Three pix to be developed, distributed

ROME

The Venice Film Festival has announced its shortlist of 15 projects for its groundbreaking Biennale College initiative, which will shepherd three microbudget works from development through distribution.

The list, picked from 433 submissions, includes works from 12 countries and includes two U.S. helmers, Tim Sutton, whose debut “Pavillion” made a splash earlier this year at SXSW, and Kim Spurlock, an NYU grad who has made several prizewinning shorts.

Directors and producers of the 15 projects have been invited to a workshop in Venice, where their number will be whittled down to three. The winners will receive € ,000 ($190,000) plus tutoring and mentoring from industryites to make a pic that will screen on the Lido in September.

The films will also get online and VOD distribution through deals made by the Biennale College, which is sponsored by Gucci.

The 12 projects that don’t make the final cut will be placed on a preferential route to get into other global film labs, including New York’s Independent Filmmaker Project, the Turin Film Lab and the Dubai festival lab.

Though many fests are active in production, the Venice initiative is touted as the first involving a film’s entire cycle.

The 70th Venice Film Festival, headed by Alberto Barbera, will run Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.

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