Cinema Film Inspiration Live Events

A Summer Across Film Festivals: Watch Out for These Emerging Directors

It’s no secret that film is a tough industry and it usually takes a while to enjoy the fruit of one’s hard work. But if you don’t give up and keep on pushing your project, that time will come. If you read my blog it is also no secret that I have had the privilege to meet some really creative emerging directors over the years, and every time I hear news on their work I am happy to share what’s going on. Especially when it’s good news.

I met some of them in 2012, while they were developing their projects at the TorinoFilmLab Script&Pitch Programme and I was attending the Audience Design training. Now that those stories are screened at some of the leading international film festivals, I am thrilled by the warm reception from the audience.


After premiering at the Venice Film Festival and being screened in the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival last year, Yaelle Kayam’s Mountain had a successful worldwide performance that is still going strong, as it had its Danish premiere in Copenhagen just a few weeks ago. One of my favourite highlights is the screening at New Directors/New Films 2016, co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art, where Kayam held a Q&A along with co-producer Riina Spørring Zachariassen (my fellow Audience Design trainee), which you can watch here.


One year after the screening at the World Premieres Film Festival in the Philippines, Ralston Hover’s The Dog Show is still touring the world. Just over the Spring it received 10 nominations at the 39th Gawad Urian, had its Italian premiere at the 26th Festival del Cinema Africano, d’Asia e America Latina in April, and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay of a Foreign Language Film at the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema in Nice.

So here are four more young and talented filmmakers you should keep an eye on over the Summer, and in the next months when their films will hit a city near you.


Chilean scriptwriter and director Fernando Guzzoni is bringing to the audience his second feature Jesús, which is focused on an intimate story about the search for identity across two generations in modern-day Santiago, told through the lens of the relationship between a father and his son. The film has been selected for the main competition in San Sebastián (16-24 September), a festival that brought luck to his previous Carne de Perro, which won the New Directors Award in 2012.


Another proud Chilean contender, this time at the upcoming Venice Film Festival (31 August-10 September), is Christopher Murray’s El Cristo Ciego, which follows the story of an inhabitant of a remote village in the Chilean desert, who is considered the new Christ himself. Murray’s is the only feature debut running for the Golden Lion, and was recently praised by festival director Alberto Barbera as “a surprising debut, influenced by Pasolini but with a marvelous expressive strength of its own.”


Bulgarian director Ralitza Petrova’s Godless deals with a nurse who traffics the ID cards of demented patients on the black market of identity theft. After premiering in Main Competition at Locarno Film Festival (3-13 August), Petrova’s feature debut has been selected for the Competion Programme at Sarajevo Film Festival (12-20 August). A teaser is available on Cineuropa here.


Lithuanian writer/director Lina Lužyte’s first feature Together For Ever had recently its world premiere in the East of the West Competition at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (1-9 July). Following an ordinary woman whose family is becoming estranged, the film had a warm welcome as a powerful directorial debut and is now starting its journey across the globe.

Final news to close with: if you can’t attend festivals in person, a selection of TorinoFilmLab’s supported films is available to watch worldwide for free on Festival Scope (and keep an eye on social media for the hashtags #TFLFilms and #TFLPeople as well for more updates). I am sure I’ll let you in good cinematic company, and you’ll hear from me again after the Summer break. Have a great time off on holiday!