TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding

ScriptLab 2019: 20 projects & 5 story editors in the line-up!

TFL Selections & Awards

ScriptLab 2019: 20 projects & 5 story editors in the line-up!

February 18, 2019

TorinoFilmLab is proud to unveil the 20 fiction feature projects and the 5 story editor trainees to join the 2019 edition of ScriptLab. From March until the TFL Meeting Event in November, participants will develop their stories together with other filmmakers from around the world, alongside story editor trainees and with the help of international script consultants. The pedagogical content is coordinated by ScriptLab Head of Studies, Eva Svenstedt Ward.

5 industry professionals have been selected to join ScriptLab – story editing 2019: coming from Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Turkey, they will benefit from hands-on training, reinforcing their skills in treatment and script analysis, assessment of project development and script consulting.

This year, TorinoFilmLab will support the development of 8 second feature film projects - a delicate stage in a director’s career - and 12 debuts. Gender parity was reached again with 8 of the projects helmed by female filmmakers and all 5 of the script editor trainees being women. Belonging, family, faith and identity are some of the themes addressed by the ScriptLab 2019 projects.

Quest for identity and female friendship fuels the story in ONLY LOLA, Jarosław Kamiński’s adaptation of his celebrated novel, to be co-written and directed by Grzegorz Mołda (Poland). The story unfolds in 1960s Warsaw: two women struggle to find their place and define their relationship in a communist society experiencing a resurgence of some antisemitic aspects of its past.

Another country formerly under USSR’s influence is the setting for THE SWEET BITTERNESS OF RIPE POMEGRANATES by Andrey Volkashin (Macedonia), who participated last year in TFL Extended - Script Development. A middle-aged housewife begins loosing her mind when she is confronted with the contradictions between her actions and the morality she has clung to her whole life.

Set in the two years preceding the Second World War, THE SWEDISH TORPEDO by Frida Kempff (Sweden) depicts a woman’s struggle to pursue her dream of swimming the English Channel instead of following the traditional path that her father has staked out for her.

THREE DAYS OF FISH by Peter Hoogendoorn (Netherlands) also presents a family relationship, yet between a father and a son. When a father returns to his homeland for three days, it is the only chance his adult hypochondriac son has to forge a stronger relationship with his dad. It proves difficult to bridge the geographic and emotional separation.

Intertwined cultures is the subject of THE QUIET MIGRATION by Malene Choi and Marianne Lentz (Denmark). In this coming-of-age story, two adopted adolescents face the subtle racism within their own families, in a society where immigration has become a divisive contemporary concern.

Another story crossing borders, Ena Sendijarević’s FLORES (Bosnia Herzegovina/Netherlands) is exploring Hollands colonial past seen through the odyssey of two women, who have left Europe for very different reasons to make a new life in the Dutch East Indies.

The longing for a home in a tropical paradise is the trigger for a French couple’s relocating to an isolated island in Brazil in PAINLESS by Michael Wahrmann (Brazil). Their dream is unexpectedly complicated by having to share their island with a strange colony of settlers of germanic descent in this social horror thriller about class and ownership.

Exploration of the senses is the focus in SUDDENLY by Melisa Önel and Feride Çiçekoğlu (Turkey). Returning to Istanbul after years in Germany, the main character - who has strangely lost her sense of smell - decides to escape from her family and from society to the extent that she begins to fade and become invisible.

Set in Mexico, ANNA DOESN’T WANT TO BE SEEN DANCING by Gabriel Herrera Torres (Mexico), is inspired by a phenomena in 1518 Strasburg, France: one day, for no apparent reason and to Anna’s deep embarrassment, her mother begins to dance in the streets of their small village. One by one the community joins her in a dance to the death. A film about public shame and deep empathy.

The main character in NOVAK by Harry Lagoussis (Greece) is a Serbian neuroscientist doing research on electromagnetic radiation. His thesis is so advanced that he is deemed to be a paranoid schizophrenic by his peers. He retreats to Athens, but regains hope when he is joined by a group of young dreamers trying to change the world.

In present day Ulaanbaatar  Ze is seventeen but already a respected shaman within his community. ZE by Lkhagvadulam Purev-ochir (Mongolia), is the coming-of-age story of a young man who shoulders the concerns of his neighbours’ lives, while dealing with the same challenges as any other adolescent. 

Faith and identity are also themes in PANOPTICON by George Sikharulidze (Georgia). When his father decides to become a monk and retreat into the mountains of post-Soviet Georgia instead of raising his teenage son, Sandro struggles to reconcile his relationship to God and his awakening sexuality.

Alienation and belonging are the topics in BIRCHANGER GREEN by Moin Hussain (United Kingdom). After the strange death of his long-lost father, a man convinces himself that he is a hybrid child, placed on Earth to fulfill a greater mission.

Switching from sci-fi to comedy, RHINO by Dubravka Turić (Croatia) follows 3 friends’s bizarre journey in search of a rhino horn to be sold for a high price on the black market in Asia. An absurd heist movie set in contemporary Zagreb.

AN EXPLOSIVE SPECIES by French-based Sarah Arnold (Italy/Swizerland) also has animals at the centre of this social thriller. Two worlds collide when a farmer - fighting for the survival of his farm overrun by wild boar - attacks a member of the powerful hunting lobby.

The dynamics of power and subservience explored through the relationship between a Madam and her maid are played out against a backdrop of clandestine immigration in MADAME, the second feature of Lisa Brühlmann and Dominik Laucher (Switzerland).

With TAKOTSUBO, Miki Polonski (Israel) depicts the desperate attempts of a man to save his brother from gambling addiction as their family is slowly destroyed. The film takes place a few days before Yom Kippur, a day of forgiveness for all – good and bad.

Politics and art, survival and integrity are themes in Bayu Prihantoro Filemon’s debut feature, THE SONGSMITH (Indonesia). A singer tries to survive by praising the government in her songs, while the government itself might be coming to an end.

DUST by writer Angelo Tijssen (Belgium) - co-writer of last year’s hit GIRL by Lukas Dhont - tracks the last fateful weekend before the, very public, financial collapse of two infamous entrepreneurs in the late 1990s. The film follows their step by step implosion as they consciously head toward the inevitable ending.

THE PERMANENT PICTURE by Laura Ferrés (Spain), paints a sharp portrait of a woman who has chosen profession over family. A casting director in her 50s, dedicated to her  work, casts her young niece in a commercial and they bond, awaking new feelings. The situation becomes complicated when she has to fire the niece.


ScriptLab 2019
- AN EXPLOSIVE SPECIES by Sarah Arnold (Switzerland) - 1st feature
- ANNA DOESN'T WANT TO BE SEEN DANCING by Gabriel Herrera Torres (Mexico) - 1st feature
- BIRCHANGER GREEN by Moin Hussain (United Kingdom) - 1st feature
- DUST by Angelo Tijssens (Belgium), in partnership with VAF – Flanders Audiovisual Fund
- FLORES by Ena Sendijarević (Bosnia Herzegovina/Netherlands)
- MADAME by Lisa Brühlmann & Dominik Locher (Switzerland), in partnership with Swiss Films
- NOVAK by Harry Lagoussis (Greece), in partnership with Greek Film Centre - 1st feature
- ONLY LOLA by Grzegorz Mołda & Jarosław Kamiński (Poland) - 1st feature
- PAINLESS by Michael Wahrmann (Brazil), in partnership with Cinema do Brasil
- PANOPTICON by George Sikharulidze (Georgia) - 1st feature
- RHINO by Dubravka Turić (Croatia) - 1st feature
- SUDDENLY by Melisa Önel & Feride Çiçekoğlu (Turkey)
- TAKOTSUBO by Miki Polonski (Israel) - 1st feature
- THE PERMANENT PICTURE by Laura Ferrés (Spain) - 1st feature
THE QUIET MIGRATION by Malene Choi & Marianne Lentz (Denmark)
THE SONGSMITH by Bayu Prihantoro Filemon (Indonesia), in partnership with BEKRAF – Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy - 1st feature
- THE SWEDISH TORPEDO by Frida Kempff (Sweden)
- THE SWEET BITTERNESS OF RIPE POMEGRANATES by Andrey Volkashin (Macedonia) - 1st feature
- THREE DAYS OF FISH by Peter Hoogendoorn (Netherlands)
- ZE by Lkhagvadulam Purev-ochir (Mongolia) - 1st feature

ScriptLab - story editing 2019
Sarieke Hoeksma (Netherlands)
Craita Nanu (Romania)
Joanna Szymańska (Poland)
Melisa Üneri (Turkey/Finland)
Isabella Weber (Italy)