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TRIESTE 2024 WEMW

First Cut+ announces eight projects for its Trieste session

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- The selection comprises 6 debut or sophomore features, along with 2 projects from seasoned creators; participants include Davi Pretto from Brazil and Slovakian director-producer Peter Kerekes

First Cut+ announces eight projects for its Trieste session
Wishing on a Star by Peter Kerekes

In its ninth edition since 2020, the First Cut+ programme operates biannually in collaboration with two vibrant and well-established film industry platforms: When East Meets West at the Trieste Film Festival and Eastern Promises at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Each year, the programme promotes a portfolio of 16 feature films, with eight films highlighted during the winter session in Trieste, and the remaining eight showcased during the summer session at Karlovy Vary.

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Engaging projects gain valuable insights through lectures and personalised mentoring sessions provided by diverse film industry consultants and covering promotion, marketing, PR and press, festivals, and sales strategy. The programme, overseen by producer Natalia Libet, boasts an expanded roster of consultants and on-site activities. Returning advisors include editor Catalin Cristutiu, Katarzyna Siniarska (New Europe Film Sales), Joanna Solecka (Alphapanda), Ninon Benezet and Alexandre Bourg (Nice Guys Agency), Christina Pelekani (Endorphin Film), and Wendy Mitchell.

This January, the programme is enriched by introducing an exclusive master talk, "Marketing is your friend: tricks and treats," available to accredited guests of WEMW. In this session, Christina Pelekani will share invaluable insights on crafting top-notch promotional materials to distinguish oneself amidst the competition. Participants will gain knowledge on forming a marketing strategy utilising "secret weapons" such as positioning, benchmarks, strengths and challenges, and understanding the target audience. The talk aims to assist producers in adopting a dual perspective, thinking both like a film industry representative (B2B) and a fan (B2C). The talk will take place on 21 January at Trieste’s Savoia Excelsior Palace at 17:00.

Following the master class will be the showcase featuring 8 projects at the work-in-progress stage. This edition's selection includes 6 first or second features and 2 projects from accomplished creators, including Brazilian director Davi Pretto and director-producer Peter Kerekes, an alumna of the First Cut Lab. The projects are hailing from a diverse range of countries, namely Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Israel, Kosovo, Lithuania, Netherlands, and Slovakia.

The First Cut+ TRT Award, sponsored by TRT, offers a €5,000 cash prize with the objective of providing additional support and recognition to one of the projects featured in the winter edition in Trieste. The recipient will be determined by a jury composed of Esra Demirkiran from TRT, Paolo Bertolin from the selection committee of the Venice Film Festival, and Clément Chautant from the Paris-based Indie Sales. The award ceremony is scheduled to take place during the WEMW Award Ceremony in the evening of 23 January.

Over the first four years of the First Cut+ programme, a total of 64 feature films have participated, showcasing the talent and creativity fostered by the initiative. Notable alumni films from this lineup include Listen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ana Rocha de Sousa
film profile
]
by Ana Rocha de Sousa, recipient of the Lion of the Future award at Venice 2020; Immaculate [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Monica Stan, George Chiper-…
film profile
]
by Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark, honoured also with the Lion of the Future award at Venice in 2021; 107 Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Peter Kerekes
film profile
]
directed by Peter Kerekes, which earned the Grand Prix at Les Arcs 2021; A Piece of Sky [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michael Koch
film profile
]
by Michael Koch, recognised with a Silver Bear Special Mention at the 2022 Berlinale; The Maiden by Graham Foy, recipient of the Cinema of The Future Award at Venice 2022; Charcoal by Carolina Markowicz, featured at Toronto Platform 2022; Sea Sparkle [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Domien & Wendy Huyghe
interview: Thibaud Dooms
film profile
]
by Domien Huyghe, acknowledged with a Crystal Bear Special Mention at Berlinale Generation Kplus 2023; and Explanation for Everything [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gábor Reisz
film profile
]
by Gábor Reisz, which received the Orizzonti Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival in 2023.

Here is the 2024 First Cut+ WEMW selection:

Celebration - Bruno Anković (Croatia/Slovenia)
Producers: Rea Rajčić, Tina Tišljar (Eclectica)
Co-producer: Pakt Media

Continent - Davi Pretto (Brazil/France/Argentina)
Producer: Paola Wink (Vulcana Cinema)
Co-producers: Dublin Films, Murillo Cine, Pasto

Hana - Ujkan Hysaj (Kosovo)
Producers: Ujkan Hysaj, Kushtrim Koliqi (AJO Pictures)

Hunger Strike Breakfast - Karolis Kaupinis (Lithuania/Czech Republic/Latvia)
Producer: Marija Razgutė (M-Films)
Co-producers: Background Films, Tasse Film

March to May - Martin Repka (Czech Republic/Slovakia)
Producer: Tomáš Pertold (Breathless Films)
Co-producer: 0000 films

Tropicana - Omer Tobi (Israel/Canada)
Producers: Hilla Medalia (Medalia Productions), Gil Sima (Sima Films)
Co-producer: Filmoption International

White Flash - Laura Hermanides (Netherlands)
Producer: Chris Stenger (Family Affair Films)

Wishing on a Star - Peter Kerekes (Italy/Austria/Slovakia/Czech Republic/Croatia/Taiwan)
Producer: Erica Barbiani (Videomante)
Co-producers: Mischief Films, Kerekes Films, Artcam Films, Restart, Volos

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