VENICE PRODUCTION BRIDGE/Closing the Gap at Lido

Pascal Diot_10 -® Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia-ASAC From the Venice Film Market to the Venice Production Bridge: the Venice Film Festival’s projects market, which will be held from 1 to 5 September onthe third floor of the Excelsior Hotel, is being revamped and enhancing, starting with the name, what has always been its distinguishing feature: the focus on production.
“Alberto (Ed.’s note: Barbera) and I have always concentrated more on production than on the buying and selling aspect that carries more weight on other markets”, reveals Pascal Diot, the director of the market, “and now that we have reached the fifth edition, it became necessary to take things a step further by creating a platform where producers can meet with all the various sector players: financial backers, buyers and sellers, institutions, funds”.
A platform that is open to the whole production spectrum, seeing as “the boundary between media and languages is becoming increasingly subtle and producers now tend to work transversely”.
Diot goes on: “We have increased to 40 the number of projects at the Venice Gap Financing Market (2-3 September) and extended participation to the whole world: there will be 25 feature-length projects (18 fiction and 7 documentary films), which will be joined by innovative products like TV and web series (7 projects), as well as 8 Virtual Reality projects. These are projects at every stage of development or production (some are currently being filmed this summer) which, as in past years, must have at least 70% of the funding in place”.
There are 5 Italian projects in total: the feature- length movies ‘Alien Food’ by Giorgio Cugno (a co-production between Italy, Denmark and France) and ‘The Intruder’ by Leonardo Di Costanzo (Italy-Switzerland-France); the Italian-Argentinian co-produced documentary ‘Tierra del Mal’ directed by Daniele Incalcaterra and Fausta Quattrini; the web series ‘Ref- erees’ by Giampiero Judica and the TV series ‘Nemesi’ (Indigo Film).

The number of professionals invited has also risen of which, this year, there are about one hundred, including “several important television programmers, the heads of network drama departments: new figures for Venice. And the invitation is for four nights in order to give our guests an opportunity to continue networking beyond the gap financing market, maximizing Venice’s lightweight formula and the advantage of it being a relaxing festival where everything is concentrated in a limited space with no need to rush. Plus, by staying longer, they can also take part in the other events scheduled”.
These include the new Book Adaptation Rights Market, two days (2-3 September) dedicated to networks and top international publishers.
“We have invited 15 of them including De Agostini, Gallimard and other important German, Spanish and Belgian companies… Everyone will have a space at the Industry Club to present their library and new titles: unlike at Berlin or Cannes, we have not selected individual books, our philosophy is to bring publishers and pro- ducers together and lay the foundations for establishing future relationships”.

Final Cut in Venice will also be returning (September 3-5), the workshop aimed at projects in Africa Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria that are still in the production phase: producers and directors are given a chance to present their projects to professionals and international distributors in order to facilitate post-production and to promote co-productions and access to the market.
The workshop will end with the awarding of prizes, in cash or ‘in kind’, for the purpose of supporting the post-production of the projects, which are provided by Final Cut’s various partners: Laser Film (€15,000 for color correction), Mactari Mixing Auditorium (€ 15,000 for sound mixing), Titra Film (€10,000 for digital color correction, for the production of a DCP master and French or English subtitles) , Sub- Ti Ltd (€ 7,000 for the production of a DCP master and French or Italian subtitles), Sub-Ti ACCESS Srl (€ 7,000 for making content ac- cessible to audiences with sensory disabilities), Rai Cinema (€ 5,000 for two-year broadcasting rights), Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie – OIF- (€ 5,000 for an African or Arab film from an OIF member-country), Festival International du Film d’Amiens (the production of a 35mm print or participation in the production costs of a DCP amounting to € 1500), Festival International de Films de Fribourg (the production of a 35mm print or participation in the production costs of a DCP amounting to €1500), MAD Solutions, Institut Français (marketing and distribution of an Arab project within the Arab world).

There will also be a space for reflecting on the state of the industry at the European Film Forum with Creative Europe and the European Commission, where financing and the future of cinema will be discussed; there will be a panel on the funding of European TV series, a panel on Netflix and Amazon, one on virtual reality, and one on the various funding initiatives in Africa and the Middle East.

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