First Cut+

Our concept

First Cut+ is a program launched in 2020 for boosting the promotion & audience engagement strategies of feature films that previously took part in a First Cut Lab workshop.

First Cut+ operates twice a year, working in close cooperation with two dynamic and well-established film industry platforms: Trieste’s When East Meets West and Karlovy Vary IFF’s Eastern Promises. Each year a portfolio of 16 feature films is promoted: 8 films during the winter session at Trieste’s When East Meets West, and 8 films during the summer session at Karlovy Vary IFF’s Eastern Promises Industry Days.

Participating projects benefit from lectures and individual mentoring consultations on promotion, marketing, PR & press, festivals, and sales strategy from various film industry consultants.

This is followed by a works-in-progress organized under the ‘First Cut+’ label, open to selected decision makers (sales agents & distributors, festivals’ programmers, etc). At each session, a jury awards the TRT Prize to one of the films – a cash award of 5 000 Euros sponsored by the Turkish public broadcaster.

Amongst the 48 feature films that have already participated over 3 years, previous First Cut+ projects include: Listen by Ana Rocha de Sousa (Lion of the Future for Best Debut Feature, Venice 2020); Brother’s Keeper by Ferit Karahan (Fipresci Prize, Berlinale 2021); Immaculat by Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark (Lion of the Future for Best Debut Feature, Venice 2021); 107 Mothers by Peter Kerekes (Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay, Venice 2021); A Piece of Sky by Michael Koch (Silver Bear – Special Mention, Berlinale 2022).

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Big success for First Cut Lab films in Venice!

Big success for First Cut Lab films in Venice!

The two First Cut Lab films at Venice did not leave the festival empty handed! Listen by Ana Rocha de Sousa (prod. Paula Vaccaro & Rodrigo Areias) won no less than two lions and 4 Independent Awards: Best Debut Film and Special Jury Prize Lions, Best Film Sorriso...

Two First Cut Lab films at Venice Film Festival

Two First Cut Lab films at Venice Film Festival

The 2020 selection of Venice Film Festival was freshly announced today and we are overjoyed to see Listen by Ana Rocha de Sousa included in the Orizzonti competition! Listen joins another First Cut Lab project on the canals; earlier this week Oasis by Ivan Ikic was...

First Cut+ wraps up its second edition!

First Cut+ wraps up its second edition!

A successful ending for the First Cut+ summer edition which took place online due to the pandemic; First Cut+ work-in-progress session, created for connecting the eight projects with cinema’s industry decision makers, was hosted as part of Karlovy Vary Eastern...

‘Wild Roots’ and ‘Deskmate’ awarded!

‘Wild Roots’ and ‘Deskmate’ awarded!

The second session this year of First Cut+ just ended successfully. The KVIFF Eastern Promises awards have just been announced and we are super excited to share the news about the winner of the Works in Progress TRT Award as it’s indeed one of the First Cut+ titles!...

First Cut+ webinar 2021/ KVFF

How to bring arthouse films to audiences?

First Cut+ webinar 2020/ WEMW

The role of online platforms for films from Central and Eastern Europe. Positive practices and success stories that relate cinema, festivals and online platforms.

First Cut+ webinar 2020/ KVFF

Alternative distribution strategies and new opportunities for producers from Central and Eastern Europe.


HYBRID – Online and in Trieste – When East Meets West

22nd – 25th January 2023



Natalia Libet
Program Manager First Cut+