Biennale College Cinema  – Eighth Edition

Call  BCC  8 – International




• To complement and enrich the Venice International Film Festival with works by new talents, sponsored by the Biennale and developed and produced in an advanced workshop for training, research and experimentation that will admit, at the end of a selection process, young filmmakers from all over the world.  The workshop will cover the entire spectrum of the conception, development, production, direction, marketing, audience engagement and distribution of audiovisual works.


• To further research into micro and low-budget productions, which in times of economic crisis have become one of the few opportunities for young talents to make the leap into directing feature-length audiovisual works.


Other goals include:


• To promote and support the production of 2 International audiovisual work longer than 60 minutes, whether it be feature-length films or transmedia project, at the conclusion of a one year long series of activities that both involve and promote all the professional figures in the filmmaking process.


• To present the selected works at the 77th Venice International Film Festival of the Biennale di Venezia, and to  distribute them online as well in streaming in the Festival’s Sala Web, thereby addressing one of the most sensitive issues in independent filmmaking today, visibility.


This initiative will include the selection and development of 9 micro-budget projects, the production of 2 audiovisual work and its presentation during the Venice International Film Festival, with online distribution in streaming as well. The selection will be made by the Director of the Cinema Department of the Biennale di Venezia, whose decision will be final, assisted in the various phases by a staff of consultants of his own choosing The audiovisual concepts will be developed from every point of view, focusing not only on the artistic development, but on audience design as well, which means involving a specific, even niche, audience from the earliest phases in the development of the film, instead of waiting until it has been completed. The program will also focus attention on the organizational aspects and on cost control.


La Biennale already achieves these goals by supporting productions in the Dance, Music and Theatre departments.


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

Biennale College – Cinema
is held for the eighth consecutive year in academic collaboration with IFP in New York and the TorinoFilmLab.





A. Participants

International selection process to select up to 9 microbudget concepts/ideas presented by teams consisting of 1 director and 1 producer, with no age limit and with the following characteristics:


  • The application for participation must be submitted exclusively by a team. There is no participation or registration fee.
  • It is mandatory that the team that applies, if selected, is the same team that participates in the workshop.



• The directors, at their debut or second work, must present themselves in tandem with producers who have already produced at least 3 audio-visual works (including short film, web docs, web series, music videos, advertisements, etc.) If the producer has already produced a feature-length fiction or documentary film distributed and/ or presented at Festivals, he is still eligible to participate in the Call.


• Teams that have previously submitted an application to the previous Biennale College–Cinema editions will not be able to re-apply with the same project. Teams who were selected for the workshops of the previous Biennale College –Cinema editions will not be accepted again.



B. Documentation required for applications to the Call BCC8– International (to be presented in English):

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


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


g. Biographies and filmographies 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 online 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.



C. Selection and announcement

The selection will be made by the Director of the Cinema Department of La Biennale di Venezia, whose decision will be final; he may opt during this phase to be assisted by consultants of his own choosing.

During the 76th Venice International Film Festival, Biennale College Cinema will announce the nine teams selected to continue the training and invited to attend the 10 days development workshop in October, along with three teams selected through the Call BCC-Italia launched in February.


D. Rules of participation

Following the announcement, the nine teams selected will sign a specific application form with La Biennale di  Venezia, which will detail the conditions of their participation.

All the activities will be held in English.


E. Conditions of hospitality

The selected teams for the workshops and the teams accessing to the production grant, will be hosted for the duration of their stay in Venice (11 nights in October, 5 in December and 6 in January 2020) in selected structures provided by the Biennale di Venezia at its own expense.
The participants will pay their own travel expenses for the October workshop, whereas the travel expenses (in economy class) for the selected teams for the December and January workshops will be paid by the Biennale di Venezia.

Each team (composed of one director and one producer) may bring an extra collaborator during the workshop –a screenwriter, director of photography, etc., -but all the relative costs for travel, room and board will be at the expense of the team.


F. Training Activities

  • Development workshop and presentation of the project to the team of the Biennale College and to the Artistic Director of the Cinema Department.

The selected teams will attend, along with three other teams selected through the Italian Call, an intensive workshop, in English, to develop and define the concept; it will last 10 days (5-14 October, travel dates: 4 and 15) and will lead to the production of an in-depth step outline.

This phase will be coordinated by a Head of Studies who will establish the organizational aspects of the workshop: group sessions will  alternate with moments of individual feedback, in a variety of group combinations. The process for structuring the concepts will involve both the narrative aspects and the aspects of production and each team will work separately with experts in story editing, crossmedia, audience design, community management, and production.

At the conclusion of the development workshop each team will present its projects to the Artistic Director of the Cinema Department of the Biennale di Venezia.


Final selection

The teams will be required to deliver, within a month after the end of the workshop, a first draft of the script and updated budgets and production schedules. The Director of the Cinema Department, after listening to the presentation of the projects in October and assessing the first drafts, will select three teams, one choosen from the Italian call and two from the International call.  These teams will move on to the script and production workshops, presented below:


  • Script Development Workshop

At the beginning of December 2019, a 4 days workshop will be organized in Venice (December, 3rd – 6th; travel dates: 2nd and 7th) and it will be focused on the script development to prepare it to move on to the second draft.


  • Direction and pre-production Workshop

In January 2020 (11th – 15th, travel dates: 10th and 16th) the team will live in Venice to attend the workshop on pre-production and direction lasting 5 days, during which they will explore the visual aspects of the film and plan the production process. Each team will work with tutors/trainers covering the different areas of production. The goal is to prepare the three teams, once the workshop is concluded, to shoot and edit the film over the next seven months.
During this phase, the online activities of community building and audience engagement will continue under the supervision of the Head of Studies.


G. Allocation of the funds for the production and signature of the agreement.

At the end of the workshop, a grant for the production will be allocated up to a total of € 150.000,00 to the Italian team as well as to the International teams, after the Artistic Director of the Cinema Department, assisted by a team of experts, approves each project for funding, and the Financial Controller of the Biennale College confirms the relative congruity.  The selected teams will sign an agreement with La Biennale di Venezia which defines the the obligations of the teams and terms to access the € 150.000,00 grant.


H. Supervision of the teams’ work through the final editing.

Between January and mid-August, over a period of seven months, the teams will shoot and edit the feature-length films, monitored at a distance by the College. The films may be shot in any country and the creative freedom of the artists is protected: they may choose to shoot in a small number of locations or all in interiors, or shoot the entire film with a hand-held camera, or primarily outdoor. They can choose to shoot over 2, 3, or 4 weeks, etc.
Each of these decisions will be analyzed  and assessed during the College workshops. The teams will be constantly informed of any offers received by the Biennale for the choice of particular locations for the productions.


I. Presentation at the Venice Film Festival and concurrent distribution in streaming on the Sala Web

In September 2020 the finished films will be presented at the Venice Film Festival, and in streaming.

A DCP copy of the film must be donated to the ASAC (the Biennale di Venezia Archive), for non-commercial use.


L. Activities to support the non selected projects: online development and events.

The teams participating in the October workshop but non selected to access the production grant will receive feedback from their tutors by e-mail or Skype.


La Biennale di Venezia, in agreement with the above mentioned teams, may seek contacts to promote these projects either with third parties working in the co-production market such as the IFP in New York, or within the context of presentations such as the Meeting Event organized by the TorinoFilmLab.


The Biennale reserves the right in any case to modify, cancel or interrupt the initiative described above, in that the announcement or the selection do not constitute a binding contract for the same, nor do they entail the right to the reimbursement of any expense other than those specified above.

The acceptance of the conditions of the call BCC8 – International makes the application eligible.