Berlinale Co-Production Market and European cinema support fund strengthen partnership with a development award worth $24,000.

The Berlinale Co-Production Market (Feb 8-10) and Eurimages is to ramp up their partnership during the 2015 Berlinale (Feb 5-15) by introducing two new initiatives promoting European film projects and producers.

The first is the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award, which will be given to one of around 25 projects selected from the Berlinale Co-Production Market (part of the European Film Market).

The cash prize of $24,000 (€20,000) will go to the producers of the winning project to support its development.

Eligible for the award are Co-Production Market projects that have been conceived from the outset as theatrical co-productions involving at least two eligible Eurimages countries. These co-productions may not, however, be solely financial in nature. Artistic quality and a project’s chances of being realised as a majority European co-production are the main criteria for selecting the winner.

The prize is also awarded during co-production markets at festivals in Rotterdam, Sarajevo, Rome, Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

The Eurimages Co-Production Development Award joins other cash prizes at the Berlinale Co-Production Market: the VFF Highlight Pitch Award and the ARTE International Prize.

The former, worth €10,000 and provided by the VFF, a copyright association for film and TV producers, has been awarded to one of the projects selected at the “Talent Project Market” since 2004. The €6,000 ARTE International Prize was established in 2011 and goes to one of the projects participating in the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

“The energising effect this kind of award can have on a new project shouldn’t be underestimated,” said festival director Dieter Kosslick.

Roberto Olla, Executive Director of Eurimages, added: “This new award underlines Eurimages’ commitment to encouraging closer co-operation between producers right from the start. Bringing together creative and technical inputs from different countries is no easy task, and we believe this prize can help.”

Prix Eurimages

The second measure that has been newly created is related to the most recent winner of the Co-Production Award – Prix Eurimages, a prize given annually at the EFAs to a European producer.

Each year’s winner receives a carte blanche to participate in the Berlinale Co-Production Market’s Company Matching programme. Here, five companies attend from around the globe who are not presenting a concrete project but are known as experienced co-producers with interesting company structures.

This year’s winner of the Prix Eurimages, Ed Guiney with his Irish company Element Pictures, has already confirmed his attendance for this year. He will meet with numerous interested potential partners at pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings.

The complete selection of projects and companies at the 12th Berlinale Co-Production Market will be announced next week.