Rough Cut Lab Terms & Conditions – Edition 2020

Rough Cut Lab

As part of Visions du Réel Industry, the Rough Cut Lab invites four film teams, with a creative documentary at finishing stage, to present their rough cut in closed sessions to industry professionals in order to get specific feedbacks and advices. 

The idea is to support filmmakers in the moment of editing. In total, four rough cuts will be screened and discussed together with a personal tutor/moderator, some editors invited and the film team.

There is no registration or participation fee.

Selection criteria

We are looking for four singular and original documentary projects that combine artistic ambition and high visual quality. We are interested in presenting a wide spectrum of practices and approaches.

  • The project should be intended as a creative feature-length documentary
  • The shooting must be finished and a first editing achieved
  • Projects must be presented for the first time at their current stage.


The Rough Cut Lab will take place during Visions du Réel, Festival international de cinéma Nyon from 25 to 27 April 2020 (TBC). It begins the first day with a short preparation session followed by 3h ½ working sessions for each project. An individual tutoring is scheduled for the last half hour of each Rough Cut Lab session between the film's team and their tutor. A general debriefing closes the Rough Cut Lab.

The third day there will be pre-scheduled One-on-One meetings with key guest professionals (distributors, sales agents, festival representatives, funds…).

We expect at least the director to present the project in Nyon personally and to be present during the whole time of the Rough Cut Lab. According to our experience, the participation is most efficient if both director and editor or producer are present. The rough cut has to have English subtitles and has to be sent to Visions du Réel three weeks before the Festival. The tutor/s will watch the rough cut before the Lab and get in contact with the film team in order to prepare the session in advanced.

During the Rough Cut Lab, the session begins with a short introduction and presentation of the project and the team. The screening of the rough cut will then be followed by an intensive Q&A session, moderated by the personal tutor. The sessions are private.

The selected projects and the catalogue will be published and sent to the invited professionals before the Festival. During the Festival, the project information will be available in printed form.

How to apply?

Please submit your project in English; longer texts such as treatment, etc. may also be sent in French or Spanish but English is preferable. Please, send us a protected link to review the visual material online. Please provide the whole rough cut or all scenes you edited until 15 November 2019 or 15 December 2019.

The information submitted will be partly used for the publication. The teams of the four selected projects will have the opportunity to update the information about the project on time.

There is no registration or participation fee. We are pleased to offer you two lunches and assist you on the logistics. However, travel, hotel and additional meals are to be covered by the selected teams.

The selected projects will receive up to three free Industry accreditations and additional accreditations at a reduced fee (allowing access to all film screenings at the Festival and the Media Library online, as well as to most Industry networking and training activities, although some require a personal invitation).

Application deadline

The registration online form must be completed and the visual material uploaded by:

Deadline no. 1: 15 November 2019
Deadline no. 2: 15 December 2019

The first deadline will lead to the selection of a first group of projects. We encourage you to apply as soon as you are ready in order to have more chance of a selection.

The selected projects will be notified in February 2020.

Visions du Réel requires the VdR logo (sent upon request) to appear in the credits of the film once finalized. The following sentence should be mentioned in the credit list « [film title] has been presented at the Rough Cut Lab 2020 at Visions du Réel, International Film Festival Nyon ».

Contact & Information

Gudula Meinzolt, Co-Head of Industry,, Tel.: +41 22 365 44 55

Application and participation in the Rough Cut Lab implies acceptance of these regulations.

The organisers reserve the right to change the rules and regulations or processes at any time and without notification.

Nyon, 12.09.2019