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A day in the Talent Village

Last December 12th, in Les Arcs Film Festival, the projects of eight filmmakers students came to an end, crafting new cinema talents.

Talent Village 2022

The Talent Village in Les Arcs Film Festival is a nest for young directors to develop their long films projects. As a workshop, eight students work on the idea of their movie, being helped on narrative and filmic aspects. Also, during the week the Talent Village is held, the main aim is to create connections with the film industry.

With this purpose, young talents who otherwise wouldn’t have access to the feature film market can network with productions and  understand the market industry. For example, the talents selected can be helped in understanding how to sell their films or which kind of strategies they should have with the world of festivals. At the end of the program, the students-directors have a thirty minutes one-to-one meeting with a company, creating themselves the opportunity to inform the producers about their project. All these activities are meant to provide the talents the tools to push themselves on a bigger level.

Music and Talent Village: the power of working together

Another idea which emerges from this lab of new filmmakers is to let them relate with the Music Village in Les Arcs, which was made to reunite four European young composers, giving them the occasion to organize the night concert events and meet the Talent’s Village directors to work together.

The result of these collaborations, which start one month before Les Arcs Film Festival, has been presented at a music pitch event the last december 12th. After choosing two different projects from the Talent Village, the four composers worked on the scenario, trying to adapt their sound to movies that haven’t already been shot. Dougal Kamp, Sergio Bachelet, Léonie Floret and Isis Prager were the chosen ones, producing tunes for different subjects and themes, from families gathering to migrants, from abandoned children to the uncertainty felt by East-German homosexuals at the time of the Berlin Wall fall - the project by Pascal Schuh who won the UniversCiné Talent Village Prize, Not Coming Out.

The pitch consisted in a brief explanation of the synopsis, of the soundtracks and of the way musicians and directors collaborated. For example, Dougel Kamp and Kalman Nagy, who won the special mention of the Talent Village with his The Shame of the Borbérly Family, tried to make an emotional spectatorial grip only for the ending credits, creating a contrast with the absence of music during the whole dramatic movie.

How it works: an inside look

Nina Benoit is the youngster Talent Village coordinator, a role that plays for the first time. Her work as head of the selection committee has been continuous during the year, as she searched for the eight participants at the workshop. She looked for talents in the most important cinema academies from all Europe and in the short selections of film festivals (Angers, Saravejo, Karlovy Vary, eg.). Then, she showed the best ones to the selection committee. At the end of the research and after some exclusions, they asked the finalists to send them an idea for a feature film, “and they always have one: like their long-life dream”, Nina says.

During this process, which Nina calls “prospection”, they want to form a heterogeneous group, with different nationalities, style and genres, and for her is central the diversity of visions and ideas. The committee only seeks for filmmakers who have experience in the world of short movies. Because, as Nina argues, the difficulty of entering in the ‘grown-up’ market is that the shorts films environment is totally different from the feature films. The truth is that if a debutant director is selected to the short section of a big festival with an interesting movie, there is no certainty to be noticed by the feature film market. The aim of the Talent program is to overcome these issues.

The Talent Village also has a “big brother”, a relevant director who has already had success. This year’s ambassador is the Finnish Juho Kuosmanen, director of Compartment n. 6, while the past years the filmmaker Thomas Vintenberg and the actress Isabelle Huppert have been called to play this role model. During the week, the ambassador reads all the eight projects and gives feedback to the participants at the Village, advising them when they have doubts or uncertainties.

The workshop doesn’t want to highlight the most complete stories and the best developed ones, but to “raise a generation of daring and ambitious directors”. As Nina thinks, this is the role of small or medium film festivals like Les Arcs compared to the big ones: to find a different vision of films and life from the mainstream course of contemporary cinema.


By Paolo Rissicini and Sofía Romera (MIOB Journalism Lab)

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