First Cut+ announces its Karlovy Vary participants
- Eight films will take part in the second session of the programme at the Eastern Promises Industry Days; a batch of mentors has been confirmed and two online WIP sessions are being organised
It was last July, during the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s Eastern Promises Industry Days (see the news), when the launch of First Cut+, a programme that aims to boost the competitiveness and marketability of feature films that previously participated in the First Cut Lab (FCL), was announced. The programme, which is split into two sessions, the first one having already run from 16-20 January during Trieste’s When East Meets West (see the news), is ready to return to Karlovy Vary for its second part of the year, inviting eight FCL alumni to the online edition of Eastern Promises from 6-9 July.
As a reminder, the complete portfolio of First Cut+ consists of 16 feature-length fiction films that are currently in post-production and hail from countries with a low production capacity (at least 75% of the films). There is also a special focus on Central and Eastern European projects. First Cut+ is the only new action to have received financial support from the Access to Markets scheme of Creative Europe’s MEDIA programme this year.
There are two Lithuanian film projects participating in First Cut+ at KVIFF Eastern Promises: the sophomore effort by Andrius Blaževičius (The Saint [+see also:
interview: Andrius Blazevicius
film profile]), the romantic thriller Runner (Lithuania/Czech Republic), produced by Marija Razgutė (M-Films); and another sophomore feature, by writer-director Ernestas Jankauskas, the dramedy I Am Fine, Thanks, produced by Gabija Siurbytė (Dansu). From Serbia, Ivan Ikić (Barbarians [+see also:
interview: Ivan Ikic
film profile]) is bringing his eagerly awaited sophomore teenage drama, The Users (Serbia/Slovenia/Netherlands/Bosnia and Herzegovina/France – see the news), staged by Milan Stojanović (SENSE Production).
As for the first-time filmmakers, the selection includes Romanian screenwriter Monica Stan (Coureur [+see also:
interview: Kenneth Mercken
film profile]) and documentarian-cinematographer George Chiper Lillemark (The Man Who Would Be Free [+see also:
film profile]) with their drama Imaculat (Romania), produced by Marcian Lazar (Axel Film); Bulgarian documentarian Andrey Paounov (Walking on Water [+see also:
film profile]) with his debut drama, January (Bulgaria/Portugal/Luxembourg), staged by Vanya Rainova (Portokal); and Wild Roots (Hungary/Slovakia) by Hungarian writer-director Hajni Kis, produced by Julie Berkes for Proton Cinema. Finally, the First Cut+ selection is rounded off by Polish director Leszek Dawid (You Are God [+see also:
film profile]), with his upcoming mountaineering story Broad Peak (Poland/Italy), produced by Pola Langowska (East Studio); and Turkish writer-filmmaker Ferit Karahan, with his fourth feature, a school drama called Brother's Keeper [+see also:
film profile] (Turkey/Romania), set in the Anatolian mountains and produced by Kanat Doğramacı (Asteros Film).
Over its four days, the event offers three days of consultations with established film-industry experts on promotion, marketing, press, trailer-making, festival launches and sales strategy. The confirmed mentors will be: marketing specialist Boris Pugnet; digital marketing specialist for L’Avventura Studio Alexis Hamaide; international publicists and PR specialists for WOLF Laurin Dietrich and Michael Arnon; head of sales at New Europe Film Sales Katarzyna Siniarska; and head of First Cut+ and former Pyramide International festival manager Ilaria Gomarasca, who will handle festival strategies. Furthermore, editor Benjamin Mirguet will be the advisor for trailer dramaturgy, and Romanian editor Catalin Cristuțiu will be tutoring on trailer-making.
The projects will also be screened in two work-in-progress sessions on 6 and 7 July, in the afternoon, and all eight projects are eligible for the Karlovy Vary Post-production Development Award, sponsored by UPP and Soundsquare, and also the TRT Award Works in Progress 2020.
But before all this, a webinar is being organised today, on “Alternative Distribution Strategies and New Opportunities for Producers from Central and Eastern Europe”, featuring Katarzyna Siniarska, Nguyet Nguyenova (Gruvi) and Anne-Sophie Lehec (Cinemarket). It is moderated by Leo Barraclough (Variety).
Regarding the programme, Ilaria Gomarasca, head of First Cut+, stated: “Our priority is providing high-level content that could be beneficial for European film professionals, offering specific suggestions and tools adapted to each film in order to help them emerge in the already crowded international market. We are focusing on new strategies and opportunities adapted to this very challenging moment for the film industry.”
The eight projects selected for the Karlovy Vary session of First Cut+ are:
Broad Peak – Leszek Dawid (Poland/Italy)
Scriptwriter: Łukasz Ludkowski
Producers: Maciej Rzączyński, Dawid Janicki, Krzysztof Rzączyński, Paweł Rymarz, Pola Łangowska (East Studio)
I Am Fine, Thanks – Ernestas Jankauskas (Lithuania)
Scriptwriter: Ernestas Jankauskas
Producer: Gabija Siurbytė (Dansu)
Imaculat – Monica Stan, George Chiper Lillemark (Romania)
Scriptwriter: Monica Stan
Producer: Marcian Lazar (Axel Film)
January – Andrey Paounov (Bulgaria/Portugal/Luxembourg)
Scriptwriters: Alex Barrett, Andrey Paounov
Producer: Vanya Rainova (Portokal)
Runner – Andrius Blaževičius (Lithuania/Czech Republic)
Scriptwriters: Andrius Blaževičius, Marija Kavtaradze, Teklė Kavtaradze
Producer: Marija Razgutė (M-Films)
The Users – Ivan Ikić (Serbia/Slovenia/Netherlands/Bosnia and Herzegovina/France)
Scriptwriter: Ivan Ikić
Producer: Milan Stojanović (SENSE Production)
Wild Roots – Hajni Kis (Hungary/Slovakia)
Scriptwriters: Fanni Szántó, Hajni Kis
Producer: Julie Berkes (Proton Cinema)
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