Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2018

World Cinema Fund

Feb 01, 2018:
Berlinale World Cinema Fund:
The Future Is Now – Making Things Happen

Since it was launched in October 2004 on the initiative of the Berlinale and the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Berlinale World Cinema Fund (WCF) has been committed to the development and support of cinema in regions with a weak filmmaking infrastructure, as well as to cultural diversity in German cinemas. The WCF is a film funding project with a distinct cultural, artistic and innovative profile that has been successful in fostering international cooperation. Of course, it has played an economic role. Active throughout the year, the WCF has so far provided funding for more than 180 films and film projects.

Hortensia Völckers, Artistic Director of the German Federal Cultural Foundation: “The World Cinema Fund brings films to the big screen that mainstream media would not have given a chance: rough, radical and adventurous works by talented directors from regions far away from Western metropolises. These films counteract national self-referential mindsets and global amnesia. This is beneficial not only to promising directors outside of Europe, but also to cooperating German producers, distributors, and audiences.”

WCF at the Berlinale 2018

The 68th Berlinale will be screening five powerful but very different films, all of which were subsidised by the WCF. Three of them are documentaries and three were made by women directors. All five works will have their world premieres at the Berlinale.

WCF films have to go through the same selection procedure as all other works submitted to the Berlinale. They do not receive preferential treatment for having been supported by the WCF.

“When we founded the WCF in 2004, we had no idea how extraordinarily successful this rather unusual form of international film funding would be. Many WCF-funded films have screened not only at the Berlinale, but also at other prestigious international film festivals,” says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.

Current examples include I Am Not a Witch (directed by Rungano Nyoni), which ran in Cannes in the “Un Certain Regard” section; Cocote (directed by Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias), which won the Signs of Life Award for Best Film in Locarno; as well as Félicité (directed by Alain Gomis), winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize in 2017, and the first Senegalese film to be shortlisted for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The South African production The Wound (directed by John Trengove), which was selected to open the 2017 edition of Panorama, also made it onto the Oscar shortlist.

WCF-funded films at the 2018 Berlinale:

Las herederas (The Heiresses) by Marcelo Martinessi (Paraguay / Germany / Uruguay / Norway / Brazil / France) – Debut film

O Processo (The Trial) by Maria Augusta Ramos (Brazil / Germany / Netherlands) - Documentary

Kinshasa Makambo by Dieudo Hamadi (Democratic Republic of the Congo / France / Switzerland / Germany / Qatar / Norway) - Documentary

Teatro de guerra (Theatre of War) by Lola Arias (Argentina / Spain) – Documentary, debut film

La cama (The Bed) by Mónica Lairana (Argentina / Germany / Netherlands / Brazil)

World Cinema Fund Day 2018

Globally, the film industry finds itself in a process of radical change, as well as technical and structural development. This could one day bring about the complete transformation of the world of film. This year’s WCF Day will contemplate not only the future but also the concept of innovation, a defining component of the WCF’s identity. The discussion will also focus on structural and artistic innovation in the film industry in- and outside regions eligible for WCF funds. Another important topic at WCF Day will be the significance and effect of collaborations between German and European producers, on the one hand; and between producers and directors in the regions funded, on the other; as well as the future role of the WCF within the landscape of German and European funding initiatives.

World Cinema Fund Day: The Future Is Now – Making Things Happen

Wednesday, February 21, 10.30 am - 2.30 pm
Filmmuseum Berlin - Deutsche Kinemathek, Potsdamerstr. 2, 4th floor
(All in English)

Talking About Success, Innovation and Awareness

The WCF’s role and strategies in Germany, Europe, and the funding regions

Director’s Talk: Following its screening, there will be a talk about the WCF-supported film Las herederas (The Heiresses, Berlinale Competition 2018) with the director Marcelo Martinessi.

Critics’ Talk: What does innovation mean? A critical and self-critical talk about innovative cinema in- and outside the funding regions.
With Jay Weissberg (film critic, Variety) and Kong Rithdee (film critic, The Bangkok Post)

Producers’ Talk: WCF and German partners. Co-producing cinema in funding regions of the WCF. Are we effective enough? Sharing knowledge and experience, thinking about common goals and funding structures in Germany and Europe.
With Helge Albers (producer, Germany), Nicole Gerhards (producer, Germany), Gema Juárez Allen (producer, Argentina)
In co-operation with the VDFP - Verband Deutscher Filmproduzenten e.V.
(German Producers Association)
Moderator: Vincenzo Bugno (Project Manager WCF)

With the support of Cineuropa as media partner.


The World Cinema Fund’s successful cooperation with the European Film Market (EFM) will not just be continued, but intensified. Within the framework of the “Berlinale Africa Hub”, the WCF is giving a presentation on WCF Africa: so far this programme has funded seven films. At the “DocSalon”, the WCF will also come out strongly in favour of funding documentaries. Last but not least, the WCF is presenting six films it funded at the WCF Market Screenings” for buyers and festival programmers.

The World Cinema Fund is an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Berlin International Film Festival, in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office, with further support by the Goethe-Institut.

The special WCF Europe programme was launched with the support of the European Commission’s Creative Europe MEDIA programme.
Thanks to additional funding from the German Federal Foreign Office, the special WCF Africa programme was started in 2016.

Press Office
February 1, 2018

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