Biennale College – Cinema

- Abstract and Project Description (PDF)

- Workshops and Activities (PDF)

- International Call (PDF)


La Biennale di Venezia has renewed its mission in every one of its fields. In addition to its work in promoting knowledge among the general public (the Exhibitions, the Film Festival), it has introduced a strategic programme for training young artists, the Biennale College. The programme, which is already operating in the areas of Dance and Theatre, is now enhanced by an important initiative in the field of Cinema.
Fostering young talents, allowing them to work in contact with masters in order to develop “creations”: this is the spirit of the Biennale College, a well-equipped “bridge” that gives young people that want to engage in one of the arts to do so in the best conditions that an international institution can provide.

The primary goal of Biennale College – Cinema, realized in partnership with Gucci, is to supplement the Film Festival with a higher education training workshop for the development and production of micro-budget audio-visual works, open to 15 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, direction, marketing, audience engagement and distribution of films – three feature-length micro-budget audio-visual works that will be presented during next year’s Festival and also distributed on-line.

We believe that this is a project of crucial importance. In this way, the Cinema Section of the Biennale will be revitalized and given a brand new configuration: a program of permanent activities “after and beyond the Festival” will be launched with a commitment to developing new creative energy channelled into producing art that will inspire the establishment of a Biennale College in all sectors of the Venice Biennale.

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 young talents have to make the leap into directing full feature films. The project also includes the online distribution of the films, thus giving budding filmmakers the much needed visibility – the lack of which is one of the major problems of today’s independent cinema.
A dedicated website will be set up for the selected project teams to have an on-line presence from the moment their participation is confirmed. Sharing the experience and building interest through online activities is an integral part of the Biennale College – Cinema experience.


The first workshop for the 15 teams of directors and producers will be held from January 7th 2013 to January 18th 2013 in Venice. It’s an intensive 10-day workshop for the development and definition of the 15 selected concepts. Divided into different group combinations, the teams will work together with experts in story editing, marketing, cross-media, audience design, community management and production, in order to emphasize all the strong points of the project. The last day of the first workshop, the Director of the Cinema sector of the Biennale and his team will see the presentation of the projects. On the following days they will examine the projects more in depth and will select no more than 3 projects that will move on to the next phase. The 12 projects that will not continue to the second workshop will in any case enjoy an online follow-up and will be given various opportunities to find co-producers in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab, IFP, Dubai International Film Festival and other existing markets suitable to the projects.


The second workshop for up to 3 project-teams will be held from February 18th 2013 to March 1st 2013 in Venice. It’s an intensive 15-day workshop for up to 3 teams (composed of a maximum of 5 people) dedicated to film direction and pre-production in order to explore the visual aspects of the 3 projects. Each mini-crew will work with a mentor director and a number of tutors/trainers from the different areas to ensure that at the end of the workshop, the film crews are ready to start, and to shoot and edit the film over the next five months. Community building and audience engagement activities will proceed online. At the end of the workshop, funds for the production will be allocated in the measure of 150,000 € for each team. Between mid-march and mid-August, over a five-month period, the teams will proceed to shoot and edit the feature-length audio-visual works, supervised at a distance by the College.


The project was launched worldwide at the 69th Venice International Film Festival in collaboration with established American, European and Middle Eastern institutions such as IFP, TorinoFilmLab and Dubai International Film Festival.