CANNES–The Pop Up Film Residency, a mentorship program launched this year by former TorinoFilmLab artistic director Matthieu Darras and Slovak producer Juraj Krasnohorsky, has announced three new residents, four new hosts, and two new creative partners for 2019.
Based in Bratislava, the program offers a three-week residency in Slovakia each month, along with a series of international residencies throughout the year with a growing network of partners, including Cannes Critics’ Week, EAVE and the Doha Film Institute.
“The big difference between this residency and other support schemes for talents is that it’s really tailor-made,” said Darras. “Once we really get an understanding of the person, the project, we actually find the good residency.”
A former Cannes Critics’ Week programmer, Darras described the Pop Up Film Residency as a “passion project” designed to offer mentorship on an intimate scale. “I have 20 years of experience running labs, where I usually have programs with 20, 25 projects,” he said. “That’s great for networking purposes, but really, to cater to the needs of each project, it’s always challenging. I wanted to go for a more personalized approach.”
Each Pop Up Film Residency is led by a mentor and four industry hosts. “The added value is that it’s by filmmakers, for filmmakers,” said Darras. “People are guided by the desire to give back their experience. It’s based on generosity.”
Previously announced hosts include Romanian producer Ada Solomon and Netherlands-based producer Denis Vaslin. Darras announced commitments in Cannes from Konstantinos Kontovrakis (Greece), founder and partner of Athens-based production company Heretic, and recipient with partner Giorgos Karnavasof the European Co-production Award – Prix Eurimages; Muayad Alayan (Palestine), a Jerusalem-based director and producer whose credits include “The Reports on Sarah and Saleem”; Benjamin Mirguet (France/Germany), a Berlin-based editor and editing consultant whose most recent credit is the Cannes competition entry “Little Joe”; and Myriam Sassine (Lebanon), a Beyrouth-based producer and co-founder of Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival together with Antoine Waked.
The Pop Up Film Residency was launched this January with Polish-German director Oliver Adam Kusiowas the first resident in Bratislava, followed by Algerian-Qatari director Meriem Masraoua. Italian photographer-director Giovanni Troilo will soon start a residency with his debut feature “Le Paradis, c’est ici,” as part of a creative partnership with the Trieste Film Festival’s When East Meets West co-production forum. His mentor will be Belgian writer-director François Pirot.
Previously, Flemish writer-director Koen Mortier took part in a special “Residency on Demand” in Cairo, hosted by and under the mentorship of writer-producer Ayman El Amir (Cannes Critics’ Week short film selection “The Trap,” directed by Nada Riyadh).
This month at the CEE Animation Forumin Trebon, in the Czech Republic, a Pop Up Film Residency Award was also given to Irish filmmaker Allan Holly for his animated feature debut project “Piece.”
“The idea is to really look for ambitious projects,” said Darras, who added that the program wasn’t just on the hunt for new talents. “For me, it’s important to support filmmakers who are on their third, or fourth, or fifth films.”
The following new residents were announced for 2019:
*Beatriz Seigner (Brazil), who is developing her third feature film “While They Sleep,” was selected for the Pop Up Film Residency Paradiso, which offers a three-week residency for one experienced Brazilian filmmaker to work on the development of his or her feature film project. The residency is organized in collaboration with the Olga Rabinovich Institute, a philanthropic initiative supporting the Brazilian audiovisual sector and headed by Josephine Bourgois.
Currently in the development stage, “While They Sleep” explores a three-way relationship between parents of young children in a Brazilian society that has become more explicitly religious, violent and conservative. It will be produced in Brazil by Seigner’s company Miriade Filmes, together with Erica de Freitas’ Encantamento Filmes. Thierry Lenouvel will continue collaborating with Seigner as French co-producer. Seigner’s last feature, “Los Silencios,” premiered in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2018, and was distributed internationally by Pyramide.
*Carlota Pereda (Spain) and her debut feature film project “Piggy” (pictured) were selected for the Pop Up Film Residency Focus CoPro’, organized in collaboration with the Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner. “Piggy” is a horror film about an overweight teen who’s bullied by a clique of cool girls while holidaying in her village, and whose long walk home will change her life. Pereda’s short “Piggy” won a Spanish Academy Goya Award for best short film. Shooting on the feature, which is budgeted at €2.5 million (around $2.8 million), is set for summer 2020. Merry Colomer produces on behalf of Morena Films.
*Yona Rozenkier (Israel) and his third feature project “Siberia” were selected for a Pop Up Film Residency On Demand. The film is set in a post-apocalyptic world where two Israeli girls and their father practice survival training and trap-hunting while living in the wilds of Siberia. The film received development support from the Israeli Film Fund, with Kobi Mizrahiproducing in Israel and Dominique Welinskiin France.
Ronzenkier’s debut feature, “The Dive,” premiered in competition in Locarno in 2018. The Israeli director is in Cannes this year with two shorts: “The Sign”, co-directed with Eleonora Veninova and presented at the Directors’ Fortnight as part of the SEE Factory, and “Parparim,” which was selected for the official competition. His second feature film, “Decompression,” is in pre-production.
The Pop Up Film Residency also announced two new creative partners, in order to build a portfolio that covers a wide range of film styles and genres from every region of the world.
The Pop Up Film Residency Warsaw Kids Film Forum is a partnership with Poland’s first international pitching forum for films and television series aimed at the children’s market, which is the industry portion of the Kids Film Festival. “Our aim is to facilitate the production of European quality family movies and a Pop Up Film Residency seems to be a perfect tool to give the projects right shape before they enter production,” said Forum head Maciej Jakubczyk.
The Pop Up Film Residency BrLab is a collaboration with the Sao Paulo-based Laboratory, the only audiovisual projects development laboratory in Brazil that receives projects from across Brazil, Latin America, and the Iberian, as well as Italy for the first time. The Pop Up Film Residency BrLab Award will be chosen from the 11 projects selected by BrLab that are in the initial phase of development and financing.