In the Beginning Was… FIDLab

The moment when the viewers sink into their comfortable seats in front of the film screen or their computer screen to watch the opening credits is preceded by a rather difficult process. Polishing the film treatment to a crystal clear form, securing quality technical equipment and primarily raising financial support; these are but a few points in the long list that rouses every filmmaker from his sleep. One of the ways to find relief from sleepless nights, gain new inspiration and establish international collaboration has been offered by FIDLab, a creative platform of the French Doc Alliance festival FID Marseille, for seven years already. From June 22 to 28, you can watch four films that have received its professional care!

Since 2008, over 60 films whose makers had a chance to meet world-famous producers, distributors and representatives of leading film institutions have gone through FIDLab, a flagship of the industry programme of FID Marseille. Each year, the platform chooses 10 films in various stages of development to enable their makers to experience two days of concentrated international meetings in the atmosphere of a port city. The winning project, traditionally selected by a three-member jury, receives a package of industry endowments for a total of 60.000€, ranging from financial support for purchasing technological equipment to an offer of creative residencies and free flight tickets.

This year’s seventh edition of FID Lab extends a helping hand to 11 upcoming films. The name of Israeli director and video artist Avi Mograbi stands out among the respected as well as emerging filmmakers. He enters the two-day marathon with his documentary feature BETWEEN THE FENCES, calling attention to the bleak situation of African refugees seeking asylum at the borders of Israel. Employing the method of the “theatre of the oppressed”, Mograbi mediates the emotions and experience of a selected community while posing the general question of the difference between this group and a group of Jews escaping to Israel from the terror of the Nazi regime. This year’s winner will be selected by the following three jury members: head of the CineLink co-production platform of the Sarajevo Film Festival Amra Bakšić Čarno, the long-time head of acquisitions Thomas Pibarot (Le Pacte) and curator of MoMI (Museum of Moving Image) David Schwartz.

The world of art, which is definitely very close to the programme selection of FID Marseille, is explored by the film BIELUTIN, DANS LE JARDIN DU TEMPS by French director Clément Cogitore. The film captures the peculiar microcosm of the married couple of Ely and Nina Bielutin who are hiding one of the largest private collections of renaissance paintings in their candle-lit apartment. The famous figures from the canvases by Leonardo da Vinci, Tizian or Velázquez become the silent witnesses of the couple’s peculiar daily conversations, together constituting probably the most expensive wall decoration in the world. The film premiered in Cannes at the Directors Forthnight, first of a long list of selections in international events.

Besides the phantom of a renaissance collection in a Moscow apartment, another phantom guides the steps of French traveller Michel Ballot, the protagonist of L’HYPOTÈSE DU MOKÉLÉ MBEMBÉ. He enters the wild nature of south-eastern Cameroon with a single idea and goal – to find the animal that has escaped zoology so far; the “Mokélé Mbembé”, partly rhinoceros, partly crocodile and partly snake, captured by Pygmy legends as well as by the direct experience of the locals. Will reality win over phantasy or will phantasy prevail over reality? After Premiering in FIDMarseille and then selected in many festivals such as Rotterdam and Belfort IFF.

The quicksand between reality and fiction is also set in motion by Mexican director Nicolás Pereda in VERANO DE GOLIAT. Suspicion, fear and revenge have seized the community of the Mexican town of Huilotepec. A young man is accused of murdering his girlfriend. A long-term partner leaves his wife. A loner wants to revenge himself on his surroundings. Who is telling the truth; the protagonists/actors, the director or the camera? Enter an absurd comedy where you cannot be sure of anything, including your own feelings. Presented in post-production at FIDLab VERANO DE GOLIAT had been selected in Venice where it won the Golden Lion in the Orizzonti section.

The film SUD EAU NORD DÉPLACER by Antoine Boutet screened at Locarno IFF wraps up the selection of FIDLab films form a bird’s eye view. Through visually gripping images, reminding of the tradition of direct photography and architectural photography, the director travels across the world’s longest water dam interconnecting the rivers of southern and northern China. While the views of the motionless and majestic landscape of the desert, forests and mountains open up in front of the viewers, the aesthetic experience is pervaded by the mercilessly harsh reality of the life of local inhabitants.

Accept an invitation to the exclusive company of FIDLab from June 22 to 28 for free and do not forget that “in the beginning was... FIDLab”!

Selected films is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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