Why was the WCF created, ten years ago?
Our goal was to develop focused collaborations between German producers and filmmakers outside of Europe, and to support the film industry in regions where the infrastructure for filmmaking is weak. In concrete terms, that means the German producers are the administrative recipients of our funding, but 100 percent of the money must be spent in the funding regions. From the start, our goal was to support highly ambitious film projects, both artistically and in content. We look for authenticity, and it's important to us to work as closely as possible alongside the cultural identity of the funding region. We don't advocate for globalised, market-compliant productions or content; instead, we look very closely at content and narratives. "The more local, the more international" is something of a dogma at the World Cinema Fund.
Doesn't that conflict with the condition that a German co-producer must be involved?
I think we've developed a very productive model that creates opportunities for simultaneous growth for both German and foreign producers equally. In many countries, the producer's role isn't as strong as it is in Germany. On the other hand, in part thanks to the World Cinema Fund, a group of young producers has come together here in Germany who is passionately committed to making the kind of film projects that we want to fund. Projects with a hint of the exotic, or that seem tailored to the European market aren't interesting for them, or for us.
Can you comment on the selection process? When submissions arrive, what stage of development are the projects in?