Better known as the Festival dei Popoli, the 54th International Documentary Film Festival (November 30-December 7), directed by Alberto Lastrucci, is opening its doors to the industry with the first edition of Doc at Work (December 4-7).
“Our ambition is give directors and producers the opportunity to meet potential co-producers or distributors interested in investing in their film”, says Manuela Buono, head of the initiative, which has received backing from the Fondazione Sistema Toscana.
“We launched a call for projects to directors and producers from all over the world, and received hundreds of submissions, in both the development and pre-editing stages, and are selecting the best of them.
We’ve invited experts and buyers from throughout Europe to be at the presentations, which will take place on December 6 and 7. We’re looking for creative documentaries made for theatrical release, projects by filmmakers that could find broad audiences.
In fact, our experts include not only commissioning editors but also distributors working across all platforms: cinema, TV, VoD, DVD, and so forth”
Projects in the development stage must present a short trailer at the Pitching Forum, while the others must show 10-15 minutes of a rough cut.
Attending buyers and financiers include Polish distributor Artur Liebahrt (Against Gravity), international sellers Stefan Kloos (Rise and Shine) and Yung Kha (Dogwoof), Silvana Bezzola (Radio Televisione Svizzera Italiana), Isabelle Mestre Casadesus (ARTE France – Art&Culture), Jean Emmanuel Casalta (France Television), Fabio Mancini (RAI – Doc3), Robert Tomic Zuber (Croatian broadcaster HRT) and Luciano Rigolini (ARTE France – La Lucarne).
To better understand the current distribution possibilities for this genre of films, the two days of presentations will be preceded by a conference on Italian documentary-making to which, says Buono, “We’ve invited distributors from all the platforms we have in Italy. We want to hold work sessions during which solutions are sought and a critical analysis is made of the panorama of Italian documentary distribution. It’s a difficult panorama, yet positive openings are being made, just look at the Golden Lion win for ‘Holy GRA’, which did well theatrically.
Among others, we’ve invited the film’s distributor, Fabrizio Grosoli (of Officine Ubu), and Luca Legnani, of The Space movie theatre, which programmed the film”.
The first day of Doc at Work, December 4, will be dedicated to par- ticipants’ training, with a workshop held by producer Stefano Tealdi.