First Cut+, the new program created for boosting the competitiveness and marketability of feature films that previously participated First Cut Lab, is gearing up for its first edition that will take place from 16-20 January 2020 during Trieste’s When East Meets West. 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 will be large: from both debut & experienced directors, small and larger budgets. 8 projects will be presented in Trieste, another 8 will take part in the summer session during Karlovy Vary’s Eastern Promises.

    First Cut+ is the only new action that received financial support from the Access to Markets scheme of Creative Europe’s MEDIA program this year.
    Each four-day First Cut+ event will start 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 Trieste winter session will be:

    Boris Pugnet as Marketing Specialist, notably in charge of the marketing campaigns of Nanni Moretti, Hirokazu Kore Eda and Jim Jarmusch’s films for the independent French distributor Le Pacte.
    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.
    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.
    Ioanna Stais, senior executive at Heretic Outreach, the first international sales agent based in Southeastern Europe with titles like Take Me Somewhere Nice by Ena Sendijarevic, Holiday by Isabella Eklöf and The Reports on Sarah and Saleem by Muayad Alayan) and 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 International Sales and Festivals’ strategy.
    Benjamin Mirguet, will run a lecture about 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.
    Małgorzata Janczak, former promotion specialist at the Polish Film Institute, is now working on international film promotion, creative production and brand building with directors such as Agnieszka
    Smoczyńska, Krzysztof Skonieczny, Marcin Wrona, Daria Woszek and Raul de la Fuente. Małgorzata Janczak will run a lecture about Building your brand as a Filmmaker.

    The other aspect of the program is a Work-in-Progress presentation of the full project portfolio, which will take place on Sunday 19th of January at 6pm in Trieste’s Teatro Miela.
    The First Cut+ Work in Progress is part of the WEMW official programme and will be attended by more than 30 festival programmers and sales representatives coming to Trieste.

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

    And They May Still Be Alive Today by Tudor Cristian Jiurgiu (Romania)
    Tudor Cristian Jiurgiu’s debut feature (“The Japanese Dog”) premiered in San Sebastian's New Directors' Competition in 2013 and represented Romania at the Academy Awards in 2014.
    Chrysanthemum Day by Simon Mozgovyi (Ukraine)
    Simon Mozgovyi is a new voice of Ukrainian cinema recognized with "The Winter Garden's Tale" (DokLeipzig competition 2018).
    Listen by Ana Rocha de Sousa (Portugal)
    The first UK-Portuguese co-produced film, starring Lucia Moniz (“Love Actually”) as a mother fighting the London Social Services.
    Najmro by Mateusz Rakowicz (Poland)
    A 2,5 Million Euro “Catch me if you can” inspired by the life of Zdzisław Najmrodzki - the famous Polish thief from the 80's. Executively produced for PolSat run by former Polish Film Institute director Agnieszka Odorowicz.
    Nimby by Teemu Nikki (Finland)
    The versatile Finnish Director and genre-aficionado Teemu Nikki, who directed a short (“All Inclusive”) between a feature and a series that was in Cannes Shorts Competition 2019.
    Simple Things by Grzegorz Zariczny (Poland)
    Combining elements of fiction and documentary, Simple Things is the second full-length film directed by Grzegorz Zariczny. His feature debut “Waves” had its world premiere in the Main Competition of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in 2016.
    The Staffroom by Sonja Tarokic (Croatia)
    A first feature drama set in an elementary school, produced by Ankica Juric Tilic, winner of the European Co-Production Award - Prix Eurimages at EFA 2019.
    24 Hours of Sunshine by Juris Poskus (Latvia)
    A Latvian production heading to the North Pole.

    First Cut+ also aims at giving industry awards to one out of the participating films offered by sponsors Orka Films for color grading services, a Polish production and post-production company cooperating with the greatest Polish and international commercial and feature-film projects, and by Sub-Ti for subtitles services and Sub-Ti access for Access Services.
    Fred Film Radio is confirmed as Media Partner of the First Cut+ sessions.

    “After several years of running First Cut Lab workshops, our team made the evaluation that many films would benefit from a follow-up support towards the promotion of the film internationally after the First Cut Lab workshops. This is why we created First Cut+.” Matthieu Darras, Director of First Cut Lab.
    “Once directors are happy with their cut, then they can get this additional guidance in terms of launch strategy. This is the “Plus” we are offering to the films that participated to the First Cut Lab sessions. And I am glad to use my experience in international distribution, for boosting the market potential for these promising projects.” Ilaria Gomarasca, Head of First Cut+.

    Upcoming sessions:
    Trieste’s When East Meets West, 16-20 January 2020
    Karlovy Vary Film Festival Eastern Promises Industry Days, 3-6 July 2020

    Matthieu Darras Ilaria Gomarasca
    Director Head of First Cut+
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