(February 2nd - 5th, 2015)
There are still a few days left for official Berlinale screenings, but Berlinale Talents comes to an end today. 'Disclosing the World Cinema Fund’ was one of the last talks at HAU3 in Kreuzberg. During the discussion, Isona Admetlla and Vincenzo Bugno explained the aims of the initiative that supports independent productions from regions with little access to funding.
The session focused on the breadth of works and regions considered and how filmmakers can apply with their projects. At first, the speakers gave a short introduction on the idea of the World Cinema Fund that was initiated by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Berlin International Film Festival in 2004. Since its creation, the purpose was to back the production and distribution of films from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, as well as Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
At the moment, 10 years since the WCF was founded, it has become one of the leading institutions in the field of international film funding that helps to give visibility to largely unseen cinema. It makes artistic production from undeveloped countries possible. Its goal is to increase international awareness of cinema from regions that lack a constructive film industry and allow these films to reach a global audience. The initiatives of the WCF influence the cultural diversity in German cinemas and influence German producers and partners to establish collaborations in WCF regions and countries.
During the talk there were plenty of questions from the diverse audience of filmmakers. The discussion explained that WCF can support any project in which production and post-production is based in one of the regions from the list. It also provides support in the field of distribution. Strict rules must be followed for the application process: it has to be the producer who applies for the funding and he, as well as the director, needs to hold citizenship from that country. There are two submission deadlines each year and the WCF has an annual budget of 350,000 euros at its disposal.
Most of the films completed to date with the support of the World Cinema Fund were screened at renowned festivals. This year at the Berlinale Festival, three films from the World Cinema Fund have been screened: ‘Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories’ (Vietnam), ‘The Valley’ (Lebanon) and ‘Yes! That’s Us’ (South Africa).