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FIRST CUT LAB 2020

First Cut Lab expands to Western Europe

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- The successful workshop for films in their editing phase will run its first editions in Belgium and Switzerland

First Cut Lab expands to Western Europe
Agnieszka Glińska, Gaia Furrer and Cătălin Cristuţiu are among the consultants of First Cut Lab Switzerland

Five years after its introduction in Trieste, First Cut Lab is continuing its expansion towards Western Europe, in a struggling period for a film industry in need of further support. The workshop, dedicated to feature films in the editing phase, has unveiled its next stops and new partnerships in Belgium and Switzerland, aiming to offer tailor-made labs to local industries.

More specifically, First Cut Lab Belgium will be organised for the first time in early 2021 and at least two films which have received support either from VAF (Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds) or from the Centre du cinéma of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles will be selected to receive the consultancy services.

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An Feyfer, in charge of Talent Development at VAF, mentioned: “Filmmakers often have the habit of participating in workshops during the development of their script. This is not the case during the editing phase. Although this is a phase where they rewrite their story, they would rather not reveal too much to the outside world. But it is precisely then that external feedback can increase the potential of the film, and that is why the VAF wants to give them this opportunity to work with First Cut Lab in the safe and confidential environment they create.”

As for First Cut Lab Switzerland, the inaugural edition will be part of the 56th Solothurn Film Festival, running from 20 to 27 January 2021, and within its “A l’atelier” programme which was just presented today. The new section is dedicated to the filmmaking process and is organised with the support of the Migros Culture Percentage’s Story Lab. At least two Swiss films will be selected to be workshopped during the important festival.

The first experts of First Cut Lab Switzerland have also been confirmed: Agnieszka Glińska (Sweat [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Magnus von Horn
film profile
]
, I Never Cry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Piotr Domalewski
film profile
]
) from Poland and Cătălin Cristuţiu (Uppercase Print [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Ivana The Terrible [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ada Solomon
film profile
]
) from Romania are the consulting editors, while Gaia Furrer, artistic director of Venice’s sidebar Giornate degli Autori, will be among the industry advisors.

Regarding the new labs, Matthieu Darras, founder & director of First Cut Lab, mentioned: “When First Cut Lab was founded in 2015, we initially focused our attention on the cinemas of Central and Eastern Europe, notably thanks to our long-standing partnerships with the When East Meets West Co-production Forum and the Polish Film Institute. While remaining loyal to these cinemas — the new First Cut+ programme we launched in 2020 is specifically designed with them in mind — we are very excited to bring First Cut Lab to Western Europe. Furthermore, at the 7th edition First Cut Lab Trieste, we are looking for Italian films to workshop.”

The call for projects for both workshops ends on 15 December and more info can be found on the website of First Cut Lab. As is also confirmed, more films from Western Europe will participate in the next workshops during 2021.

To recap the previous months: six films which participated in various First Cut Labs have been introduced to the audiences. Listen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ana Rocha de Sousa
film profile
]
by Ana Rocha de Sousa premiered in Venice’s Orizzonti section and won the Lion of the Future for Best Debut Film across all sections of the festival, along with the Orizzonti Special Jury Prize. Moreover, Ivan Ikić’s sophomore feature Oasis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Ikic
film profile
]
premiered in Venice’s Giornate degli Autori and received the Europa Cinemas Label. Teemu Nikki’s latest film Nimby - Not in My Back Yard [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
premiered at the Helsinki International Film Festival before travelling to the Warsaw Film Festival, while it got released in Finnish cinemas in early October. Grzegorz Zariczny’s Simple Things [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
will soon be distributed in Polish cinemas by the New Horizons Association. Finally, Maxim Dashkin’s debut feature Far Frontiers competed at the Moscow Film Festival and the animated feature Hayop Ka! by Avid Liongoren from the Philippines, is available on Netflix Asia.

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