– The research, conducted by Tatino Films on behalf of Eurimages, was compiled over a 100 day-period from November 2020 to February 2021
Eurimages has recently published a study on the feasibility, pertinence and design of a Lab Projects support programme. The 100-page report, conducted by Lyon-based Tatino Films, is the direct result of the work of an Evaluation Study Group set up by the Board of Management of the Fund in December 2018. The research was completed over a 100 day period from November 2020 to February 2021.
The main objectives of the study were to assess the pertinence of a programme aimed at supporting innovative or non-conventional cinema/audiovisual projects, and to make recommendations on the format of a new support programme. The team, consisting of eight international experts, divided the study in three distinct chapters. The first focused on defining what “non-conventional cinema” is in terms of historical and contemporary perspectives, the second aimed at mapping the field of said “non-conventional cinema” by examining the work of producers, filmmakers, visual artists, incubators and exhibitors, and the third was dedicated to innovative public policy making.
The last chapter in particular features a set of guidelines (authored by Rebecca De Pas) to ensure the right partnerships, to identify experts and to produce an application model “conceived to give applicants the possibility to fully express the potentialities of their project, without adapting the content, or the format to the requirement of the call.” In detail, the guidelines recommend to choose potential partners by considering the following criteria: the general mission of the structure – with a mission to promote, foster and facilitate innovative and diverse cinematic works crossing genre boundaries and blending with other art forms; a proven capacity to attract talent from film and other disciplines; a commitment to diversity and gender equality as well as a genuine interest in the possibilities offered by technologies for widening the audience. Eligible prospective partners may include interdisciplinary institutions, residencies, training programmes, festivals, museums, art centres and scientific and educational structures “promoting cooperation between sciences and arts.”
According to the guidelines to identify experts, “a gender-balanced and diverse pool” is a condition sine qua non “to foster innovative and truly contemporary works.” Experts should include filmmakers, artists, producers, exhibitors and incubators “with at least 5 years of an internationally recognised career.” De Pas concludes that “the blending of those professionals is fundamental to ensure the correct evaluation of projects that borrow/use forms and practices from other creative fields.” Finally, the recommendations for an efficient application model include “finding a balance between Eurimages requirements and flexibility,” considering filmmakers with no producer attached as eligible in order “to facilitate inclusion and a wider pool of contenders,” “overcoming the script as first evaluation tool”, paying special attention to alternative and complementary elements of the application (such as director’s statements, treatments, researches, visual elements or crew’s bios) and being more open to alternative distribution models. In the study’s conclusions, De Pas explains: “By reformulating the Lab Project Award programme, Eurimages has a great opportunity to create an organic continuity between its promotional activities and its main scheme supporting international co-productions. The number of projects successfully defying the conventions of cinema that Eurimages supports each year, through its main scheme, is proof enough that non-conventional cinema is an essential ingredient to the strength of European cinema. To this end, the new Lab Project Award will go up against the logic of ghetto and shall function as a launchpad for ambitious projects. The outcome of this study is that continuing this programme is a self-evident choice. The mutual benefit of this programme goes far beyond the exchange between money and communication: it is an alliance that ensures a healthy future for European cinema in its integrity.”
The full study can be accessed here.
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Eurimages publishes a study on the feasibility, pertinence and design of a Lab Projects support programme