« The Staffroom », by Sonja Tarokic (Karlovy Vary 2021)
With Cannes Film Festival exceptionally moving to July dates, the festival summer circuit has never been more packed. No less than 16 First Cut Lab films are celebrating a world premiere this season, for most in one of these 4 major film festivals: Cannes, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, and Venice!
All together they draw a joyful image of what First Cut Lab is about, fostering creative diversity & new talents. These 16 films have their main producers coming from 14 different countries, and 13 of them are debut features. With 8 films directed by a woman, 7 by a man, and 1 co-directed, gender parity is not an objective, but a reality.
In Cannes, LA CIVIL (Teodora Ana Mihai) was awarded the Prize of Courage by the Un Certain Regard jury, whereas SMALL BODY (Laura Samiani) and AYA (Simon Coulibaly Gillard), two portraits of young women, were welcomed with raving reviews respectively in the Critics’ Week and the ACID sections.
: « Small Body
combines a vividly realised sense of place with a hint of enchantment which removes the story a few steps away from the real world. »
The Film Stage
: « Aya
Affectingly Shows the Erosion of a Culture Through Climate Change »
In July as well, the Istanbul Film Festival hold its national competition, and GERANIUM (Çağıl Bocut) was awarded Best Debut, Best Actress, and Best Cinematography!
With the Locarno Film Festival about to start, HOLY EMY (Araceli Lemos) and WET SAND (Elene Naveriani) will soon receive the international attention they both deserve, as part of the Cineaste del presenti competition.
Almost immediately after, the New Horizons Film Festival will start in Wroclaw, and the experimental THE MOTHS (Piotr Stasik) will be the one Polish representative in the international competition, whose jury will be chaired by Nobel Prize winner for Literature Olga Tokarczuk. At the same festival, the most entertaining genre debut NAJMRO (Mateusz Rakowicz) will be presented to the festival audience prior to its national release on September, 17th.
In Karlovy Vary & Venice
Then comes the Karlovy Vary Film Festival – also unusually taking place in late August – with no less than 5 First Cut Lab films expected. No surprise considering the ongoing focus of our program on Central & Eastern European cinemas. THE STAFFROOM (Sonja Tarokić) will compete for the Crystal Globe Award, whereas AFTER THE WINTER (Ivan Bakrač), RUNNER (Andrius Blaževičius), SISTERHOOD (Dina Duma), and WILD ROOTS (Hajni Kis) will all take part in the East of the West Competition, making up a third of the line-up.
Last but not least, in September the Venice Film Festival and its Lido will be in sight, with 3 First Cut Lab films hopefully awing the press, the juries & the audience: 107 MOTHERS (Peter Kerekes) and VERA DREAMS OF THE SEA (Kaltrina Krasniqi) will both take part in the Orizzonti Competition, whereas IMACULAT (Monica Stan & George Chiper Lillemark) will be screened in the Venice Days’ Competition.
Thanks to all partners, advisors & filmmakers, who made these celebrations of cinema possible!