An initiative for a new regional funding scheme was announced at the fourth Regional Forum on the state of the industry in South Eastern Europe, which takes place July 12-13 at the Sarajevo Film Festival,

The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), successor of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, which has recently formed the Task Force for Culture and Society, had together with producers from the region presented the initiative for a regional film fund at the Conference of the Culture Ministers of South Eastern Europe in Belgrade in April. The Sarajevo forum was the first public announcement of the initiative.

“The ministers have adopted a declaration by which they support the idea and will work on the establishment of a regional film fund,” said Hido Biscevic, Secretary General of the RCC. “I think this is a great leap forward for the region and together with Sarajevo Film Festival as the biggest event in this part of Europe, and Macedonian presidency of our political umbrella, we will work on the practicalities of developing this programme.”

The RCC covers countries of the former Yugoslavia, plus Albania, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova.

Jon Ivanovski, the Macedonian Chairman in Office of the South East European Cooperation Process, said: “I hope that by the July next year when the Macedonian presidency ends, at the Sarajevo Film Festival’s Regional Forum we will have a CEO of the new regional funding body.”

Besides Biscevic and Ivanovski, the panel titled “Toward an integrated regional audio-visual market in South Eastern Europe” at Sarajevo’s Regional Forum, organized in partnership with Screen International, featured speakers from the industry. It was moderated by Katriel Shory of the Israeli Film Fund, and included Mirsad Purivatra, the director of SFF; Jovan Marjanovic, head of SFF’s industry Section; Sanja Ravlic from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre; Bosnian producer Snezana Maric from Refresh; and Slovenian producer Danijel Hocevar from Vertigo/Emotion Film.