Berlinale: WCF News


World Cinema Fund News

Ana Brun and Margarita Irún in Las herederas (The Heiresses; Berlinale Competition 2018) by Marcelo Martinessi

Application Deadlines

  • Production funding: February 25, 2019
  • Distribution funding: from January 2019
  • Applications for WCF Europe distribution funding support can be submitted continually.

Read here about news and recent activities of the World Cinema Fund:

At the 29th jury session of the World Cinema Fund (WCF), the juries recommended contributing to the funding of 13 film projects.

Four film projects - from Lebanon, Paraguay, Turkey and Costa Rica - have been proposed for production funding. Within the framework of the additional funding programme, WCF Europe, three recommendations were also announced for the production of projects from Venezuela, the Philippines and Tunisia. For the special programme WCF Africa, two more projects have been recommended for funding: one from Burkina Faso and one from Kenya.

Four recommendations were made for distribution funding. The Paraguayan film The Heiresses (Las herederas) by Marcelo Martinessi, which won the Silver Bear for Best Actress and the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the last Berlinale, will receive WCF Europe distribution funding for the release in France, Sweden, Mexico, Portugal and Argentina. Rafiki by Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya), The Reports On Sarah & Saleem by Muayad Alayan (Palestine) and Our Time (Nuestro tiempo) by Carlos Reygadas (Mexico) will receive WCF distribution funding for a German release.

Among the funding recommendations are four projects by Berlinale Talents alumni, as well as a film that participated in the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

Since its establishment in October 2004, the WCF has awarded production and distribution funding to a total of 209 projects chosen from 3,587 submissions from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, the Caucasus, as well as from the countries Mongolia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. All WCF-funded films produced to date have screened in cinemas and/or the programmes of renowned international film festivals, and are evidence of the initiative’s worldwide success.

Production and Distribution Funding

The WCF jury made their selection based on 135 submissions from a total of 50 countries. Their funding recommendations amount to 382,000 euros.

The jury members are producer and distributor Hania Mroué (Lebanon), documentary producer Marta Andreu (Spain), the producer Alexander Hassan Wadouh (Germany), and WCF project manager Vincenzo Bugno. For WCF Africa, they are joined by the additional jurors Alex Moussa Sawadogo (Burkina Faso), a producer, the festival director of Afrikamera and artistic director of Ouaga Film Lab; and Dorothee Wenner (Germany), the Berlinale delegate to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Production Funding WCF

Accordion Player, director: Özcan Alper (Turkey). Production: Nar Film (Turkey) and Unafilm (Germany). Feature film. Funding: 30,000 €

Clara sola, director: Nathalie Álvarez Mesén (Costa Rica). Production: Pacífica Grey (Costa Rica) and Laïdak Films (Germany). Feature film. Funding: 50,000 €
The director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén participated in Berlinale Talents in 2017.

Érami. The Forest That Is the World, director: Paz Encina (Paraguay). Production: Silencio Cine (Paraguay). Feature film. Funding: 40,000 €

The River, director: Ghassan Salhab (Lebanon). Production: Khamsin Films (Lebanon) and Unafilm (Germany). Feature film. Funding: 30,000 €

WCF Europe

WCF Europe has been made possible with the support of the European Commission’s Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme. Production funding has been recommended for:

El retorno del Señor Roque Thielen a la Isla Akare-Meru, director: Jorge Thielen Armand (Venezuela). Production: La Faena Films (Venezuela) and Viking Film (Netherlands). Feature film. Funding: 40,000 €
The director Jorge Thielen Armand participated in Berlinale Talents in 2018.

Tlamess, director: Ala Eddine Slim (Tunisia). Production: Exit Productions (Tunisia) and Still Moving (France). Feature film. Funding: 45,000 €

When the Waves Are Gone, director: Lav Diaz (Philippines). Production: Epicmedia Productions (Philippines) and Snowglobe (Denmark). Feature film. Funding: 30,000 €

WCF Africa

WCF Africa, which grants funding for projects from Sub-Saharan Africa, was launched in 2016 thanks to additional funding from the German Federal Foreign Office. Recommendations for production funding:

Bufis, director: Mahad Ahmed (Kenya). Production: Cultural Video Production (Kenya) and Good Karma Fiction (Germany). Feature film. Funding: 30,000 €

No Gold for Kalsaka, director: Michel K. Zongo (Burkina Faso). Production: Diam Production (Burkina Faso) and Film Five GmbH (Germany). Documentary. Funding: 30,000 €

Distribution Funding WCF

Our Time (Nuestro tiempo), director: Carlos Reygadas (Mexico).
Distribution: Grandfilm (Germany). Feature film. Funding: 10,000 €
German release: June 29, 2019

Rafiki, director: Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya).
Distribution: Salzgeber & Co. Medien GmbH (Germany). Feature film.
Funding: 10,000 €. German release: January 31, 2019
Rafiki was a project at the 2014 Berlinale Co-Production Market.

The Reports On Sarah & Saleem, director: Muayad Alayan (Palestine).
Distribution: missingFILMS (Germany). Feature film. Funding: 10,000 €
German release: March 15, 2019
The director Muayad Alayan participated in Berlinale Talents in 2016.

Distribution Funding WCF Europe

Las herederas (The Heiresses), director: Marcelo Martinessi (Paraguay).
World sales: Luxbox (France).
Distribution: Rouge International (France), Edge Entertainment (Sweden), Cinemas Nueva Era (Mexico), Nitrato Films (Portugal) and Varsovia Films (Argentina). Feature film. Funding: 27,000 €.
The director Marcello Martinessi participated in Berlinale Talents in 2013.

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.

"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

Rafiki
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.


Rojo
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: https://14films.de/en/timetable-2018/

At the 28th jury session of the World Cinema Fund (WCF), the juries recommended contributing to the funding of 13 film projects.

Five film projects - from Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Syria and Vietnam - have been proposed for production funding. Within the framework of the additional funding programme, WCF Europe, three recommendations were also announced for the production of projects from Egypt, Costa Rica and Cambodia. For the special programme WCF Africa, two more projects have been recommended for funding: one from South Africa and one from Somalia.

Three recommendations have been made for distribution funding: WCF Europe distribution funding for the Argentinian film Zama by Lucrecia Martel, for its release to cinemas in Germany, Poland, Portugal and Turkey; as well as WCF distribution funding for the German cinema release of Candelaria by Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza (Colombia / Cuba) and Las herederas by Marcelo Martinessi (Paraguay), which received the Silver Bear for Best Actress and the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the last Berlinale.
Among the funding recommendations are two projects by Berlinale Talents alumni, as well as a film that in the search for co-producers once participated in the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

Since its establishment in October 2004, the WCF has awarded production and distribution funding to a total of 196 projects chosen from 3,448 submissions from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, the Caucasus, as well as from the countries Mongolia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. All WCF-funded films produced to date have screened in cinemas and/or the programmes of renowned international film festivals, and are evidence of the initiative’s worldwide success.

Production and Distribution Funding

The WCF jury made their selection based on 203 submissions from a total of 51 countries. Their funding recommendations amount to 416,000 euros.
The jury members are producer and distributor Hania Mroué (Lebanon), documentary producer Marta Andreu (Spain), distributor and producer Jan De Clercq (Belgium), and WCF project manager Vincenzo Bugno. For WCF Africa, they are joined by the additional jurors Jahman Oladejo Anikulapo (Nigeria), a journalist, film critic, author and actor; and Dorothee Wenner (Germany), the Berlinale delegate to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Production Funding WCF

Still Recording, directors: Saeed Al Batal and Ghiath Ayoub (Syria). Production: Bidayyat for Audiovisual Arts (Lebanon). Documentary. Funding: 25,000 €

La vaca que cantó una canción de futuro (The Cow that Sang a Song About the Future), director: Francisca Alegría (Chile). Production: Jirafa Films (Chile). Feature film. Funding: 40,000 €

Noche de fuego, director: Tatiana Huezo (Mexico). Production: Pimienta Films (Mexico) and The Match Factory (Germany).
Feature film. Funding: 30,000 €

Querência, director: Helvecio Marins Jr. (Brazil). Production: Muiraquitã Filmes e Produçoes Artísticas (Brazil). Feature film. Funding: 25,000 €

Taste, director: Le Bao (Vietnam). Production: Le Bien Pictures (Vietnam). Feature film.
Funding: 30,000 €

WCF Europe

WCF Europe has been made possible with the support of the European Commission’s Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme. Production funding has been recommended for:

Ceniza negra, director: Sofía Quirós (Costa Rica). Production: Sputnik Films (Costa Rica) and Promenades Films (France). Feature film. Funding: 30,000 €

Feathers of a Father, director: Omar El Zohairy (Egypt). Production: Synergy Films (Egypt) and Heretic (Greece). Feature film. Funding: 40,000 €

White Building, director: Kavich Neang (Cambodia). Production: Anti-Archive (Cambodia) and Apsara Films (France). Feature film. Funding: 60,000 €

WCF Africa

WCF Africa, which grants funding for projects from Sub-Saharan Africa, was launched in 2016 thanks to additional funding from the German Federal Foreign Office. Recommendations for production funding:

The Grave Digger, director: Khadar Ahmed (Somalia). Production: Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion GmbH (Germany).
Feature film. Funding: 40,000 €

The Night Outside, director: Elan Gamaker (South Africa). Production: Fireworxx Media (South Africa). Feature film. Funding: 49,000 €
Director Elan Gamaker is Berlinale Talents alumnus.

Distribution Funding WCF

Candelaria, director: Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza (Colombia)
Distribution: DCM Filmdistribution GmbH (Germany),
Feature film. Funding: 10,000 €. German release: July 5, 2018

Las herederas (The Heiresses), director: Marcelo Martinessi (Paraguay)
Distribution: Grandfilm (Germany), Feature film. Funding: 10,000 €
German release: November 29, 2018
Director Marcello Martinessi is Berlinale Talents alumnus.

Distribution Funding WCF Europe

Zama, director: Lucrecia Martel (Argentina)
World Sales: The Match Factory (Germany).
Distribution: Desforra Apache Unipessoal LDA (Portugal), Yeni Bir Film Ltd (Turkey), Grandfilm (Germany) and Stowarzyszenie Nowe Horyzonty (Poland). Feature film. Funding: 27,000 €
Zama participated in the Berlinale Co-Production Market 2013.

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 electronic-art.foundation 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:

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

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

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

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

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

Contact

Project Manager
Vincenzo Bugno

Assistance Project Management
Isona Admetlla

Assistance – Funded Projects
Antje Glawe

Potsdamer Platz 11
10785 Berlin
phone +49 30 25920-516
fax +49 30 25920-529