This special online ‘First Cut Lab’ is designed to assist three feature films (fiction/documentary) and one short film in the editing phase from Qatar or the MENA region. Film teams from Qatar will also be given the opportunity to apply with their short films in the editing phase. The main goal is to foster the artistic potential of the selected rough cuts and, at the same time, to increase the sales, festival and circulation potential of the completed films.

Selected producer/director/editor teams will screen their full rough cut and be given expert feedback on their edit from three international film advisors (creative producers, festival programmers, sales agents, etc.) as well as tailor-made advice from a consultant editor. Participants will discuss their materials and receive productive inputs both in one-to-one meetings and in small groups via video-conferencing platforms.

The Lab consists of a two-day workshop tailored individually to each project, preceded by a brief preparatory meeting. At the end of the lab, creative teams are provided with a written memo report, that serves as guidance to further work on the edit and post-production of their films. Participants will be selected based on the strength of their films, vision and approach, as well as their previous work.

The trainers for First Cut Lab Doha will be:

Sata CissokhoIndustry Advisor

Myriam Sassine Industry Advisor

Gudula Meinzolt Industry Advisor

Wim Vanacker – Industry Advisor

Benjamin MirguetEditor Mentor

Sebastian SepúlvedaEditor Mentor

Matthieu Darras – Lab Advisor



Please find here below the complete guidelines and detailed info about the submission process. Deadline for applications is 27 MAY 2020.

For any further information you can contact us via email at



Please note: the deadline for submitting a project to First Cut Lab DOHA is MAY 27, 2020.

In order to submit your project for selection, you need to prepare one submission dossier in Word or PDF format and send it to

All application materials and subtitles should be in English.

The selection committee’s decisions cannot be appealed.


Your submission document should include:

  1. Project Dossier, including:
    1. Synopsis
    2. Director’s note
    3. Key crew & bios
    4. Production company information
    5. Film stills
    6. Supplementary materials as desired (trailer, etc.)
  1. A letter outlining your motivation to participate in the lab, describing the project’s current stage and its primary needs.
  2. Link(s) to director’s previous work
  3. Video material for your project:
    1. This can be selected scenes, first assembly or rough cut
    2. Minimum duration 30 minutes
    3. Subtitled in English
    4. Must be available via a password-protected streaming service (e.g. Vimeo). No transfer services or cloud storage will be accepted.
  4. Copy of Passport or government-issued ID for participating creative team members (director, producer, and editor)

Please send in Word or PDF format to

Please include your full name, project title, email and contact number in all text documents.

  • First Cut Lab Doha is designed for creative teams (director, producer, and editor) with a film at the editing stage. The project can be in different stages of post-production, though it is highly recommended to be in the early editing phase.
  • The project director must be from Qatar or the MENA region.


– Session for the first film: 9 & 10 June 2020 (online)
– Session for the second film: 18 & 19 June 2020 (online)
– Session for the third film: 29 & 30 June 2020 (online)
– Session for short film: 27 June 2020 (online)

Please note that for each selected film, the main session lasts two full days and takes place online. Each selected film will be assigned specific dates for their main session of the Lab: either 9 & 10 June; 18 & 19 June; or 29 & 30 June 2020. The short film session will take place on one day: 27 June 2020. A compulsory one-hour preparatory session will take place online with each creative team one week before their main session.

Workshop Schedule – Feature Films:

First day:

10:00-12:00 / Individual feedbacks given by each of the three advisors

14:00-16:30 / Collective discussion moderated by the head of the lab

Second day:

10:00-12:00 / Working session with editor consultant, part 1

14:00-16:00 / Working session with editor consultant, part 2

16:00-16:30 / Wrap-up session of the lab


Workshop Schedule – Short Film:

14:00-16:30 / Individual feedbacks and collective discussion moderated by the head of the lab

17:00 – 20:00 / Working Session with editor consultant


Lab Fee: 800 QAR (feature projects), 400 QAR (short film projects)
Language: English
Group Size: A creative team of 2 or 3 participants per film (director, producer, and editor)
Level: Advanced


Preparatory Session
The preparatory session will begin with a brief introduction and state the objectives of the lab. The lab advisor and the editor consultant will then consult with the members of each creative team about their expectations for the lab—assessing the current stage of their rough cut and discussing the unique difficulties and challenges their project may face.

Main session
The main session of the lab consists of two intensive days of diverse online consultations.

Day 1

Morning: participants will receive invaluable, elaborated feedbacks from each of the three international film mentors, who will have watched the rough cut the day before and reflected on the points they want to address.

Afternoon: the lab advisor will initiate and moderate a collective discussion, after drawing a summary of the feedback from the morning and identify the topics that would deserve to be further discussed in a plenary exchange.

Day 2

The second day is composed of two half-day one-to-one working slots with the consultant editor. Building upon the many feedbacks of the day before, the consultant editor will dig deeper into the film materials, also going through the film timeline in detail. In agreement with the intentions of the creative team—that will have reflected on the exchanges from the day before—a series of practical editing suggestions will be provided. The goal is for the creative teams to leave the lab with renewed energy, confidence and increased awareness in the identity and strength of their materials, and excitement with the prospect of experimenting with new editing approaches.


A week after the main session, the participants will be provided with a written memo report, that serves as guidance to further work on the edit and post-production of their films.