Filmmakers taking part in fest's Residence

PARIS — Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation has named six emerging directors who will participate in its Residence program, which provides mentoring on the helmers’ first or second feature. 

A biannual program that caters to around 12 filmmakers a year, the Residence received 160 submissions for the session, which started on Wednesday and runs through Feb. 15.

The six student filmmakers, between the ages of 26 and 35, will share a Paris apartment during that time. They will write their scripts and try to get them produced with help from meetings with directors and producers. They will also attend festivals such as Rotterdam’s Cinemart, Locarno or Cannes.

The best project, selected from the 12 annual participants, will get the E20,000 ($28,000) Opening Shot prize from Residence’s partner, the Fondation Gan.

“We look for diversity, untold stories or original points of view,” said Residence director Georges Goldenstern. “And secondly, we look at past work but it can’t be the deciding factor because we strive to discover new talents.”

The only first-timer, Babak Amini, from Iran, will develop “Oil,” which follows the fate of an Iranian soldier in charge of watching an oil well on the border with Iraq.

Colombia’s Alejandro Landes, whose “Cocalero” screened at Sundance in 2007, will write “Porfidio,” about a paraplegic who has been waiting for social aid for 14 years.

Anna Faur, from Hungary, will work on her second feature, “Anyones,” about four women from different generations and social backgrounds, sharing similar identity and self-image crises.

Other participants are Aaron Fernandez from Mexico, Seng Tat Liew from Malaysia and Robin Weng from China.

“The idea of the Residence is to gather an eclectic group of talented filmmakers and have them work together, exchange ideas and share their different perspectives,” said Goldenstern.

Since its inception in 2000, the Residence has become a stepping stone for participants as 75% of the projects developed during the program have been shot and, for the most part, distribbed.

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