The Cemil Show & Looking for Venera @ IFF Rotterdam 2021
Two First Cut Lab feature films, The Cemil Show and Looking for Venera, had their world premieres at the IFF Rotterdam 2021 edition – the first helmed by Vanja Kaludjercic. The two debuts took part respectively in the Big Screen Competition and in the Tiger Competition.
Produced by Umut Egitimci & sold internationally by Virginie Devesa’s Alpha Violet, The Cemil Show, a violent and tender, disturbing and comforting ode to the Turkish B-movies from the 1960s follows underdog Cemil in his dreams of big screen stardom. Screen Daily reviewer Wendy Ide lauded Bariş Sarhan’s “vividly-styled debut”.
Looking for Venera received the Special Jury Award, one of the 3 main awards in a competition made of 16 titles. Not only the jury recognized the exceptional qualities of the film, but also international critics praised it, such as Variety’s Jay Weissberg: “Debuting feature director Norika Sefa exhibits exceptional talent in bringing subtlety and depth to characters as well as the overall atmosphere of a town in Kosovo, ensuring the story is grounded in a particular place while making her protagonist a readily identifiable, highly sympathetic young woman.”
Looking for Venera participated in First Cut Lab Kosovo 2019, with editor consultant Benjamin Mirguet, and industry advisors Marie Dubas and Eve Gabereau, and also benefited from First Cut+ Trieste 2021.