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6th edition of the Biennale College Cinema
Cinema -

6th edition of the Biennale College Cinema

The presentation of the 12 projects that participated in the first workshop this year takes place on Monday October 16th.

The sixth edition of
Biennale College Cinema 

La Biennale di Venezia announces the presentation of the 12 projects that participated in the first workshop of the 6th Biennale College – Cinema (2017 – 2018) held in Venice from the 7th to the 16th of October 2017. The proceedings, taking place on Monday October 16th 2017 at the Biennale headquarters at Ca' Giustinian in Venice, will be opened by President Paolo Baratta and the Director of the Cinema Department Alberto Barbera.

Biennale College – Cinema
This is the programme by the Biennale di Venezia that cultivate young talents by offering them the opportunity to work side by side with the masters, to make feature-length micro-budget films. The Biennale College is an innovative and complex experience that engages every Department of the Biennale di Venezia.

The international Calls  of the 6th edition
Of the 12 projects, 9 have been selected from the Biennale College Cinema –International call, and 3 from the Call of Biennale College Cinema – Italia. The call for the latter was launched on March 7th, the international call on May 2nd. A total of 204 applications were submitted. Overall, across the 6 editions of the Biennale College – Cinema, 1450 applications have been received from all over the world.

The first workshop of the 6th edition
The 12 teams that submitted the projects in the selection (consisting of a director and a producer), from Canada, China, Colombia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Mexico, Spain, Turkey and the USA, participated in a preliminary workshop that was held in Venice from the 7th to the 16th of October 2017.

Presentation of the 12 projects of the 6th edition
In a working session from 3 pm to 6 pm on Monday October 16th, the 12 teams will present their projects, offering a brief description of various aspects involved in the creation of their stories, their personal careers, their special influences and their vision of cinema.

Selection of 3 projects to make three feature-length films
Following this presentation, only 3 teams will be invited to attend two additional workshops, also to be held in Venice, from December 3rd  to 6th   2017 and from January 11th  to 15th  2018, following which they will begin production on 3 feature-length films (debut or second films) of which one will be Italian. The films will be low-cost, supported by a grant of 150 thousand euro, and will subsequently be presented at the 75th Venice International Film Festival 2018. The other 9 projects that are not selected will however be assisted and supervised.

The 12 projects

  • Besos Negros (Black Kisses) - Alejandro Naranjo (director, Colombia) | Omar Razzak  (producer, Spain)
  • An exorcist priest, a satanic warlock and a victim of demonic possession. Three love stories, pierced with mysticism and its divine and demonic manifestations.
  • Deva Mall -  Petra Szocs  (director, Hungary) | Péter  Fülöp  (producer, Hungary)
  • Now we are going to take you gently, throw you into the fire.
  • Dos Estaciones - Juan Pablo González  (director, Portugal) | Jamie Gonçalves  (producer, Brazil / USA)
  • Set in the Jalisco highlands, where most of the world's tequila is produced, a stubborn landowner struggles with the inevitable downfall of a lifelong business. A makeup artist in the same town finds himself falling in love with a local rancher. Rooted in the real, Dos estaciones begins during the late spring cultivation, blossoms in the vibrant green summer and burns during the field fires that follow the winter harvest.     
  • Gepetto - Z Behl (director, USA) | Carlos Zozaya (producer, Mexico)
  • A feminist re-envisioning of the original tale, GEPETTO is a treatise on gender in relation to artistic identity, focused on one woman’s self-transformation into a reckless artist.
  • The Ice Rift - Margherita Ferri (director, Italy) | Chiara Galloni (producer, Italy) small village in the mountains, where everything is motionless. Fifteen year old Vanessa is tired of being seen as just the prettiest girl in town and she sees an escape, or maybe even her first love, in Maia, a tomboy who fights on the ice-hockey rink as well as against her own solitude. A mountain cabin becomes a way to protect themselves from a community who judge, and there’s only a chair-lift to run away on, who knows where.
  • Stellanera - Valentina Bertuzzi (director, Italy) | Alessandra Grilli (producer, Italy)
  • When a young woman tries to get pregnant her life is taken over by the ghost of her dead mother
  • Swamp Queen - Xander Robin (director, USA) | Tatiana Bears (producer, USA)
  • Deep in the heart of Southwest Florida, an injured swamp buggy racer descends into chaos as she searches for her missing friend - an aspiring beauty queen.  
  • A Time of Gods  - Piotr Stasik (director, Poland) | Pawel Kosun (producer, Poland)
  • It takes as little as a clown-like politician pressing the button, or a magnetic storm on the Sun, or viruses mutating. The end may come any time. "The Time of Gods" is a story about what awaits us after our civilization collapses. Contrary to what may be expected, the story is a journey back in time to when we were kids and life was easy.
  • To Live To Sing - Johnny Ma (director, Canada/China) | Jing Wang (producer, China)
  • An hot-tempered female Sichuan opera troupe manager, faced with demolition of her theatre, must find her troupe a new home before the “family” falls apart.
  • Untitled Expat Film - Daniel Laabs (director, USA) | Jeff Walker (producer, USA)
  • After losing his passport, a young gay man, Ian, finds himself isolated on an island in the Caribbean. Forced to rely on a group of wayward American expats, Ian’s vacation becomes a waking nightmare of survival and midnight shark fishing.

  • Wild Youth - Lorenzo Lodovichi (director, Italy) | Ines Vasiljevic (producer, Italy)
  • In a close future, an elixir of eternal youth has been invented. Whoever takes it stops aging and lives in closed communities, packed of fake juvenile people. The residents live in       constant fear of the real young people, which are called Wild Youth. Lucio is the only member of the community who has the chance to meet a Wild Girl. 

  • Yuva (Home) - Emre Yeksan (director, Turkey) | Anna Maria Aslanoglu (producer, Turkey)
  • The solitary life of the animal-man VEYSEL (40s) in the woods is disrupted when the land he lives is sold to investors. His persistence turns to a confrontation with his younger brother HASAN who comes from the city to convince him to leave.

The first workshop

  • Teamwork, plenary classes, individual sessions and exchanges of ideas: this was the programme of the first workshop of the 6th edition of the Biennale College - Cinema, which was held at San Servolo (Venice) from October 7th through 16th, curated by Alberto Barbera and the Team of the Biennale College – Cinema (Savina Neirotti, Head of Programme).

    The 12 project teams worked closely with leading figures in international and Italian independent cinema. The goal was to discuss their projects and the experiences of low-budget filmmaking, meeting directly with the tutors and with the other teams.

    Depending on their role, the tutors and consultants were given specific assignments and worked in different ways with the teams as a whole:

    -  Group Leaders: Michel Reilhac, Gino Ventriglia, Jane Williams.

    Each of them coordinated the work of a group that included 4 different projects, working with the group as a whole, or directly with the individual teams assigned to them.

    Each group discussed the aspects of their own project in detail, making and receiving suggestions from the other teams, and putting together all the ideas that came up in the other sessions.

    - Producer Consultants: Amra Baksic Camo, Agustina Chiarino, Mike Ryan

  • The production issues for each project were discussed, taking advantage of each group’s capabilities and understandings to share experiences and best practices in micro-budget filmmaking.

    - Script Consultants: Giacomo Durzi, Marietta Von Hausswolff Von Baumgarten, Anita Voorham

    Each script consultant worked with 4 dedicated projects throughout the entire workshop and coached the teams in writing the step outline first and then the screenplay.

    - 2 Experts: Paul Tyler and Alec Von Bargen

    Both advisors concentrated on the visual aspects of the projects. Paul Tyler led an individual workshop with each team, the purpose of which was to build their projects as effectively as possible. Alec Von Bargen brought the participants his experience as an artist; he held individual sessions with each team, which helped them find the central visual theme for their project. 

    - Pitching Trainer: Stefano Tealdi

    In group and plenary sessions, the teams were assisted in developing a public presentation of their project, learning to describe the core of the project.

    Specifically, the workshop programme was divided into several different activities, in which the teams worked in groups or together:

    -     Group sessions: three groups in all, consisting in four projects each.

    -     Team sessions: with the assigned tutor; with each tutor individually and with the three tutors together; 

  • Case studies and lectures: plenary sessions for all participants.
  • Individual meetings with the tutor of a different group: each team was given the possibility of getting feedback from tutors assigned to a different group.
  • Writing: opportunity for individual work or discussion within each single team.

The Institutional Partners

The Biennale College – Cinema, organized by the Biennale di Venezia, enjoys the support of the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities – General Direction Cinema. Biennale College – Cinema relies on the academic collaboration with IFP in New York, with the TorinoFilmLab and with the Busan International Film Festival. The Director is Alberto Barbera, Head of Programme is Savina Neirotti.

The editions 2012-2017

So far 16 feature-length films have been made during the first (2012/2013), second (2013/2014), third (2014/2015), fourth (2015/2016) and fifth (2016/17) editions of the Biennale College – Cinema, and screened as world premieres respectively at the 70th Venice International Film Festival 2013, at the 71st Venice International Film Festival 2014, at the 72ndVenice International Film Festival 2015, at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival 2016 and at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, and later at other festivals, winning many awards and receiving excellent critical reviews.

  • The three films from the 1st edition of the Biennale College – Cinema (2012-2013):
  1. Memphis (USA) by Tim Sutton (director), produced by John Baker, participated in the Sundance Film Festival, the NEXT <=> competition, the Miami Film Festival, the Irish Film Institute, the Wisconsin Film Festival, the Sarasota Film Festival and the Sundance-London Film and Music Festival. In the USA, it was distributed in theatres in the summer of 2014 by Kino Lorber, in VOD for Vimeo one month after it was released, and was shown on cable TV on the AMC/Sundance Channel Global.
  2. Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy (Thailand) by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit (director), produced by Aditya Assarat , participated in the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, winning the Netpac Competition for Best Asian Film; the Busan International Film Festival, the Festival Internacional de Cine Valdivia, the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Torino Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Pan-Asia Film Festival, the Italian Film Festival - Special Venice Edition (Asian Showcase) in Singapore, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival. It also won 4 Thailand National Film Awards (out of 10): Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing; and 3 Bangkok Critics Assembly Awards (out of 9): Best Actress, Best Editing, Best Art Direction; it won 5 Kom Chad Luek Award nominations: Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress. It was released in theatres in Thailand on November 28th 2013, and in England and Ireland in the fall of 2014 (distributed by day-for-night).
  3. Yuri Esposito (Italy) by Alessio Fava (director), produced by Max Chicco, participated in the Stockholm International Film Festival and the Torino Film Festival, garnering excellent reviews.


  • The three films from the 2nd edition of the Biennale College – Cinema (2013-2014):
  1. Blood Cells by Joseph Bull (director, Great Britain), Luke Seomore (director, Great Britain), Samm Haillay (producer, Great Britain), Ben Young (producer, Great Britain), participated in the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2015. It was released in theatres in England and in Canada, and on many VOD platforms all over the world, including the United States and Italy.
  2. H. by Rania Attieh (director, Lebanon), Daniel Garcia (director, USA), Shruti Rya Ganguly (producer, India), Pierce Varous (producer, USA), won the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award at the Independent Spirit Awards 2015. It participated in the Sundance Film Festival 2015 in the NEXT <=> competition. It also participated in the Berlin Film Festival 2015 in the Forum section. It won the Guanajuato Film Festival 2015. It was presented in other festivals such as the International Istanbul Film Festival, the Sarasota Film Festival, the Independent Film Festival of Boston, the Nashville Film Festival, the Jeonju International Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Little Rock Film Festival. It was screened at the MoMA and distributed in theatres in New York in April 2016.
  3. Short Skin by Duccio Chiarini (director, Italy), Babak Jalali (producer, Iran/Great Britain), participated in the Generation 14plus competition of the Berlinale Generation section at the Berlin Film Festival 2015, and won the Ciak d’oro 2015 for Best Debut Film. It was released in Italian movie theatres on April 23rd, 2015 by Good Films, confirming the critical acclaim it had received at the festivals. It also participated in the Istanbul Film Festival, the Stockholm International Film Festival, and won the Festival Il Cinema Italiano Visto da Milano. It was released in theatres in NYC in October for Breaking Glass Pictures. It may be found in DVD for CG Entertainment.


  • The 3 films from the 3rd edition of the Biennale College – Cinema (2014/15) were presented at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival 2015 (2 – 12 September):
  1. Baby Bump by Kuba Czekaj (director, Poland), Magdalena Kaminska (producer, Poland), was released in theatres in Poland on June 3rd 2016. At the Venice Film Festival in 2015 it won a Special Mention of the Queer Lion Award. Other acknowledgments around the world include a Special Mention at the Gdynia Film Festival, the Journalists' Award and Best Director award at the Youth and Cinema Festival, a Special mention at the Sopot Film Festival, and the Programming Award for Artistic Achievement at the OUTFEST in Los Angeles.
  2. Blanka by Kohki Hasei (director, Japan), Flaminio Zadra (producer, Italy) won the Lanterna Magica Award and the Sorriso Diverso Venezia 2015 award at the Venice International Film Festival 2015. It has many other acknowledgments including the Netpac Award at the Kolkata International Film Festival 2015, and has participated in many festivals around the world including Göteborg, Küstendorf, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, and Busan. It has been distributed in France, Spain and Switzerland.
  3. The Fits by Anna Rose Holmer (director, Usa), Lisa Kjerulff (producer, Usa) won enthusiastic reviews at the Venice International Film Festival 2015 from “The Hollywood Reporter” (“a rough-diamond discovery”) and “Cahiers du Cinéma” (“the most exciting debut film of the festival”). It participated in Sundance 2016, in New Directors/New Films in NYC, and in more than 30 festivals around the world including Sarasota, Karlovy Vary and the Deauville Film Festival 2016 (in competition). It was released in theatres in the United States by Oscilloscope Laboratories on June 3rd 2016, where it achieved the second highest average per theatre on the first weekend. It is available in DVD and Blu-ray in the United States. It was sold for cable TV in much of the world, and was released in theatres in France in early 2017. Anna Rose Holmer was listed as one of the '25 New Faces of Independent Cinema' by Filmmaker Magazine in 2015.


  • The 4 films of the 4th edition of the Biennale College – Cinema (2015/16) were presented at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival 2016 (31 August - 10 September):
  1. Una Hermana – One Sister by Verena Kuri (director and producer, Argentina), Sofia Brockenshire (director and producer, Argentina).
  2. Mukti Bhawan – Hotel Salvation by Shubhashish Bhutiani (director, India), Sanjay Bhutiani (producer, India) received a 10-minute standing ovation and won the XXIII Prix "Enrico Fulchignoni" awarded by the UNESCO jury.
  3. Orecchie by Alessandro Aronadio (director, Italy), Costanza Coldagelli (producer, Italy), was received with great enthusiasm at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival and won three collateral awards: the Premio ARCA CinemaGiovani for Best Italian Film awarded by a jury of over 50 young people between the ages of 18 and 26 from Italy, France and Tunisia; the Menzione Fedic - Il Giornale del Cibo for the film that included the most significant scene about food and nutrition; the Premio Nuova Imaie to Daniele Parisi as best acting debut of the Venice Film Festival.
  4. La Soledad by Jorge Thielen Armand (director, Venezuela), Adriana Herrera (producer, Venezuela), Rodrigo Michelangeli (producer, Venezuela), Manon Ardisson (producer, Venezuela).


  • The 3 films of the 5th edition of the Biennale College – Cinema (2016/17) were presented at the 74th Venice International Film Festival 2017 (30 August – 9 September):
  1. Beautiful Things (Italy) – Giorgio Ferrero (director), Federico Biasin (producer) – debut film. It won the Premio Arca CinemaGiovani for best Italian film
  2. Strange Colours (Australia) – Alena Lodkina (director), Kate Laurie, Isaac Wall (producers) – debut film

Martyr  (Lebanon) – Mazen Khaled (director), Diala Kachmar (producer) – second film.

The second edition of
Biennale College Cinema - Virtual Reality

A new call for the second edition of the Biennale College – Cinema Virtual Reality for the year 2017-2018 was announced. Applications may be submitted through October 20th 2017 by filling out the dedicated form to be found at the web-page www.labiennale.org/en/biennale-college.

Biennale College – Cinema Virtual Reality is a programme developed by the Biennale with the purpose of exploring the most innovative and exciting technology of the moment: Virtual Reality. Focusing on the aesthetic and narrative opportunities offered by the audio-visual form, the Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality provides professionals from the fields of art and cinema, who have a rich background of experiences in different fields, with the knowledge they need to embrace this exciting 360° interactive format. Thanks to the support of international experts working in this field, the Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality will help independent and creative filmmakers from around the world as they try their hand at virtual reality, and will teach them to seamlessly adapt their own knowledge to this field. During the programme, the participants will acquire specific know-how about 360° immersive storytelling, redefining the relationship between the story and the audience.

Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality will select up to a maximum of three teams consisting of a director and a producer who will work on the development of the virtual reality projects no more than 30 minutes long, to the concept stage, helping them to move forward on all aspects of the creative process, the production, audience, target markets and financial issues. Of the projects that will be developed during the workshop, a maximum of three VR projects will receive a grant towards production up to a maximum of € 60,000 each, thanks to the support of SONY, and will be presented at the 75th Venice International Film Festival 2018.

Biennale College – Cinema Virtual Reality is made possible by the contribution of the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme, and relies on the collaboration of the TorinoFilmLab.

Biennale College Cinema - Virtual Reality
Programma MEDIA – Europa Creativa

The Biennale College – Cinema and Biennale College – Cinema Virtual Reality  projects  for the 2017/2018 edition, will receive significant funding from the European Commission – Connect Directorate General’s MEDIA – Creative Europe Programme.  The educational activities of the 2017-2018 edition will thus be supported by a MEDIA grant. This grant increases the funding which the MEDIA Programme has awarded to the development of the Venice Production Bridge.