Aya Simon Gillard Coulibay Belgium First Cut Lab


First Cut Lab Japan is an online consultancy program designed for two feature films in editing phase from Japan. The program is made in collaboration and with the final support of VIPO (Visual Industry Promotion Organization).

The selected teams (director/producer/editor) are offered a creative framework, both protective & challenging, where to open up new perspectives and to explore the whole artistic potential of their films. They screen their rough cut in a private session, and receive expert feedbacks from three international film industry advisors, as well as tailor-made advice from a consultant editor.

Consultant and industry advisors will be defined according to the profiles of the film selected. An overview of regular consultants of First Cut Lab can be found here: http://firstcutlab.eu/people/

Once the workshop is over, the participants receive a report & a roadmap that can serve as guidance for further editing. Eventually, the ambition of First Cut Lab is to enhance the audience opportunities of the films.


Submission deadline:
13 October 2023



Deadline for submission: 13. October 2023

The program will take place online, and each film will be workshopped within the period from 1. November 2023 to 29. March 2024.

Each film is accompanied by First Cut Lab for a period of roughly 6 weeks, even though the core of the Lab takes place over two consecutive days.

The exact dates of the Lab will be chosen in agreement with each selected team to best answer the needs of their films. A preferred period for the Lab should be mentioned in the application form.

N.B.: Projects potentially interested in First Cut Lab Japan, but that are not able to provide video material by September 30, 2023 (e.g. because the principal photography of the film is not over, or because it has not taken place yet), should still fill out the application form and apply by this deadline. If eligible, they will be contacted by First Cut Lab to agree on a specific deadline to provide their video material.


Selected projects will have to pay participation fees of 100.000 Yen before the program starts.


All applications must include: 

– complete application form and video material not less than 30 minutes long. In order to submit your application and the required material, you need to fill out the form.

Please find here below the complete guidelines and detailed info about the submission process.

Applications must be sent to: julie.marnay@firstcutlab.eu


Please note: the deadline for submitting a project to First Cut Lab Japan 2023 is October 13, 2023.

In order to submit your application and the required material, you need to complete the submission form. All application materials and subtitles should be in English.


Submissions should include: A complete online submission form in English and video material with a minimum duration of 30 minutes and with English subtitles.
The video material submitted can be selected scenes, a first assembly or a rough cut with a minimum duration of 30 minutes.

The video is mandatory to be available via streaming service password protected (e.g. Vimeo). No transfer services or cloud storage is accepted.


The project should be a feature film with international market potential – minimum length of 70 minutes.

First Cut Lab has no specific fixed criteria in terms of content and each project will be considered on its own merits. The main criteria for selection are the artistic & audience potential of the film, corroborated with the specific needs identified by the organizers in each project in regards to the specificity of the First Cut Lab workshop.

Projects should be new or recent. Projects should not have been presented at any public screenings. The project can be in different stages of post-production, though it is highly recommended to be in early editing phase. The project should have a director and/or majority producer from Japan. 


Once a project has been selected, both director and producer should be available during the days of the Lab. The presence of the editor is recommended, but not compulsory.

Finished films that participated in First Cut Lab should mention First Cut Lab and display its logo in their credits. The following sentence should be mentioned in the credit list: This project participated in First Cut Lab Japan 2023together with the First Cut Lab and VIPO logos.