First Cut+, the new program created for boosting the competitiveness and marketability of feature films that previously participated in First Cut Lab, is gearing up for its second edition that will take place from July 6th to 9th 2020 during Karlovy Vary’s Eastern Promises, now online. First Cut+ consists in the promotion of a portfolio of 16 fiction feature films at the stage of post- production, predominantly from countries with a low production capacity (at least 75% of the films) and with a focus on Central & Eastern Europe. The range of films is large: both debut & experienced directors, small and larger budgets. 8 projects have already been presented in Trieste last January for the first session, now an additional 8 new projects will be unveiled. First Cut+ is the only new action that received financial support from the Access to Markets scheme of Creative Europe’s MEDIA program in 2019.

Each four-day First Cut+ event starts with three days of consultation with various film industry experts on promotion, marketing, press, trailer-making, festival launch and sales strategy

///The MENTORS for the Karlovy Vary summer session will be: 

Boris Pugnet as Marketing Specialist, formerly in charge of the marketing campaigns of Nanni Moretti, Hirokazu Kore-Eda and Jim Jarmusch’s films for the independent French distributor Le Pacte, now Boris works as a marketing consultant and trailer editor for both independent and major companies. 

Alexis Hamaide as Digital marketing specialist. As former Marketing Manager for Playtime (ex-Films Distribution), he supervised the international marketing strategies for films such as By the Grace of God (François Ozon), 120 BPM (Robin Campillo) and Son of Saul (Laszlo Nemes) among others. Alexis now joined L’Avventura Studio a new company specialized on online marketing and PR. 

Laurin Dietrich & Michael Arnon, International publicists & PR specialists of the well-established press agency WOLF, handling titles such as Martin Eden by Pietro Marcello (Platform Prize, TIFF 2019 & Coppa Volpi, Venice 2019), Touch Me Not by Adina Pintilie (Golden Bear & Best First Feature, Berlin 2018) and Custody by Xavier Legrand (Best Director & Best First Feature, Venice 2017). Both of them will be tutors for the PR module. 

Katarzyna Siniarska is head of sales at New Europe Film Sales, handling international sales across the world for films as the Best International Feature Academy Award® nominee CORPUS CHRISTI, Cannes UCR winner & Icelandic Oscar entry RAMS, Berlinale Silver Bear winner UNITED STATES OF LOVE. Katarzyna will be in charge of International Sales Strategy. 

Ilaria Gomarasca, former Pyramide International’s Festivals Manager, who handled the launch in the International Festivals’ circuit of award-winning films such as the Golden Globe winner Leviathan by Andrey Zvyagintsev, The Pearl Button by Patricio Guzman (Silver Bear at 2015 Berlinale) and three Golden Camera winners (Party girl by Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis, Land and Shade by César Acevedo, Our mothers by César Diaz) will be in charge of Festivals’ strategy. 

Benjamin Mirguet, will be advisor for Trailers’ dramaturgy. As an editor, he was involved in projects as Batalla En El Cielo by Carlos Reygadas, 40 Days Of Silence by Saodat Ismailova, Dau by Ilya 

Khrzhanovski, and other films premiering in international festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Rotterdam and Karlovy Vary. 

The Romanian editor Catalin Cristuțiu, who worked on some of the most appreciated films in Romanian Cinema (directed by, among others, Radu Jude, Florin Serban, Silviu Purcarete, Anca Damian) will be advising too about trailer making. 


The other aspect of the program is a Work-in-Progress presentation of the full project portfolio, which will take place online in two sessions: Monday, July 6 afternoon and on Tuesday, July 7 afternoon. 


For this second session, First Cut+ selected the following eight promising projects

Broad Peak by Leszek Dawid (Poland / Italy) Producer: Pola Langowska – East Studio Participated in First Cut Lab Poland 2019 Scriptwriter: Łukasz Ludkowski Genre: drama /biopic Summary: “Broad Peak” is a tale of a beautiful but destructive passion, and incredible determination that pushes a man towards a dangerous edge. 

Deskmate by Ferit Karahan (TURKEY / ROMANIA) Producer: Kanat Dogramaci – Asteros Film Participated in First Cut Lab Istanbul 2019 Scriptwriter: FERIT KARAHAN, GULISTAN ACET Cast: GOZDE ELMAS, ASIYE KOCAMAN Genre: Drama Summary: In a secluded boarding school on the Anatolian mountains, a young boy falls mysteriously ill. His deskmate struggles to get the attention of the distracted tutors. At last, when they start to really worry, all roads are stuck by heavy snowfall. 

I am fine, thanks by Ernestas Jankauskas (Lithuania) Producer: Gabija Siurbyte – Dansu Participated in First Cut Lab Lithuania 2020 Scriptwriter: Ernestas Jankauskas Genre: dramedy Summary: Successful scientist hides her breakdowns that manifest as crazy hallucinations in order to maintain her socially perfect image. 

Imaculat by Monica Stan / George Chiper Lillemark (ROMANIA) Producer: Marcian Lazar – Axel Film Participated in First Cut Lab Trieste 2020 Scriptwriter: Monica Stan Genre: Drama Summary: When young Daria enters rehab, her perceived innocence gains her the protection of the mostly male junkies inside, but she soon learns that the special treatment comes at the cost of her own desires. 

January by Andrey Paounov (Bulgaria, Portugal, Luxembourg) Producers: Vanya Rainova – Portokal Participated in First Cut Lab Karlovy Vary 2019 Scriptwiters: Alex Barrett and Andrey Paounov Genre: drama Summary: JANUARY is the story of two men and a rakija-drinking bird, trapped by a snowstorm at the end of the world, who try to solve a mystery while it slowly devours them. 

The Runner by Andrius Blazevicius (LITHUANIA/ CZECH REP) Producer: Marija Razgute – M-Films Participated in First Cut Lab Trieste 2020 Scriptwriter: Andrius Blazevicius, Marija Kavtaradze, Tekle Kavtaradze Cast : Zygimante Elena Jakstaite, Marius Repsys, Laima Akstinaite Genre: Love thriller Summary: After her boyfriend has a psychotic episode and disappears, Maria is decided to let nothing stop her from helping him. Grabbing at every clue about his whereabouts she embarks on a fast-paced odyssey through the city. 

The Users by Ivan Ikic (SERBIA) Producer: Milan Stojanovic – SENSE Production Participated in First Cut Lab RE-ACT 2019 Genre: Drama Summary: Three teenagers living in an institution for people with special needs have to navigate newfound feelings of desire as well as envy, when an unexpected love triangle forms between them. 

Wild Roots by Hajni Kis (HUNGARY/SLOVAKIA) Producer: Julie Berkes – Proton Cinema Participated in First Cut Lab Trieste 2020 Scriptwriter: Fanni Szántó, Hajni Kis Cast : Gusztáv Dietz, Zorka Horváth, Éva Füsti Molnár Genre: Drama Summary : A lonely, ex-con bouncer is reunited one day with his wild child daughter. The two outsiders bond, but the father’s vehement nature and a family secret stands between them. 


The First Cut+ Work in Progress is part of the Karlovy Vary’s Eastern Promises official programme and the 8 First Cut+ projects are eligible for Karlovy Vary Post-production Development Award, sponsored by UPP and Soundsquare, and also the TRT Award Works in Progress 2020. For more details about the awards: https://www.kviff.com/en/film-professionals/works-in-progress 


First Cut+ and Karlovy Vary are also organizing a webinar about Alternative Distribution Strategies and New Opportunities for Producers from Central and Eastern Europe, which will be held online on the 17th of June at 2:00 pm CET. Speakers: Katarzyna Siniarska from New Europe Film Sales, Nguyet Nguyenova from Gruvi and Lucero Garzon from Cinemarket hub. Moderated by Leo Barraclough, VARIETY 

Topics: Exploring the growing market of digital new opportunities for right holders we can see that there is an enlarging panorama of platforms for distribution and promotion of independent films. Eastern and Central Europe has seen a steady increase in local productions, but are not finding the right platforms to find exposure. What are the VOD/SVOD platforms looking for this content? What are the opportunities for the right holders to reach international buyers? What are the new players into this enlarging digital panorama? How can we still engage online audiences even in such a crowded market? 

For further informations: https://www.kviff.com/en/film-professionals/industry-events 


« For this second session of First Cut+ we are proud to present a portfolio of bold films, with a large spectrum of topics and a variety of genres, which reflects the high creativity of European productions. The goal of our workshop is to help those promising projects to reach the right platforms. » Matthieu Darras, Director of First Cut Lab. 

« Our priority is providing high level content that could be beneficiary for European film professionals, offering specific suggestions and tools adapted to each film in order to help them emerge in the already crowded international market. We are focusing on new strategies and opportunities adapted to this very challenging moment for the cinema industry. » Ilaria Gomarasca, Head of First Cut+. 

Upcoming session: 

Karlovy Vary Film Festival Eastern Promises Industry Days, 6-8 July 2020 

Contacts: Matthieu Darras Ilaria Gomarasca Director Head of First Cut+ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

http://firstcutlab.eu/ https://www.kviff.com/en/film-professionals/first-cut-plus 

Last modified on 25-06-2020