Cannes, France. Indonesian filmmakers Loeloe Hendra and Makbul Mubarak are among 12 participants selected for Feature Lab, a feature film incubation program at Torino Film Lab in Italy.
Loeloe will be bring his feature project "Tale of the Land," while Makbul his debut feature "The Autobiography."
The directors' participation in the Feature Lab is a result of a partnership between Torino Film Lab and Indonesia's Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf). Bekraf will finance the Indonesian participants, who will begin their program in June.
The executive director of Torino Film Lab, Savina Neirotti, signed a memorandum of understanding with Bekraf deputy for research, education and development Abdur Rohim Berawi at the Indonesian pavilion during the Cannes Festival on Monday (22/05).
Neirotti said Torino Film Lab, which was established 10 years ago, helps aspiring filmmakers to pitch their movies and attract investors to realize the projects. Only filmmakers who are working on their first or second feature film are eligible to attend the program.
"Our idea is to really help filmmakers not only to develop their scripts, but to learn how to work together and understand each other's cultures through film projects. The idea is to create a platform not only for friendship, but also collaboration. We have seen over the years that these filmmakers continue to collaborate."
Producer Meiske Taurisia proposed the Torino lab to Bekraf in 2016, upon which Abdur came to Torino in November 2016 to invite the lab's representative for a talent hunt in Indonesia. Lab's artistic director Matthieu Darras spent a few weeks in Jakarta and Yogyakarta in February meeting aspiring Indonesian filmmakers.
"Matthieu helped them prepare their pitches for further selection in Torino. The program will help our filmmakers in scriptwriting and production. In Europe, filmmaking is much more than just a meeting between a producer and director, the pre-sales process is just as important," Abdur said.
The business aspect of filmmaking, Abdur said, is something that Indonesian filmmakers still need to learn.
Darras said he was impressed by Loeloe's and Makbul's short films, and considers both as very talented directors.
"Their distinctive voices are indicative of the diversity of current Indonesian cinema, and we have high expectations 'Tale of the Land' and 'The Autobiography' will be remarkable debuts," he said.
The Feature Lab program, which received 150 submissions this year, consists of two workshop sessions that will take place in June and September in the Netherlands and Hungary. During these workshops, participants will be guided to create fully developed proposals, with scripts, budgets and more detailed production plans, including sound design and production timeline.
In the final stage of the program, participants will present their pitches to distributors, sales agents, producers, festival representatives and other stakeholders who will come to the Torino Film Lab's meeting in the end of November. The best projects will receive production and co-production awards.
Meiske, whose project "Postcard from the Zoo" with director Edwin was selected for the same program in 2009, said many of the Torino alumni have been recognized in prestigious film events such as the Academy Awards, or the Toronto and Cannes film festivals.
Feature Lab is one of the main programs run by Torino Film Lab each year to nurture the creative pursuits of auteurs from the feature and television film industries.