Where in the World is TFI?

This December, TFI’s Artist Programs team travelled around the world to find international filmmakers with compelling stories. From festivals in Dubai, Luang Prabang and Cuba, 4 filmmaking teams have been selected to attend TFI’s annual Network film market this April during the Tribeca Film Festival.

At Luang Prabang Film Festival, TFI hosted its second Talent Lab for Southeast Asian filmmakers. Ten projects from the region received pitch instruction and practice along with funding guidance. The lab hosted conversations with professional filmmakers including Ramona Diaz and filmmakers received industry feedback from In-Docs, Astro Distribution, Rokki and more. The film “Cat Island” was chosen by a jury to receive the Aurora Media production prize for $10,000 and Laos’ own “Raising A Beast” was selected to attend TFI Network next April.

Writer/Director: Xaisongkham Induangchanthy (Laos) 
Producer: Abigail Lazaro (Philippines) 
Faced with uncommon familial responsibilities, two rural Hmong siblings approach an uncertain future differently: a daughter is determined to embrace their culture, while her brother is running away from his heritage.

TFI returned to Dubai this year to take part in the Dubai Film Connection market at the Dubai International Film Festival, where a representative from the Artist Programs department took meetings with Middle Eastern feature scripted and documentary projects currently in the development stage. TFI ended up selecting a feature documentary project to attend TFI Network next April. The selected project showcases a unique creative perspective on an urgent topic impacting the world at large, and a story that elevates the humanity in areas of conflict.


Director: Mohamed Ismail Laouti (Tunisia) 
Producer: Willy Rolle (France) 
THE SYRIANS explores the lives of five Syrian refugees forging a new life in Lebanon following the outbreak of civil war in their homeland.

Now in its fourth year, TFI’s partnership with the EICTV (Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television) film school in Cuba grew steadily with its reach of Central American and Caribbean projects. TFI attended EICTV’s yearly filmmaker workshop - Nuevas Miradas - and met with sixteen selected projects telling stories in the documentary, scripted and hybrid molds. By the end of the five-day workshop, TFI announced that they would choose two projects to attend TFI Network next April. The selected projects bring us into untapped environments in Central America and the Caribbean via truly distinctive visual storytelling, and convey deep truths about contemporary Latin American identity.

Director: Ana Elena Tejera (Panama)
Producer: Maria Isabel Burnes (Panama)
Cebaldo, a Panamanian native living in Portugal, undertakes an oneiric journey throughout the ancestral rituals of the indigenous life cycle in search of the South Sea.

Director: Yimit Ramirez (Cuba)
Producer: Gregorio Rodriguez (Dominican Republic)
A group of police officers judge a society through the investigation of videos found in a camera that has been passed from hand to hand by various strata of Cuban society.

The selection of these four projects has been made possible by the global partnerships that TFI has established over the last five years in vast corners of the world. A big thanks to Luang Prabang Film Festival, the Dubai Film Connection and the EICTV Film School in Cuba for the thoughtful support!