Bruges' Cinema Novo Film Festival, which focuses on films from Africa, Asia and Latin America, has announced initial steps towards its long-awaited production fund for feature films from the southern hemisphere.

On the occasion of Bruges being a "European Capital 2002", Cinema Novo will award two post-production grants - each worth Euros12,000 - to feature-length fiction films for post-production and completion in 2002. The deadline for submitting projects is March 31, 2001.

Based on Rotterdam Film Festival's Hubert Bals Fund in concept and structure, the Cinema Novo production fund will be supported by the Belgian Secretary of Development Co-operation and the General Direction for International Co-operation, and is set to become fully operational by the end of 2001.

Meanwhile, the 18th edition of the Cinema Novo film festival is set to take place from March 15-25.