Biennale College Cinema – Twelfth Edition
Call BCC 12 – International
• To complement and enrich the Venice International Film Festival with works by new talents, sponsored by La Biennale di Venezia 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 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 up to 3 International audiovisual work longer than 60 minutes, following a year long series of activities.
• To present the selected works at the 81st Venice International Film Festival of La Biennale di Venezia, and to stream them online on the Festival’s Sala Web virtual theatre, addressing one of the most sensitive issues in independent filmmaking today: visibility.
This initiative consists of the selection and development of 9 micro-budget projects and the production of up to 3 audiovisual works and presentation during the Venice International Film Festival. The selection will be made by the Artistic Director of the Cinema Sector of La 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 also on the audience design. This means addressing a specific, even niche, audience from the earliest phases of the development of the film. The program will also focus on the production and budget control.
La Biennale already achieves these goals by supporting productions in the Sectors of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre.
Biennale College Cinema, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, is supported by the Ministry of Culture – Directorate General Cinema. The main sponsor of the initiative is Vivendi. The sponsor is the Multiversity Group, to which the Università Pegaso is associated. Biennale College Cinema enjoys the academic collaboration of the Gotham Film & Media Institute and the TorinoFilmLab. The educational activities are made possible by the contribution of Creative Europe Media.
We will select up to 9 microbudget concepts/ideas presented by international teams consisting of a director and a producer, with no age limit and with the following:
• The application must be submitted exclusively by a team of a producer and a director. Working with teams of producers and directors as equal participants is a founding principle of the Biennale College-Cinema and reinforced by the structure of the training. 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 and if awarded the grant continues together to produce the film.
• The directors, at their debut or second audio-visual 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. Participants 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 BCC 12 – 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 – all genres eligible and a statement outlining 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, with english subtitles
e. Casting Idea (1 page, max 350 words or 1.800 characters).
f. Total Budget up to a maximum of € 200.000,00
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-Pitch Presentation, in English, 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 € 200.000,00.
l. Signed agreement between the producer and the director confirming their willing to complete the project within the requirement and schedule of the program.
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 Artistic Director of the Cinema Sector 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 80th 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 selected teams will sign an agreement 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
Teams selected for the workshops and subsequently those accessing the production grant, will be hosted for the duration of their stay in Venice (11 nights in October, 5 in December) in selected structures provided by La 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 workshop will be paid by La Biennale di Venezia.
Each team 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 projects to the Biennale College team and to the Artistic Director of the Cinema Sector.
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 (7th -16th October, travel dates: 6th and 17th) 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 address both narrative and production aspects. Each team will work separately with experts in story development, visualization and production.
At the conclusion of the development workshop each team will present their projects to the Artistic Director of the Cinema Sector of La Biennale di Venezia.
The teams will be required to deliver, within a month of the workshop completing, a first draft of the script and updated budgets and production schedules. The Director of the Cinema Sector, after listening to the presentation of the projects in October and assessing the quality of the team and new draft materials, will select up to four teams, at least one chosen from the Italian call, the remaining 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 2023, a 4 day workshop will be organized in Venice (December, 4th – 7th; travel dates: 3rd and 8th) and will be focused on script development in preparation for the second draft.
Direction and pre-production Workshop
In January 2024 (10th and 17th) the team attend a 8 day on-line workshop on pre-production and direction, during which they will explore the visual aspects of the film and plan the production process. The goal is to prepare the four teams, once the workshop is concluded, to shoot and edit the film over the next seven months.
During this phase, the marketing, sales and distribution of the projects will be explored and a strategy devised.
G. Allocation of the funds for the production and signature of the agreement.
At the end of the workshop, a grant of € 200.000,00 will be allocated to the selected Italian and International teams. The Artistic Director of the Cinema Sector, assisted by a team of experts, will approve each project for funding, and after the Financial Controller of the Biennale College has agreed the budgets and schedules.
The selected teams will sign an agreement with La Biennale di Venezia which defines the obligations of the teams and terms to access the € 200.000,00 grant. The contract is between the Biennale and the producer and director team, and confirms their commitment to produce the film under the terms of the grant. It is not possible at any stage to change the core team of producer and director. If the team for any reason are not able to complete the film together the Biennale support will be withdrawn.
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 discussed during the College workshops.
I. Presentation at the Venice Film Festival and streaming on the Sala Web
In September 2024 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 (La Biennale di Venezia Historical Archive), for non-commercial use.
L. Activities to support the non selected projects: on-line development and events.
The teams participating in the October workshop but who are not selected to access the production grant will receive feedback from their tutors by e-mail.
La Biennale di Venezia may further support these projects by facilitating their participation in international co-production markets such as the Gotham Week in New York, or the TFL Meeting Event and the Venice Gap Financing Market of the Venice International Film Festival.
La Biennale di Venezia 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 BCC 12 – International makes the application eligible.