TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding

TorinoFilmLab community is getting ready for a remarkable Berlinale 2018!

TFL Films

TorinoFilmLab community is getting ready for a remarkable Berlinale 2018!

February 15, 2018

We are extremely excited about the new edition of Berlin International Film Festival, kicking off today. Take a look at what the TFL Community has to offer!

The 2 debut features in Competition are TFL Films: THE HEIRESSES & TOUCH ME NOT

We announced it exactly a month ago and the moment has finally come: 2 TFL Films will world premiere in Competition – the only debut features in the line-up: THE HEIRESSES by Marcelo Martinessi and TOUCH ME NOT by Adina Pintilie!

We have proudly accompanied these projects during all their creative process: from the conception stage up to the first drafts through the ScriptLab programme, and later with individual tailored tools for development, financing and promotion within the FeatureLab programme. TFL’s contribution was also financial: TOUCH ME NOT received the Production Award while THE HEIRESSES received the first Co-Production Award granted by TorinoFilmLab thanks to the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA. Last year, the projects – by then in post-production stage – travelled one last time to Turin to be introduced to an international audience of sales agents, distributors and film festivals representatives during the work-in-progress event, TFL Coming Soon 2017.

THE HEIRESSES: the urge to speak about the present of Paraguay

THE HEIRESSES by Marcelo Martinessi (PY/DE/UY/NO/BR/FR) transports us to contemporary Paraguay. Two women, both heiresses from wealthy families in Asunción, have been together for over 30 years but recently their financial situation has worsened: Chiquita is sent to prison for debt and Chela, suddenly left on her own, begins to provide a local taxi service.

This story was in the director’s mind for a long time but the longing to tell it became an urgent need for Marcelo after the Paraguayan coup leading to President Lugo’s impeachment in 2012: “The personal and political crisis caused by the Coup does not create the story, but it does give its shape and tone”, confides the director. “Maybe it was only then that I realized the inexplicable way my country returns over and over to its same troubles, in a tragic circle that seems never to end. I thought that my generation was going to be able to create a new society, but this illusion was frustrated in 2012. I then began to reflect on the confinements and the obscurities that we cannot untangle”.

The collaboration with TFL tutor Anita Voorham (Netherlands) & trainer Marietta von Hausswolff von Baumgarten (Sweden), as well as the discussions with the other participants during the group sessions contributed different views on the narrative and aesthetics of the project, opening the story to new horizons. “When writing the script – an activity that is sometimes too lonely – the input of Script&Pitch helped me not to feel that way. The actual process, sometimes awkward, of the one-to-one meetings or the pitching, forced me on a regular basis to exercise clarity about the universe of Las Herederas. And the aesthetical, cultural and political diversity of the tutors and colleagues produces an exchange that would have hardly been achieved in other spaces”.

TorinoFilmLab was a catalyst for the narrative of this first feature film – both for the director and the main production company, La Babosa Cine. But it also contributed a great deal to the co-production structure, a major element for a film coming from a country with no regular funds for cinema like Paraguay. THE HEIRESSES is the first international co-production led by Paraguay. Pandora Film (Germany), Mutante Cine (Uruguay) and Esquina Filmes (Brazil) were already on board when in 2014, the project gets introduced for the first time to an audience of international professionals in Turin. The French company La Fábrica Nocturna is among the invitees: they will soon become co-producers of the project. At the Meeting Event, the team also meet representatives of ZDF/Arte, WCF, Sorfond (the Norwegian Norskfilmprodukjson completes the co-production structure) and CNC, all of them now supporting the project. And in 2017, the project returns to Turin as part of the work-in-progress Coming Soon line-up: the team conducts a meeting with the French sales company Luxbox, now part of the film. “TorinoFilmLab was key in all stages. It gave us the finest opportunities to better understand what we are doing and plan each step. Getting to know each other, meeting over and over again, gives us a feeling of working with friends”.
The world premiere of THE HEIRESSES is scheduled for Friday, February 16th at 3.30 pm.

TOUCH ME NOT: on the edge of intimacy

TOUCH ME NOT by Adina Pintilie (RO/DE/CZ/BG/FR) follows the emotional journeys of Laura, Tomas and Christian, offering a deeply empathic insight into their lives. Craving for intimacy yet also deeply afraid of it, they work to overcome old patterns, defense mechanisms and taboos and finally be free. It is constructed on the fluid border between reality and fiction. “At the age of 20, I thought I knew everything”, confesses the director. “But as I was aging, from 20 to 40 years old, this conviction got destabilized. I came to realize that I know nothing”.

Adina started to work on the script in 2007, during her participation in TFL Script&Pitch. She met tutor and story consultant Franz Rodenkirchen (Germany), who continued collaborating on the project during the following years, including during Adina’s participation in FrameWork 2011 and during the editing stage. The project also received the support of 2 TFL alumni, Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza (Italy), co-directors of SALVO. In July 2017, a rough cut of TOUCH ME NOT is presented to a carefully curated group of alumni colleagues in the framework of the TFL Alumni Meeting (hosted by Karlovy Vary International Film Festival): they were the fresh eyes that the team needed, before eventually delivering the version that got into the Berlinale.

The production process was also a challenge for the team. While the project was started to get an echo on the international stage, participating in FrameWork 2011, its future got compromised due to the uncertain position of the Romanian CNC: the film was denied a first time the production support. Several Romanian filmmakers, included Golden Palm-winner Cristian Mungiu, strongly denounced this reticence in the press. Two years later, the project eventually obtained funding, and was even promoted as the “most promising debut film”. Before that, it was actually TorinoFilmLab which first granted a production funds to the project. This support opened the way towards an international co-production: Rohfilm Productions (Germany) got on board, as well as Les Films de L’Etranger (France). Later, the Czech & Bulgarian companies PINK and Agitprop transformed the project into a five-country co-production – each of them nourishing the film cast & crew, and in the case of Romania, Bulgaria and Czech Republic, also providing shooting venues. “TorinoFilmLab was quite an amazing support. For this film, a debut film both for me and for the production company, Manekino Film, it would not have been possible to make it without it. It gave us the input that we needed to get started with the project”.

The research conducted during all these years is the main material for a new project that would leave the cinema theatres for the rooms of Europe’s museums: a video installation, an interactive performance with the cast of the film, or maybe both. This is how Adina sees her art: “A fluid experience, made of different formats, all linked to TOUCH ME NOT”.
The film will debut on Thursday, February 22nd at 10.00 pm.

TorinoFilmLab also represented in the Panorama section with LAND

LAND by Babak Jalali (IT/FR/NL/MX/QA) will be screened in the Panorama section, dedicated to films with an “artistic vision, the courage to be different, a desire for the unfamiliar, a profound historical awareness or pioneering personalities”. LAND tells the story of the indigenous Denetclaw family who lives on the Prairie Wolf reservation, in the United States, in “a film about pride, homeland and weakness that also provides a visually powerful, profound commentary on the situation of Native Americans in the USA”.
It will be presented on Sunday, February 18th at 7.30 pm.

A feature film project turned into a TV Series

Berlinale 2018 holds another surprise for TFL Community: the Script&Pitch 2014 project THE GIRL WITH THE DOUBLE BASS by Matthias Luthardt Judith Angerbauer (Germany) has been transformed into a TV-Series concept titled BABY ALONE. They have been selected to pitch this new format to international potential partners and financers on Wednesday, February 21st during the 4th CoPro Series 2018 organized by the Berlinale Co-Production Market as part of the Drama Series Days (19-21 February). Good luck to them!

Check the entire programme of the festival here.