• Festivals

78th Venice Film Festival – HFPA Residency Reception

On Sunday September 5th, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced the  winners of its fourth annual  Residency Program. At the reception Alberto Barbera, artistic director of the Venice International Film Festival joined members of the HFPA delegation in celebrating the four young film makers which will participate in the program which has partnered the HFPA with the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals in an effort to mentor young artists from around the world. This year’s fellows are participants in the Biennale College, the higher education workshop of the Mostra del Cinema. Since 2012, the Festival sidebar has produced thirty-six feature-length films and promoted new talents for world cinema.

The Residency, sponsored by the HFPA and administered by Film Independent, is an intensive three-week residency for young up-and-coming filmmakers to help them gain access and experience in Hollywood. Residency fellows come to Los Angeles to participate in a robust program of screenings with Q and A’s, guest speakers, workshops and masterclasses. They will also be paired with respected mentors within the entertainment industry; affording them unique one-on-one meetings, granting them valuable feedback as well as the opportunity to shadow their mentors in a real-time work environment.

For 2022, the recipients are José María Avilés for Al Oriente (Ecuador, sophomore film), Beatrice Baldacci for La Tana (Italia, debut film), Sol Berruezo Pichon-Rivière for Nuestros Días Más Felices (Argentina, sophomore film), Ricky D’Ambrose for The Cathedral (USA, sophomore film).

During the intimate reception, attended by prominent administrators of the Venice Film Festival, special media, as well as a delegation of HFPA members, Barbera spoke passionately about the collaboration and how impactful it has proven to be for the next generation of filmmakers. In past years, the winning filmmakers were selected from the Orizzonti section of the Venice International Film Festival and Barbera was excited that a pivot was made to highlight the Biennale students, who produce their features with a maximum budget of 150,000 Euros ($178,000 USD). When the initial program was announced in 2018, Barbera stated: “Among the things we like most is helping new talents. Each institution, whether private or public, can contribute with acts of generosity”.

Over the last 25 years, the HFPA has donated nearly $40 million to more than 70 nonprofits, academic programs and humanitarian organizations, including the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Get Lit, Echo Park Film Center, Kids In the Spotlight, UCLA Film Young Directors, Outfest LA, Ghetto Film School, Sundance Institute, Inner-City Arts, A Place Called Home, Las Fotos, Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today and the California State Summer School for the Arts.

With membership representing media from 56 countries, the HFPA has dedicated itself to help organize cultural exchange through several mentorship projects at various film festivals and is thrilled with its partnership with Film Independent in being proactive in focusing on international filmmakers.

As for the recipients of this program, their excitement at the reception was palpable for this distinctive opportunity. For most, this will also be their first visit to Los Angeles.