Rebecca Daly, Rafi Pitts and Samuel Maoz are among six filmmakers who will be the first participants of the Berlinale Residency.

The festival’s new international fellowship programme will enable the filmmakers to come to Berlin for four months from September 2012 to work on their screenplays and develop production and distribution strategies.

The six directors and their projects were selected by an international jury comprising producer/festival director Bruno Bettati of Valdivia IFF in Chile, Berlinale programme manager Thomas Hailer, ZDF/Arte commissioning editor Simon Ofenloch, Fortissimo Films chairman Michael Werner, and Danish producer Vibeke Windelov.

The successful participants are as follows:

Matias Bize (Chile), The Memory of Water, to be produced by Ceneca Producciones’ Adrian Solar and Berlin-based NiKo Film’s Nicole Gerhards who was Germany’s Producer on the Move in Cannes last month;

Rebecca Daly (Ireland), Mammal, her second feature after The Other Side Of Sleep, to be produced by Macdara Kelleher of Fastnet Films;

Samuel Maoz (Israel), As We Live, his second fiction feature film after the award-winning Lebanon, to be produced by The Match Factory’s Michael Weber and Berlin-based Pola Pandora;

Raya Martin (Philippines), New Spain, to be produced by Arleen Cuevas’ Cinematografica;

Rafi Pitts (Iran), Soy Negro, co-written by Romanian screenwriter Razvan Radulescu (The Death Of Mr Lazarescu) and to be produced by Twenty Twenty Vision’s Thanassis Karathanos who also handled Pitts’ The Hunter

Sacha Polak (Netherlands), Luna, her second feature film after the debut Hemel which premiered at this year’s Forum, to be produced by Viking Film’s Marleen Slot.

Speaking to Screen during the Romanian Days last weekend, Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick said that “the response to the Residency initiative has been overwhelming, with way over 100 projects. The international jury was very impressed by the high standard of the scripts and projects for the shortlisted entries.”

The Berlinale Residency is an initiative of the Berlinale, the Nipkow Programme, and the Guadalajara International Film Festival in cooperation with the EU’s MEDIA Mundus Programme and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.