Initiative to team Middle East, Euro filmmakers

The Turin Film Festival lab dedicated to script development and funding has pacted with the Dubai Film Festival to launch a co-production workshop.

The initiative, which aims to foster European and Middle Eastern film production cross-pollination, will bring together 12 writer/director and producer teams from the regions for a session in Turin in April and Dubai in December.

Meanwhile, the TurinFilmLab has announced winners of the second edition of its year-long Sundance-like lab for first and second works, which besides shepherding projects in their early stages, dishes out $900,000 in coin.

The most moolah went to “Postcards From the Zoo,” a drama with a giraffe among its protagonists, by the Indonesian helmer known as Edwin, whose first work “Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly” took the 2008 Fipresci nod in Rotterdam.

Other winners are “Salvo,” an unconventional Mafia drama by tyro helming duo Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia; “Bypass,” a youth morality tale set in contempo England by first-timer Duane Hopkins; “The Slut,” the directorial debut of Israeli thesp Hagar Ben-Asher, developed at Cannes’ Residence du Festival; and Gaza-set “Musical Chairs” by Palestinian documaker Azza El-Hassan.

The five-day Turin lab, which ended Tuesday, was attended by 120 industryites, including reps from Fortissimo Films, EuropaCorp, Zentropa, Pandora, RAI Cinema and Fandango, and by U.S. producers Marc and Maria Halperin of Magic Lamp.

The Turin fest ends Saturday.

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