ROME – U.S. director Anna Rose Holmer’s feature film debut “The Fits” is among winners of the second edition of the Venice Film Festival’s Biennale College initiative, which will shepherd three microbudget works from development through distribution.
Produced by New-York-based producer/director Lisa Kjerulff, “The Fits” is a coming-of-age tale that explores the metamorphosis of thirteen-year-old girl named Toni when a mysterious fainting spell strikes all the other girls in her tight-knit dance group. This incident forces her to face her own inner demons in her attempt to adapt. Holmer previously co-directed and produced docu “A Ballet in Sneakers: Jerome Robbins and Opus Jazz.” She also produced director Jody LeeLipes’ “Ballet 422,” which screened at Tribeca earlier this year.
Interestingly, the other two projects that made the Biennale College cut – out of hundreds of projects from sixty countries – also revolve around teen issues. One is “Baby Bump” by Poland’s Kuba Czekaj, a story centred on the fear of puberty and the sexual transformation of an eleven-year-old, produced by Magdalena Kaminska. The other is “Blanka” by Japanese actor/director Kohki Hasei, about an eleven-year-old girl abandoned by her mother who decides to “buy” a new mom, only to find that a family is made up of those who love you. Italian producer Flaminio Zadra (“Soul Kitchen”) is producing.
Each director-producer team now has €150,000 ($187,000), plus tutoring and mentoring at their disposal.
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They must complete their project in time to screen at the 72nd Venice fest, which will run September 2-12, 2015.
The Venice fest’s groundbreaking production lab in its previous two editions has spawned several standout titles, including “H”(pictured) by U.S.-based directorial duo Daniel Garcia and Rania Attieh (“OK, Enough, Goodbye”), a contempo retooling of a Greek tragedy about two women, both named Helen, who live in the town of Troy, New York. “H” was recently nominated in the Someone To Watch category at the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards.