Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2019

World Cinema Fund

Oct 25, 2018:
Berlinale Spotlight: World Cinema Fund at the “Around the World in 14 Films” Festival

Rafiki by Wanuri Kahiu – one of the films in the Berlinale Spotlight: World Cinema Fund programme

For many years now, the Berlinale has extended its presence beyond the festival season with specially curated programmes. These activities are known as Berlinale Spotlight. On November 25, the World Cinema Fund (WCF) - the Berlinale’s funding initiative - will be a guest at Berlin’s “Around the World in 14 Films” festival.

“I’m delighted about collaborating with ‘Around the World in 14 Films’, which, like us, is dedicated to world cinema. The World Cinema Fund is committed to cultural diversity and endeavours through funding to promote a multiplicity of aesthetics in film and their visibility. The WCF presentation at ‘Around the World in 14 Films’ is a wonderful opportunity to show audiences in Berlin recent WCF films and provide them with an idea of cinematic works from several WCF regions,” says Vincenzo Bugno, project manager of the World Cinema Fund.

Since it was launched in October 2004 as an initiative of the Berlinale and the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the WCF has been committed to developing and funding cinema in regions with a weak film infrastructure, as well as to boosting cultural diversity in German and European cinemas. Such support aims at promoting the development of local film industries, and collaborations between German and other European producers with partners in WCF regions and countries. The World Cinema Fund is a manifestation of an innovative European funding policy. Active through-out the year, the WCF has so far supported almost 200 film projects. (See here)

"To look at the world from different perspectives and free ourselves of the Eurocentric gaze is becoming more and more important in view of the increasing complexity of reality. This has been the credo of the Berlinale from day one and is also expressed by the work of the WCF. I wish the audience an exciting cinematic journey around the world,” comments Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.

The Berlinale Spotlight programme: On November 25, 2018 the World Cinema Fund will show five feature fiction and documentary films at “Around the World in 14 Films”. They include four productions that had their world premieres at internationally renowned festivals in 2018. WCF project manager Vincenzo Bugno will be on hand to present the films.

“Our main focus is to act as a burning glass and annually highlight current filmmaking from around the globe, including cinematographies far removed from Europe and North America. Since the inception of the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund, we have seen this idea highly reflected in its work. We are proud and pleased to be part of this exciting cooperation," says Bernhard Karl, director of "Around the World in 14 Films”.

Berlinale Spotlight: World Cinema Fund programme

Kenya / South Africa / France / Netherlands / Germany 2018
Directed by: Wanuri Kahiu
Rafiki was a WCF-Africa funding project in 2016 and participated in the Berlinale Co-Production Market in 2014.

Kena and Ziki are two teenagers from Nairobi, Kenya. They become friends even though their families are political rivals. All the same, the girls stick together and try to purse their dreams. In the conservative society where they live, the situation gets dangerous when they fall in love.

Argentina / Belgium / Brazil / Germany / France / Switzerland 2018
Directed by: Benjamín Naishtat
Rojo was a WCF funding project in 2016 and participated in the Berlinale Co-Production Market in 2014.

Argentina in the mid-1970s. An unprecedented wave of political violence is spreading throughout the country. An ordinary man gets into extraordinary circumstances and finds himself having to cover up a terrible crime.

The Roundup (aKasha)
Sudan / South Africa / Qatar / Germany 2018
Directed by: Hajooj Kuka
The Roundup was a WCF-Africa funding project in 2017 and its director participated in Berlinale Talents in 2016.

A universal love story but set in a time of war in present day Sudan. We follow Adnan, a machine gun-loving rebel, his love interest, Lina, and the army-dodging Absi, over a fateful 24 hours.

Still Recording (Lissa Ammetsajjel) – documentary
Syria / Lebanon / Qatar / France / Germany 2018
Directed by: Saeed Al Batal, Ghiath Ayoub
Still Recording was a WCF funding project in 2018.

Saeed is a young cinephile teaching filmmaking to young people in Eastern Ghouta, Syria. When his friend Milad joins him in rebel-controlled Douma they set up a radio station and a recording studio. They record everything on camera - until eventually it is them that the camera is filming.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Great Britain / Thailand / France / Germany / Spain 2010
Directed by: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was a WCF funding project in 2010.

Uncle Boonmee is terminally ill and goes to spend his last days with his family in the country. Before long, the spirits of his deceased wife and his lost son join him. Together they set off to seek where he was born in his first life.

A detailed programme including the timetable is available at the following address:

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 programme WCF Africa was started in 2016.

Press Office
October 25, 2018

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