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TURIN 2019 TorinoFilmLab

Films of the future presented at TorinoFilmLab

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- This year, as in every year, over 300 film professionals came together for the TFL Meeting Event, the 12th edition of which unspooled between 21-23 November in Turin

Films of the future presented at TorinoFilmLab
An image from the pitch of A Year Of Cold by Min Bahadur Bham at the TFL Meeting Event (© TFL)

2019 has proved a significant year for the TorinoFilmLab. Now at its 12th edition, the Turin-based laboratory, which supports talent from all over the world with the development, production and distribution of their films (first and second works in particular), has exceeded the threshold of 100 feature films completed since its 2008 inception (the current tally is 107); works directed by filmmakers hailing from 49 different countries and wielding numerous trophies from international festivals. At the Locarno Film Festival alone, no less than 7 works bearing the TFL hallmark walked away with awards.

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But 2019 also brought change to the Turin lab. “It’s been a special year”, TFL Managing Director Mercedes Fernández Alonso confirmed to us at the Meeting Event, which unfolded in Turin between 21-23 November. “We’ve expanded the organisation and created a Pedagogical Team composed of high-level professionals from various regions around the world (Argentina, Croatia, Sweden, Israel…), each of them boasting diverse professional backgrounds, which has hugely enriched the design of the workshops, the process of scouting for participants, the way in which the projects are developed... The outcome has been positive: the selected projects demonstrate great variety, both geographically and thematically”.

“A federalist and supportive structure”: these are the words of Vincenzo Bugno, the man in charge of the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund who’s now also a full-fledged member of the TFL team. “We’ve all known each other for years and we enjoy a real relationship of respect and trust. We’re looking to work on cultural diversity at various levels, with a focus on non-European cultures and the diversification of gender roles in the various works produced”, he explained to us.

Among the various works, we find stories of young, modern shamans (Ze by Lkhagvadulam Purev-ochir), of Sapphic love forbidden by the Communist regime (Only Lola by Grzegorz Mołda), of middle-aged women wrestling with new work duties (The Permanent Picture by Laura Ferrés Moreno); but also stories involving visionary and quixotic scientists who dream of saving human kind, such as in Harry Lagoussis Novak; stories of two fraudulent entrepreneurs who are enjoying their last 24 hours of freedom before their arrest, such as in Dust, scripted by Angelo Tijssens (who also co-wrote Girl [+see also:
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by Lukas Dhont); not to mention Madame by Dominik Locher (Goliath [+see also:
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interview: Dominik Locher
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), where a housekeeper harassed by her elderly employer start to mix poisonous herbs into the lady’s daily omelette, until the latter asks her to administer the final dose in exchange for a handsome reward.

The variety of the projects presented at this year’s TFL Meeting Event is truly remarkable. But is there a definitive guiding line which brings them all together? “There’s a huge, recurrent theme which relates to identity”, Fernández Alonso observes, “they are all professionals whose lives are lived across various countries; there are those born in Thailand, who now live in New York but who are always travelling in Europe for work. Their experiences reflect the transformation of life to what it is today, and a certain mobility which leads to questions on identity, whether geographical or sexual”.

Birchanger Green by Moin Hussain, for example, is “a space movie set on Earth” – to quote the words of the author – where the son of an immigrant, looking into his father’s mysterious past, begins to suspect that he’s an alien. The Quiet Migration by Malene Choi Jensen, meanwhile, examines multicultural families and the consequences of international adoption, while George Sikharulidze’s Panopticon explores the repressed sexual desires of an Orthodox Christian, Georgian teen.

“There’s also a great deal of thought gone into audiovisual language”, Fernández Alonso continues, and, last but not least, “a subtle sense of humour which lends these projects even greater depth”. On that note, Wild Encounters by Sarah Arnold is a black comedy which examines mankind’s animal instinct through the character of a wild boar hunter, and Three Days of Fish by Peter Hoogendoorn, a road movie centred on a son and his elderly father, replete with accusations, insinuations and unconditional love. Finally, there’s The Swedish Torpedo by Frida Kempff, set in 1939, which sees a woman in Sweden defy her family as well as social conventions in order to perform an extraordinary feat: swimming the English Channel.

The projects presented at the 12th TFL Meeting Event were as follows:

Script Lab

Anna Doesn’t Want to Be Seen Dancing - Gabriel Herra Torres (Georgia/Mexico)
Production: Natura Film; co-production: Black Maria Producciones
First work

Birchanger Green - Moin Hussain (UK)
Production: Escape Films
First work

Dust - Angelo Tijssens (screenwriter) (Belgium/Netherlands)
Production: A Private View; co-production: Viking Film

Flores - Ena Sendijarević (Netherlands)
Production: Lemming Film

Madame - Dominik Locher (Switzerland)
Production: maximage

Novak - Harry Lagoussis (Greece/France/Serbia)
Production: Heretic; co-production: Cinéma Defacto, Non-Aligned Films
First work

Only Lola - Grzegorz Mołda (Poland)
In search of a producer
First work

Painless - Michael Wahrmann (Brazil)
Production: SANCHO&PUNTA

Panopticon - George Sikharulidze (Georgia/France)
Production: 20 Steps Productions; co-production: Arizona Productions
First work

Rhino - Dubravka Turić (Croatia)
Production: Kinorama

Suddenly - Melisa Önel (Turkey)
Production: Vigo Film

TakotsuboMiki Polonski (Israel/France)
Production: KM Production; co-production: KinoElektron
First work

The Permanent Picture - Laura Ferrés Moreno (Spain/France)
Production: Fasten Films; co-production: Le Bureau
First work

The Quiet Migration - Malene Choi Jensen (Denmark)
Production: Manna Film

The Songsmith - Bayu Prihantoro Filemon (Indonesia)
Production: KawanKawan Media
First work

The Swedish Torpedo - Frida Kempff (Sweden/Denmark)
Production: Momento Film; co-production: Toolbox Film

The Sweet Bitterness of Ripe Pomegranates - Andrey Volkashin (Northern Macedonia)
Production: Veda Film Productions

Three Days of Fish - Peter Hoogendoorn (Netherlands)
Production: Circe Films

Wild Encounters - Sarah Arnold (France/Switzerland)
Production: 5 à 7 Films; co-production: TWOSA Films
First work

Ze - Lkhagvadulam Purev-ochir (Mongolia)
Production: Guru Media
First work

FeatureLab

A Male - Fabián Hernández (Colombia/Netherlands)
Production: Medio de Contención Producciones; co-production: Fortuna Films
First work  

A Year Of Cold - Min Bahadur Bham (Nepal/France/Norway/Singapore/Myanmar)
Production: Shooney Films; co-production: Catherine Dussart Productions, Ape&Bjørn, Potocol, Green Age Film Production

About The End - Cristina Picchi (Sweden/Lithuania/Italy)
Production: Fasad Production; co-production: Just A Moment, Kino Produzioni
First work

Crocodile Tears - Tumpal Tampubolon (Indonesia/France)
Production: Tanakhir Films; co-production: Acrobates Films  

Houses - Veronica Nicole Tetelbaum (Israel)
Production: Plan B Productions
First work  

Mizeria - Eva Michon (Canada/Poland)
Production: Film Forge; co-production: Opus Film
First work

Pilgrims - Laurynas Bareisa (Lithuania)
Production: afterschool
First work

Runner - Marian Mathias (Germany/France/US)
Production: Killjoy Films; co-production: Easy Riders, Man Alive
First work

Still Here - Suranga D. Katugampala (Italy/Portugal)
Production: Okta Film; co-production: O Som e a Fúria

Unrest - Cyril Schäublin (Switzerland)
Production: Seeland Filmproduktion

Victus - Andrei Tanase (Romania)
Production: Domestic Film
First work

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(Translated from Italian)

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