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Montenegro and Russia welcomed into EFP family, EFP receives backing for 2013 activities

Montenegro and Russia are the latest European countries to be welcomed into the European Film Promotion (EFP) family, bringing the network’s membership up to 35 promotional organisations operating from 36 countries across Europe.

EFP agreed at its last general assembly to accept Montenegro’s Ministry of Culture and the Russian Cinema Fund (RCF), supported by the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Culture, as the two new member organisations.

Hamburg-based EFP revealed that Ilija Subotic, advisor for audiovisual works at the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, and Elena Romanova [pictured], head of RCF’s International Department, will serve as EFP representatives from their respective organisations.

Speaking about his country joining EFP, Subotic said that this would be “a significant step in the development of cinematography in Montenegro on its way to the general European and world audiences”, while Romanova suggested that this membership would help “develop the organization of promotion and marketing activities between Russia and Europe.”

Within the EU, Cyprus and Malta are now the only member states yet to join the EFP’s pan-European network, while neighbouring non-EU states that might be potential candidates in the future include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

News of the Russian Cinema Fund’s membership of EFP came just a week after the fund’s decision to support eight international co-productions this year. They include Vera Glagoleva’s Turgenev adaptation Two Women, based on the 19th century writer’s play A Month In The Country and set to star Ralph Fiennes; the omnibus film WW1 consisting of ten shorts about the First World War; and an English remake of the 1962 sci-fi film Amphibian Man, scripted by Sergei Bodrov.

Meanwhile, EFP has learnt that it was awarded the highest single grant — € 450,000 — by the MEDIA Programme for its activities in 2013, ranging from Shooting Stars at the Berlinale through Producers on the Move in Cannes to an umbrella office at the AFM.

A total of €975,000 was allocated by MEDIA to seven projects for promotion or access to markets, including the co-production forum When East Meets West, which will be held in Trieste next month, the Europa Distribution network, and Cologne-based Reelport’s new venture ChakaPro, an internet platform for film projects searching for co-production partners and financing, which will work closely with Cannes’ Cinando and Europe’s leading co-production markets in Rotterdam, Berlinale and Sarajevo.

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