Biennale College Cinema – Thirteenth Edition




Biennale College Cinema has reached the 13th edition: a strategic programme for training new filmmakers from all around the world, which was already operating in the Art, Architecture, Dance, Music, and 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, 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 programme is held in academic collaboration with  The Gotham Film & Media Institute in New York and the TorinoFilmLab.


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 4 feature length micro-budget audio-visual works. Among these, 1 is presented by an Italian team and at least 2 are presented by female directors and they will be world premiered during the Venice International Film Festival and also have an online screening on the ‘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. At the Biennale College Cinema we strongly believe that central to the successful development and production of a micro budget film project within a short time frame there must be a strong team of producer and director. It is essential that the team shares the same vision of the film and respects each other’s roles and responsibilities.  For that reason the   programme is structured to reinforce this relationship giving equal status to the producer and director.


In the course of the first ten editions, the first one successfully launched in August 2012, BCC has received 2491 applications from all over the world; out of the 177 projects participating in the first development workshops, over64 micro-budget features have been produced: 37 funded by La Biennale di Venezia, each one with € 150,000 raised to € 200,000 and premiered at the Venice Film Festival from its 70th edition, 27 produced independently.


The thirteenth edition comprises 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, starting with this 13th edition,  within € 200,000 and could be completed, developed, produced, edited and screened at the Venice International Film Festival in 2025.


Biennale College Cinema – Italia

For the eighth 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 July 2nd to July, 6th  2024. 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 in early August, 3 teams will be selected and  invited to participate, along with 9 teams selected through the International Call launched in May, in a 10 days development workshop in Venice, in October 2024.


The announcement of the selected projects for the October training will be made during the 81st Venice International Film Festival; from this moment on the two courses of this eleventh edition, BCC-Italia and BCC-International, proceed on the same programme.



Biennale College Cinema – International

The call “BCC 13 – International” will be open after the Italian one, starting from May and for six weeks until July.


The call is dedicated to teams 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 in a 10 day workshop in Venice.



BCC – Italia and BCC – International
The October project development workshop in Venice, attended by the 12 project team includes a public presentation organized at Ca’ Giustinian, La Biennale‘s historical headquarter.

The teams have a further three weeks to work on their projects and deliver a first draft of the script and updated production documents by mid-November 2024. On receipt of these materials the Festival Director will select the Italian project and the international projects attending the next workshops and to be considered to receive the € 200.000,00 grant. The Director’s decision will be notified by the end of November 2024.


The selected teams will participate in two workshops in December 2024, in Venice, and January 2025, online, 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 € 200,000 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 2025 in DCP format and subtitled in order to be presented at the 82nd Venice International Film Festival.




How to apply

Applications must be made in teams of director and producer. The team is an essential element of the Biennale College Cinema programme and is a core consideration at all stages of the selection process.

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. Participants 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 – 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. 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 € 200,000.
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-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.
l. Signed agreement between the producer and the director confirming their willingness 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.



Dates, Venues and Timeline

The selected teams will be involved in a series of on-line and off-line activities, starting from July 2023 up to the Venice International Film Festival in 2024.


18 January 2024 Call for Applications “BCC 13 – Italia”

15 April 2024 (23:59 CET) Deadline for applications “BCC 13- Italia”

3 May 2024 – Call for Application“BCC 13 – International”

End of May 2024–  Notification of the results to the applicants“BCC 13 – Italia”

4 July 2024 (23:59 CET) – Deadline for applications “BCC 13 – International”

2 July – 6 July 2024 Development Workshop in Venice. The workshop will be held in English. (Travel dates: July 1st – July 6th )

1August 2024 – deadline for the delivery of the updated treatment BCC 13 – Italia

28 August – 7 September 2024 – Announcement of the 12 selected teams: 3 from “BCC 13 – Italia” and 9 from “BCC 13 – International”

17 September 2024 – Deadline for delivery of detailed step outline and production documents.

8 – 17 October 2024 (travel dates: October 7th  e 18th ) in Venice – workshop for the selected teams (3 Italian and 9 International).

11 November 2024 – Deadline for all 12 project-teams to deliver 1st draft scripts, budgets and schedules.

by 23 November 2024  Notification of the results

4 – 7 December 2024 (travel dates: December 3rd  e 8th ) in Venice - workshop dedicated to script development.

3 January 2025 – Delivery of 2nd draft script, updated budget, shooting & production schedule.

9-16 January 2025 – on-line workshop dedicated to pre-production

10 July 2025 – All film projects to have screened final cut to Festival director

16 August 2025 – Delivery date for the Venice International Festival



The official text of the call Biennale College Cinema 13 – Italia and Biennale College Cinema 13 – International, are available at this page according with the above mentioned schedule.


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.