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Savina Neirotti • Executive director, TorinoFilmLab

"There’s high demand for training on serial projects"

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- Savina Neirotti talks about TFL Extended, a new program that organises tailor-made workshops. The first workshop is due to be held in April in Turin and will focus on television series

Savina Neirotti • Executive director, TorinoFilmLab

TFL Extended is a new program launched by TorinoFilmLab, organising tailor-made workshops on audience design, production and TV series. Here to explain it a little better is the executive director of TFL, Savina Neirotti.

Cineuropa: How did the TFL Extended idea come about and what's the scope of the project?
Savina Neirotti:
TFL Extended is an initiative that came about 4 years ago. We realised that there was a growing demand for high quality training, both from individual professionals and from organisations. The scheme was born out of a collaboration with Cannes International Critics' Week on the Next Step project, a workshop intended for directors of short films selected by the festival to develop their debut feature film. The one-week workshop is held every year in December in France and is curated by TorinoFilmLab. This is precisely the motivation behind TFL Extended: organising and managing training initiatives where sector professionals can benefit from our many years of educational experience and from the wide network of experts at TorinoFilmLab.

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In fact, over recent years, TorinoFilmLab has not only created films, but also encouraged the growth of many professionals: the importance of what we do also lies in this human heritage.

The first workshop is due to be held in April in Turin and will focus on television series. How is this new workshop going to be structured?
TFL Extended - TV series is the first workshop open to all professionals in the audiovisual sector. It is aimed at individual screenwriters, directors, producers or story editors who wish to benefit from specialised advice in order to improve their own skills. The number of participants is limited, but there is no pre-selection stage for the workshop. Anyone wishing to participate just has to register as per the guidelines included in the online announcement. Participants must register by presenting a serial project, which will be used as a tool during work sessions. The workshop combines group and individual sessions, case studies and master classes. During the four full-day training sessions, and under the supervision of highly qualified trainers, participants will learn the paradigms of writing and producing short and long serial projects: from the creation of the concept to working on the pilot episode, from pitching to potential broadcasters and producers to promoting the project to the general public. The workshop also aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the dynamics of international co-productions and issues related to copyright.

The experience has already started with the International Critics' Week, the Doha Film Institute and the IMDA. How do you feel things went? What feedback did you get from participants?
The fourth edition of Next Step wrapped up in December 2017, and the results were very positive. In total, 36 directors from 19 different countries participated in the initiative, leading to the production of three feature films:  The Maus [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Gerardo Herrero, Look Up [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Fulvio Risuleo and A Ciambra [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Carpignano
film profile
]
by Jonas Carpignano, which were all developed during the 2015 edition of the TorinoFilmLab's Script&Pitch program. We’re very proud of A Ciambra, which was selected for both the 49th edition of the Directors' Fortnight and as a candidate to represent Italy at the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category. Our collaboration with the Doha Film Institute began three years ago, with the Hezayah Screenwriting Lab program, aimed at supporting emerging screenwriters and directors in the development of an original feature film project, and the Short Scriptwriting Lab, designed for those working on the making of their first short film. The Middle East is a geographical region to which we have always had strong ties. From 2010 to 2013, the TorinoFilmLab organised Interchange, a program dedicated to the making of films of Arab origin, which we hoped would serve as a cultural bridge between Europe and Middle East, thanks to the organisation of two workshops, the first in Turin and the second in Dubai.

We’re also very happy to renew the experience with the IMDA (Info-Communications Media Development Authority) in Singapore and  to organise the second edition of the TFL Feature Film Workshop: a three-day training program that includes various master classes, as well as the screening and presentation of the Diamond Island [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
case study by Davy Chou (Cambodia), a film developed in conjunction with TFL. For us it’s extremely stimulating to work with other regions of the world who share our passion for cinema.

Tell us about the upcoming TFL Extended events?
TFL Extended is undoubtedly our most flexible tool. It covers all the sectors pertaining to TorinoFilmLab: from the development of screenplays of feature films and documentaries, to story editing; from the basics of serial writing, to audience design, from the productive and artistic development of a project, to its presentation in front of the audiovisual industry in a pitch.At the moment there’s a high demand for training on serial projects. The format is making an impact both in terms of its aesthetic and narrative qualities. We also have a cinema project developed as part of the TFL, which then turned into a TV series project! We're therefore not ruling out doing further editions of TFL Extended - TV Series this year.This is precisely the strength of this new project. They are workshops designed and organised to measure – easily adaptable to meet the various needs of the industry.

(Translated from Italian)

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