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KARLOVY VARY 2020 KVIFF Eastern Promises

First Cut+ announces a new award and shares experts’ feedback


- Just before the second session at KVIFF’s Eastern Promises Industry Days, the programme’s experts share their tips and advice, while the First Cut+ Award has been announced

First Cut+ announces a new award and shares experts’ feedback
Ilaria Gomarasca and Matthieu Darras during a previous First Cut+ presentation in Trieste

The second session of First Cut+, the programme that aims to boost the competitiveness and marketability of feature films that previously participated in First Cut Lab (FCL), is set to start next week with the eight films that will be presented during the online edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s Eastern Promises Industry Days, from 6-9 July (see the news).

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The projects are already eligible for the Karlovy Vary Post-production Development Award, sponsored by UPP and Soundsquare, as well as the TRT Works in Progress 2020 Award. Today, Cineuropa can exclusively announce that a new First Cut+ Award will be up for grabs for the eight films, sponsored by three companies offering their promotional services. More precisely, L’Avventura Studio offers event-orientated recommendations, with a set of ideas that can be reproduced by the distributor/sales agent/producer; WOLF Consultants offers a consultation on how to translate the positioning of the finished film for the international press book, with a special focus on key texts, including the logline, synopsis, director's note and interview; and Tiramisu offers consultancy on the trailer and poster.

Just before the start of the new session, we asked the First Cut+ advisors to share some of their tips and advice that the participants will also be getting, and to grant us an insight into their work.

Starting with marketing, specialist Boris Pugnet (Tiramisu) and digital marketing specialist Alexis Hamaide (L’Avventura Studio) mentioned: “When producers come to the marketing workshop, we try to provide them with concrete creative solutions that are specific to each movie. We offer a lot of creative directions for posters, using the available material, but also alternative titles, as well as taglines corresponding to the different marketing strategies we imagined for their movies. In the course of the eight marketing workshops, we provide over 200 visual assets as well as ideas for digital content. All of these assets are rough materials in order to fuel a discussion about the positioning of each film. This work helps some producers to renew their own vision of their movie, and will hopefully provide all of them with new and accurate ideas not only for the posters, but also for the rest of the marketing campaign (digital strategy, press angles and so on).”

International publicists and PR specialists for WOLF Consultants Michael Arnon and Laurin Dietrich shared their experience: “We approach projects at First Cut+ with the same mindset as the one we bring to our work at WOLF: the goal is to make marketing and publicity an integrated part of the filmmaking process from an early stage. During the workshop, we’re working concretely on fine-tuning key materials and giving specific creative input based on what each project needs support with, or the deadlines they’re working towards – finalising their synopsis, key stills and artwork concepts, teasers and trailers, or presentations for buyers or for financing to finish the film. We go in depth into positioning and pitching specifically for the international market and press, as well as when and how to deploy marketing elements most effectively. We want the movies to emerge stronger in a very real way, with a more compelling package to present to festivals, sales agents, distributors, platforms and other future partners."

Regarding the trailer-making strategy, Romanian editor Catalin Cristuțiu underlined: “Working on the trailer of your own film can be difficult, but it’s well worth trying, at least as a personal exercise. It will always be very different from the trailer made by a specialised trailer house – sometimes it can be better. I think it’s worth going crazy: just pick the shots you like best and put them one after the other – you will be surprised by the fresh associations and ideas. After that, it's just tweaking and refining it until you are satisfied.” French editor Benjamin Mirguet, the advisor for trailer dramaturgy, also added: “Working on a trailer is, for producers, a very practical way to understand what they have in their hands and how special it is.”

Finally, we asked Ilaria Gomarasca, head of First Cut+ and festival strategy advisor, for her input: “Building a festival strategy for a film is crucial because each festival has its own peculiarities and its own editorial line. Therefore, the choice of the most suitable festival journey for your film will be part of the strategy for you to become known as an author and to design your brand as a filmmaker.”

The projects will be screened in two work-in-progress sessions on 6 and 7 July, and the winners will be announced on 9 July along with all of the winners of KVIFF Eastern Promises.

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