Eight work-in-progress films selected for next Final Cut edition in Venice

Included in the five documentaries and three narrative features are 'Backstage' by Afef Ben Mahmoud and Khalil Benkirane and Nada Riyadh collaboration with Ayman El Amir on the doc 'Land of Women'.
Eight work-in-progress films selected for next Final Cut edition in Venice

The eight work-in-progress films of the 10th edition of Final Cut in Venice have been selected. Final Cut in Venice is the project that has been providing since 2013 concrete support in the completion of films from all African countries and from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. Final Cut in Venice is one of the programmes launched by the Venice Production Bridge of the 79th Venice International Film Festival which will run this year from August 31st to September 10th, 2022.  As in past years, the festival is under the direction of Alberto Barbera and organized by La Biennale di Venezia which encompasses architecture, art, theatre, dance and music. The Final Cut workshop offers the opportunity to present films still in production phase to international film professionals, in order to facilitate post-production and film market access.

Final Cut in Venice has always focused on diversity, selecting the most varied kind of projects. Eighty percent of the projects complete their post-production within 6 to 8 months after the end of FCV. The quality of the programme is underlined by the fact that most of the projects are selected in A-Festivals afterwards. Cinematic personalities that have gone through FCV include Kaouther Ben Hania, Soudade Kaadan, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese and Rafiki Fariala. Past projects, to name a few, include Under the Fig Trees by Erige Sehiri from Tunisia which was selected for the Quinzaine des Realisateurs this year; Ely Dagher's The Sea Ahead from Lebanon, which world premiered at the Quinzaine des réalisateurs in Cannes in 2021; and Egyptian documentary Captains of Za’atari by Ali Al Arabi, which was selected in Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.

The workshop consists in three days of activities (September 3rd to the 5th) on the Venice Lido during which the working copies of the 8 selected films are introduced to producers, buyers, distributors, post-production companies and film festival programmers. Typically the programme consists of 6 films, but this year there will be two additional films, selected within the framework of "France In Focus". The first two days are devoted to screenings, while a special one-to-one meeting session between the selected projects and the professionals attending the Venice Production Bridge takes place on the third and final day. That's also when the awards will be announced.

The 8 work-in-progress films selected are:


Backstage by Afef Ben Mahmoud and Khalil Benkirane (Morocco, Belgium, France, Norway, Qatar, Tunisia) -- do read our exclusive interview with the filmmakers.

Black Light (Lumière noire) by Karim Bensalah ( France, Algeria, Qatar) (France in Focus)

Inshallah a Boy by Amjad Al Rasheed (Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)


The Burden (Le Fardeau) by Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino (Central African Republic, France , Congo RDC)

The Cemetery of Cinema (Au cimetière de la pellicule) by Thierno Souleymane Diallo ( France, Senegal, Guinea) (France in Focus)

A Fidai Film di Kamal Aljafari (Germany, Palestine, Qatar)

Land of Women (Ard El Banat) by Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir (Egypt, France, Denmark)

Suspended by Myriam El Hajj (Lebanon, France, Qatar)

Awards include a prize of € 5,000 given by La Biennale di Venezia to the best film in post-production. La Biennale di Venezia Prize will be attributed by a jury composed of three members named by the Festival Director.

Other post productions prizes include € 15.000 for the colour correction of a feature-length film will be offered by Laser Film (Rome) for up to 50 hours of work (technician included). A € 15.000 prize will be offered by Mactari Mixing Auditorium (Paris) for the sound mixing of a feature length film (up to 12 days of work, sound mixer not included). Plus, one of the selected projects will benefit from the film composers represented by Oticons and the original score that they will create. The production of the original score will include all relevant services, such as spotting sessions / composition / orchestration / mock-ups / final production, of a total value of € 12.000. Titra Film (Paris) will offer up to € 5.000 for colour-grading; up to € 3.000 for the production of a DCP master, or the creation of i-Tunes, Google or Netflix files; up to € 2.000 for French or English subtitles (translation not included). Also up to € 7.500 for the accessible contents of the film for audiences with sensory disabilities: subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired and audio description for the blind and visually impaired, including audio subtitles in voiceover, in Italian or English (the subtitles and the audio-described soundtrack for the DCP will be provided) offered by Sub-Ti Access Srl (Turin).

From the MENA, € 5.000 will be offered by the Red Sea Fund (Red Sea International Film Festival) as well as the same amount by El Gouna Film Festival. And Mad Solutions will offer -- for a feature-length fiction film a $ 10.000 MG or for a feature-length documentary a $ 3.000 MG -- for marketing, publicity and distribution in the Arab World, except for projects already funded by MAD Solutions.

There is a subtitle prize offered by Sub-Ti Ltd. and the company will also present an award for accessible contents of the film for audiences with sensory disabilities: subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired and audio description for the blind and visually impaired, including audio subtitles in voiceover, in Italian or English; Rai Cinema will present a two year broadcasting rights award; Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) wil offer a refund for post-production services; and the Cinémathèque Afrique of the Institut Français will present a “Coup de cœur de la Cinémathèque Afrique” Prize, for the acquisition of the non-commercial and non-exclusive broadcasting rights for 7 years for a value of € 4.000 – € 6.000 depending on the genre and length of the film and the number of available territories.

It must be noted that this year the FCV workshop will benefit from the additional support of the Red Sea International Film Festival as one of their partners.

Images of Backstage provided by the filmmakers, used with permission.

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