Sales agent Ilaria Gomarasca is stepping down from Paris-based Pyramide International to become head of First Cut Plus, a program to assist filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe.

First Cut Plus, which is touted as the only initiative of this type supported by Europe’s MEDIA program this year, is being launched in tandem with the Karlovy Vary fest’s Industry Days and Trieste’s When East Meets West platform.

The program is an part of the expanding First Cut Lab headed by Matthieu Darras, the Torino Film Lab’s former artistic director. Launched in 2015, the innovative First Cut event, now held in nine countries, focuses on helping director-producer teams who are at rough-cut stage to make the most effective editing decisions for their project.

Gomarasca (pictured, second from right) is an Italian with a decade of experience in international distribution, most recently as Pyramide’s festivals and markets manager. She will be in charge of advancing the First Cut Lab with First Cut Plus, which is aimed at boosting market potential for first and second works coming through First Cut.

“Once directors are happy with their cut, then they can get this additional guidance in terms of launch strategy,” said Gomarasca. She added that, at this stage, most of the 16 First Cut Plus projects will be from Central and Eastern Europe, and all will hail from European countries where production output is low.

Gomarasca also said that the program’s new partners, Trieste’s When East Meets West and the Karlovy Vary fest, “both have very well-attended industry components.”

Each four-day First Cut Plus event will include three days of consultation with various film industry experts on promotion, marketing, press, trailer-making, festival launch and sales strategy. The other aspects of the program are work-in-progress market screenings and curated one-on-one meetings with selected executives.

Given the time gap between the Trieste forum (Jan. 16-19) and Karlovy Vary’s Industry Days (July 3-6), First Cut Plus will be able to accommodate projects in various stages of their post-production, Gomarasca said.