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TRANSILVANIA 2024 TIFF Industry / Awards

Transilvania’s Full Moon Creative Lab announces ICU - Immortal Care Unit as its first-ever winner


- The pilot edition of the project, supported by the European Union and dedicated to screenwriters specialising in genre TV series, has come to an end after three creative residencies

Transilvania’s Full Moon Creative Lab announces ICU - Immortal Care Unit as its first-ever winner
l-r: Sînziana Cojocărescu, Giulio Rizzo, Geo Doba, Nadya Todorova and Greg Simmons during the awards ceremony

ICU - Immortal Care Unit by Italian head writer Giulio Rizzo, who was advised by facilitator Geo Doba, has grabbed the first Full Moon Creative Lab Development Award, worth €5,000, during a pitching session at the Transilvania International Film Festival. The prize was announced on the evening of 21 June in Cluj-Napoca in front of influential industry professionals, including producers, broadcasters, sales agents, and representatives of TV and major streaming platforms. Besides Doba, who is a screenwriter and director, the other main facilitators of the programme are producer Eilon Ratzkovsky, and screenwriter and producer Arnaud Louvet. The pitching session was prepared in advance with psychologist Agathe Berman, while jury members Mirela Năstase from ZDF Studios, drama commissioning editor from ARTE France Anna Fukada and director-producer Simon Perry decided on the final winner.

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Rizzo was helped by co-writers Sînziana Cojocărescu (Romania), Nadya Todorova (Bulgaria) and Greg Simmons (Ireland), who were chosen after the open call and were assigned to the project, forming a group that embarked on a year-long creative collaboration (see the news). The other selected projects locking horns for the award were the thrillers Aurora, written by Romanian screenwriter Adina Istrate, and Negative Split by Slovenian screenwriter Barbara Skubic, both helped by six other screenwriters: Barry Murphy (Ireland), Rosella di Campli (Italy), Richard Karpala (Poland), Cristina Iliescu (Romania), Attila Veres (Hungary) and Rafael Alberto Garciolo (Germany).

The programme focuses on enhancing creators' collaborative series-writing skills within a European context. During the training sessions at Transilvania, the participants, working in the genres of thriller, horror and fantasy, were guided in three writers’ rooms, working from the rough idea for their scripts to a comprehensive bible document, including the first season outline and a breakdown of the pilot episode.

“I believe that what has happened in this programme over the past year has exceeded all of our expectations, from the selection of participants to the involvement of facilitators, and the significant contribution of international experts who prepared master classes and practical feedback sessions. The groups are cohesive, their communication has been constant, and their connection is palpable. This programme has brought out the best in the participants,” stated Full Moon Creative Lab project manager Ileana Cecanu.

The next edition of the scheme, aiming to improve the creative process by connecting European talents across all member states, cultivating high-standard co-writing practices, and ultimately delivering innovative and competitive European content, will be announced soon.

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