European Film Promotion has launched a new scheme to help exports of European films. It will underwrite travel and print costs for sales companies attending Latin American, Asian and East European festivals.

The pilot scheme, Film Sales Support (FSS) will provide up to 50% of promotional and marketing costs for films attending the Buenos Aires, Pusan, Moscow and Rio De Janeiro festivals in 2004 with a cap of Euros 5,000 per film and Euros 40,000 per festival.

EFP, which is backed by the EU's Media Plus programme, says the scheme was launched following an industry survey which suggested the growing market potential for European film in these regions. It also says: "It is vital that the producer or sales agent accompanies his or her film to the festival to ensure efficient marketing."

The FSS scheme is bankrolled by the city of Hamburg, Germany's Federal Ministry for Culture and the Media and the British Council. In order to increase its impact FSS will be operated in collaboration with another Media Plus offshoot, Europa Cinemas.