Eurimages, the European production finance body, has made its first round of funding decisions since changing its rules at the beginning of the year.
At a three-day funding round (March 6-8), the Council of Europe-backed organisation said that it is investing a total of $3.8m (Euros3.95m) to back ten features. Decisions were made according to two revised sets of criteria: the potential for international distribution; and the cultural and economic diversity of European cinema.
Awards in the first category go mainly to established talent: Kolya director Jan Sverak for Tmavomodry Svet, a Czech-German co-production, Farinelli director Gerard Corbiau for Le Roi Danse, a three-way co-production between France, Germany and Belgium and Diva director Jean-Jacques Beineix for Franco-German picture Mortel Transfert.
German director Sandra Nettelbeck gets funding for Mostly Martha, which is set up as a German-Austrian-Swiss co-production. Nettelbeck's last two efforts have been made-for-TV productions, and her only feature is 1992's A Certain Grace. However, one of her TV pictures, Mammamia, scooped Germany's prestigious Max Ophuels award in 1998 and the Max Ophuels screenplay prize.
Awards made under the second, cultural significance scheme went to:
Eurimages made separate awards to distributors: