First Cut+ summer edition 2024 takes place in Karlovy Vary for the works-in-progress session, lectures and individual mentoring consultations on promotion, marketing, PR & press, festivals, and sales strategy from various film industry consultants. A public presentation of all projects takes place in Imperial Spa, the main facility of the Industry, on the 2nd of July at 10:00 AM.

This summer workshop marks the 10th edition anniversary for the First Cut+ program since 2020. We are going to celebrate with the participants, teams, tutors, experts and managers of Karlovy Vary IFF and Tatino Films.

While remaining committed to Central & Eastern European films, First Cut+ opens up tothe world with projects from Brazil, Japan, Belgium and the Netherlands. Moreover, in this selection of 8 projects there are 4 debuts.

This year, we will enrich our program with a session “From Filming to Festivals: Creating Marketing Materials During Production to Stand Out in the Crowd” accessible for the KVIFF’s Industry accredited guests on the 1st of July at 16:30. How to take advantage of filming to create effective marketing assets? Develop innovative communication elements during production to benefit from multiple creative options, offering potential distributors and sales teams a wide range of possibilities. This talk with Alexandre Bourg and Ninon Benezet, co-founders of French cinema-focussed publicity agency Nice Guys, explores strategies that allow you to promote your film in an exciting way, make audiences sensitive to its storytelling and capture attention at festivals.

The €5,000 cash prize of First Cut+ Award aims at further supporting and highlighting one of the projects. It will be decided upon by a jury consisting of John Nein of Sundance Film Festival, Lenka Tyrpakova of Czech national festival Finále in Pilsen and Barbara Wurm of Berlinale’s Forum. The award will be given during KVIFF Eastern Promises Industry Days’ Award Ceremony on the 2nd of July at 18:30.


For its 2024 summer session, First Cut+ selected the following eight projects:

Men of Deed - First Cut+ Winter Trieste 2022

Blood of my blood

Director: Rafaela Camelo (debut)

Producer: Daniela Marinho

Countries: Brazil, Chile, France

First Cut Lab Brazil 2024

Companies: Moveo Filmes, Pinda Producciones

Gloria is a girl on vacation who has to go to the hospital every day to accompany her mother, a working-hard nurse. While exploring the facility, Gloria meets Sofia, a girl who is convinced that the worsening health conditions of her great-grandmother, a spiritual healer who is now the patient, is caused by her admission to the hospital. Both girls will share the desire to leave the place, beginning a bittersweet journey of mourning and farewells.

White Plastic Sky - First Cut+ Winter Trieste 2022


Director: Aaron Rookus

Producers: Maarten van der Ven & Layla Meijman

Countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia

First Cut Lab Netherlands 2024

Company: Studio Ruba

A close investigation in the lives of the different generations of a dysfunctional family, all searching for the same near impossible thing; the fulfilment of life. Victor, is finally coming out of the closet only to realize that he is too old for queer dating; his sister, the opera diva Annika, who must re-evaluate her life after receiving terrible news; their grandmother Joke who just wants to die; as well as 10-year-old Timo who is checking off his bucket list believing he only has one week left to live. A life affirming drama, where comedy and tragedy coexist, exactly just like in real life.

Camper - First Cut+ Winter Trieste 2022


Director: Emília Goldberg (debut)

Producers: Ferenc Pusztai, Linda Pfeiffer

Countries: Hungary, Slovakia

First Cut Lab On Demand 2024

Company: KMH Film

Based on true events, MAYFLIES is a story of a famous Hungarian assassin in the 1930s – Pipas Pista. It starts when he gets arrested and it is revealed that he was born as a woman but lived with a male identity. In prison, while waiting for execution, he forms a relationship with Irma, the pastor’s daughter, who is teaching him to read and write. Their relationship develops into a strong bond that results in clemency being granted for Pista. However, Irma must pay the price for it. Their ambiguous love story is still relevant 100 years later, when manipulation and corruption still effect our choices.

Summer to Come - First Cut+ Winter Trieste 2022

My Boyfriend The Fascist

Director: Matthias Lintner

Producers: Martin Rattini, Daria Akimenko, Matthias Lintner

Country: Italy

Company: Helios Sustainable Films

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Alps, My Boyfriend The Fascist tells the true story of Matthias, a left-wing filmmaker, and Sadiel, an idealistic Cuban activist with seemingly endless energy. As Sadiel grapples with disappointment towards communist Cuba, his ideological shift towards right-wing beliefs strains his relationship with Matthias, who tries to remain coherent about his progressive ideals. Through the lens of Matthias’s camera, this intimate portrait captures their evolving relationship, mirroring political turmoil and personal transformation.

White Plastic Sky - First Cut+ Winter Trieste 2022

Numakage Public Swimming Pool

Director: Shingo Ota

Producer: Kyoko Takenaka

Country: Japan

First Cut Lab Japan 2023/24

Companies: Hydroblast

For over 50 years Numakage, a public swimming pool complex called the “ocean” within a landlocked city in the suburbs of Tokyo, has served as a much-loved place for the elderly to improve their health, as a leisure facility for children and families, and as a meeting place for gay men. However, the urban development plan forces the pool to be demolished, ignoring the opposition of many residents and generating a sense of loss in the community. With Numakage Public Swimming Pool, Shingo Ota explores the nature of grief by using five psychological processes of denial, anger, negotiation, depression, and acceptance, as examined by the psychiatrist Kübler-Ross, and questions the importance of loss usually associated with human death only.

Fucking Bornholm - First Cut+ Winter Trieste 2022

The Origin of the World

Director: Borbála Nagy (debut)

Producers: Petra Iványi, Margarita Amineva-Jester, Julie Paratian, Daria Wichmann

Countries: Hungary, Germany, France

First Cut Lab Nouvelle-Aquitaine 2024

Company: Lupa Pictures, Voices Films, Sister Productions, DFFB

In Paris, Adél faces an unwanted pregnancy. In Budapest, Nóra hides that she and her husband are trying to adopt a child. In Berlin, Becky confronts her family about her plans to become a single mother. Pushed to the edge, these three women in their forties are about to determine the course of their future lives. Each protagonist grapples with an initial problem – be it abortion, infertility or single parenting. However, their perceived solutions only create more complex conflicts. The story questions how free they truly are to live the lives they desire. Are they judged by society for their choices, or is their self-made cage the real barrier?

A Love Story - First Cut+ Winter Trieste 2022

The Silent Treatment

Director: Caroline Strubbe

Producer: Tomas Leyers

Countries: Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands

First Cut Lab Belgium 2024

Companies: Minds Meet, Volya Films

What if love doesn’t take place between two people, but becomes a complex jigsaw between three characters whose lives are intwined; Tess, Szabolcs and Andrea are imprisoned in each other’s past. The Silent Treatment tells the story of an 18-year-old Belgian girl Tess, in relation to a 42-year-old Hungarian man Szabolcs. As a victim to a Stockholm syndrome, Tess has developed an obsessional bond with her allegedly kidnapper Szabolcs. However through the actions of Szabolcs’ partner, the 34-year-old Hungarian Andrea, Tess will finally find her own truth. Andrea will help the young woman in changing her distorted relationship from obsessional imagination to an unity of kindred spirits.

Mammalia - First Cut+ Winter Trieste 2022

Wheels of Forgotten Dreams

Directors: Miloš Ljubomirović and Danilo Lazović (debut)

Producers: Miloš Ljubomirović and Danilo Lazović

Countries: Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia

First Cut Lab RE-ACT 2024

Company: Servia Film

Within this labyrinth of US highways, 4 million trucks traverse vast landscapes, carrying 10.5 billion tons of freight annually. A substantial proportion of these drivers are immigrants. Confined to truck cabins for years, they face limited prospects of deeper integration into American society, often remaining within their ethnic bubbles. When envisioning a trucker burning rubber up and down the US highways, our three protagonists are far from the typical image that might come to mind. Still in the prime of life, an actress, a painter, and an engineer left everything behind to spend their lives behind the wheel of a truck in search of the elusive American dream.


Advisors for the summer session 2023 will be:

Alexandre Bourg

As a marketing strategy specialist, Alexandre Bourg is the co-founder of Nice Guys Agency, specialized in communication in the cultural sector and more particularly in cinema. He was previously Publicity Manager of the Cannes Film Festival for 3 years. After graduating, Alexandre has worked for Le Pacte, le Public Système Cinéma respectively in marketing and PR. He then joined StudioCanal for several years where he became International Publicity Manager, before specializing in festival with Deauville Film Festival, CanneSeries and finally Cannes Film Festival. Besides that, he teaches Film Marketing at the Paris 8 University.

Catalin Cristuțiu

The Romanian editor Catalin Cristuțiu, who worked on some of the most appreciated films in Romanian Cinema (directed by, among others, Radu Jude, Florin Serban, Silviu Purcarete, Anca Damian) will be advising about what excerpts to choose for the best launching of the film.

Ninon Benezet

As a marketing and promotion specialist, Ninon Bénézet is the co-founder of Nice Guys Agency, specialized in communication in the cultural sector and more particularly in cinema. After starting at Le Pacte, Ninon joined The Jokers for several years in marketing, digital, and festival and then Cartel agency in digital communication, events and PR. In 2019, Ninon continues to work as a freelancer in communication and events, notably for the film Parasite at the Cannes Film Festival of the same year. Her clients include film distributors, producers and publishers, whom she assists in communication, media training and press.

Michael Arnon

As Strategy consultant to International Marketing, PR & Press.
Michael Aron, partner at Berlin based PR & Marketing agency WOLF Consultants, provides full service strategic consulting focused on positioning projects at any and all stages of development and production.

Christina Pelekani

As a marketing and positioning strategy colsultant, Christina is an experienced film industry professional, who has started working in the film business as a creative director in films’ campaigns, marketing manager & acquisitions’ consultant. In 2020, Christina co-founded Endorphin Film Sales, a boutique world sales & consulting company, where she is responsible for the marketing consulting and acquisitions.

Katarzyna Siniarska

As Sales specialist.
Katarzyna Siniarska
has been a part of Warsaw-based boutique world sales agency New Europe Film Sales since 2013; first as a Sales Executive then Head of Sales and a partner at the company. She is also active as a board member of Europa International (2019-2021). New Europe works with international content and sells it to all rights, theatrical, TV and VOD buyers across the world and is proud of its small, carefully-selected catalogue of feature films and shorts. The company has a great track record for supporting auteur cinema and unique voices – recent titles include 92nd Academy Awards nominated CORPUS CHRISTI and Venezia 77 Best Screenplay winner THE DISCIPLE.

Joanna Solecka

As Digital marketing specialist.
Film marketing and audience design strategist, Joanna Solecka is the Head of film marketing agency Alphapanda’s Polish branch, covering the CEE, US and Scandinavian market. Among the latest international projects, Joanna handled campaigns for are: GIRL PICTURE (Sundance Audience Award Winner ‘22), HOW TO SAVE A DEAD FRIEND (Visions du Reel ’22), FLEE (European Film Awards Winner ’21), NINJABABY (SXSW Audience Award Winner ’21).