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:

  • Amor, Curiosidad, Prozac & Dudas (dir: Miguel Santesmases) (Spain, France)
  • Cumhur Bey (dir:Handan Ipekci) (Turkey, Greece, Hungary)
  • His Life's Sole Journey (dir: Apostolos Papaefstathioy) (Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria)
  • Kurt (dir: Cedric Kahn) (France, Switzerland)
  • La Memoire Aux Alouettes (dir: Paul Meyer) (Italy, Belgium, France)
  • No Distant Heroes (dir: Les Blair) (Ireland, Portugal, Germany)
  • Eurimages made separate awards to distributors:

  • Eliza Films (Belgium) for the distribution of the films Mein Liebster Feind, Innocence and Beresina Ou Les Derniers Jours De La Suisse.
  • Vadi Van Kris (Bulgaria) for distribution of Harem Suare, Le Poulpe, and Karnaval.
  • Ady Films (Bulgaria) for distribution of La Fille Sur Le Pont (French).
  • Duga Art Film (Bulgaria) for distribution of La Vita E Bella.
  • Cineinvest (Czech Republic) for Romance, Rembrandt Van Rijn.
  • Cinemart (Czech Republic) for Juha, Black Cat, White Cat, All About My Mother.
  • Sunfilm Spol (Czech Republic) for Left Luggage (Twee Koffersvol).
  • Artcam Praha (Czech Republic) for the distribution of Buena Vista Social Club.
  • ASC Distribution (France) for The Return Of The Idiot.
  • Budapest Film (Hungary) for distribution of La Nouvelle Eve, Pola X, Est Ouest.
  • Best Hollywood (Hungary) for La Fille Sur Le Pont, Taxi.
  • Arthaus (Norway) for The Witman Boys.
  • Gutek Film (Poland) for Conte d'Automne, Eight And A Half Women.
  • Independenta Film (Romania) for the distribution of Le Barbier De Siberie, Par Dela Les Nuages, All About My Mother.
  • S.C. Interfilm Rom (Romania) for You Or Me.
  • Frenetic Films (Switzerland) for Princes Et Princesses, La-Bas (Back To Alger), Le Prof.
  • Look Now! (Switzerland) for El Medina (La Ville).
  • Mont-Blanc Distribution (Switzerland) for Le Chateau Des Singes.
  • JMH Distributions (Switzerland) for Le Libertin, Le Petit Voleur.
  • Filmcooperative Zurich (Switzerland) for Salsa, Einstein Des Sex, Love You.
  • Regina Film (Switzerland) for La Lettre.
  • Agora Films (Switzerland) for Beau Travail, 1999 Madeleine, Voyages.
  • Belge Film (Turkey) for Eternity And A Day.
  • Spot Film (Turkey) for distribution of Train De Vie.