Bhutan, Cuba and the Philippines filmmakers in first virtual TFI Network film market


A report by Jeremy Kay for Screen Daily.

Projects from Bhutan, Cuba and the Philippines are among participants in Tribeca Film Institute’s inaugural virtual TFI Network film market, set to run from April 27-May 1.

Filmmakers behind 43 projects will connect online with executives, financiers, producers, festival programmers and others in the industry in place of a physical event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

From April 21-23 TFI staff will guide participants through online pitch training sessions and moderate virtual seminars where invited industry representatives will outline their organisations’ background and tell TFI artists about possible funding support avenues and resources.

Participating projects include satirical road movie Gross National Happiness(Bhutan) from Arun Bhattarai and Dorottya Zurbo, in collaboration with Docedge Kolkata – Asian Forum for Documentary; JP Habac’s ageing drag queen story Golden (Philippines), in collaboration with Luang Prabang Talent Lab; Damián Sainz Edwards’s family reconciliation drama Los Caídos (Cuba), in collaboration with EICTV Nuevas Miradas (Cuba).

Among the documentary projects are: Ali El-Arabi’s Captains Of Za’atari (Egypt) about two refugee camp youngsters harbor dreams of becoming professional footballers (in Collaboration with Beirut Cinema Platform); Manuel Abramovich’s Pornomelancholia (Argentina-Mexico) about an online sex influencer (in Collaboration with Los Cabos International Film Festival); and Julián Fernández Prieto’s Henri:The Last Pirate (Chile), about a man who opted to live a solitary life in in Rapanui, Easter Island (in collaboration with Santiago International Film Festival).

Previous TFI Network participants include Ekwa Msangi’s scripted film Farewell Amor that premiered at Sundance in January, and Jiayan “Jenny” Shi’s documentary Finding Yingying that got chosen to premiere at SXSW 2020 and won the festival’s documentary feature special jury prize for breakthrough voice.

Teams attending the TFI Network include 2020 Tribeca All Access grantees, 2020 Sloan Filmmaker Fund grantees, and staff selected through partnerships with Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Chicago International Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival), EICTV Nuevas Miradas from Cuba, Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Documentary Program, Los Cabos International Film Festival, and Santiago International Film Festival).

“TFI remains dedicated to creating opportunities for independent artists without compromising their health or safety,” said Tribeca Film Institute executive director Amy Hobby. “The remarkable agility of our team allowed us to quickly pivot this three-day in-person program to an exceptionally robust virtual event, so even through these extraordinary circumstances, we’ll continue to connect emerging talent with the tools they need to take their projects to the next level.”

For a complete list of the projects, click here.

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