REPORT : ScriptLab et FeatureLab @ TorinoFilmLab 2023
par Camillo De Marco
- Pendant ces deux journées de présentation de pitchs, l’attention de Cineuropa s'est concentrée sur deux projets : le projet italien La casa bianca et Watch It Burn, de l'Indonésien Makbul Mubarak
Cet article est disponible en anglais.
The TFL Meeting Event is when the community of the TorinoFilmLab gathers in Turin to discover the stories which international professionals involved in the ScriptLab and FeatureLab programmes have been working on. The 54 participants in this year’s edition represent 31 countries and 5 continents (read the news).
On Friday 24 and Saturday 25 November, the co-production market welcomed over 200 people including producers, sales agents and international distributors who discovered the projects developed over the year. 10 FeatureLab projects were selected from among 170 submissions: 7 first works and 3 sophomore works at an advanced stage of development, presented by 10 creative teams composed of directors and producers who, during the year, focused on writing, production, sound-design, distribution and other aspects of a film’s making, supported by 16 coaches through 3 online and residential workshops. 20 ScriptLab projects were selected from 550 submissions: 9 debuts, 8 sophomore works and 3 from more experienced directors, the corresponding 28 participants having worked on screenwriting for 9 months with the support of 5 tutors and 5 aspiring story editors, through 5 online and residential workshops.
The selection includes some Italian professionals, among them the director Adriano Valerio (Banat - Il viaggio [+lire aussi :
fiche film]) — who together with Swiss screenwriter Aude Py has developed at the ScriptLab his project A Perfect Family, about the son of a female inmate who at the age of six is forced to leave the prison where he grew up — and the team composed of producer Raffaella Pontarelli and director Francesco Romano who have worked on the project A White House (La casa bianca) within the FeatureLab. Among the returning alumni who have taken part in the ScriptLab programme is Makbul Mubarak, a name that could soon become famous, with Watch It Burn. Cineuropa focused on these last two projects.
A White House (La casa bianca) - Francesco Romano (Italy)
After participating in the programmes Up & Coming Italia 2021 and Alpi Film Lab 2022, director Francesco Romano and producer Raffaella Pontarelli have continued their work on the project A White House (La casa bianca). “The project was born from the story of the co-writer Armando Iovino,” Romano tells Cineuropa, “the story of an event from his teenage years, when he had discovered that an aunt of his had been arrested for hosting a boss of the Camorra. This triggered the uncovering of a series of relationships and connections that suddenly upset a respectable family in the province of Naples.”
Pontarelli adds: “Through this love story in a social context that imposes certain rules on you, we wanted to explore a paradox: the story of a woman who, through evil, in contact with one of the most patriarchal structures in the world, manages to emancipate herself." The director and the producer believe that the film has a strong international appeal on the strength of its characters and the universal emotions they communicate - loneliness, ambition and social redemption.
Raffaella Pontarelli’s company Amarena Film has a French co-producer, Bocalupo Films, and the film (which predicts a total budget of 1.264.000 €) has already received support from the Fund for Italian-French Co-Development Projects of the MiC/CNC. “The workshops helped us refine the treatment and the screenplay, with continuous feedback, and also form a relationship with our French co-producer. It would be useful to have an important French contributor in post-production, such as in editing or sound design.”
Watch It Burn - Makbul Mubarak (Indonesia)
The debut feature film by Makbul Mubarak, Autobiography [+lire aussi :
fiche film], developed at the 2017 TFL FeatureLab, was selected by Indonesia to represent the country at the 2024 Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category after it premiered in Venice Orizzonti, where it won the FIPRESCI prize.
Makbul developed at the TFL ScriptLab his second feature film, Watch It Burn. Cineuropa met up with him after his pitch. We asked him what it was like to work with European producers to achieve success. “On Autobiography, there had been a very clear division of labour. The Polish team took care of the direction of photography, the French handled the post-production, Singapore dealt with the music and the Philippines with the editing. And I believe that working in this way was really beautiful, because co-production didn’t limit itself to tapping into subsidies, it was also about collaborating in a creative way. I really enjoyed this style of collaboration and we would like to do it again. This is why we’re here!” Autobiography was developed here in Torino, how did that go? “Six years ago, we were here and I liked the group dynamic a lot… We ended up working together. Our French co-producers were in fact our team companions in Torino. I really enjoyed myself and we learned a lot. And I thought, “Hey, if I make my second feature film, I'd like to go back and have another experience in Turin.”
And what was this second experience at the TFL like? “It was fantastic. I think we really bonded. We were together for seven months! And it's a little sad that it's coming to an end. But there’s also a new chapter awaiting us. I believe this is the lab that gives you the most lasting bond with the team. It isn’t only about financing, it also gives you friends. And I think that’s really important.”
Is there a connection between this project and your first film? “If you mean in terms of language, no. I like intense films. For me, Autobiography is an exercise in dramatic intensity. And the second film will be similar in that sense. It’s a suspense drama. Watch It Burn deals with the personal turmoil of the main character but it is at the same time very political, because it is set in a mining town, my hometown, where people extract nickel, which is used to make batteries. They are destroying the town. People burn their houses to dig mines. And it is ironic that, while other places are becoming ecologically clean, there are no fish anymore in that area. The film deals with the tension between the locals and the people who arrive to take the nickel, with the way capitalism changes our way of life, and with the environment. Driving your Tesla is a pleasure, and you can enjoy your solar panel. But there, we have to fight.”
Can cinema sensitise people about these forms of aggressive capitalism that destroy everything? “I think that cinema today is more important than ever, because we feel like we live in very different worlds. You Europeans have your problems, my country has its own. Think about what is happening in Palestine and Israel. But with cinema, we are always reminded that we actually share similar things. The problems we are facing are in reality similar and I believe that cinema is a very profound instrument of solidarity. More than a report in the newspaper, because there is a visual impact and you don’t use only your brain, but you experience empathy when you are exploring a country different from your own.”
(Traduit de l'italien)
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