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France launches long-awaited world cinema aid fund

New subsidy worth €6m in 2012 replaces existing Fonds Sud and the Aid to Foreign Language Films (AFLE).

France’s National Cinema Centre (CNC) has finally announced the launch of its newly created world cinema aid fund, l’aide aux cinémas du monde.

The cinema institution said in a statement that candidates for the fund could start submitting their dossiers as of midday on Thursday, May 3.

The new subsidy, with a budget of €6m for 2012, replaces the CNC’s Fonds Sud, aimed at developing world filmmakers, and Aid to Foreign Language Films (AFLE), set-up in 1999 for directors who had made at least two features.

“The world cinema aid is a selective subsidy open to foreign directors from any country, presenting projects for a feature film with clear artistic ambition and a original vision of the world, and who have no way of finding the necessary finance in their own country,” the CNC said in a statement.

The amount granted to individual selected projects will be €250,000 for projects prior to production and €50,000 for films in post-production.

The new fund is a joint initiative between the CNC, cultural body the Institut Français, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

The submitted projects will be divided into two categories, one aimed at established directors and another at first and second-time filmmakers.

The presidents of the CNC and the Institut Français will decide the division of the subsidy with the expert advice of a selection committee composed of established cinema professionals. Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha [pictured] (Anonymes, The Sun Assassinated, Barakat!) will oversee the committee in the fund’s first year.

French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterand announced the creation of the new fund at the CNC’s annual conference in Cannes last year. It has taken nearly a year to get European Commission approval for the subsidy and set the mechanism in motion.

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