The MonteCinemaVeritaFoundation, which was one of the backers of this year's Locarno competitionfilm The Hunter (Okhotnik) byKazakhstan's Serik Aprymov, has suspended operations and laid off coordinatorLaurence Hoffmann in order to restructure its organisation.

Over the last ten years, theSwiss Foundation has supported the production and post-production of film projectsfrom the South and Eastern Europe with contributions to such films as AlexanderSokurov's Father And Son and Moloch, Zhang Yuan's Seventeen Years, last year's SilverLeopard winner Fuse (Gori Vatra) byPjer Zalica, and 2003's Golden Leopard winner Silent Waters (Khamosh Pani) by Sabiha Sumar. The amounts given for script development,production or postproduction range from Euros 15,000- Euros 50,000

In a statement, thefoundation said, "The restructuring is being implemented because aconsiderable proportion of the financial contributions has been called intoquestion and because of a need to streamline and cut management costs,".

The various supporters ofthe Foundation which include the Canton of Ticino, the Ministry of OverseasAffairs and Development, and private sponsors, are to decide on futureactivities by October 2004 "based on a convincing financial andorganisational plan."