Turin’s Talents and Short Film Market held the inaugural edition of training and pitching program A Long Way Home this week, showcasing five feature-length projects based on or inspired by a previously released short movie. The program wrapped on Wednesday, with the TorinoFilmLab Award going to “Inbetween Worlds,” directed by Diana Cam Van Nguyen. The Experience Sardinia Award, in collaboration with Sardinia Film Commission Foundation, was won by “A Touch of Harmony,” directed by Céline Gailleurd and Olivier Bohler.

Talent development programs manager Massimiliano Nardulli told Variety the initiative was an “evolution” of a previous industry event called Oltrecorto. “We wished to include a training opportunity, […] and help the projects so that they are here in their best shape before the pitching session,” he said.

“[A Long Way Home is a place] where someone who has a project can meet one mentor, who helps them along the way, and a creative producer who can give advice and guidance […] For us, the most interesting part of the job was to put together these teams of three,” he added.

“[We wondered:] How can they work together without knowing each other? How can we motivate them? That was the challenge we took on, and it worked out. We tried to avoid forming teams with people from the same countries, whenever possible, which brought in great diversity in terms of backgrounds and experiences.”

The participating teams had 10 minutes to pitch their projects. Following their pitches, they had the chance to attend several one-on-one meetings with industry professionals.

Here is a rundown of the five pitched projects:

“Inbetween Worlds” – Helmed by Czech-Vietnamese artist and animator Diana Cam Van Nguyen and based on “Love, Dad,” this animated documentary project tells the story of a young Vietnamese woman who lives in Prague, Mai. Her parents would like her to marry a son of their close friends in Vietnam. If Mai agrees to marry Duc, he would be given permanent residency in the Czech Republic and she would receive €30,000 for the marriage. Karolína Davidová is attached as the producer for Prague-based 13ka and Bratislava-based nutprodukcia. Israel’s Ella Kohn served as the workshop’s creative producer.

“Harmony” (Courtesy of Nocturnes Productions)

“A Touch of Harmony” – Based on their short “Harmony,” Céline Gailleurd and Olivier Bohler’s “A Touch of Harmony” follows Lalou, a young shepherd, who goes to a strange hotel lost in the heart of the mountains. Here, he secretly finds Harmony, a sexual android who fascinates him. Before embarking on this fiction feature project, the directing duo worked on docs such as “Jean-Luc Godard, Disorder Exposed” and “Italia, Fire and Ashes.” The picture is being produced by France’s Nocturnes Productions. Debora Nischler, of Italy’s Albolina Film, served as the creative producer.

“Rough” – Based on her 2019 short “Balance,” Hungarian filmmaker Hanna Csata’s drama project revolves around Karola, who dreams of becoming a successful electronic musician, and she has not yet achieved her goal. Karola is faced with a choice: to advance in her career or to spend time with her boyfriend. Barcelona-based Marc Guanyabens i Pous served as the team’s creative producer.

“Almost Heroes” – Bogdan Drumea’s project is based on his 2015 short “The Hoods.” In it, Dragoș is returning from abroad to visit Vlad, his younger brother who is celebrating his 18th birthday. Not wanting to stay long, Dragoș will embark with Vlad on a journey of rediscovery. The pitching team described it as “an urban drama with strong coming-of-age elements,” and “a generational portrait of young Romanians born after 1990.” Romania’s Matchbox Film is producing, with Hungary’s Erika Kapronczai attached as the creative producer.

“Fiume” – Based on her 2021 short of the same name, Turin and Berlin-based writer-director Asiyat Gamzatova’s drama project follows Nina, who returns to the village where she grew up. She finds her brother waiting for her, as well as the old family house they inherited. In a journey through present and past, Nina will have to find her inner peace and heal from wounds she didn’t know she had. Haris Tsampas, of Greece’s Nomad Productions, served as the creative producer.