Sunset, which he will be presenting in the FrameWork programme, where it will compete for a production award. The piece will be a period film with an intimate approach, a journey into the past through the eyes of a woman, set in Hungary in 1910. “It will be an exciting visual experience, very photographic, through light, shade, dust and space”, reveals Nemes. The project is currently looking for co-producers, and filming is set to begin sometime between September 2016 and Spring 2017, with an estimated budget of €4 million. Other FrameWork projects presented on the first day of the Meeting Event included The Night Eats the World by French director Dominique Rocher, in which an antisocial agoraphobic man wakes up in a world inhabited purely by zombies and slowly but surely tries to get back to a normal way of life: but what’s the point in living if you’re alone in the world? The film is being produced by Haut et Court. Also worth mentioning is Italian filmmaker Danilo Caputo (Late Season [+see also:
film profile]) and his second film project, Sow the Wind, the story of a young agronomist who fights to revive the land he grew up in, Taranto, which has been devastated by industrial pollution. The film already has France and Greece on board as co-producers.
The participants of Script&Pitch include another Italian filmmaker: Carlo Zoratti (The Special Need [+see also:
film profile]) who, with co-screenwriter Cosimo Bizzarri, unveiled his intriguing project by the name of La vita nuova, which centres around a provincial spiritual movement that is thrown into shock by the sudden and unexpected disappearance of its prophet. Dutch director Ricky Rijneke (who won a number of awards with Silent Ones [+see also:
film profile]) will also be presenting his second film project in Script&Pitch: The Hunter’s Son, the emotional journey of a father and his son, half real, half fantasy. Four teenagers in Mexico City are instead the focal point of Go Youth! by Carlos Armella, a tragicomic coming of age story set in a society that isn’t keen on young people.
Another film that centres on teenagers is Lucky Summer is Coming, a project presented by French filmmaker Catherine Maximoff in Adapt Lab, in which an act of disobedience by a group of 13-year-olds against their scornful teacher sets off an uncontrolled series of copycat acts (based on the book Encore heureux qu’on va vers l’été by Christiane Rochefort). Finally, also in Adapt Lab, is Your Face is Mine, which is being directed by Angeleno Malik Vitthal and co-scripted by Bosnian filmmaker Ismet Prcic, in which all you need to do to change race is to have some surgery done (based on the book of the same name by Jess Row).
(Translated from Italian)