World Cinema Fund

Jul 16, 2021
Berlinale World Cinema Fund: Ten New Funding Recommendations and WCF Europe – TFL Audience Design Award

The New Man by Carlos Yuri Ceuninck

In the 34th jury session of the Berlinale World Cinema Fund (WCF), the juries made ten funding recommendations for projects from Afghanistan, Argentina, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cape Verde, Colombia, Malaysia, Senegal, Tunisia and Turkey. The current funding amounts to a total of 460,000 Euros. The WCF is pleased to be able to support independent cinema even more strongly in times of crisis and to promote the visibility of the cultural complexity of our world. The WCF has also awarded the WCF Europe –TFL Audience Design Award, in cooperation with the TorinoFilmLab (TFL).

“The current selection of films recommended for funding is characterised by very different and inspiring projects. Both fiction and documentary formats enthusiastically explore the medium of film, searching for their own cinematic language. The films are strongly contextualised in the history and the contemporary sociopolitics of their individual regions, and many are dedicated to unique female characters. I'm very pleased that the WCF can advocate for these films," says Vincenzo Bugno, head of WCF.

The Funding Recommendations in the 34th Jury Session

The WCF jury made its selection from 201 submitted projects from a total of 52 countries. The funding recommendations encompass funding in the amount of 460,000 Euros.

Two directors have participated in Berlinale Talents in the past, one project was presented at the Talents Project Market in 2021.

The members of the jury are the documentary film producer and documentary creative advisor Marta Andreu (Spain), the producer Zsuzsanna Kiràly (Germany / Austria), film scholar and curator Viola Shafik (Germany / Egypt) and Vincenzo Bugno (Italy / Germany), the head of the WCF. Additionally, the jurors for WCF Africa are the producer, festival director of the pan-African film festival FESPACO and the Berlin festival Afrikamera, Alex Moussa Sawadogo (Burkina Faso) and the Berlinale delegate for Sub-Saharan Africa Dorothee Wenner (Germany).

Production Funding WCF

Balkaya, Director: Emin Alper (Turkey). Production: Zola & Liman (Turkey), Nadir Öperli and Pola Pandora (Germany), Viola Fügen. Feature film. Funding: € 40,000

Carropasajero, Regie: Juan Pablo Polanco Carranza and César Alejandro Jaimes (Colombia). Production: Los Niños Films (Colombia), Laura Nogal and Pong Films (Germany), Merle Kröger. Feature film.
Funding: € 45,000
Director Juan Pablo Polanco Carranza participated in Berlinale Talents in 2020.

Kamay, director: Shahrokh Bikaran (Afghanistan). Production: Kamay Film (Afghanistan), Ilyas Yourish, Documentary form.
Funding: € 30,000

Reas, director: Lola Arias (Argentina). Production: Gema Films (Argentina), Gema Juárez Allen and Sutor Kolonko (Germany), Ingmar Trost. Documentary form.
Funding: € 45,000

Under the Fig Trees, director: Erige Sehiri (Tunisia). Production: Henia Production (Tunisia), Erige Sehiri. Feature film.
Funding: € 30,000

WCF Europe

Olfa’s Daughters, director: Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia). Production: Cinetelefilms (Tunisia), Habib Attia and Twenty Twenty Films (Germany), Thanassis Karathanos. Documentary form.
Funding: € 30,000

Oasis of Now, director: Chee Sum Chia (Malaysia). Production: Afternoon Pictures (Malaysia), Yve Vonn Lee and La Fábrica Nocturna (France), Xavier Rocher. Feature film.
Funding: € 40,000
Oasis of Now was a project at the 2021 Talent Project Market (Berlinale Talents / Berlinale Co-Production Market).

WCF Africa

The New Man, director: Carlos Yuri Ceuninck (Cape Verde). Production: Kori Kaxoru Films (Cape Verde), Natasha Craveiro Ceuninck. Documentary form.
Funding: € 20,000
Additional funding by WCF ACP: € 40,000

Zion Music, director: Rama Thiaw (Senegal). Production: Boul Fallé Images (Senegal), Yanis Gaye. Documentary form.
Funding: € 40,000
Additional funding by WCF ACP: € 40,000
Director Rama Thiaw participated in Berlinale Talents in 2014.

La vie est un chemin de fer, director: Maria Donda, Okoko Nyumbaiza, Moimi Wezam and Michael Bauma (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Production: Kiripi Films (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Dieudo Hamadi. Feature film.
Funding: € 20,000
Additional funding by WCF ACP: € 40,000

The WCF has also awarded the WCF Europe –TFL Audience Design Award, in cooperation with the TorinoFilmLab (TFL) to:

Oasis of Now, director: Chee Sum Chia (Malaysia). Production: Afternoon Pictures (Malaysia), Yve Vonn Lee and La Fábrica Nocturna (France), Xavier Rocher. Feature film. The award consists of consultation and mentoring for the development of an audience design strategy.

Since 2004, the Berlinale World Cinema Fund has been successfully supporting film production in regions characterised by an insufficient film infrastructure by virtue of its increasingly differentiated funding programme (WCF, WCF Europe, WCF Africa, WCF ACP) and advocating cultural diversity in German cinemas. The cooperation between production companies from the production regions or countries and German / European production companies is supported as well: https://www.berlinale.de/en/world-cinema-fund/home/profile.html

WCF-funded films are regularly invited to international film festivals. Currently, four films are taking part in the Cannes Film Festival (July 6-17, 2021):

Noche de Fuego by Tatiana Huezo (Mexico / Germany / Brazil / Qatar) in Un Certain Regard

Clara Sola by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén (Sweden / Costa Rica / Belgium / Germany / USA) in Director’s Fortnight

The Grave Digger’s Wife by Khadar Ayderus Ahmed (Finland / Germany / France) in Critics’ Week

Feathers by Omar el Zohairy (France / Egypt / Netherlands / Greece) winner of the Nespresso Grand Prize at Critics’ Week

The Locarno Film Festival (August 4–14, 2021) selected three WCF-funded films:

Al Naher (The River) by Ghassan Salhab (Lebanon / France / Germany / Qatar) in Concorso Internazionale

Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash by Edwin (Indonesia / Singapore / Germany) in Concorso Internazionale

Whether the Weather is Fine by Carlo Francisco Manatad (Philippines / France / Singapore / Indonesia / Germany / Qatar) in Concorso Cineasti del Presente

General information on the WCF Funding.

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 Union’s Creative Europe MEDIA programme.
Thanks to additional funding from the German Federal Foreign Office, the special programme WCF Africa started in 2016.

In 2020 the WCF started the supplementary programme WCF ACP which applies to projects recommended by WCF/WCF Africa and is financed by the European Union with the support of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States through the ACP-EU Culture Programme.


Press Office
July 16, 2021