Debut features by Serbianfilmmaker Stefan Arsenijevic and the Iranian-born video artist Shirin Neshatand a biopic on the life of Rock Me Amadeus singer, the Austrian pop star Falco,are among six new projects backed with a total of $1.75m (Euros 1.31m) by thejoint funding committee of the Austrian Film Institute and public broadcasterORF.

Arsenijevic's tragic-comedylove story Love And Other Crimes, setin the concrete jungle of new Belgrade has brought on the Viennese productionhouse Amour Fou Filmproduktion as Austrian co-producer together withCologne-based Icon Film and Belgrade's Art&Popcorn, while Neshat's Summer1953, an adaptation of Shahrnoush Parsipour's novel Women Without Men, will be co-produced by Berlin's Essential Filmproduktion withCoop 99 (co-producer of the Golden Bear winner Grbavica).

Writer-director ThomasRoth's Falco - Verdammt Wir Leben Noch,which is being planned as a co-production by MR Film with Constantin Film, hasalready cast the Austrian-born actor Robert Stadtlober in the role of the latepop-star who died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic in 1998. Stadlober would seem the ideal castingchoice since the 24-year-old has also followed a musical career with his band Gary and runs his own record label Siluh Records.

In addition, the committeeallocated funding to Michael Glawogger's adaptation of the Josef Haslingernovel Das Vaterspiel - as aco-production between Lotus Film and Germany's TAT Film; documentary filmmakerArash T. Riahi's first feature film FuerEin Augenblick Freiheit; and to Belgian director Nathalie Borgers'documentary Die Frauenkarawane Der Toubouwhich will be produced by Lotus Film with French and Belgian partners in Nigernext year.