March 28, 2024

It’s show time with COMEDYLAB 2024

Launched last October, as the first-ever international Lab in Europe dedicated wholeheartedly to comedy, the latest TFL programme called ComedyLab is on the edge of debut.

It’s show time with COMEDYLAB 2024

 Launched last December as the first-ever international Lab in Europe dedicated wholeheartedly to comedy, the latest TFL programme called ComedyLab is on the edge of debut.

This initiative is distinguished by a truly unique concept: it pairs directors and scriptwriters with talented comedians to harness their expertise and comedic brilliance to serve the realisation of comedy feature film projects.

The ComedyLab pedagogical team is composed of the multidisciplinary artist and creator Alec Von Bargen (USA), who will shape the programme in collaboration with the pedagogical consultant Savina Neirotti (Italy). They are joined by two script experts Philippe Barrière (France) and Laura Piani (France), who will support the participants in developing their scripts. Additionally, Thomas Pibarot (France) will assist them in exploring their potential and establishing connections within the industry.

After the preliminary workshop, held in Turin between the 9th and 11th of March, the 4 selected projects’ teams and the 4 writers/comedians will return to Turin in April, continuing their training path in Porto in June. The journey will culminate in the final pitching session during the TFL Meeting Event in November.

From a pool of 89 applications, the pedagogical team selected 9 professionals, comprising five women and four men, coming from Canada, Egypt, France, Italy, Ukraine, USA. Which ones?



BOOTLEG – writer/director Reem Morsi (Egypt)
Bootleg is a feminist comedy about Roukaya, an outwardly obedient middle-class woman, who dreams of her wedding night. She joins her immigrant groom in the US, but her marriage proves unsatisfactory. She decides to return to Egypt. Seeking satisfaction, she starts a risky underground manufacturing business, with the support of two other women, Eman & Shadia.

HONEYJOON – writer/director Lilian T. Mehrel (USA)
A Kurdish-Persian mother and her diaspora daughter take a trip to enjoy life after loss, but life (and each other) keeps getting in the way.

THE LAST QUEEN – writer/director Stefano La Rosa (Italy), co-writer/director Luca Renucci (Italy)
In a small village of the Venitian lagoon, Lorena, a working-class woman, lives the most normal life built around order, security and efficiency. One day, she receives unexpected news: according to a healer, she is the reincarnation of Marie Antoinette. Lorena discovers the eccentric world of the Italian fallen nobility and ends up realizing that she has accepted a way of life without ever questioning it.

MIDLIFE – writer/director Alex Sobolev (Ukraine)
Egor returns to Ukraine after a challenging five years in America. His marriage and business have fallen apart. And now he hopes to start from scratch back home. Zofia broke up with her girlfriend and now dreams of becoming a mother. Egor is the perfect donor for her future child. That is a very complicated relationship in which Egor and Zofia try to use each other in a race to chase their dream.



Tatiana Delaunay (France)
French born, Italian raised comedy writer and director. Her comedy short, Have a Nice Day Forever, was awarded and shown at numerous festivals including IndieLisboa, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Brest European Short Film Festival and Brussels Short Film Festival.

Cecilia Gragnani (Italy)
After getting a degree in Music and Modern Literature, she completed her performance studies at Drama Centre - Central Saint Martins. Since then, she has been working as a performer and writer/dramaturg. She co-wrote the documentary Maradonapoli distributed by Warner Bros Italy, the sitcom Che Classe! by Indiana Productions for Rai International.

Kate Hammer (Canada)
She is a stand-up, sketch, and improv comedian originally from Canada, currently residing in Scotland. Having performed at Just For Laughs, La tude Fes val, and Late N Live, she is a regular performer around the UK.

Michael Kunze (USA)
London based writer, actor, director and improviser originally from California. His work has appeared at Soho Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Pleasance Theatre, Kings Head Pub, the Arcola, and the National Theatre of Ireland.

Read about the selection also on Screen International.

ComedyLab is organised by TorinoFilmLab - National Museum of Cinema with the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA Sub-programme of the European Union. ComedyLab 2024 is realised in partnership with the City of Porto - hosting the second workshop in Portugal - with Filmaporto – Film Commission, Portugal Film Commission, ICA - Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual. It is also realised in collaboration with Festival CineComedies and Torino Fringe Festival.


All the updates once a month in your mailbox, subscribe to the TFL newsletter.