Applications open for the second edition of the Attagirl feature lab
Entries are now open for the second round of For Film’s Sake’s Global Feature Film Development Lab, Attagirl, which supports female and non-binary directorial teams.
Created by FFS Executive Director Sophie Mathisen, the lab is designed to help creatives navigate feature development in the age of the digital revolution.
The course content revolves around three main pillars – history, market and audience – with support from international film agencies and leading international film festivals.
Funders of the program include Screen Australia, Telefilm Canada, the British Film Institute and the Swedish Film Institute in collaboration with sponsors.
Six projects from Australia and one from New Zealand were among 13 projects from around the world selected to participate in last year’s lab.
Originally conceived as a travel-based initiative for market-driven festivals, Attagirl moved to digital delivery in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its second year, Attagirl will also be delivered virtually with a few additional changes to content and structure.
The lab will now be officially split into two stages, the first focusing on developing creative production skills, or story and audience, and the second on selected teams producing market-ready feature film packages.
Once the first stage is completed, teams will be assessed by Attagirl mentors with an uncapped number of “market ready” projects invited to participate in the second stage. Uninvited films will be eligible to apply for step two in future lab cycles.
Both stages will contain up to two intensive workshops, delivered digitally, as well as digital accreditations provided by the laboratory through its festival partners.
“The closures and changes in COVID – while undoubtedly disruptive – have in fact created a host of unintended benefits for the program and participants. With travel suspended, mentors and experts were more available to devote time and support to the selected teams, resulting in greater depth and distinction in the films in development, ”said Mathisen.
“Attagirl’s primary goal is to provide globally relevant support and structure to the development pipeline for new, emerging and historically marginalized talent and given the number and quality of projects that have resulted from this model – even under the stress of blockages – FFS and our stakeholders are delighted to continue on the digital path for the moment. “
Film by director Emma Freeman and producer Leanne Tonkes The circus was one of the projects selected for the lab last year.
Set in rural 1950s Australia, the tale follows a beautiful and fiery circus performer who meets a lonely and determined farmer, forcing her to decide whether to comply or follow her heart.
The duo say the program has been of great help to the project.
“We started Attagirl at a time of crisis for us and the world. Working with the Attagirl team challenged us to think deeply and uncover the most courageous and distinctive version we’ve wanted to tell for some time. We have been encouraged to work hard, to think big, to aim high and look forward to additional support as we move into production, ”they said.
“If you have a story to tell, Attagirl will help you discover the universality and power it holds and how best to position and engage with your audience.”
To apply, teams must have at least 50 percent participation from female / non-binary filmmakers in above the line roles.
Subsidized places are available for teams from the official partner territories of Australia, Great Britain, Canada and Sweden. Teams from other territories are warmly welcome to apply, but it is recommended that they engage their relevant funding organization with their intention to apply.
If no funding is available in a territory, the FFS will seek partial or full funding through philanthropic support when possible for selected projects.
Documentaries, TV series or web series are not eligible formats. Free entry.
Applications are accepted via Attagirl website and will close on August 22.