Strasbourg-based pan-European co-production fund Eurimages has backed nineprojects with more than $4.2m (Euros 3.6m).

The first funding selection of 2006 includes new features by the Taviani brothers, Carlos Saura, Nana Djordjadze, and Milcho Manchevski.

The largest sum, $772,849 (Euros 650,000) was awarded tothe Tavianis' story of the massacre of the Armenianpeople at the beginning of the last century, La Masseria Delle Allodole, which is being structured as anItalian-Spanish-Bulgarian-French co-production between AgerTre Srl, Sagrera TV, Nimar Studios and Flach Film.

Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski's Boneswhich is to be co-produced by the Macedonian production house Senka Film Dooel withMunich-based Blue Eyes Fiction, Italy's Classic, Bulgaria's Camera and Spain's Tornasol Films, received $737, 210 (Euros 620,000).

Spanish director Carlos Saura wasallocated $713,429 (Euros 600,000) for his next feature Lorenzo Da Ponte, a Spanish-Austrianco-production between Iberoamericana Films Produccion and Satel Fernseh- und Filmproduktion aboutthe librettist of Mozart's opera DonGiovanni.

Portuguese filmmaker Luis Galvao Teles and his company Fado Filmes have attracted production partners from Spain(Alta Produccion), Ireland(Zanzibar Films), the UK(Ipso Facto Films) and Brazil(Videofilmes) for his social comedy Dotcom which received $382,873 (Euros322,000) in backing.

The 99th session of the Council of Europe's co-productionfund also handed out production support to Oscar-nominated Georgian directorNana Djordjadze's fantasy comedy, The Rainbowmakerwhich will be one of the first projects from Oliver Damian's newly founded 27Films Production. International sales on theGerman-Dutch-Finnish-Italian-Russian co-production are being handled by BavariaFilm International.

New projects by Martin Duffy (Summer of the Flying Saucer) and Italy'sSalvatore Mereu (Sonetaula) also found favour withthe funding committee.