First Cut + unveils the line up for its first edition

Aiming to boost the competitiveness and marketability of feature films that have previously been hosted at FCL, the new programme First Cut+ has announced the line-up for its first edition, which will run from 16-20 January 2020 during the upcoming When East Meets West in Trieste. Eight films will form part of the first session of the programme. The complete portfolio of First Cut+ consists of 16 feature-length fiction films that are currently in post-production and hail from countries with a low production capacity. There is also a special focus on Central and Eastern European projects. Across the whole portfolio, half of the titles will be featured in the Trieste workshop, while the rest will be included in the Karlovy Vary session during the upcoming Eastern Promises.

The projects participating in Trieste WEMW First Cut+ are: Romanian director Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s upcoming feature, And They May Still Be Alive Today ; Ukrainian documentarian Simon Mozgovyi’s  debut fiction film, Chrysanthemum Day; Portuguese helmer Ana Rocha de Sousa’s debut drama, Listen, co-produced with the UK and starring Lúcia Moniz; Najmro by debutant Polish filmmaker Mateusz Rakowicz, which is inspired by 1980s Polish thief Zdzisław Najmrodzki and is budgeted at €2.5 million; prolific Finnish filmmaker Teemu Nikki’s  new feature, Nimby; Polish director Grzegorz Zariczny’s sophomore feature, Simple Things, which combines elements of fiction and documentary; first-time Croatian filmmaker Sonja Tarokić’s drama The Staffroom; and Latvian director Juris Poškus’ third feature, 24 Hours of Sunshine, which heads off to the North Pole.

Running for four days, the event will offer the participants three days of consultations with well-known film-industry experts on the topics of promotion, marketing, press, trailer-making, festival launch and sales strategy. More precisely, the mentors for this session will be: marketing specialist for Le Pacte Boris Pugnet; digital marketing specialist Alexis Hamaide; international publicists and PR specialists for WOLF Laurin Dietrich and Michael Arnon; senior executive at Heretic Outreach Ioanna Stais; and head of First Cut+ and former Pyramide International festival manager Ilaria Gomarasca, who will handle international sales and festival strategies. Furthermore, editor Benjamin Mirguet will give a lecture about trailer dramaturgy, and international film promotion expert Małgorzata Janczak will lead one about building the brand of a filmmaker.

The projects will also be screened in a Work in Progress session on Sunday 19 January in Trieste’s Teatro Miela, while one of them will have a chance to win colour-grading services provided by Polish company Orka Films, along with subtitling services and access services, courtesy of Sub-Ti.

Matthieu Darras, director of First Cut Lab, stated: “After several years of running First Cut Lab workshops, our team made the decision that many films would benefit from follow-up support aimed at the promotion of the movie internationally after the First Cut Lab workshops. This is why we created First Cut+.”

Newly appointed head of First Cut+ Ilaria Gomarasca also remarked: “Once the directors are happy with their cut, then they can get this additional guidance in terms of the launch strategy. This is the ‘plus’ we are offering to the films that participated in the First Cut Lab sessions. And I am glad to be able to use my experience in international distribution to boost the market potential of these promising projects.”