“The Mountain Bride,” a new feature film by Italian director Maura Delpero, whose 2019 drama “Maternal” made a splash on the international arthouse circuit, is among projects selected for the TorinoFilmLab’s ScriptLab development workshop.
Delpero, who is the winner of last year’s annual Women in Motion Young Talent Award bestowed by the Kering Group and the Cannes Film Festival, is following up her debut drama (pictured), which was set in an Argentinian refuge for adolescent single mothers run by nuns, with another female-centric drama.
“The Mountain Bride” will unfold in the tiny Alpine village of Vermiglio in Italy’s Trentino Alto-Adige region between 1944 and 1945. “Lucia, Nanda and Flavia are the three young sisters in the local schoolmaster’s numerous family. Something changes when a group of soldiers finds refuge in the small mountain community,” reads the project’s synopsis.
After TFL’s ScriptLab in 2020 moved completely online, this year the workshop – which involves feedback among participating filmmakers as well as input from script consultants and mentoring from industry professionals – is returning with a hybrid version that will again include the residential physical workshop aspect integral to the initiative since it started in 2009.
The 2021 ScriptLab projects selection, curated by “Death in Sarajevo” producer Amra Bakšić Čamo, consists of 20 feature films in development, 13 of which are first works. Roughly half have a producer already on board. The initiative has retained “the gender parity which we believe is key to the future of the film industry,” said organizers, with the majority of the 27 participants being women.
Standout projects by sophomore helmers at TFL’s ScriptLab include “Unfinished Painting” by Portugal’s Catarina Vasconcelos, whose debut “The Metamorphosis of Birds,” exploring her family stories in the form of a fictionalized documentary, premiered in Berlin’s Encounters section in 2020 and has circulated and sold widely. “Unfinished Painting” is about a woman named Maria Ana “who has dedicated her life to painting restoration,” according to the TFL synopsis, but “knows that there is no way of restoring her body after six-year fight against cancer that now weighs heavily on her husband and children.”
Greek visual artist and film director Janis Rafa, whose “Kala Azar” world premiered last year in Rotterdam, is developing “The Future Is an Elder Cow,” a tale in which a couple “preparing to welcome new life” in a provincial town ends up “with the most subverted scenario: women giving birth to mammals instead of human beings.”
Swedish filmmaker Ester Martin Bergsmark, known for transgressive, transgender-themed romancer “Something Must Break,” and docs “Maggie in Wonderland” and “She Male Snails,” is developing “The Land of the Fern,” co-written with Jessica Jankert, which revolves around two young siblings: Margit, her brother Mika, and the consequences of a secret “forbidden thing” between them.
Swedish-Costa Rican filmmaker Nathalie Álvarez Mesén, whose upcoming magical realist debut feature “Clara Sola,” now in post, is being sold by France’s Luxbox, is working on feminist werewolf costume drama “The Wolf Will Tear Your Immaculate Hands.” Pic is set in 1791 in an unspecified European country. “Isabel, having just lost her sister, is forced into an arranged marriage,” reads the synopsis. “Desolate and angry, she begins to unearth a wilderness that roars within her, slowly realizing that she has more in common with the wolves in the forest than with the rest of her new household.”
For more information about this year’s TFL ScriptLab projects go to: