Savina Neirotti • Director, TorinoFilmLab
"A well-rounded project for those willing to share ideas"
Connected to the Turin Film Festival, the TorinoFilmLab is the first Italian workshop to support emerging talent from throughout the world through Training, Development and Funding activities. Dedicated to first and second feature films, the TorinoFilmLab is an ideal place for filmmakers to create and develop their stories, with the possibility of receiving production funds at the end of the programme.
Cineuropa: What were your models in creating the FilmLab?
Savina Neirotti: No single one in particular, but the World Cinema Fund at the Berlinale, the Hubert Bals of the Rotterdam Festival, the Cinéfondation at Cannes, and the Sundance fund are all excellent experiences that we observed over the years.
For the TorinoFilmLab we contemplated how to follow a film project from start to end, opening up to all countries worldwide and not binding the financing to the territory. Thanks to the Piedmont Region we were able to create a workshop that includes production funds and is not limited to just development, and we made sure that all of the selected projects could work well with us, over the 10 months or year and a half.
Ideally, a project could enter the FilmLab with a treatment and in a year and a half come out with a screenplay and a co-producer and perhaps even win our Development Award, in order to enter the training and development programme. We study a programme specifically for each individual project and based on their needs help them find a co-production partner. The philosophy of the TFL is that a filmmaker must be able to share, to believe in the development process. Ideas can improve through collaboration.
What is the overall budget of the TorinoFilmLab?
One million euros, of which €600,000 are for the awards.
The Meeting Event in Turin on November 23-24 is the culmination of all the work. What takes place at the event?
All the projects are presented to 60 international producers (see list). Those that participated in Training, who have a first draft and in some cases even a producer, as well as those who were part of Development, who definitely have a producer. Those from the Training programme have a chance at winning a Development Award, as I mentioned.
Furthermore, the advisory board – comprising experts such as Alesia Weston, Ido Abram, Violeta Bava, Chinlin Hsieh and Jovan Marjanovic – after having listened to the pitches will decide how to award the production funds. [Filmmakers] can receive up to 60% of their project’s budget (the budgets of the selected projects vary from €400,000 to €1.8m) and with an award can receive another 15%. If the project finds a co-producer in its essentially ready to go into production.
In other words, the Meeting Event is a public presentation of projects, an international co-production market and an occasion to award the best projects with production funds.
Are you already working on 2009?
The 2009 application is online, the deadline is December 15. Naturally, our future depends on a contribution from the Piedmont Region, the City of Turin and the Ministry of Culture, and on the support of Alberto Barbera, director of the National Film Museum of Turin, who believed in and invested all his energy into the TFL. We want to construct something important, change things, make a difference.
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