Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2005

World Cinema Fund

Oct 05, 2004:
Berlinale and German Federal Cultural Foundation set up World Cinema Fund

Support for the production and distribution of film projects from Latin America, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa.

Funding can begin – the World Cinema Fund has been launched. This initiative is committed to the development of world cinema and to the enrichment of the cinematic landscape in Germany.

The World Cinema Fund is designed to aid film projects from countries whose film industry is having difficulty evolving or is endangered due to political and economic crises. It is being set up with the generous support of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, which will provide the first funds, a total of 1.5 million euros for the first three years. Until 2007 the Fund will focus on supporting the production and distribution of films from Latin America, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa.

The World Cinema Fund intends to promote films with extraordinary aesthetics and compelling stories that give an authentic picture of their countries of origin.

In a unique way, film can further understanding of complex realities in other cultures and hence is an important medium in intercultural dialogue. And despite all economic problems, individual cultural cinematographies exist in the shadow of mainstream cinema and demonstrate the diversity of world cinema. Often these films are hardly accessible or only shown to audiences outside their countries of origin at international festivals. For such productions, interaction with the international film world and participation in the global market is difficult. The World Cinema Fund wants to tackle these challenges by developing a cooperation model which brings filmmakers from the aforementioned regions together with German film producers. Aside from its cultural and political dimensions, the World Cinema Fund also provides economic perspective.

“Film funding has to be seen as a comprehensive measure, as a factor that can contribute to globalization in a positive sense”, Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick commented on the establishment of the World Cinema Fund. “By including German producers, we would like to intensify cooperation between the German and the international film industry. We thank the Federal Cultural Foundation for their enthusiasm and commitment to this project.”

“The World Cinema Fund fills a gap in the film-funding system. Its establishment improves conditions that allow non-European films to be screened in German cinemas too”, explains Hortensia Völckers, the Artistic Director of the Federal Cultural Foundation. “The great response which the Fund has already attracted is a clear sign that together we have succeeded in setting up an important and necessary instrument for promoting culture.”

The German UNESCO Commission is very pleased that the World Cinema Fund has been established and will make a concrete contribution to cultural diversity. The Commission will take the Fund under its auspices during its initial stage 2005-2007.

More detailed guidelines and application forms can be found at our website.

The first submission deadline is October 27, 2004.

Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick has entrusted Sonja Mörkens und Vincenzo Bugno with running the World Cinema Fund project.

World Cinema Fund

Berlin International Film Festival

phone: +49 · 30 · 259 20 · 516 / 517

fax: +49 · 30 · 259 20 · 519

The World Cinema Fund is initiated by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, German Federal Culture Foundation

Press Office

October 5, 2004