Biennale College Cinema – Eighth Edition


Biennale College – Cinema has now reached its 8th edition: a strategic programme for training new filmmakers from all around the world, which was already operating in the Dance, Music, Theatre departments of La Biennale di Venezia.

Biennale College fosters new talents, allowing them to work in contact with masters in order to develop “creations”.


This is a project of crucial importance and the Cinema Section of La Biennale di Venezia has been revitalized and given a brand new configuration: a program of permanent activities “after and beyond the Festival” with a strong commitment to developing new creative energies channeled into producing art.


Biennale College – Cinema is supported by Ministero per i Beni e le attività culturali.


The primary goal is to supplement the Venice International Film Festival with an advanced training workshop for the development and production of micro-budget audio-visual works, open to teams of directors and producers from around the world.


The challenge is to be able to create – at the end of a year-long series of activities that cover the entire spectrum of filmmaking including the conception, development, production, marketing, audience engagement, sales and distribution of films – up to 3 feature length micro-budget audio-visual works – among which 1 Italian – that will be presented during the Venice International Film Festival and also have an on-line screening on “La Sala Web”, the virtual theatre added to the traditional theatres that house the screenings for the public and pass holders in the Lido.

An essential element of the initiative is the combination of not only training and production finance but also the screening of the completed film at the Venice International Film Festival giving the selected filmmakers much needed visibility – the lack of which is one of the major problems of today’s independent cinema.

Biennale College – Cinema also aims to advance research on micro-budget productions, which have become, in times of economic crisis, one of the few opportunities that new talents have to make the leap into producing and directing full feature films.


In the course of the first seven editions, the first one successfully launched in August 2012, BCC has received more than  1640 applications from all over the world; out of the 97 projects participating in the first development workshops, 38 micro-budget features have been produced: 22 funded by La Biennale di Venezia, each one with € 150.000,00 and premiered at the Venice Film Festival from its 70th edition, 16 produced independently.


The eighth edition follows the scheme established in 2017 identifying two different calls, one Italian and one International. The training activities will be in English and both courses will proceed on the same path from October onwards.


For each call, Biennale College Cinema is looking for feature-length audio-visual concepts that can be made within € 150.000,00 and could be completed, developed, produced, edited and screened at the Venice International Film Festival in 2020.



Biennale College Cinema – Italia

For the third year we launch the call specifically dedicated to team of director and producer, both Italian.


Once the submission phase -which will stay open for eight weeks between February and April- is closed, eight micro budget Italian projects will be selected and their teams will be invited to participate in a development workshop in Venice, from 2 to 6 July 2019.

During these 5 days, international tutors will mentor the teams supporting them through the creative process.


At the end of the workshop, on receipt of updated materials within half of August, an additional selection  of 3 teams will be made. These will  be invited to participate, along with 9 teams selected through the International Call launched in May, in a 10-day development workshop in Venice, in October 2019.


The announcement of the selected projects for the October training will be made during the 76th Venice International Film Festival; from this moment on the two courses of this eight edition, BCC-Italia and BCC-International, proceed on the same rail.



Biennale College Cinema – International
The call BCC 8 – International will open after the Italian one, starting from 7th May and running for six weeks until July.
The call is dedicated to team of director and producer, from all over the world. Biennale College Cinema will select nine international microbudget projects and their teams will be invited to participate, as briefly described above, in a 10-day workshop in Venice.



BCC – Italia and BCC – International: common training session

With the announcement of the 12 projects invited to attend the development workshop in October, in Venice, the paths of the Italian and the international call move forward together.


After the October workshop in Venice and a public presentation of the projects during an event organized at Ca’ Giustinian, Biennale historical headquarter, the teams have a further three weeks to work on their projects and deliver a first draft script and updated production documents by mid-November 2019. On receipt of these materials the Festival Director will select one Italian project and two international projects accessing at the following stages and to be considered to receive the € 150.000,00 grant. The Director’s decision will be announced by the end of November 2019.


The selected teams will participate in two workshops in Venice in December 2019 and January 2020 focused on script development, pre-production, editing and post production.


Following the January workshop, each team will sign an agreement with La Biennale di Venezia, which will define the obligations of the teams and terms to access the € 150.000,00 grant.


Teams will be expected to deliver updated scripts/script treatments, draft and actualized budgets, and schedule breakdowns to release payments. They will also be required to provide reports on their progress with their tutors.


All films have to be submitted by the 16th of August 2020 in DCP format and subtitled in order to be presented at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.



How to apply

The application consists of a number of written and visual materials, which you will need to submit (see list below). Please supply all requested submission materials as we will not consider incomplete applications. Teams that have previously submitted an application to the previous Biennale College – Cinema editions cannot re-apply with the same project. Teams who were selected for workshops of the previous Biennale College – Cinema editions will not be accepted again.


You will have to provide the following materials in English:


a. Synopsis (1 page, max 350 words or 1.800 characters)


b. Treatment for a micro-budget project (5-10 pages, max 3.500 words or 18.000 characters) that fully describes the project. It can be a feature film, an animation, a documentary or a transmedia project – all genres eligible  and a statement outling how the project will explore the micro-budget aesthetic – what particular challenges the film team is looking to explore in terms of form and content. (No more than one page). To be presented in the same file of the treatment.


c. A Director’s Vision: it can be represented by a mood board, a project-book (few pages of a storyboard, a colour script, a series of drawings or photographs) or by a video (max 3 minutes). It visually complements the written concept, and describes the project through images

d. Previous works by the director (max 2) digital or on film, to be uploaded directly on the website.


e.  Casting Ideas (1 page, max 350 words or 1.800 characters)


f. Total Budget up to a maximum of € 150.000,00.


g. Biography and filmography of the director and the producer. The filmography needs to include the following information: all previous works including the title, year, length of film, genre (documentary or fiction) and role in the production.


h. Production Company Profile


i. Video-Presentation by the director (max 3 minutes)


j. Audience Engagement Plan (1 page, max 350 words or 1.800 characters), which describes how to create audience awareness through on-line communities


k. Rights Disclosure with regards to full ownership of rights to the submitted project or, should the rights of third parties be involved, a guarantee that the acquisition of all rights in view of production has been concluded or is currently being negotiated. In the latter case the cost must be indicated in the budget, which in any case as specified above in point f, cannot exceed the total of € 150.000,00.


l. Signed agreement between the producer and the director


m. Confirmation that the project has not being supported already with finance for development or production.


n. List of training courses and events in which the project has circulated already



Dates, Venues and Timeline
The selected teams will be involved in a series of on-line and off-line activities starting from July 2019  up to the Venice International Film Festival in 2020.


20 February 2019 Call for Applications “BCC 8 – Italia”

15 April 2019 (23:59 CET) Deadline for applications “BCC 8 – Italia”

7 May 2019 – Call for Applications “BCC 8 – International”

Beginning of June 2019 – Announcement of the 8 selected teams “BCC 8 – Italia”

1 July 2019 (23:59 CET) – Deadline for applications“ BCC 8 – International”

2-6 July 2019 Development Workshop in Venice. The workshop will be held in English. (Travel dates 1 and 7 July)

8 August – deadline for the delivery of the updated treatment BCC 8 – Italia

28 August – 7 September 2019 – Announcement of the 12 selected teams: 3 from “BCC 8 – Italia” and 9 from “BCC 8 – International”

18 September 2019 – Deadline for delivery of detailed step outline and production documents.

5-14 October 2019 (travel dates: 4 e 15 October) in Venice – workshop for the selected teams (3 Italian and 9 International).

12 November 2019– Deadline for all 12 project-teams to deliver 1st draft scripts, budgets and schedules.

22 November 2019 Announcement of the three finalists: 1 Italian, 2 International.

3-6 December 2019 (travel dates: 2 e 7 December) in Venice - workshop dedicated to script development.

2 January 2020 – Delivery of 2nd draft script, updated budget, shooting & production schedule.

11–15 January 2020 (travel dates: 10 e 16 January) in Venice – workshop dedicated to pre-production.

14 July 2020 – All 3 film projects to have screened final cut to Festival director.

16 August 2020 – Delivery date for the 77th Venice International Festival.