The eight edition of the Biennale College Cinema
La Biennale di Venezia announces the presentation of the 12 projects that participated in the first workshop of the 8th Biennale College Cinema (2019/2020) in Venice from the 5th to the 14th of October 2019. The working session, which took place on Monday October 14th 2019 in Venice at La Biennale headquarters at Ca’ Giustinian, was introduced by President Paolo Baratta and the Director of the Cinema Department Alberto Barbera. In a new decision this year, La Biennale will increase the number of films it will support to 4 of the films in the selection, of which at least 2 must be directed by women.
- Biennale College Cinema
This is the programme by La Biennale di Venezia that cultivates 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 La Biennale di Venezia.
- The international Calls of the 8th 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 February 20th, the international call on May 7th. A total of 190 applications were submitted to the Calls. Overall, in the course of the 8 editions of the Biennale College Cinema, 1.830 applications have been received from every corner of the world.
- The first workshop of the 8th edition
The 12 teams that submitted the selected projects (consisting of a director and a producer), hailing from Australia, Brazil, China, Finland, France, Italy, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain and the United States, participated in a preliminary workshop that was held in Venice from October 5th to 14th 2019.
- Presentation of the 12 projects of the 8th edition
In a working session from 3 pm to 6 pm on Monday October 14th, the 12 teams 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 four projects to make four feature-length films
Starting in 2019/2020 the number of films that will enjoy the support of La Biennale is extended to 4 films in the selection (of which at least 2 must be directed by women). Following this presentation, 4 teams will be invited to attend two additional workshops, also to be held in Venice, in the months of December 2019 and January 2020, following which they will begin production on 4 feature-length films (debut or sophomore 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 77th Venice International Film Festival 2020. The 8 projects that are not selected will also be assisted and supervised.
The 12 projects
The 12 projects selected for this first phase of the Biennale College Cinema are:
La Calle Pura - Alfredo Chiarappa (director, Italy), Angelo Rocco Troiano (producer, Italy)
In day-to-day life, in the dreams and fears of Brian, a shy but determined Afro-Cuban boy in his late teens, who dreams of becoming one of Cuba’s most famous singers, and in his relationship with his extended family, we can glimpse the future of the island 60 years after the Revolution.
La Santa Piccola - Silvia Brunelli (director, Italy), Francesca Maria Scanu (producer, Italy)
Three teenagers live in a sunny neighbourhood in Naples, with only their tiny dreams. There is also a baby girl whom everyone calls “the holy baby” because she sees the virgin Mary. She could be the one who brings a miracle to make their dreams come true, but that hope is just a lie that will end in summertime, while the neighbourhood awaits another new saint to believe in.
The Wizard of Fake - Stefano Etter, Giovanni Greggio (director, Italy), Mattia De Marco (producer, Italia)
A fake documentary about the greatest author of fake news.
Babado - Camila Freitas (director, Brazil), Pedro Duarte (producer, Portugal)
“Babado” is a term used by young people in the Amazonian tri-border of Brazil, Peru and Colombia to refer to multiple kinds of economic-sexual exchanges. Among these young people are the members of the Afro-Brazilian Umbanda temple of Father Jairo, a former transsexual sex worker like most of those he has initiated in the temple. In a constant experience of performativity, the group constantly adorns and reinvents their bodies: be it for the embodiment of entities in the rituals, be it for their work in the streets.
Fucking with Nobody - Hannaleena Hauru (director, Finland), Emilia Haukka (producer, Finland)
The lives of 5 characters working the Finnish Film Industry cross paths through one fake marriage project.
Good Job - Di Shen (director, China), Lizhi Chen (producer, China)
The company is fake, the marriage is fake, the daughter is fake, but the life and love are real.
He That Shall Not Be Named (Mon Père, Le Diable) - Ellie Foumbi (director, USA), Joseph Mastantuono (producer, France)
An antisocial African refugee’s quiet existence in a sleepy mountain town in the south of France is upended when she suspects that the new priest at her church is the warlord who slaughtered her family.
Housekeeping for Beginners - Goran Stolevski (director, Macedonia), Marija Dimitrova (producer, Macedonia)
A lesbian woman in Macedonia is forced to raise her dead partner’s two daughters. In order to legally adopt them, she has to first convince her (gay, male) best friend to marry her. Like her, he never has and never will want to be a parent.
Last Minutes - Pedro Collantes (director, Spain), Daniel Remón (producer, Spain)
“Last Minutes” tells the story of four different encounters taking place minutes before someone’s departure from life. Each of these encounters happens to be the last human interaction one of the characters has before leaving this world. Unknowingly at death’s door, the characters who populate the film experience rage, love, lust, tenderness, greed or empathy, witnesses of the blissfully ignorant passage of time to death.
The Plant Under the Wild Land - Diego Zon (director, Brazil), Ana Cristina Viegas (producer, Portugal)
In the effort of his tired breathing, Antonio grows older between his plants growing on the terrace and the dusty VHS tapes that he often watches with Brando. One day, Antonio falls asleep.
The Sound of Light - Julietta Boscolo (director, Australia), Grayson Propst (producer, USA)
A gifted teen singer - too ashamed of her poor background to sing in public - masquerades as middle class in order to win a singing competition and a chance at a fun new life.
Violenta - Juan Carlos Zaldiva alias Violenta Flores (director, USA), Gill Holland and Shaz Bennet (producers, USA)
VIOLENTA is a 72-minute feminist art/horror film about a vampire vigilante of ambiguous sex, who haunts the old quarter of a colonial city, as she struggles to attain closure with her biological mother and with a past rooted in domestic violence while feeding on those who exploit women, the poor and the marginalized.
The 12 projects are documented on the website: http://collegecinema.labiennale.org/en.
The institutional partners
The Biennale College Cinema, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, enjoys the support of the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities – General Direction Cinema. Biennale College Cinema is sponsored by Università Telematica Pegaso. Biennale College Cinema relies on the academic collaboration of IFP in New York and the TorinoFilmLab. The Director is Alberto Barbera, Head of Programme is Savina Neirotti.
The first workshop
Teamwork, plenary classes, individual sessions and exchanges of ideas: this was the programme of the first workshop for the 8h edition of the Biennale College - Cinema, which was held at San Servolo (Venice) from October 5th through 14th, 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: Michele Turnure Salleo, Titus Kreyenberg, Scott Macaulay
Each of them coordinated the work of a group that included 4 different projects, working with the group as a whole, and directly with the individual teams assigned to them. Each group discussed every aspect of their projects 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, Samm Haillay
The production issues for each project were discussed, taking advantage of each group’s capabilities to share experiences and best practices in micro-budget filmmaking.
- Script Consultants: Eilon Ratzkovsky, Ossi Nishri, Françoise Von Roy
Each script consultant worked with 4 dedicated projects throughout the entire workshop and coached the teams in writing the step outline and 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 had the possibility to get feedback from tutors assigned to a different group.
- Writing: opportunity for individual work or discussion within each single team.
The editions 2012-2019
So far 22 feature-length films have been made during the first (2012/2013), second (2013/2014), third (2014/2015), fourth (2015/2016), fifth (2016/17), sixth (2017-18) and seventh (2018-2019) 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 72nd Venice International Film Festival 2015, at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival 2016, at the 74th Venice International Film Festival 2017, at the 75th Venice International Film Festival 2018, at the 76th Venice International Film Festival 2019 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):
- Memphis (USA) by Tim Sutton (director), produced by John Baker, participated in the Sundance Film Festival, the NEXT <=> competition, the Miami 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.
- 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).
- 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):
- 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.
- 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. Rania Attieh won the Nora Ephron Award at Tribeca 2019.
- 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 three 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):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 four 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):
- Una Hermana – One Sister by Verena Kuri (director and producer, Argentina), Sofia Brockenshire (director and producer, Argentina).
- 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.
- Orecchie by Alessandro Aronadio (director, Italy), Costanza Coldagelli (producer, Italy), won three collateral awards at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival: the Premio ARCA CinemaGiovani for Best Italian film; the Menzione Fedic - Il Giornale del Cibo for Best film on the subject of food; the Premio Nuova Imaie to Daniele Parisi as best acting debut of the Venice Film Festival.
- La Soledad by Jorge Thielen Armand (director, Venezuela), Adriana Herrera (producer, Venezuela), Rodrigo Michelangeli (producer, Venezuela), Manon Ardisson (producer, Venezuela).
- The three 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):
- Beautiful Things (Italy) – Giorgio Ferrero (director), Federico Biasin (producer) – debut film. At the 2017 Venice Film Festival it won the Premio Arca CinemaGiovani for best Italian film. In 2018 it won first prize in the NEXT:WAVE section dedicated to rising directors at the CPH:DOX in Copenhagen. It won “Best Sound Award”at the Moscow International Doc Film Festival, was presented at the IFP and the FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). Giorgio Ferrero held a masterclass at Yale.
- Strange Colours (Australia) – Alena Lodkina (director), Kate Laurie, Isaac Wall (producers) – debut film
- Martyr (Lebanon) – Mazen Khaled (director), Diala Kachmar (producer) – sophomore film.
- The three films of the 6th edition of the Biennale College Cinema (2017/18) were presented at the 75th Venice International Film Festival 2018 (29 August – 8 September):
- Deva - Petra Szöcs (director, Hungary) | Péter Fülöp (producer, Hungary) | Gergő Nagy (co-writer, Hungary) – debut film
- Zen sul ghiaccio sottile - Margherita Ferri (director, Italy) | Chiara Galloni (producer, Italy) – debut film. It was one of the five finalits for the Nastro d’Argento as Best Debut Film.
- Yuva - Emre Yeksan (director, Turkey) | Anna Maria Aslanoglu (producer, Turkey) – sophomore film.
- The three films of the 7th edition of the Biennale College Cinema (2018/19) were presented at the 76th Venice International Film Festival 2018 (28 August – 7 September):
- The End of Love by Karen Ben Rafael (director, Israel) – Delphine Benroubi (producer, France) – sophomore film.
- Lesson of Love by Chiara Campara (director, Italy) – Tancredi Campello (producer, Italy) – debut film.
- This is not a Burial, it’s a Resurrection by Jeremiah Mosese (director, Lesotho) – Cait Pansegrouw and Bongiwe Selane (producers, South Africa) – sophomore film. The director Jeremiah Mosese was selected to participate with his new project Victoria Falls in the Cinefondation’s Atelier event (16-23 May).