Biggest year yet for First Cut Lab projects at Venice Film Festival

Aug 2, 2022

Six great films have made it into four different sections, which not only exceeds our expectations, but absolutely smashes them.

The selected films are a great mix of debut features and films from experienced filmmakers, coming from far and wide. Make a note of them for your trip to the festival this year- it will be worth your while, if we do say so ourselves.

The Venice International Film CriticsWeek:

“Have You Seen this Woman?” (Croatia/Serbia)

Co-directed by Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluščević, and produced by Čarna Vučinić.

“In the heat of the summer days, through three different life possibilities, a middle-aged woman tries to get out of her skin.”

The film thrived under the guidance of Radu Jude, Antigoni Papantoni and Katarzyna Siniarska, as well as editorial consultant Catalin Cristutiu at First Cut Lab RE-ACT 2021.

The film also took part in First Cut+ Karlovy Vary 2021.

Orizzonti Competition:

“Autobiography” (Indonesia)

Directed by Makbul Mubarak and produced by Yulia Bhara. 

“In a mountainous Indonesian village, Rakib, a fresh high-school graduate, cannot figure out his future. One thing is for sure, he does not want to work in his familys corn field as his conservative father wants him to. One day, a former military general arrives in his village. The general runs for the local election and wants Rakib to portray the young him in a propagandistic biopic film made for local TV.”

The film took part in First Cut Lab Philipinnes 2021, with Patrick Huang, Naomi Levari and Giovanni Pompili as advisors and Catalin Cristutiu as their editor consultant.

Victim” (Slovakia/Czech Republic)

Directed by Michal Blasko and produced by Jakub Viktorin. 

“Irina is a single mother, a Ukrainian living in a small Czech town. Her whole world comes crashing down when she discovers that her teenage son Igor has been assaulted and nearly killed. After Igor regains consciousness, he alleges that the attackers were Roma. Irinas fight for justice mobilises the whole society. As the hostility towards the Roma is on the rise Igor decides to tell Irina what really happened to him that night.”

The film took part in First Cut Lab Karlovy Vary 2021, where Marjorie Bendeck, Edvinas Puksta and Virginie Devesa took on the roles of advisors and Maya Maffioli assisted the film as their editor consultant. 

Orizzonti Extra:

Hanging Gardens” (Iraq)

Directed by Yassin Al-Daradji and produced by Huda Al Kadhimi. 

“When Asad, a 12-year-old rubbish picker, adopts an American sex doll from the Baghdad dumps, he crosses into a perilous red zone, finding himself caught in the crossfire between abusive forces of commercialism and fundamentalism in a world where defenders of humanism have lost their power. He embraces the courage it takes to not just survive, but live.”

The film took part in First Cut Lab Doha 2021. Bob Moore, Olena Decock and Stephanie Fuchs advised the film during the lab, while Benjamin Mirguet acted as the editing consultant. 

Valeria is Getting Married” (Israel) 

Directed by Michal Vinik and produced by Amir Harel. 

“Valeria, a young Ukrainian, is sitting nervously in her sisters apartment. Her sister, Christina, is married to an Israeli man, and now Valeria is about to do the same. Valeria is waiting for her future husband, Eitan, to arrive and take her home with him. She is trying to keep a smile on her face but she is clearly nervous, dying to smoke as many cigarettes as she possibly can. Eitan arrives with a surprise in his hand – a mobile phone, a gift for his bride. Valeria tries to look happy but her reaction falls short. At the end of the dinner, as Valeria and Eitan are about to leave, Valeria goes to the bathroom. She locks herself inside and refuses to come out.”

The film took part in First Cut Lab Trieste 2021 with the expert advice of Virginie Devesa, Pamela Bienzobas, Marcin Pienkowski and editor consultant Catalin Cristutiu.

Venice Days:

“The Maiden” (Canada/US) 

Directed by Graham Foy and produced by Daiva Zalnieriunas.

“A perfect summer day ends in a tragic death. Colton, a suburban teenager, mourns the loss of his best friend Kyle. Grief awakens decay and darkness in a world that swirls amidst glimpses of natural wonder and beauty. The discovery of a missing girls diary transports us to a mirror world. A magical ravine. A supernatural encounter. Is this Coltons psyche? A dream? The afterlife? Are we ever really alone?”

The film took part in First Cut+ Karlovy Vary where it won the TRT award and has previously participated in First Cut Lab FNC Montreal.

Dorota Lech, Aranka Matits and David Meadeb advised the film and Agnieszka Glinska took on the role of editor consultant.

Congratulations to all these amazing films and their teams!


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