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Discover the projects and Story Editor trainees selected for ScriptLab 2020!

TFL Selections & Awards

Discover the projects and Story Editor trainees selected for ScriptLab 2020!

February 4, 2020

We are extremely glad to present the full selection of ScriptLab 2020 and to announce the partners supporting this new edition

The 9-month long programme welcomes 20 feature film projects in early development stage as well as 5 story editor trainees: a total of 29 film professionals, coming from 20 countries. This year’s selection mostly presents female writer and director projects, hopefully announcing a new era in our industry. Open to filmmakers with all levels of experience, the programme will support the development of 12 debut features7 second features and one third feature film project – dealing with themes such as contemporary identities, families, history, social and environmental issues, whilst originally interpreting genres and questioning forms and formats.

ScriptLab will kick off in Lviv (Ukraine) in March 2020, thanks to TFL’s partnership with Lviv Film Commission

We are glad to welcome on board the Finnish Film Foundation, the City of Helsinki and APFI – Audiovisual Producers Finland, hosting the second workshop of ScriptLab in June. 

The third and last workshop of the programme will be held in Turin, on the occasion of the TFL Meeting Event 2020.

ScriptLab’s approach focuses on group work and collective exchange to enrich the creative process. The projects are divided into 5 groups, each guided by an experienced script consultant and paired with a story editor trainee. Guiding the groups this year are tutors Philippe Barrière (France), Rasmus Horskjaer (Denmark), Franz Rodenkirchen (Germany), Maria Solrun (Iceland) and Françoise von Roy (Germany). 

The 5 industry professionals selected for ScriptLab – Story Editing are: scriptwriter, festival director and script consultant Helen Beltrame-Linné (Brazil), producer Gale Osorio (Philippines), scriptwriter and story editor Almudena Monzú (Spain), producer Julia Niethammer (Germany) and scriptwriter Jelena Paljan (Croatia).

Here are the 20 projects selected for ScriptLab 2020:

The first feature by Erenik Beqiri (Albania), AFTER DARK, starts as a love story set in Tirana. But nothing is that simple: the country is facing abusive expropriations and Tom is confronted with the true nature of Anna – a vampire. 

BLUSTAR is a comedy in 3 acts, taking place on a boat around the Greek Islands. The film focuses on the dynamics between a mother and her two daughters, all cleaning ladies on the tourist boat Blue Star Ferry, which is expected to be sold to a Canadian company. BLUSTAR is the first feature by Stella Kyrialopoulos (Greece), co-written by Margaret Shin (USA).

Rosanne Pel (Netherlands) presents her second feature, CALF’S HEAD. A story about women, their bodies and sexualities, and the tensions that arise from these topics in today’s society.   

ELBOW is an adaptation of Fatma Aydemir’s novel and the first feature by Aslı Özarslan (Germany). Co-written by scriptwriter Claudia Schaefer (Germany), ELBOW is a coming-of-age story about a young girl fleeing to Istanbul to escape her fate in Berlin. 

The second feature by Croatian filmmaker Hana JušićGOD WILL NOT HELP follows the life and customs of a Catholic community living in the Dinara mountain at the beginning of the 20th century. Their everyday routine is shaken up when Chilean Teresa, claiming to be the widow of a family member, settles down in the community.

HOME by Or Sinai (Israel) tells the story of 50 years old Bella, who has been working for a rich family in Israel for the last 15 years in order to send money to her husband and two children who stayed in a small poor village in the Ukraine. When she learns that her family hides secrets from her, she decides that it’s time for her to reclaim her place in the family.

INSECTARIUM by Hannes Baumgartner (Switzerland) is a portrait of 25-year-old Selma, who suffers from psychological disorders. A study of the human being and the distance between our inner world and how we present ourselves to the society. The project has been selected in partnership with SWISS FILMS.

LA CERCANÍA is the third feature film by director Jorge Thielen Armand (Venezuela). It follows Sofia and her daughter Olivia’s trip from the Venezuelan Andes to the streets of Paris, in search of a better life. 

Immigration is also at the heart of MONGRELChiang Wei Liang’s (Singapore) first feature film. Set in the countryside of Southern Taiwan, its main character OOM is part of an underground network of traffickers supplying foreign workers to undertake unwanted jobs.

NIGHT BUTTERFLIES by Marta Prus (Poland) follows the story of Maria, an ex-ballerina who has started to work as a ballet school teacher after a car accident. In an attempt to fill a void in her life, she engages in a dangerous relationship with two of her students, 15-year-old Marta and 14-year old Tadek.

PAX EUROPA is the first feature by Oliver Adam Kusio (Poland). The film takes place in Europe in the near future, as the continent is facing massive protests. The lives of Marta and her husband Lech are shaken by the arrival of teenager Agnes, who claims to be Marta‘s long lost niece.

Czech Ondřej Novák’s first feature film project, co-written by Lucia Kajánková (Slovakia), is a family drama. In RECOGNITION, Karel and his sister Meda go out in search for answers about their father’s disappearance many years ago. But as they’ve just located him in a small town in Italy, he is suddenly the victim of a car accident and dies without being able to provide any answers.

The second feature by Yona Rozenkier (Israel), SIBERIA is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where two daughters and their father are struggling to survive. When the latter gets killed by the savages, the two girls can only rely on themselves and a notebook that their father left. 

SKIFF by Cecilia Verheyden (Belgium), selected in partnership with VAF, is a coming-of-age story. It explores the awakening sexuality of 15-year-old Malou who, despite having a boyfriend, engages in a romance with 17-year-old girl Noura – no one less than Malou’s older brother sweetheart. 

Spanish filmmaker Guillermo García López, best known for his documentary work, presents his first fiction feature film SLEEPLESS CITY: a tale set in an illegal settlement in the outskirts of a big city in Spain, putting together three kids from different backgrounds – a Moroccan, a Spanish gipsy and a white Spaniard. They will try to escape their reality by making a futuristic film with a small video camera.

SMALL COUNTRY is Argentinian Pablo Aparo’s first feature. The story unfolds on the eve of Argentina’s big economic crisis and follows a middle-class family who struggles to maintain a façade of normalcy, as their whole world is about to collapse. 

SPECTRUM by Philbert Aimé Mbabazi (Rwanda) is the story of 25-year-old student Boya, newly arrived in Geneva from Cameroon. Apolitical and hedonistic, he is looking forward to a fresh start in Europe. But he is caught up with reality when the Cameroonian Embassy forces him to become an informer about the political opposition movements in Geneva.

The second feature by Danielle Lessovitz (USA), THE FLARES, questions the dynamics of Whitter, a small town in Alaska where everyone lives in a single high-rise apartment complex. In this environment, Lenni must hide the symptoms of a debilitating illness in order to survive. 

THE LITTLE LOVE by Celia Rico Clavellino (Spain) explores the relationship between a daughter and her ageing mother. 70-year-old Ani would like her 42-year-old daughter Teresa to settle and start a family. But Teresa, childless and without a steady partner, has no intention to give up her independence. 

UK KEI means “home” in Cantonese. This first feature by young filmmaker Leonor Teles (Portugal), co-written by Ágata de Pinho (Portugal), follows the runaway of El from Lisbon to Macau, in an attempt to leave her old love story behind and create herself a new life in this exotic place. 


ScriptLab 2020
AFTER DARK by Erenik Beqiri (Albania) / 1st feature
BLUSTAR by Stella Kyrialopoulos (Greece), co-written by Margaret Shin (USA) / 1st feature
CALF’S HEAD by Rosanne Pel (Netherlands) / 2nd feature
ELBOW by Aslı Özarslan (Germany), co-written by Claudia Schaefer (Germany) / 1st feature
GOD WILL NOT HELP by Hana Jušić (Croatia) / 2nd feature
HOME by Or Sinai (Israel) / 1st feature
INSECTARIUM by Hannes Baumgartner (Switzerland), in partnership with Swiss Films / 2nd feature
LA CERCANÍA by Jorge Thielen Armand (Venezuela) / 3rd feature 
MONGREL by Chiang Wei Liang (Singapore) / 1st feature
NIGHT BUTTERFLIES by Marta Prus (Poland) / 1st feature
PAX EUROPA by Oliver Adam Kusio (Poland) / 1st feature
RECOGNITION by Ondřej Novák (Czech Republic), co-written by Lucia Kajánková (Slovakia) / 1st feature
SIBERIA by Yona Rozenkier (Israel) / 2nd feature
SKIFF by Cecilia Verheyden (Belgium), in partnership with VAF – Flanders Audiovisual Fund / 2nd feature
SLEEPLESS CITY by Guillermo García López (Spain) / 1st feature
SMALL COUNTRY by Pablo Aparo (Argentina) / 1st feature
SPECTRUM by Philbert Aimé Mbabazi (Rwanda) / 1st feature
THE FLARES by Danielle Lessovitz (USA) / 2nd feature
THE LITTLE LOVE by Celia Rico Clavellino (Spain) / 2nd feature
UK KEI by Leonor Teles (Portugal), co-written by Ágata de Pinho (Portugal) / 1st feature

ScriptLab – story editing 2020
- Helen Beltrame-Linné (Brazil)
- Almudena Monzú (Spain)
- Julia Niethammer (Germany) 
- Gale Osorio (Philippines)
- Jelena Paljan (Croatia)

ScriptLab is realized with the support of the Creative Europe – MEDIA Sub-programme of the European UnionLviv Film Commission, Finnish Film Foundation, City of Helsinki; in collaboration with APFI – Audiovisual Producers Finland; in partnership with Swiss Films and VAF – Flanders Audiovisual Fund