Mission

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Cine Qua Non Lab is a nonprofit organization. Our mission is to provide a space for filmmakers to envision and develop their work, and to bring them together to exchange ideas, share perspectives and find new opportunities for collaboration. Cine Qua Non Lab supports independent film that has a global and humanistic sensibility, and is inclusive of all cinematic forms, including narrative, documentary, experimental and animation work.

Cine Qua Non Lab holds script revision labs in English and Spanish allowing filmmakers from around the world the opportunity to develop and revise their feature-length narrative scripts in an intensive residential workshop that provides not only incredible feedback, but also a lifelong community of other like-minded filmmakers. Additionally, we believe that by bringing together a diverse group of filmmakers who have similar sensibilities about the kinds of films they want to make, the diversity will trigger new ideas, new formulas, and fresh perspectives for filmmaking.

History

The origins

Cine Qua Non Lab was born out of Villa d’Acqua, an artists’ space created in 2001. During its first years of operation, Villa d’Acqua hosted, in an informal way, several Mexican independent filmmakers who wanted a quiet space to work on their projects. Some of the visitors over those years included Agustín Tapia and Anna Soler (directors) for Los días sin Joyce; Ricardo Benet (writer) for Noticias lejanas; Lourdes Villagómez (animator) for Greatest Hits; Roberto Hurtado (music composer) for Noticias lejanas and Un bel morir; and Elena Pardo (editor) for Lila Downs’ videos.

 

The pilot workshop

In 2008, a pilot workshop for screenwriters was held in Villa d’Acqua at the initiative of Jesús Pimentel Melo, Ladimer Haluke and Sarita Khurana. Five filmmakers from Columbia University took part in this workshop — Jeannie Donohoe (USA), Jesús Pimentel Melo (Mexico), Julie Buck (USA), Luis Trelles (Puerto Rico) and Sarita Khurana (USA/India). For most of them, it was their first trip to Mexico and their first contact with the Mexican culture. The result was a one-week workshop with daily sessions of four hours to work on storylines and scripts for both short films and feature films. The workshop was very successful, since three of the scripts were produced the following year: What Remains, by Sarita Khurana (2010); Public, by Jeannie Donohoe (2010); and Miramelinda, by Jesús Pimentel Melo and Luis Trelles (2010).

Jeannie Donohoe

Jeannie Donohoe

(USA)
Public

Jesús Pimentel Melo

Jesús Pimentel Melo

(Mexico)
Miramelinda / Patrice

Julie Buck

Julie Buck

(USA)
Anna Flynn

Luis Trelles

Luis Trelles

(Puerto Rico)
Miramelinda / Acantilado

Sarita Khurana

Sarita Khurana

(USA/India)
What Remains

 

The official founding

Based on the success of the pilot workshop, in 2010 Cine Qua Non Lab was officially founded by Jesús Pimentel Melo, Ladimer Haluke, Sarita Khurana, Lucila Moctezuma and Christina Lazaridi as an artists’ residency for filmmakers from throughout the world. Since then, Cine Qua Non Lab has held an annual international workshop for independent screenwriters from around the world — the Script Revision Lab.