TORINO/Film Lab Label grows

Savina Neirotti

This year, the Torino Film Lab (TFL) is enriched with three new projects, through a partnership with the Biennale College: three micro-budget films that will be presented during the final event of the Lab, which backs emerging filmmakers and this year takes place in Turin from November 25- 27, during the 31st edition of the Turin Film Festival (November 22-30).

The films are: Michael Zupraner’s “Abu Naim” (Israel), “The Sub- stance” (Spain) by Lluis Galter Sanchez and “The Death of J.P. Cuen- ca” (Brazil) by João Paolo Cuenca.
“They are part of 15 low-budget projects developed within the Biennale College workshop”, explains TFL Director Savina Neirotti. “We give them the opportunity to make their pitch in Turin, before a group of decision-makers that we invite to the Film Lab Meeting Event”.

Approximately 200 industry professionals come together in Turin to hear about the over 40 projects of the various workshops that comprise the TFL. With pitching sessions followed by one-on-one meetings, the Lab increasingly resembles a co-production market.
All one needs to do is look at the path of many of the projects that took their first steps here, and this year’s success stories, which Neirotti spoke to us about with pride:
“‘Salvo’, by Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia, was written as part of Script&Pitch, before it won an internal prize that gave it access to our more advanced programme, Framework, with which it won TFL production awards. And it was at the Torino Film Lab that the filmmakers met the French co-producer who made it possible for them to close their budget and make the film. Now, after having won the two awards at this year’s Critics’ Week in Cannes, it has been sold to over 20 countries and is travelling to the most important festivals.

“Also presented in Critics’ Week was the Indian film ‘The Lunch Box’ by Ritesh Batra, another participant in the Film Lab. The film was picked up for distribution in over 40 countries, in America it will be released by Sony Pictures Classics, and in India it’s been out for over five weeks and is proving to be a big audience and box office hit”. Script&Pitch (for development) and Frameworks (for projects in pre-production) are the Lab’s longest-standing programmes, but today there are three more.
The first, the adaptation workshop Adapt Lab, is now in its second edition. Then there’s the Writer’s Room, which develops cross-media projects and, Neirotti explains, “This year, besides, the call for par- ticipants, we also had one for choosing the projects, and selected two: ‘Midnight’ by Anna Reeves and ‘Hack’ by Thomas Lee. Last but not least is the lab for training Audience Designers, “experts who work to identify an audience while a film is still in its development stage, so they work closely with directors and screenwriters.
In our workshop, they’re trained alongside some of the directors of Script&Pitch”.

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