Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2007

World Cinema Fund

Jan 09, 2007:
World Cinema Fund – Iranian and Kurdish projects to receive distribution funding

The World Cinema Fund (WCF) has selected two new films for distribution funding: Dol by Kurdish director Hiner Saleem, and Zemestan (It’s Winter) by Rafi Pitts, who was born in Iran.

By providing distribution funding, the WCF makes it possible for films made outside Europe, i.e. from the regions which the WCF promotes (Latin America, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa), to present themselves to German audiences. “The World Cinema Fund not only contributes to developing world cinema, but also decisively enhances the filmscape in Germany”, says Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick. “These outstanding films give an authentic picture of the cultures in their countries of origin and should not be withheld from German or other European audiences”, adds Hortensia Völckers, artistic director of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Distribution funding will go to the following films:


director: Hiner Saleem; distributor for Germany: MITOSFILM, Berlin. Feature, funding: EUR 8,000

Dol explores the conflict between the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq and the areas lying in Turkey and Iran. It is set in the small Turkish-Kurdish village of Balliova, which is under the rigid control of the Turkish military. During wedding festivities, it all culminates in a confrontation. Release date for Germany: April 2007

Zemestan (It’s Winter)

director: Rafi Pitts; distributor for Germany: FSK KINO&PERIPHER FILMVERLEIH, Berlin. Feature, funding: EUR 3,600

Zemestan is a study of living and working conditions in the outskirts of Tehran. The film focuses on a family which is forced to live apart in order to survive financially. Zemestan ran at the Berlinale Competition in 2006. Release date for Germany: March 2007

The World Cinema Fund is an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Berlin International Film Festival in cooperation with the Goethe Institute.

Press Office

January 9, 2007