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15 projects are selected for Cannes’ Cinéfondation L’Atelier



A group of young filmmakers filming on the streets
Part of Cannes’ Cinefondation film development initiative, L’Atelier was launched in 2005 to support promising filmmakers | Photo: Lê Minh

The full list of emerging film directors invited to attend the 18th edition of L’Atelier this year, during the Cannes Film Festival, has been released.

Part of Cannes’ Cinefondation film development initiative, L’Atelier was launched in 2005 to support promising filmmakers and, to date, the initiative has supported over 200 projects, with 182 already completed and 19 currently in pre-production.

In 2020, despite the global pandemic and many challenges for the filming industry, three projects have been shot.

‘’The biggest challenge of a shoot is to stay flexible as team. There are always so many things happening which can potentially distract you from your goal. Maybe that’s even more so when you have a long shooting period like we do; our shooting period will cover 14 months. It’s a challenge to bend those situations into something good for the film.’’ – acknowledges Rosanne Pel, a Dutch filmmaker, revealed in 2018 in Toronto. Her feature debut, Light as Feathers. She has been selected as one of the L’Atelier participants for her new film Anna Ist.

‘I am so happy for the chance to meet the other filmmakers who are selected and learn about what they are up to. Since the pandemic, I feel myself being thirsty for these kinds of interactions. For our project, being selected means that the difficult process of financing and making the film will be a little less difficult. It opens doors and that’s fantastic’’ – celebrates Pel ahead of the event.

All selected film professionals will be offered expert advice and the opportunity to meet potential co-production partners, and funding sources, during the the75th edition of the film festival first held in 1946.

For Czech filmmakers Tomas Weinreb and Petr Kazda, first discovered based on their work on I, Olga Hepnarova, which opened the Panorama section of the 2016 Berlinale, attending the Festival de Cannes in 2022 is a long held dream.

“We are both over 40 years old and, honestly, being part of the Cannes film festival is our dream since we were students. We grew up watching films by Frantisek Vlacil, Andrej Tarkovskij, Milos Forman, Francois Truffaut and Vojtech Jasny – and all of them went to Cannes, as the most important international film event, to show their movies for the first time.” – says the filmmaker duo.

In Cannes for the third time this year, Bulgarian filmmaker Stephan Komandarev previously attended the film festival in 2016, as a co-producer of Bogdan Mirica’s film “Dogs”, and in 2017 with his own film Posoki (Directions). In 2022 he returns, this time with Made in EU, production selected for L’Atelier’s 18th edition.

“Made in EU is intended as EU co-production and financial survival has been a big challenge for independent companies in Bulgaria (and Europe), as many went bankrupt, while others began to compromise their aesthetic views and produce entirely commercial products. The development of a quality project on contemporary themes suck as modern slavery in today’s Europe, the topic of our film, is a very difficult one. In recent years, Bulgaria had very unstable conditions for film production. Working on an international level with producers from different countries is an alternative that allows us carry on  the process of creating quality films.” – believes Komandarev.

The full list of selected films includes directors from Israel, Colombia, Turkey, and the Philippines, amongst other countries:

Anna Ist – Rosanne Pel (Netherlands)
Chimbo cheBere (The Hyenas Song) – Naishe Nyamubaya (Zimbabwe)
Cotton Queen – Suzannah Mirghani (Sudan)
Guria – Levan Koguashvili (Georgia)
Hamlet from the Slums – Ahmed Fawzi Saleh (Egypt)
Made in EU – Stephan Komandarev (Bulgaria)
Philax – Rûken Tekeş (Turkey)
Sam – E del Mundo (Philippines)
The Beer Girl In Yangon – Sein Lyan Tun (Myanmar)
The Blind Ferryman – Ali Al-Fatlawi (Iraq/Switzerland)
The Doubt – Ihab Jadallah (Palestine/Israel)
The Forest – Tomas Weinreb et Petr Kazda (Czech Republic)
The Last Tears Of The Deceased – Beza Hailu Lemma (Ethiopia)
Where The River Begins – Juan Andres Arango (Colombia)
You Are My Everything – Michal Vinik (Israel)

The 75th international Festival de Cannes will take place from 17 to 28 May 2022 at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, France.

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Thousands of free travel passes available to travel around Europe



A solo traveler in Europe
Successful applicants will get a free rail pass to travel in Europe for up to 30 days

Starting this summer, thousands of young people will once again travel around Europe by train for free thanks to the latest call of the DiscoverEU programme. Today at 12:00 CET during the European Youth Week buzzing with activities, the Commission launched the latest DiscoverEU application round. It will end on Tuesday 30 April at 12:00 CET.

In total, 35,500 travel passes are available. To get one, young people born between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2006 can do a quiz with five questions about the EU and one additional question on the European Youth Portal. Successful applicants will get a free rail pass to travel in Europe for up to 30 days between 1 July 2024 and 30 September 2025.

The call is open to applicants from the European Union and countries associated to the Erasmus+ programme including Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Türkiye. Ticket holders can plan their own routes or be inspired by existing ones. For example, they can discover a route launched last year, which focuses on cities and places making the European Union ‘beautiful, sustainable and inclusive’ in line with the principles of the New European Bauhaus.

Participants can also benefit from the DiscoverEU Culture Route an initiative of the 2022 European Year of Youth that combines various cultural destinations including architecture, music, fine art, theatre, fashion and design. Participants can visit the European Capitals of Culture which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List,  European Heritage Label sites, or Access City Award label locations, which are cities that have gone above and beyond to become more accessible to everyone.

Participants will also receive a discount card with over 40,000 discount possibilities on public transport, culture, accommodation, food, sports and other services in eligible countries. Additionally, Erasmus+ National Agencies organise pre-departure information meetings, and national agencies across all Erasmus+ countries prepare DiscoverEU Meet-ups, learning programmes lasting from one to three days.

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£50,000 prize to be split between female racers and soccer tournaments



£50,000 prize fund to be split between female racers and soccer tournaments in the UK
Danielle Udogaranya (Ebonix), Harrie Silver (Harrie) and Shauna Ward (Shauna Games) announce the launch of a series of women’s esports tournaments

A women’s only esports initiative has been announced as the first-of-its-kind in the UK, in a bid to improve diversity and inclusion in the gaming world.

The series of tournaments provide a platform for talented women gamers to showcase their skills. It is the first women’s esports tournament to award professional contracts as well as cash prizes to winners. This follows research that revealed out of all esports pros, only 5% are women despite women making up 47% of all gamers in the UK.

The women’s esports initiative is being brought to life by Sky Broadband in partnership with the Guild Esports company, co-owned by football legend David Beckham. Both Sky Broadband and Guild share the mission to create a more inclusive esports industry.

The initiative is made up of two tournaments: Racers Eseries, a SIM racing-based competition, and the Soccer Eseries, an esports football tournament, culminating in the Women’s Esports Finals. With a total prize pot of £50,000 split between the tournaments, all competitors at the Women’s Esports Finals will receive a cash prize, with the two ultimate winners of the Racers Eseries and Soccer Eseries also awarded a pro contract each and free Sky Broadband for 18 months.

  • Racers Eseries – taking place from the 26th April to 19th May in person and online: SIM racing-based competition – ten gamers will make it through to the Women’s Esports Finals
  • Soccer Eseries – date to be announced later this year: an esports football tournament, the top four gamers will make it through to the Women’s Esports Finals
  • Women’s Esports Finals – date to be announced later this year: The UK’s first-of-its-kind Women’s Esports Final hosted LIVE and streamed from Sky headquarters

As part of the coveted esports pro contracts, winners will receive bootcamp training, access to top-class facilities and experts including nutritionists to help them keep at the top of their game.

Amber Pine, MD, Sky Connectivity said: “At Sky Broadband we’re committed to powering the gaming community, and we want to help ensure it’s an equal playing field for all. We’re creating new, safe and equal opportunities for woman gamers, working with Guild Esports for the past two years to achieve this ambition. This first-of-its-kind initiative opens up new avenues to help women go pro, with contracts and cash prizes up for grabs.”

Despite the growing popularity of esports and large prize funds, research by Bryter revealed over half (56%) of women feel that there is a great lack of women gamers in esports, and similarly 54% agree that the gaming community isn’t doing enough to encourage women gamers.

However, the report also found that 36% of women gamers would consider entering an esports tournament.

Those looking to take part in the tournaments can visit for more information on how to sign up. Entrants must be 18 or over and UK residents.

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Hospitality academy is training rough sleepers in London



Hospitality academy is training rough sleepers in London
20 candidates are being trained on-site with hospitality skills including communication and leadership | Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

Saira Hospitality, a non-profit transforming the way hotels connect with local communities through education, and The Hotels with Heart Foundation are partnering to offer hospitality training for 20 rough sleepers whilst they are being temporarily housed inside St Giles Hotel in Bloomsbury, London.

The innovative partnership centres around a four-week hospitality school inside St Giles Hotel, who launched The Hotels with Heart Foundation in 2023 to give back to the communities sustaining the hotels.

Between 8th April and 3rd May, 20 candidates are being trained on-site, enrolling in Saira Hospitality’s life-skills-focused curriculum that teaches communication, leadership, emotional intelligence and other essential hospitality-focused life skills.

New research from the homeless charity Shelter shows at least 271,000 people are recorded as homeless in England, including 123,000 children. This figure means one in 208 people in England are without a home, and 2,400 people are sleeping rough on any given night.

The Academy marks another step forward for Saira Hospitality, who migrated their pop-up hospitality school concept to London in 2022 following seven years of operating in global destinations such as Namibia, Mexico, The BVI and the US. It also marks the first time that Saira has partnered directly with another non-profit organisation in the UK. Hotels with Heart are sponsoring the entire cost of the programme via funds generated from their Regenerative Hospitality Campaign, which pledges to raise £1 million benefiting local communities.

The initiative combines classroom-based learning with experiential work placements inside a group of leading hospitality employers in London, who have pledged to support the initiative with workplace mentoring and guaranteed job interviews for candidates after the programme ends. These businesses include Z hotels, Marriott, and Accor. The programme also blends hospitality integration opportunities for its learners, many of whom have never stepped inside London’s leading hospitality businesses. These integration experiences include a private dining experience hosted by Kerth Gumbs inside his restaurant Fenchurch at Skygarden. Students will also take a walking tour of Saira Hospitality’s London hotel partners, visiting various properties and experiencing different styles of guest service.

Saira Hospitality’s partnership with Vizzy, an online CV-alternative platform, also helps learners illustrate their personalities and experiences outside of the traditional CV format. Saira Hospitality believe that the traditional CV format can be disheartening for candidates from overlooked backgrounds, who may lack typical experience or access to education.

“When reading the list of partners who are supporting this initiative, it’s impossible to not be inspired by the generosity on show. From individual hospitality legends like Kerth Gumbs, to multinational hotel brands and of course St Giles Hotels, without whom this programme wouldn’t be possible. We believe the greatest atrocities must be met with creative partnerships, and we’re proud to be launching this programme, an initiative that we hope will be repeated in years to come,” says Greg Früchtenicht, COO at Saira Hospitality.

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