The Berlinale is set to join other European film festivals in finding ways of supporting filmmakers from developing countries in the production of their films.
Inspired by the examples of Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund, Locarno's Montecinemaverita, and Bruges' Cinemanovo Film Festival Fund, Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick would like to see provision for supporting filmmakers outside of Germany being put on the agenda for the debate about the new German Film Law (FFG).
Kosslick yesterday said that he had already had preliminary talks with Culture Minister Julian Nida-Rümelin on the concept of such a fund which could be based at the festival.
"Europeans have enough funding systems. It would make sense to help those countries which don't have the possibility to finance their own movies", he said.
"The filmmakers should be able to do their films in their own country and then come back here to do the post-production", he explained. Iranian director Babak Payami, who needed Montecinemaverita and Hubert Bals funding to make his Secret Ballot, voiced enthusiastic support of such measures.
"They provide the catalyst to put projects on their feet and helped me maintain my independence.".
Berlinale jury member Lucrecia Martel (whose La Cienaga screened at the festival last year) suggested that more attention should also be paid to the distribution of the films supported by these funds.