The World Cinema Fund goes European

Just in time for its tenth anniversary, the Berlinale World Cinema Fund (WCF) initiative is expanding its activities and will start up the WCF Europe in 2015. As a supplement to the existing programme of the World Cinema Fund, the European branch will back further co-productions between European producers and directors/producers from WCF regions and countries. Applications for this additional support can be submitted by European producers from MEDIA sub-programme countries and production firms in WCF Europe regions. Furthermore, producers in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova are also entitled to the backing if they can demonstrate that they are already collaborating on their current project with a European partner.

Thanks to the support of the European Commission’s MEDIA Creative Europe sub-programme, the WCF Europe has a total budget of €300,000 for 2015 and 2016. The initiative will also provide distribution support for films that will be released theatrically by at least three distributors. Among the conditions that must be met, there is one that states that one distributor has to be based in Europe and one other in a WCF region such as Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, or Central and Southeast Asia, or in a WCF country like Mongolia, Nepal, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.

Since its launch in 2004, the WCF has backed a total of 119 projects from 41 countries, including the Berlinale 2009 Golden Bear winner The Milk of Sorrow by Peruvian writer-director-producer Claudia Llosa and the art-drama Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, which won Thai writer-director-producer Apichatpong Weerasethakul the Palme d’Or at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2010. The WCF has granted production funds 84 times and has given distribution funds to 35 films for release in German cinemas. “The WCF’s success is proof of its topicality, and its commitment to world cinema and cultural diversity,” comments Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.