The winner of the writing residency
CineComedies Lab 2023 is...

Belgian director Émilie Sornasse is the winner of the CineComedies Lab 2023 writing residency with her project “Le Temps des conquêtes”, to be produced by Roue Libre Production and supported by Wallimage to the tune of €50,000.

The aim of this residency is to support authors in the delicate development phase of their screenplays, helping them to solve problems of dramaturgy and rhythm, and to explore the various narrative possibilities.

In a spirit of exchange and cross-fertilization, the authors are supervised by consultants who are themselves screenwriters, confronted with the day-to-day difficulties of writing. They are also trained in the art of the pitch, an essential exercise in convincing professionals to finance a project.

Meeting with Belgian director Emilie Sornasse

Why did you turn to residency?

The call from the CineComedies Lab corresponded to the idea I had of a future project. The fact that this residency was devoted exclusively to writing comedy was of particular interest to me.

How did the residency go?

Incredibly, for a variety of reasons! The first is Fadette’s guidance and sound advice, both on scriptwriting and on the craft of screenwriting. The second was the possibility of confronting the writing with the collective: it was a revelation! I’d never experienced the emulation, motivation and 10-fold increase in good ideas that sharing can bring. In fact, it inspired me to work with a co-writer, just for the pleasure of reproducing that spirit in the creation of this feature film. Finally, the third reason is an introduction to the art of pitching. It was stressful, the five of us knew there was something at stake, but at the same time we all pulled together in a caring and supportive way. It was an exciting first leap into the void, which strengthened us all, I think.

And your pitch was convincing.

Yes! I was extremely fortunate to attract the interest of a producer, David Borgeaud (Roue Libre Production), and to receive assistance from Wallimage, through the Wallimpact* line of support for project development. This €50,000 advance will finance part of the writing, the remuneration of a co-writer and the services of a consultancy firm for the target audience. It’s an unusual thought, and one that seems at odds with the creative process, but I love the idea of confronting the consumer aspect with an authorial intention!

What’s next?

I’m working on “Le temps des conquêtes” for a few more months. Of course, I hope to see it at the Liège International Comedy Film Festival one day!

Fabrice Mertens

*This financing is made possible thanks to the support of the European Union guarantee granted by the Creative Europe Program and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSF), as part of the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of the SIEF is to help resolve the difficulties of financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union, in particular by guaranteeing better access to financing.