Source: TFL

A TFL pitching session

Italy’s TorinoFilmLab (TFL) has selected 10 projects for the 2023 edition of its FeatureLab training programme, for first or second film projects at an advanced development stage.

The 2023 iteration received a record 172 applications, from which one animation, one documentary and eight fiction projects have been chosen. Seven of the projects are debut feature, with three second films.

Scroll down for the selected projects

Two of the projects have previously participated in TFL programmes: Irene Moray’s debut Sealskin, a Spanish feature set in a world where women are vanishing; and Francesco Romano’s debut The White House, an Italian drama about a woman who feels marginalised by her family, until she meets a powerful Camorra boss who asks her for shelter.

Sealskin was in the 2022 TFL ScriptLab, with The White House in Up & Coming Italia 2021 and Alpi Film Lab 2022.

Twenty-one participants will take part across the 10 projects, including 12 women and nine men from 10 different countries. They will participate in two week-long residential modules in June and November respectively; plus an online module in September. Training experts include filmmakers Laura Citarella and Michelangelo Frammartino.

Recent FeatureLab projects that have progressed to major festival debuts include Felipe Galvez’s The Settlers, a 2018 selection that will debut in Un Certain Regard at Cannes this month; Tia Kuovo’s FeatureLab 2021 selection Family Time, which debuted in Berlinale Panorama this year; and Makbul Mubarak’s Autobiography, which went from FeatureLab 2017 to the Horizons strand at Venice last year.

“The TFL isn’t only about selecting projects,” said TFL head of studies Violeta Bava and curator Vincenzo Bugno in a statement. “It’s about understanding their present and future potential. We are going to work with the projects during the next months and will share these artistic universes, enjoying an important growing process together with directors, producers, writers, tutors, talking about cinema and developing strategies for the visibility of the future films.”

FeatureLab is organised by TorinoFilmLab - National Museum of Cinema and supported by Creative Europe – MEDIA Sub-programme of the European Union, in partnership with the Comunidad de Madrid, Ayuntamiento de Madrid and Madrid Film Office.

TorinoFilmLab FeatureLab 2023 projects

Synopses provided by TFL

Lionel (Sp)
Dir-scr: Carlos Saiz
Prod. Ana Valls for Blur
A distant father tries to get closer to his son, Lionel, suggesting a road trip to France. At the end of the journey, Lionel will have to decide if he accepts or rejects his father forever.

Milk Teeth (Rom)
Dir-scr: Mihai Mincan
Prod: Radu Stancu for deFilm
As she begins to discover what really happened to her kidnapped sister, Maria, a young girl, encounters a strange world, threatening to take control of her, and the only way to fight against it is to rely on her friends and her imagination.

Renoir (Japan)
Dir-scr: Chie Hayakawa
Prod: Eiko Mizuno-Gray for Loaded Films
11-year-old Fuki experiences the turbulence of loneliness, sexual curiosity, and the pain of her dying father over one summer in Tokyo.

Sealskin (Sp)
Dir-scr: Irene Moray
Prod: Marta Cruañas Compes for Vilaüt
In a world where women are vanishing, Flora will do anything to save her friend.

Skin Coat (Sing)
Dir-scr: Wei Keong Tan
Prod: Yi Peng Teoh for Giraffe Pictures
A son forces his male lover to wear a woman’s skin coat in order to enter his village to see his ageing parents. After the death of his father, the short visit turns painfully unbearable for the trio who have to make sacrifices to protect the ones they love.

The Beer Girl In Yangon (Indonesia)
Dir-scr: Sein Lyan Tun
Prod. John Badalu for Hore Pictures Production
Lily, a teenage girl works as a hostess in a sleazy beer station after her father got arrested while dealing with uneasy relationship with her mother, avoiding from falling through the tempting world of underage prostitution, and her bisexuality as she is caught between a mysterious elderly man and a young co-worker girl.

The Meltdown (Chile)
Dir-scr: Manuela Martelli
Prod: Alejandra García for Wood Producciones
The disappearance of Hanna (16), will mark the end of the innocence and childhood of Inés (11), unveiling dark secrets.

The Splendour Of Life (Can)
Dir-scr: Marianne Métivier
Prod: Geneviève Gosselin for Le Foyer Films
In the luxuriant countryside, Marie doubts her love for her partner as Noée mourns her father. In a suffocating city, Eva tries to anchor herself while Jeanne plans to leave. Moved by a significant encounter, they will all seek meaning in their way of inhabiting the world. The Splendour of Life is a sensual and poetic invitation to live life to the fullest.

The Visitor (Lith)
Dir-scr: Vytautas Katkus
Scr: Marija Kavtaradze
Prod: Marija Razgute for M-Films
End of summer. Danielius (30) makes a brief return to his hometown to sell the old flat in the wake of his dad’s death. But his visit takes longer than expected as Danielius, having nowhere to rush, attempts to reconnect with his hometown.

The White House (It)
Dir-scr: Francesco Romano
Prod: Raffaella Pontarelli for Amarena Film
Felicetta feels marginalized by her family and context in which she lives. One day, a powerful Camorra boss asks her for shelter. Their encounter will undermine their certainties. Until he disappears unexpectedly, destroying the illusion of an impossible relationship. He will return but something has changed.