Distributors from Germany, Brazil and ex-Yugoslavia are the first beneficiaries of Switzerland's new promotional fund to support the distribution of Swiss films abroad with $80,000 (Euros 60,000) towards the release of four feature films and one documentary.

The maximum funding possible - $33,300 (Euros 25,000) - was given to Germany's X Verleih for Bettina Oberli's comedy Late Bloomers (Die Herbstzeitlosen) which will open in German cinemas on March 29, while Euros 10,000 was allocated to another German distributor Kinostar for its release of the documentary Zum Abschied Mozart.

Germany's Stardust Filmverleih was awarded $13,300 (Euros 10,000) for Samir's Swiss Film Award-winning Snow White. Zagreb-based Blitz Film's release of Andrea Staka's Golden Leopard winner Fraulein was also awarded $13,300. The film opens in Croatia on May 17, and on June 15 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Slovenia.

In addition, Brazil's Abmic received $6,650 (Euros 5,000) for its planned May 4 release of Fredi M. Murer's Vitus.

The fund was launched at the beginning of this year by Swiss Films and Switzerland's Federal Office of Culture (BAK) with an annual budget of $247,000 (Swiss Francs 300,000) to provide foreign distributors of Swiss films with distribution aid of up to $33,300 (Euros 25,000) per film for release costs exceeding the initial distribution project concept.