Fund is dedicated to supporting audience development strategies; Meanwhile, Beta Cinema has acquired Toronto title Labyrinth of Lies.

The TorinoFilmLab (TFL) is launching a distribution fund dedicated to supporting audience development strategies to accompany the releases of four EU or non-EU co-productions in at least three territories

Speaking exclusively to Screen at this week’s Locarno Film Festival, TFL’s Olga Lamontanara explained: “This initiative really completes the circle and the successful projects will be able to make use of the experiences of the alumni from our audience design course which have been working on the implementation of audience engagement strategies.”

A total of four grants, worth a maximum of €43,000 each, will be awarded in 2014/15 to feature film projects which have been previously selected and developed at one of the TFL programmes since 2008.

“Those applying must be a producer or sales agent from a country participating in the MEDIA sub-programme,” outlined Lamontanara.

Each project must involve at least one co-producer from a country which is neither participating in Creative Europe’s MEDIA sub-programme, nor is a member of the Council of Europe’s Eurimages fund.

“This co-producer should have at least a 30% share in the project,” she added.

Moreover, the projects must either be in pre-production, production or post-production and be scheduled to be completed and theatrically released in at least three territories by Dec 31, 2016.

Innovative audience development strategies could cover such activities as social media marketing, the production of trailers or teasers for online campaigns, cross-platform communication, event-based promotion and online previews aimed at a variety of platforms.

The distribution fund has been created with support from the MEDIA sub-programme’s new action line for international co-production funds.

New Locarno partner

This year saw TFL becoming a new partner of Locarno’s Open Doors by providing experts to act as script mentors for four of the selected sub-Saharan African projects ahead of the co-production lab.

“The collaboration went very well and we have had a good feedback from the film-makers we were working with,” observed Lamontanara.

TFL graduates Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia, whose TFL-supported project Salvo was in Cannes’ Critics Week last year, served as the script experts for this first time.

Lamontanara added that TFL will now be discussing with Open Doors’ Ananda Scepka as to which producer they could invite to attend the co-production market’s seventh edition in Turin from Nov 24-26, 2014.

In addition, two of TFL’s projects were selected for Locarno’s Filmmakers of the Present sidebar - Liew Seng Tat’s Men Who Save The World and Oscar Ruiz Navia’s Los Hongos - while another TFL project, Swiss director Simon Jaquemet’s Chrieg, will be competing in San Sebastian’s New Directors line-up next month.

Beta picks up Toronto title

Beta Cinema has picked up international sales for Giulio Ricciarelli’s Labyrinth of Lies which will have its world premiere in the Contemporary World Cinema section of next month’s Toronto International Film Festival.

The feature debut, which will be released theatrically in Germany by Universal Pictures in November, stars Alexander Fehling (Young Goethe) as a young public prosecutor in the late 1950s embarking on a determined quest for the truth about several former SS officers.

As previously announced, Beta is handling international sales for Christian Zübert’s latest feature Tour de Force which had its world premiere on Locarno’s Piazza Grande at the weekend and will have its North American premiere in the same sidebar in Toronto.

In addition, Beta has picked up distribution rights for the Israeli-German co-production The Farewell Party by writer/director duo Sharon Maymon and Tal Granit, which screens in the Venice Days before having its North American premiere in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema line-up.

Ant!pode in San Sebastian

Russian sales agent Ant!pode Sales & Distributon has picked up international sales for Nigina Sayfullaeva’s feature debut Name Me, which will compete in San Sebastian’s New Directors competition.

Starring Konstantin Lavrenenko (The Return), Name Me is a psychological drama about daughter-father relations as two Muscovite girls visit the father of one of them on the Crimean peninsula and play a trick on him, the friend pretends to be his daughter and vice versa, with unimaginable consequences.