TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding

Cristian Mungiu & Sofian El Fani join FeatureLab 2018 line-up of trainers!

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Cristian Mungiu & Sofian El Fani join FeatureLab 2018 line-up of trainers!

March 13, 2018

TorinoFilmLab is glad to unveil the latest professionals to join FeatureLab 2018 as trainers: Director Cristian Mungiu (Romania), Cinematographer Sofian El Fani (Tunisia) and Sound Designer Peter Albrechtsen (Denmark)!

Cannes favorites Cristian Mungiu & Ritesh Batra to mentor the directors

Romanian Cristian Mungiu and Indian Ritesh Batra have both accepted to join the programme for the first time as Guest Director trainers. They will meet with each team individually during the first workshop, organized in Sardinia in partnership with Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission.

Cristian Mungiu is a Romanian filmmaker born in Iaşi, Romania, in 1968. His debut film OCCIDENT (WEST) premiered in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2002 and was an audience hit in Romania. In 2007, his second feature 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS was awarded the Palme d’Or in Cannes. The film later received several awards as best film of the year from various international associations of film critics, and also won the European Film Academy awards for Best Film and Best Director. He returned to Cannes in 2009 as a writer, producer and co-director with the collective episodic film TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE and as a writer-director in 2012 with BEYOND THE HILLS – double awarded for Best Screenplay and Best Actresses. BACALAUREAT (GRADUATION) is his fifth film presented in Cannes, awarded for Best Director in 2016.

Ritesh Batra is a writer-director based in Mumbai and New York and a TorinoFilmLab Alumni: he participated in the FrameWork programme (now known as FeatureLab) in 2012, where he developed his debut feature THE LUNCHBOX. The film premiered in Cannes Critics’ Week 2013. It was a critical and commercial success around the world and was sold in more than 35 countries. Ritesh then directed two other features: an adaptation of Julian Barnes’ novel THE SENSE OF AN ENDING and the Netflix production OUR SOULS AT NIGHT, starring Jane Fonda & Robert Redford, which premiered at Venice in 2017.

Acclaimed Cinematographer & Sound Designer to consolidate the team of trainers

On the side of the technical and yet creative aspects of film production, two new names reinforce the line-up.

For the first time, FeatureLab welcomes Tunisian Director of Photography Sofian El Fani. Sofian is a long-term collaborator of director Abdellatif Kechiche, since his second feature film GAMES OF LOVE AND CHANCE (2003) for which Sofian was credited as Camera Operator. He entered the spotlight in 2013 for his work on Palme d’Or-winner BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (2013), which earned him his first nomination for Best Cinematography at the Cesars. He won the distinction a year later for Abderrahmane Sissako’s TIMBUKTU, shot in the desert of Mali. Sofian was recently involved in a HBO production called THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS. He is a member of the Academy Awards since 2016.

Copenhagen-based Peter Albrechtsen will pursue his collaboration with TorinoFilmLab to train the participants in Sound Design. He is himself a Sound Designer, a Re-recording Mixer and a Music Supervisor and has been working on both feature films and documentaries. His recent fiction credits include 3 TFL Films: MOUNTAIN by Yaelle Kayam, Cannes-winner THE HAPPIEST LIFE OF OLLI MÄKI by Juho Kuosmanen, and Locarno Golden Leopard-winner GODLESS by Ralitza Petrova. Peter is also credited for the sound effects recording on Christopher Nolan's DUNKIRK, which won 2 Academy Awards for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing at the 90th Oscar Ceremony.

The other trainers are Berlinale Camera-winner Katriel Schory (Israel) as film fund expert; producer Didar Domehri (France), winner of the IFCIC Prize 2017 distinguishing an emerging French production company; post-production supervisor Niko Remus (Germany); audience engagement consultants – and TFL audience design Alumni Riema Reybrouck (Belgium) & Joanna Solecka (Poland); and Luxbox sales company co-owner Hédi Zardi (France).

Beginning of the applications' assessment process

FeatureLab selection process is just kicking off on a bright note: once again, many candidates responded to the call and applied with projects from all over the world. 71% are developing their first feature film, proving that fostering emerging talents remains at the heart of the programme. With 34% of the submitted projects involving at least one European and one extra-European co-producers, TFL is also more than ever a bridge encouraging international co-production. 

The creative teams of scriptwriter, director and producer who will participate in the 6-month programme and compete for the Production & Co-Production Awards will be announced at the beginning of May.  


Photo credit: Dan Beleiu