First Cut Lab Belgium and First Cut Lab Netherlands open their calls
- The two labs are ready to welcome new films for their fourth edition, while the initiative’s international team has expanded
First Cut Lab, established in 2015, has surpassed 230 participating films in its programme. Managed by Tatino Films (known for initiatives like the Pop Up Film Residency and the Full Circle Lab), First Cut Lab is an exclusive consultancy programme designed for feature films at the post-production/editing stage. It is already gearing up for its upcoming activities in 2024, which encompass two European labs in Belgium and the Netherlands.
On a regular basis, First Cut Lab launches calls for applications in collaboration with national agencies across Europe and worldwide, aiming to support a curated selection of films at the editing stage. In 2021, First Cut Lab Belgium and First Cut Lab Netherlands were introduced, each working with distinct directors and editors representing a diverse range of production companies.
The upcoming fourth edition of First Cut Lab Belgium will offer an opportunity for a minimum of two Belgian films, which have previously received support from either the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) or the Centre du cinéma de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, to participate in the programme. Notably, in 2023, three films that had gone through First Cut Lab Belgium had their premieres at prestigious festivals: Luka [+see also:
interview: Jessica Woodworth
film profile] by Jessica Woodworth was selected for the Big Screen Competition at IFFR, Sea Sparkle [+see also:
interview: Domien & Wendy Huyghe
interview: Thibaud Dooms
film profile] by Domien Huyghe screened in the Berlinale’s Generation section, and Lost Children [+see also:
interview: Michèle Jacob
film profile] by Michèle Jacob was featured in the Proxima Competition at Karlovy Vary.
The upcoming fourth edition of First Cut Lab Netherlands will welcome two, or possibly three, Dutch films that have received backing from the Netherlands Film Fund. In 2023, three movies that had partaken in workshops within First Cut Lab Netherlands enjoyed their premieres at prominent film festivals: Sacha Polak's Silver Haze [+see also:
film profile] was featured in the Berlinale Panorama, Ena Sendijarevic's Sweet Dreams [+see also:
interview: Ena Sendijarević
film profile] competed in Locarno’s International Competition and earned the Leopard for Best Performance, while Lilian Sijbesma's Under the Naked Sky is set to have its premiere at next month’s Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (listen to our podcast).
In terms of this year's statistics, there were 45 films that took part in workshops across 17 labs, and 35 of these pictures were subsequently released. Among these, 18 had their premieres at major festivals such as Berlin, Cannes, Locarno, Rotterdam, Toronto and Venice. Additionally, 11 other films had their premieres at festivals of the calibre of Busan, Hot Docs, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal, Karlovy Vary, Sarajevo, Tallinn, Bafici and Visions du Réel.
Furthermore, First Cut Lab's international team has expanded with several new additions. They include Erica Barbiani from Italy, a seasoned story editor, author of three novels and producer, who is currently working on Peter Kerekes' Wishing on a Star; Suzy Gillett from the UK, a script and editing consultant with over 30 years of experience in the film industry, who is also developing her first feature, Chéramy, and who teaches documentary filmmaking at UNATC in Bucharest; and Una Gunjak from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a director who initially trained as an editor at Beaconsfield's NFTS and whose first feature, Excursion [+see also:
interview: Una Gunjak
film profile], was selected for the Locarno Cineasti del Presente section and was shortlisted for the European Film Awards in 2023, and who joins as a consultant editor.
In addition to these new members, First Cut Lab continues to rely on its core team of editorial consultants, including Naomi Levari and Wim Vanacker, as well as various consultant editors – namely, Benjamin Mirguet, Catalin Cristutiu, Agnieszka Glinska, Maya Maffioli, Sebastian Sepulveda, Matthieu Taponier and Sebastian Winkels. The initiative is directed by Julie Marnay, with Natalia Libet as the head of First Cut+.
Another call for applications that will be launched soon will cover First Cut Lab Paradiso Brazil and First Cut Lab Philippines.
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